FEATURED SCHOOLS

Typography

A look at a few of the Lowcountry’s most popular schools and institutions. Find a complete list of local schools online at hiltonheadmonthly.com.

John Paul II Catholic School

Address: 4211 N Okatie Highway, Ridgeland SC 29936
Type: Private
Grades: 9-12
Principal: Walter Dupre
Phone: 843-645-3838
Student Population: 200
Capsule: John Paul II Catholic School is in the business of educating our children for the challenges they will face in college and beyond. The school’s motto, “Nolite Timere” (Be Not Afraid), means we are constantly examining our courses offered and evaluating academic standards while creating an environment rich in spirituality, fine arts and athletics, where each child reaches their full potential. At the center of everything JPII does is our faith in God. We are blessed to partner with our parents to help our children grow in their faith.

 

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Address: 4211 N Okatie Highway, Ridgeland SC 29936
Type: Public
Phone: 843-208-8247
Capsule: The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at USCB is devoted to providing intellectually stimulating, not-for-credit, educational opportunities to adults in the Lowcountry. This OLLI program is one of the most active programs in the country, with just over 1,500 members and more than 400 programs per year. Classes are offered in all three regions of the Lowcountry, including Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and Beaufort. Benefits of membership include access to OLLI programs, access to USCB’s campus libraries and dining, discounts to Center For The Art events and participation in the OLLI LowCountry Community Concert Band.

Technical College of the Lowcountry, New River Campus

Address: 100 Community College Drive, Bluffton, SC 29909
Type: Two-year community college
President: Dr. Richard Gough
Phone: 843-470-6000
Capsule: The Technical College of the Lowcountry provides quality, affordable academic and technical programs leading to associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in an environment fostering excellence in teaching and learning. The college prepares graduates with knowledge and skills for transfer to senior colleges and universities and for careers in computer technology, industrial technology, engineering technology, occupational technology, business, health sciences, and public service.

University of South Carolina Beaufort, Hilton Head Gateway Campus

Address: One University Boulevard, Bluffton, SC 29909
Type: Public university
Chancellor: Dr. Al M. Panu
Phone: 843-208-8000
Capsule: USCB offers the region's only human services degree as well as more traditional degrees such as English, psychology, business and education. The school opened a nursing facility in Spring 2009. Human simulators provide nursing students hands-on training opportunities. Another popular program capitalizing on nearby Hilton Head Island resorts is the hospitality management program which draws international students and provides internship experiences.

Hilton Head Preparatory School

Address: 8 Fox Grape Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Type: Private
Grades: PK-12
Headmaster: Jon Hopman
Director of Admissions: Bobbie Somerville
Phone: 843-671-2286
Student Population: 450
Mascot: Dolphins
Capsule: Hilton Head Prep is an accredited private school with exemplary faculty who strive to create students of character, integrity and responsibility in a safe and welcoming environment. With an average class size of 12 students, Hilton Head Prep uses a traditional college preparatory curriculum that includes courses in liberal arts, science, technology and ethics, as well as rigorous Advanced Placement and honors courses including AP Capstone that allows student to earn diplomas of distinction is a course of study that aligns with their passions. Participation in co-curricular arts, athletic programs and meaningful community involvement is highly encouraged. Hilton Head Prep also has a residential boarding program for national and international students.

Hilton Head Island High School

Address: 70 Wilborn Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Type: Public
Grades: 9-12
Principal: Amanda O’Nan
Phone: 843-689-4800
Student Population: 1,271 students
Mascot: Seahawks
Capsule: U.S. News & World Report ranked Hilton Head Island High School No. 5 of all South Carolina high schools for its commitment to excellence and academic rigor, with opportunities to take AP courses and exams. Hilton Head High prepares its students to become responsible citizens in our global and technological age by providing a balanced curriculum, disciplined atmosphere, and quality facilitating, and excellent faculty. In addition to having a curriculum with traditional academic courses, clubs, activities, and sports teams, Hilton Head High offers an International Baccalaureate diploma, allowing students to earn college credits while in high school.

Hilton Head Christian Academy

Address: 55 Gardner Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Type: Private
Grades: K-12
Headmaster: Doug Langhals
Director of Admissions: Jen Denton
Phone: 843-681-2878
Student Population: 384
Mascot: Eagles
Capsule: Hilton Head Christian Academy is a non-denominational Christian and college preparatory school that inspires in its students “a growing relationship with Christ and a relentless pursuit of excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts.” With an average class size of 15 students, Hilton Head Christian offers a rigorous curriculum including AP and honors courses. Athletic teams range from football and cheerleading to clay target, while clubs and activities include The Talon yearbook, Key Club, Discipleship Groups, and senior missions trips. Hilton Head Christian has a reputation for excellence in many areas, but most notably in the caring faculty and families it fosters, who understand the world from a biblical perspective.

Sea Pines Montessori Academy

Address: 9 Fox Grape Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Type: Private, Non-profit
Grades: 12 months to 8th grade
Headmaster: Melinda A. Cotter
Phone: 843-785-2534 
Website: www.seapinesmontessori.com
Student Population: 150
Capsule: Mary Stone Fraser founded Sea Pines Montessori Academy in 1968 as a children’s house — the desks, windows, and tables were at eye level so that it was truly owned by the children.  Today, Sea Pines Montessori includes 10 classrooms, a library, a Suzuki piano and violin studio, a Spanish language lab, beautiful music room, art studio, an outdoor amphitheater and other amenities. In addition to offering golf at Sea Pines Resort, tennis with Van Der Meer Academy, and fitness through CTF, we offer numerous after school sports and clubs for all ages.  Sea Pines Montessori builds on Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy on education, which instills a love of learning, strong social and problem-solving skills, a positive work environment, and respect for community.   Join us as we prepare for our upcoming 50th anniversary!  Financial Aid opportunities are available.

St. Francis Catholic School

Address: 45 Beach City Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 2992
Type: Private/Catholic
Grades: Pre-K-8
Headmaster: Brian Pope
Phone: 843-681-6501
Website: www.sfcshhi.com
Student Population: 200
Mascot: Wolves
Capsule: St. Francis Catholic School’s mission is “to nurture students’ spiritual and intellectual growth in an authentically Catholic community committed to academic excellence.” Children from 4 years old (K4) to 14 years old (8th Grade) benefit from an integrated faith formation through weekly mass, religion curriculum and service opportunities. St. Francis Catholic School offers students a well-rounded and challenging curriculum with the goal to provide each student the foundation to be successful in high school. This can be easily seen with the many academic, athletic, and artistic achievements that our 8th Grade graduates have earned over the years in area high schools, both public and private. SFCS also has an exceptional parental and volunteer support system and encourages parents to be involved in the school community. St. Francis Catholic School accepts both Catholic as well as non-Catholic students.

Cross Schools

Address: 495 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton, SC 29910
Type: Independent
Grades: 18 months to 8th grade
Headmaster: Brad Schultz, Susan Hackett (Preschool) and Shawn Young (K-8th)
Director of Admissions: Alison Howard (Preschool) and Jen Kronimus (K-8th)
Phone: (843)-706-2000
Website: crossschools.org
Student Population: 440
Capsule: Established in 1998, Cross Schools provides a Christian based education for children 18 months through 8th grade. Cross Schools strives to create an atmosphere where students develop a passion for learning through small classes, rigorous academics, various enrichment courses, and faith based learning. At Cross Schools, students attend weekly chapel, participate in community service projects, and have the opportunity to join various clubs. Its athletic program, which features cross country, basketball, golf, soccer, and volleyball, encourages teamwork, discipline, and physical fitness. The guiding principles of the Cross Schools community are Academic Excellence, Christian Values, and Community Service.

Lowcountry Day Christian Preschool & Camp

Address:  357 Red Cedar St., 285 Red Cedar St.
Coming soon: on Gibbet Rd, Pritchardville
Type:  Private
Grades:  6 Weeks – Pre-K, Pre-k – 3rd Grade (Camp & After School)
Director: Kimberly Duke-Clark
Phone:  843-815-2271 (357) 843-815-2273 (285)
Student Population: 400
Capsule: Lowcountry Day schools are privately owned Christian and state licensed preschools. They provide a year round Pre-K curriculum, welcoming families from all denominations and encouragin learning through the creative arts, providing a ballet and music room on campus. Their mission is to provide a safe, nurturing environment, while providing the highest quality care that will meet the needs of every individual child.


 LOCAL SCHOOLS

 

Bluffton Elementary School & Early Childhood Center

Address: 150 and 160 H.E. McCracken Circle, Bluffton, SC 29910
Type: Public
Grades: ECC PK-1, Main 2-6
Principal: Christine Brown
Phone: 843-706-8500
Student Population: 714
Mascot: Wildcats
Capsule: As a school of choice for animation, creation and design, Bluffton Elementary School teaches its students to think critically and understand all the creation that is made possible with technology. Dressed in uniforms of red, royal blue, yellow or white collared shirts over khaki bottoms, students attend school from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and gain hands-on experience with activities such as gaming and coding using programs like Toon Boom technology. Along with theme days and monthly community service projects, Bluffton Elementary teaches its students to be positive, respectful, independent, dependable, and put forth their best effort (show their PRIDE) as part of a positive behavior interventions and supports model.

Bluffton Middle School

Address: 30 New Mustang Drive, Bluffton, SC 29910
Type: Public
Grades: 6-7
Principal: Pat Freda
Phone: 843-707-0700
Student Population: 1,120
Mascot: Mustangs
Capsule: At Bluffton Middle School, teachers inspire intellectual curiosity and instill in their students meaningful life skills such as responsibility, honesty and citizenship. One way that Bluffton Middle fulfills its mission of “cherishing and challenging every student” is through school-sponsored activities such as the National Geographic Bee, Pizza with the Principal, Career Day, Month of the Military Child, and Choice School Fair. With its recent 1-to-1 Dell device implementation, the school treats technology as a tool that enhances learning in the classroom and encourages students to critically question how things work.

Bluffton High School

Address: 12 H.E. McCracken Circle, Bluffton, SC 29910
Type: Public
Grades: 10-12
Principal: Denise Garison
Phone: 843-706-8800
Student Population: 1,313
Mascot: Bobcats
Capsule: Named in the top 3 percent of America’s most challenging high schools by The Washington Post, Bluffton High School strives to assure that “students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to live as productive and informed citizens in an ever-changing society.” Offering 16 different AP courses and unique courses such as business education and sports medicine, Bluffton High prepares its students for college, potential careers and beyond. With sports such as baseball, lacrosse, soccer, and wrestling, and clubs such as Drama Club, Interact Club and JROTC, there are numerous ways for students to enhance their learning experience both during and after the school day.

Cross Schools

Address: 495 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton, SC 29910
Type: Private
Grades: PK-8
Headmaster: Shawn Young
Director of Admissions: Allison Howard
Phone: 843-706-2000
Student Population: 440
Capsule: Established in 1999, Cross Schools provides a Christian-based day school for children in prekindergarten through eighth grade. Cross Schools strives to create an atmosphere where children love learning through small classes, rigorous academics, various enrichment courses, and faith-based learning. At Cross Schools, students can experience weekly chapel, an in-class Bible curriculum, numerous clubs such as Battle of the Books and Math League, and sports such as cross-country and volleyball. The main tenets of the Cross School community are academic excellence, respect for and service to others, and a commitment to know, love and follow Jesus Christ.

H.E. McCracken Middle School

Address: 250 H.E. McCracken Circle, Bluffton, SC 29910
Type: Public
Grades: 8-9
Principal: Todd Bornscheuer
Phone: 843-706-8700
Student Population: 983
Mascot: Bulldogs
Capsule: At H.E. McCracken Middle School, an expansion of Bluffton Middle School, students build on their academic foundation while faculty promote high expectations, critical thinking skills, literacy, strength of diversity, and real-world applications of knowledge. Classes range from environmental science of the Lowcountry to world geography. Clubs and activities include Youth in Government and Science Olympiad. There is also a “Connections” program with a commitment to community involvement. As an Arts-Infused and Project Lead the Way Choice school, McCracken Middle provides additional opportunities for career and technology preparedness in the performing arts and STEM-related fields.

Heritage Academy

Address: 11 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Type: Private
Grades: 6-12
Headmaster: Gloria Shoemaker
Director of Admissions: Tina Sprouse
Phone: 843-842-8600
Student Population: 130
Capsule: Heritage Academy provides a top school choice for scholar-athletes and performing artists requiring flexible course scheduling and individualized training so that they can pursue their dreams of earning a spot on an NCAA sports team or arts program. Heritage Academy serves local, national and international students from many different countries and states. The average class size is around eight students. The curriculum includes personalized college placement programs, honors classes, and AP classes. Heritage Academy has community partners in athletics and the arts, including Smith Stearns Tennis Academy, Van De Meer Tennis Academy, IJGA, JPGA, Bluffton School of Dance, Lawton Stables and others.

Hilton Head Christian Academy

Address: 55 Gardner Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Type: Private
Grades: K-12
Headmaster: Daniel Wesche
Director of Admissions: Jen Denton
Phone: 843-681-2878
Student Population: 384
Mascot: Eagles
Capsule: Hilton Head Christian Academy is a non-denominational Christian and college preparatory school that inspires in its students “a growing relationship with Christ and a relentless pursuit of excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts.” With an average class size of 15 students, Hilton Head Christian offers a rigorous curriculum including AP and honors courses. Athletic teams range from football and cheerleading to clay target, while clubs and activities include The Talon yearbook, Key Club, Discipleship Groups, and senior missions trips. Hilton Head Christian has a reputation for excellence in many areas, but most notably in the caring faculty and families it fosters, who understand the world from a biblical perspective.

Hilton Head Island Elementary School IB

Address: 30 School Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Type: Public
Grades: 1-5
Principal: Jill McAden
Phone: 843-342-4100
Student Population: 916 students
Mascot: Otters
Capsule: The mission of Hilton Head Elementary School is to develop world citizens who are compassionate, lifelong learners. As an International Baccalaureate school, the school’s curriculum implements international ideas such as how governments and citizens influence one another, how people use their imagination to create stories for entertainment, and how people around the world make connections in work and play, and more. The dual language choice program also instills a global culture in the elementary school. Students at Hilton Head Elementary are encouraged to be active participants in extracurricular learning through clubs and activities such as Chess Club, Beachbotics, Student Council and Drama Club.   

Hilton Head Island Middle School

Address: 55 Wilborn Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Type: Public
Grades: 6-8
Principal: Neodria Brown
Phone: 843-689-4500
Student Population: 979
Mascot: Stingrays
Capsule: As an International Baccalaureate World School, Hilton Head Island Middle School shares a philosophy of commitment to high quality and a challenging international education. This program teaches students to be creative, critical and reflective thinkers both in the classroom, with traditional subjects such as geometry, earth science, and world language, as well as outside the classroom in unique clubs such as Earth Club, Area in Motion, and Model United Nations. Hilton Head Middle athletics include football, basketball, track and field, wrestling, and more.

Hilton Head Island Elementary School for the Creative Arts and Daufuskie Island Elementary School

Address: 10 Bus Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Type: Public
Grades: PK-5
Principal: Gretchen Keefner
Phone: 843-342-4380
Student Population: 800
Mascot: Seahawks
Capsule: Hilton Head Elementary School for the Creative Arts uses an arts-infused approach to S.C. state standards by integrating arts into math and reading for students in kindergarten through fifth grades. While maintaining its primary focus on a creative learning environment, the school recently adopted the STEAM model into its curriculum to include science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Taught at the instructional level, students build skills such as confidence and a strong work habit, which is evident as they perform live and display their work in school and community venues. Other opportunities for students include Drama Club, Garden Club, Calypso Belles, and Robotics Club.

Hilton Head Preparatory School

Address: 8 Fox Grape Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Type: Private
Grades: PK-12
Headmaster: Jon Hopman
Director of Admissions: Bobbie Somerville
Phone: 843-671-2286
Student Population: 450
Mascot: Dolphins
Capsule: Hilton Head Prep is an accredited private school with exemplary faculty who strive to create students of character, integrity and responsibility in a safe and welcoming environment. With an average class size of 12 students, Hilton Head Prep uses a traditional college preparatory curriculum that includes courses in liberal arts, science, technology and ethics, as well as rigorous Advanced Placement and honors courses. Participation in co-curricular arts, athletic programs and meaningful community involvement is highly encouraged. Hilton Head Prep has a boarding program for students on competitive athletic teams or after-school activities, and is partnered with Cambridge Institute of International Education to provide a premier education for Chinese and Korean students.

Michael C. Riley Early Childhood Center & Elementary School

Address: 172 and 200 Burnt Church Road, Bluffton, SC 29910
Type: Public
Grades: PK-5
Principal: Adrienne Sutton
Phone: 843-706-8300
Student Population: 920
Mascot: Eagle
Capsule: Named after a native Blufftonian, Michael C. Riley Early Childhood Center & Elementary School empowers its young learners to become honorable and contributing members of society. The unique curriculum includes an EveryDay math research-based program, a balanced literacy program with reading and writing workshop, a whole-child transformation and leadership program, and a STEM program that uses the design thinking process — encouraging students to ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve. In every program, students build skills with group projects, mini-lessons, and instructional learning. M.C. Riley teaches its students to follow the EAGLE model of behavior by earning respect, acting responsibility, going safely, learning, and encouraging others.

Okatie Elementary School

Address: 53 Cherry Point Road, Bluffton, SC 29909
Type: Public
Grades: PK-5
Principal: Jamie Pinckney
Phone: 843-322-7700
Student Population: 600
Mascot: Owl
Capsule: A science, health and technology-based school, Okatie Elementary School was recognized as a Palmetto’s Finest winner for adhering to its mission of “meeting students academic needs while also promoting character development.” Okatie Elementary teachers empower students to develop integrity and social responsibility by enacting a “Learning Through Leadership” approach. At Okatie Elementary, students engage in authentic service projects, gain access to facilities such as the Media Center, participate in clubs such as Spirit Squad, Recycling, and Electronics Club, take field trips to the surrounding Bluffton and Savannah area, and present their ideas with grade-wide projects such as the Science Fair.

Red Cedar Elementary School

Address: 10 Box Elder St., Bluffton, SC 29910
Type: Public
Grades: K-5
Principal: Kathleen Corley
Phone: 843-707-0600
Student Population: 713
Mascot: Foxes
Capsule: Red Cedar Elementary School is a Title 1 school that fosters a love of knowledge, self, and others among its students, and was recently named the top public elementary school in the state with a Palmetto’s Finest award. The hallmarks of life at Red Cedar Elementary School include a high-quality staff, teaching to the state standards, and a sense of respect (as part of the positive behavior interventions and supports model). While the academic curriculum focuses on project-based and hands-on learning, students gain access to digital tools such as Rosetta Stone, BIG Universe and Odyssey/Compass Learning. Clubs and activities include the Foxes Trot Running Club, Robotics Club, Honors Choir, Red Cedar Gazette and many more.

St. Francis Catholic School

Address: 45 Beach City Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 2992
Type: Private/Catholic
Grades: PK-8
Headmaster: Brian Pope
Phone: 843-681-6501
Website: www.sfcshhi.com
Student Population: 187
Mascot: Wolves
Capsule: St. Francis Catholic School strives to “nurture students’ spiritual and intellectual growth” through its strong curriculum, enrichment programs and athletics. In addition to integrated faith formation through weekly chapel and religion classes, the curriculum includes reading, arithmetic, writing, science and more. Enrichment programs such the school musical and Geography Club and athletic programs such as basketball and volleyball allow students to further their talents and interests. St. Francis has an exceptional parental and volunteer support system environment that makes the school environment what it is — built on unconditional positive regard for each student.

Sea Pines Montessori Academy

Address: 9 Fox Grape Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Type: Private
Grades: 15 months to 8th grade
Headmaster: Melinda A. Cotter
Phone: 843-785-9537
Student Population: 145
Capsule: Mary Stone Fraser founded Sea Pines Montessori Academy in 1968 as a children’s house — the desks, windows, and tables were at eye level so that it was truly owned by the children. Today, Sea Pines Montessori includes 10 classrooms, a library, a Suzuki piano and violin studio, a Chinese language lab, an outdoor amphitheater and other amenities. In addition to offering golf and fitness classes, the tennis program is in partnership with the Van Der Meer tennis Center. Sea Pines Montessori builds on Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy on education, which includes a love of learning, strong social and problem-solving skills, a positive work habit and respect for community.

Technical College of the Lowcountry, New River Campus

Address: 100 Community College Drive, Bluffton, SC 29909
Type: Two-year community college
President: Dr. Richard Gough
Phone: 843-470-6000
Capsule: The Technical College of the Lowcountry provides quality, affordable academic and technical programs leading to associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in an environment fostering excellence in teaching and learning. The college prepares graduates with knowledge and skills for transfer to senior colleges and universities and for careers in computer technology, industrial technology, engineering technology, occupational technology, business, health sciences, and public service.

University of South Carolina Beaufort, Hilton Head Gateway Campus

Address: One University Boulevard, Bluffton, SC 29909
Type: Public university
Chancellor: Dr. Al M. Panu
Phone: 843-208-8000
Capsule: USCB offers the region's only human services degree as well as more traditional degrees such as English, psychology, business and education. The school opened a nursing facility in Spring 2009. Human simulators provide nursing students hands-on training opportunities. Another popular program capitalizing on nearby Hilton Head Island resorts is the hospitality management program which draws international students and provides internship experiences.