Ultimate Guide to Greenville County Schools

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Greenville County School System is the largest public school system in South Carolina and is 44th largest in the nation. With over 100 schools and over 76,000 students, it is important to know what you are looking for in a school for your child. Here is an overview of what Greenville County Schools has to offer and some tips on choosing the right fit.

For information on private schools see our Guide to Private Schools in Greenville for information on homeschooling see our Homeschooling Guide for Greenville.

Check out our 5 Tips from a Teacher for a Great Start to School!

Looking for after-school care? Our Ultimate After School Care Guide has you covered.

Greenville County Schools News

What’s happening in Greenville County Schools that will affect your child and family? Our Greenville County Schools News page has all the important updates on school attendance, mask requirements, health policies, board meeting summaries, and more.

Greenville County Schools Quick Links

How Greenville County Schools Rank in South Carolina

  • Greenville County Schools consistently are ranked above average for the state of South Carolina.
  • GCS has earned National Accreditation from the Advanced Accreditation Commission, recognizing GCS as a high-quality school district.
  • $121.7 Million was offered to the Class of 2016 in college scholarships and the 2018 graduation rates were above the state average (83.6%).
  • With two National Blue Ribbon Schools and five of Newsweek’s Best High Schools, there is much to be excited about.
  • Also worth noting: more than 16% of students attend school on choice through GCS’s nationally recognized school choice program. Which one will you choose?

For an excellent guide to private schools in and around Greenville, check out KAG’s Ultimate Guide to Private Schools in Greenville here.

highschool student in class with computers

How do you know which school you are assigned to?

Children are assigned to a school based on the address of the residence of their custodial parent or guardian.

You can find out which school your child is assigned to by using the “Find your school” feature on the Greenville County School website.

If you would like your child to attend a school outside of their assignment, you can either apply for your child to attend a different school via the “Change in Assignment Choice” process or by applying to one of the local magnet schools.

How does school choice work in Greenville County Schools?

Greenville County is a choice district, in fact a large percentage (16%) of students use the program to attend a school of their choice.

The system first allows parents to fill out a letter of intent on whether their child will remain at their home school or not which allows the schools to determine how many spaces will be open for children outside of their home base.

Families that wish to attend school outside of their home school can send a choice form with their top three picks by the deadline typically early January. Each form is assigned a number. This form does not guarantee placement but enters the form into a lottery system.

The results then will be listed using the lottery numbers on the Greenville County School website by mid-February. You must complete this process within the choice window even for kindergartners that have not been registered yet.

The Magnet Schools follow an application process instead that takes place in December.

Tips for picking the right school for your child

Choosing the right school starts with asking the right questions. Browse the school’s website to discover more about their mission, academic offerings, and extracurricular activities.

Check out the school’s rating on GreatSchools.org. This is a wonderful resource for seeing how each school stacks up. However, do not stop there. The ratings often reflect test score results and do not necessarily reflect the quality of teachers or satisfaction of parents. Be sure to read the reviews from parents or former students along with the ratings.

Visit the school. Greenville County encourages parents to make an appointment with staff to tour schools, roam halls, and check out the classes.

One of your best resources is other parents via the PTA. Speak with the president of the PTA, find the PTA on Facebook and check out the conversations on social media, and learn how you can also get involved. Moms will tell you like it is!

For a complete listing of Greenville County Schools and programs, visit their website here.

Greenville County School Food Facts

Pink lunch box filled with fresh fruits and vegetables

Greenville County School Nutrition Services is dedicated to providing healthy and delicious food to students. Their director, Joe Urban, is a self-proclaimed “crusader on a mission to reinvent school food.” He was interviewed by KAG’s Kristina in 2017 about the Greenville County Schools food truck (yes, they have a food truck!) and their efforts to provide the highest quality food for students in our community. Check out that interview here.

You can follow Joe and Greenville County Food Services on Facebook at Greenville County Schools Food and Nutrition Services, on Twitter at SchoolFoodRocks, and on Instagram at @SchoolFoodRocks.

Applications for Free and Reduced meals for 2022-2023 are now open. If you filled out an application before July 5, 2022 you will need to complete another application for the 2022-2023 school year. Paper free and reduced applications are available upon request from your school.

Transportation at Greenville County Schools

line of school buses - stock image

Greenville County Schools provides bus transportation for all students attending their zoned school. Request bus transportation for your child here.

Parents must provide transportation for students who attend through Change in Assignment Choice.

Greenville County Schools Backpack

Backpack is an excellent resource provided by GCS for parents and students to stay informed and connected. Read more about GCS Backpack and how to set it up in our GCS Backpack Tutorial.

Greenville County Schools Virtual Program

In 2020, GCS add a new full-time virtual option for grades K5-12. Find more information on the GCS Virtual Program and to register your child for virtual school here.

Public Schools in Greenville County

There are 52 elementary schools across the Greenville County School district in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Elementary schools in Greenville County include students in 5 year old kindergarten through 5th grade. School hours for elementary are 7:45am – 2:15pm. Many Greenville County elementary schools also offer extended day programs (EDP).

Greenville County middle schools are for 6th – 8th grades. There are 25 middle schools in the Greenville County School district. School hours are 8:30am – 3:15pm.

19 Greenville County high schools serve students in 9th – 12th grades. High school hours are 8:45am – 3:45pm.

Charter Schools in Greenville County Schools

Charter schools have their own school board and operate independently.  They are free of most state regulations, but are publicly funded and do not charge tuition.  Thinking about a charter school for your child? Here’s a list of available charter schools in and around Greenville. Know of a school we missed? Let us know in the comments!

How did your family decide on schools for your kids?

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Sam
1 year ago

Is there a comprehensive list of all GCS elementary schools that require uniforms?

Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam

We’ll try to find it.