Getting to Know the Outer Banks: The Schools

Getting-to-Know-The-Outer-Banks-2-The-SchoolsMoving a family to a new home involves a lot of decisions and some very real concerns. One of the most important considerations for parents is the quality of the education their children are going to receive.

The good news for families coming to the Outer Banks is the schools here are excellent—consistently rated among some of the best in the state.

This article will focus on Dare County Schools; although there are schools in Ocracoke and Corolla, most of the population of the Outer Banks and most of the schools are located in Dare County.

For information on Corolla schools contact Waters Edge Village School, 252-455-9449—a K-8 charter school, or Currituck County Schools, 252-232-2223. For information on the Ocracoke school, K-12, contact Hyde County Schools, 252-926-3281.

Dare County Schools Overview

There are approximately 5100 students in Dare County public schools. The student to teach ration is 13:1, which is notably better than the national average of 16:1.

In North Carolina, teacher pay is determined by the state and public school teachers are state employees. However, county commissioners can provide additional funds for teacher salaries and Dare County commissioners have consistently supported teacher pay. As a consequence, compensation for county teachers is better than surrounding areas. Teachers also tend to be better qualified, with better skills and the turnover rate is low.

The four year graduation rate for Dare County High Schools has been between 93-95% for some time. That is a remarkable achievement and the school system typically ranks in the top ten in the state for graduation rates.

High Schools do participate in the College Promise: Tuition-Free Courses for High School and College Credit program. Juniors and Seniors who meet course and GPA requirements can take college level classes at the College of the Albemarle, a community college that serves northeastern North Carolina. Course credits are fully transferable to any state school in the University of North Carolina system.

There are 10 campuses and 11 schools in the Dare County system. The Alternative High School is housed in First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills.

The Schools

Elementary Schools
Dare County elementary schools are K-5 schools. Although all elementary schools in the system rank well, Kitty Hawk Elementary has consistently stood out as a top tier school in state rankings. Elementary schools in particular feature very active parent participation. School PTOs sponsor annual fairs that are used to finance a number of improvements and programs in the schools. All elementary schools offer after school programs.

Kitty Hawk Elementary
16 South Dogwood Trail
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
Phone: 252-261-2313

First Flight Elementary
107 Veterans Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
Telephone: 252-441-1111

Nags Head Elementary
3100 S. Wrightsville Ave
Nags Head, NC 27959
Phone: 252-480-8880

Manteo Elementary
701 North Highway 64/264
Manteo, NC  27954
Phone: 252-473-2742

Cape Hatteras Elementary
47500 Middle Ridge Trail
Buxton, NC 27920
Phone: 252-995-6196

Middle Schools
Dare County middle schools are grades 6-8. On Hatteras Island the middle school is part of Cape Hatteras Secondary School. In addition to offering a full range of team sports, county middle schools also offer band and chorus.

First Flight Middle School
109 Veterans Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
Phone: 252-441-8888

Manteo Middle School
1000 Hwy 64-264
Manteo, NC 27954
Phone: 252-473-5549

High School

The three Dare County high schools rank very well in statewide evaluations. Manteo and First Flight High Schools do rank higher than Cape Hatteras Secondary School, though.

Cape Hatteras with a limited student body cannot provide the full range of athletic teams that Manteo and First Flight offer. In general, Dare County Schools compete very well in athletics and sometimes excel. The First Flight Men’s Soccer team took home the state title in 2016 and were runners up in 2015.

The schools, though, offer much more than athletics for extra-curricular activities.The three schools have very active arts programs that include award winning jazz bands, outstanding chorale groups and performance of very challenging plays.

As a gage of how popular theatre is at the schools, performances at First Flight and Manteo regularly use 60-100 students in their productions.

First Flight High School
100 Veterans Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC, 27948
Phone: 252-449-7000

Manteo High School
829 Wingina Avenue
Manteo, NC 27954
Phone: 252-473-5841

Cape Hatteras Secondary School (6-12)
48576 Hwy 12
Buxton, NC 27920
Phone: 252-995-5730

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