Excellent Schools for All Ages
Whether you’re looking into schools for your children or are thinking of going back to school yourself, Henderson County and the surrounding area offer a variety of educational opportunities.
Parents with small children will find numerous choices when it comes to child care and preschools. Many churches offer weekday programs and private and publicly funded child care centers operate throughout the county.
For more information and a current list of child care options in Henderson County, contact Mountain Child Care Connections at SWCDCINC.org/Quality-Childcare, or call the toll-free hotline at 877-752-5955 or visit the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education at NCChildcare.NCDHHS.gov/ChildCareSearch.
Henderson County Public Schools
Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS) consists of 23 schools – four high, four middle, 13 elementary, the Henderson County Career Academy and the Henderson County Early College. HCPS serves more than 13,000 children with a staff of more than 3,000 instructional and non-instructional employees. Twenty-one of the schools operate on a traditional schedule of four nine-week grading periods. Bruce Drysdale Elementary and Hendersonville Elementary operate on a flex schedule of four nine-week grading periods with three-week inter-sessions.
The Career Academy and the Early College (together, the Innovative High Schools) are housed in the Molly A. Parkhill Building on the Blue Ridge Community College campus. The Career Academy offers high school students pursuing direct, specific career goals academies plus access to all the technical career pathways through BRCC. The Early College gives many first-generation college students the opportunity to complete high school and college coursework through BRCC in five years and graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.
Henderson County Public Schools continues to be one of the highest-performing school districts in the state, regularly ranking top in the state for overall proficiency and high 4-year cohort graduation rates, which annually exceed the average North Carolina graduation rate.
The system has a total of 168 National Board Certified Teachers. HCPS is named a “Schools to Watch® District” by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, and 11 schools (eight elementary, two middle and one high) implement Franklin Covey’s The Leader in Me school-wide model.
Public Charter Schools
Henderson County also has three public, tuition-free charter schools – FernLeaf Community Charter School in Fletcher, Flat Rock Classical Academy in Flat Rock and The Mountain Community School in Hendersonville.
FernLeaf Community Charter School
FernLeaf Community Charter School offers an elementary through high school experience like no other, enriching lives through community, high quality academics and hands-on learning. This K-12 school seeks to foster a rich learning environment that engages students and helps them develop into compassionate, thoughtful human beings as they grow and achieve academically. Their new Wilderness Campus opens Fall of 2023. For more information, call 828-684-3645 or visit FernLeafCCS.org.
Flat Rock Classical Academy (Opening Fall 2024)
Flat Rock Classical Academy will develop students in mind and character through a rigorous, classical, content-rich transparent curriculum that emphasizes academic fundamentals, virtuous living and civic responsibility. The Academy will begin as a K-4 school, adding grades each year through grade 12. For more information, visit FlatRockClassicalAcademy.org.
Mountain Community School
The Mountain Community School’s mission is to honor individuality and diversity, nurture respect for self and others and foster a lifelong love of learning. The Mountain Community School is a charter school that offers a rigorous curricular experience based on an expeditionary model of learning in grades K-8. For more information, call 828-696-8480 or visit TheMountainCommunitySchool.com.
In addition to public schools, Henderson County has five private schools.
Captain Gilmer Christian School and Fletcher Academy
Captain Gilmer Christian School in Fletcher offers excellence in academics while maintaining strong Biblical roots. CGCS is a Pre-K through 8th grade campus that serves as the primary and middle school for Fletcher Academy. The Academy provides a general college preparatory work/study program for day students and boarding students in grades 9 to 12. Both schools are Seventh-day Adventist. For more information, call Captain Gilmer Christian School at 828-684-8221 or visit CaptainGilmer.org, or call Fletcher Academy at 828-209-6800 or visit FletcherAcademy.org.
Imago Dei Classical Academy
Imago Dei Classical Academy is a classical Christian school in Mills River that seeks to glorify God by teaching students, parents and staff to think clearly, listen with discernment and understanding, reason persuasively and articulate precisely. For more information, call 828-513-4966 or visit IDCANC.org.
Immaculata Catholic School
Immaculata Catholic School in Hendersonville provides academic and religious instruction for preschool through 8th grade, integrating Roman Catholic tradition into a comprehensive instructional program. For more information, call 828-693-3277 or visit IMMAC.org.
Veritas Christian Academy
Veritas Christian Academy in Fletcher is an independent, co-educational, PreK-12, college preparatory school with an educational culture built on the classical Trivium and Christianity. Veritas enters its 25th year and has been newly accredited by the Association of Classical Christian Schools. Veritas’ academic program is enhanced by a common and fine arts program, a center for nature studies, an athletics department and an assortment of electives and extracurricular activities. For more information, call 828-681-0546 or visit VeritasNC.org.
Wild Oak Independent School
Wild Oak Independent School is a unique school community intentionally designed to engage Preschool through 6th graders in a relationship with learning that will support their curiosity, creativity, growth and development. In addition, Wild Oak offers low student-teacher ratios in multi-age classrooms and an integrated, real-world, hands-on curriculum. For more information, call 828-620-1091 or visit WildOakSchool.org.
Homeschooling is also an option for North Carolina parents and children. Resources include:
Classical Scholars in Mills RIver which supports homeschooling parents with a unique classroom environment and opportunities to foster leadership: ClassicalScholarsHomeschool.com
Henderson County Homeschool Association: Homeschool-Life.com/NC/HCHA
NC Department of Administration: NCAdmin.NC.gov/Citizens/Home-School-Information
North Carolinians for Home Education: NCHE.com
Blue Ridge Community College
Blue Ridge Community College is a two-year post-secondary institution that prepares students of all ages for success in today’s workforce or at four-year colleges and universities. With campuses in Henderson and Transylvania Counties, the college offers more than 200 degrees, diplomas and certificates in 30 areas of study; more than 200 online courses; veterans services; support for small businesses; apprenticeships; job placement services through NCWorks; one of the largest continuing education programs in the state; and fast-tracked job training.
Blue Ridge also breaks down financial barriers to higher education through its Educational Foundation which offers more than $400,000 in scholarship opportunities each year. Graduates are also eligible to transfer credits and continue their education at any of North Carolina’s 18 public colleges and universities. The College’s faculty craft programs that provide real-life practice, meet the needs of area employers and lead to well-paying careers. Through its comprehensive program and service options, Blue Ridge Community College offers an elevated higher education experience that helps students achieve their professional goals while strengthening the community
Fruitland Baptist Bible College
Established in 1946, the purpose of Fruitland Baptist Bible College’s educational programs is to equip the next generation of Christian leaders to become thinkers who think with a Biblical worldview and serve with a compassionate heart just as Christ served others. FBBC offers an Associate Degree in Religion/Christian Ministries. The College also partners with The College at Southeastern to offer an accredited Bachelor of Arts degree. FBBC is a member of the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities and Fruitland is a ministry of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
Wingate University Hendersonville
Wingate University’s Hendersonville campus offers a fully accredited Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) program and Masters of Physician Assistant (PA) studies. Both programs emphasize small classes, a student-centered environment, service to the community and real-life experiences in problem-solving and application of skills.
Wingate University School of Pharmacy graduates engage in more than 2,150 hours of pharmacy practice experience in hospitals, community pharmacies and medical clinics.
The PA Studies program partners with local hospitals and healthcare providers to prepare well-educated, ethical and skilled physician assistants.
Wingate University’s health-education facility located next to Pardee UNC Health Care is a joint venture of Wingate, Henderson County, the City of Hendersonville, Blue Ridge Community College and Pardee UNC Health Care.
University of North Carolina Asheville
As North Carolina’s premier public liberal arts and sciences university -- and one of the top-10 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report -- UNC Asheville prides itself on being an exceptionally close-knit learning community engaged in bold exploration, courageous creativity and innovative thinking. The focus on developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills is part of a commitment to a way of learning that leads to discovery of real-world solutions to pressing local and global issues, whatever the chosen major and field of study of students.
Award-winning faculty, a nationally acclaimed undergraduate research program and small class sizes foster connections between curiosity and critical thinking, courage and challenge, imagination and impact, opportunity and responsibility.
Learning at UNCA extends well beyond classroom walls, focusing on undergraduate studies to prepare the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals through faculty-mentored research projects, career-related internships, study-abroad experiences and service projects that make an impact at home and around the world.UNC Asheville is home to 3,000 undergraduate students with more than 65 academic offerings, 16 NCAA Division I athletic teams and an award-winning, internationally known Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.