Guide to Education Around Columbia


Choosing the right school can seem like an overwhelming task. Combine that with the fact that there are so many different types of schools and education options, and it can make your head spin. Our hope is that this resource guide will answer some of your questions and that you are able to learn more about some of the options we have available right here in the Midlands. We hope that this will provide you with some guidance as you choose the right educational path for your child.

If you would like your business included in this guide, let’s chat!

*This is a sponsored guide, presented by our valued local partners. While we love sharing these resources with our readers, we have not personally vetted each individual business represented here and encourage our readers to do their own research to find the best fit for their family.

South Carolina private schools offer excellence in academics, smaller class sizes, and individualized attention to students. Parents pay tuition for their child to attend private school. Check out the great options around Columbia!

Heathwood Hall

Lower School Students

For 70 years, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School has been an educational leader in South Carolina, providing students age 2 through 12th grade with a college preparatory education in a nurturing environment. While the school’s academic program is challenging and its outcomes are second to none, it’s our commitment to the development of the whole child in mind, body, and spirit that sets a Heathwood education apart. Heathwood graduates are tenacious, sophisticated thinkers and engaged, empathetic leaders, prepared not only to take on a dynamic world but to transform it.

3000 S Beltline Blvd.
Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 765-2309

Additional Private Schools

Virtual schools based in South Carolina allow for excellence in education while providing flexibility to students and families. Parents work with teachers and create an individualized learning experience that fits your child and family’s needs. 

Cyber Academy of South Carolina


The Cyber Academy of South Carolina is a full-time, tuition-free, online public charter school for grades K-12. CASC provides individualized education to help students reach their maximum potential and also offers flexibility so they can learn in the ways that are right for them— at home, on the road, or wherever there’s an internet connection.

At CASC, we will focus on the individual needs, desires, and interests of our students and families, and we will do everything we can to help our students reach their academic goals. We also offer Stride Career Prep for grades 9-12 and dual credit opportunities to put your student on the path to college and career readiness while learning 21st-century skills.

At CASC, we have our teachers out in the communities across the state of South Carolina frequently hosting academic outings and social events, from Beta Club, Student Council and service opportunities. And we are proud to have Erskine College’s Charter Institute’s 2023 Teacher of the Year on our teaching team. Sharmaine Roaden, our high school Spanish teacher was chosen from teachers across the state for the honor.


“Cyber Academy of South Carolina (CASC) has worked so well for my daughter because they are a flexible and supportive educational option. CASC has provided several academic resources to allow my daughter to excel at an academically rapid pace. They worked with us to provide her with a rigorous educational path to keep her engaged and learning at such a quick pace. She was also empowered as a student ambassador, where she speaks to South Carolina legislators about the importance of virtual schools, charter schools, and state funding in support of those educational environments. My daughter will be graduating early, and we believe she will be well-prepared for college and beyond.” 

— Jessica, parent of a high school junior

“My switch from traditional public school to Cyber Academy of South Carolina has been the best decision and focused me on a college and a career. Thanks to CASC’s college career prep program, I was inspired to try STEM classes, and now I want to work in coding and cybersecurity. Not only do I know my career path, but I was honored as a STEM student in the state, and I have a mentorship with Boeing which is going to help me through college at USC Upstate.”

— Emily, CASC Class of 2023

“There is a myth out there that students are isolated in virtual school. That can’t be further from the truth. I feel like I’ve had a better balance and have been able to do so many things outside the classroom because of Cyber Academy of South Carolina (CASC). I’ve made friends through classes and at competitions and other outside school activities. And the teachers are always available to help, support and encourage as needed.”

— Angel, CASC Class of 2024

“Cyber Academy of South Carolina (CASC) helped my girls learn that whatever they start, they go all the way. And if things get tough, they work harder and find their way through. The nature of the school is ownership of your lessons and developing independence to see things through. It’s been a formula of success for us.”

— Elisa, mom of a high school junior and a CASC graduate

330 Pelham Rd. Suite 101
Greenville, SC 29615

(855) 611-2830

Heron Virtual Academy of South Carolina


Heron Virtual Academy of South Carolina (HVASC) is a tuition-free, online public school preparing teens for the future with high-quality academics, credit recovery, college or career prep, and comprehensive support to develop individual pathways to graduation. Heron is a virtual Alternative Education Campus (AEC) serving students statewide. With this distinction, HVASC serves a student population where learning disabilities, high-risk situations, and needs for specialized instruction are prevalent, including students who have been expelled from a traditional school or who have previously dropped out of school to set them on a path to vocational certifications and a high school diploma.

No matter the challenges of their previous education journey, students at HVASC  are empowered to find their own version of academic success and have comprehensive support to create a tailored pathway to a high school diploma. Through credit recovery and career or college prep, students gain an edge as they navigate the requirements of a quality, 9–12th-grade curriculum. South Carolina-certified teachers trained in virtual instruction help students develop the tools needed to achieve success.

The school also:

  • Implements social-emotional learning and trauma-informed practices aimed at helping students cope with issues both in and out of the classroom.
  • Teaches life skills to develop a deeper sense of community.
  • Gives students access to credit recovery courses and merit-based mastery classes that allow them to focus and recover credits at an accelerated rate.
  • Provides career pathway opportunities, so students can prepare for industry-recognized certification exams and participate in work-based learning projects with local community partners.


“Our mission at HVASC is to be the solution for parents, students and families who have felt left behind or forgotten. We believe that all students deserve the opportunity to attend a school that believes in the possibilities of what they can achieve. Our school is passionate about the opportunity to serve those students who have had challenges reaching academic success, and show them that it is possible, no matter what past circumstances may have led them here.”

— David Crook, Heron Virtual School CEO

330 Pelham Rd. Suite 101
Greenville, SC 29615

(864) 236-4006

Carolus Online Academy

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Carolus Online Academy is a tuition-free, online public school serving K-8 students for the 2023-2024 school year. Carolus is dedicated to inspiring and empowering students through a tailored and engaging online learning environment. Starting as early as kindergarten, students are encouraged to explore different career pathways, prepare for their future, and graduate high school with clear plans for their future. Middle school students have the opportunity to take a career exploration course – a course to educate students on 15+ industries that align with the largest workforce needs in South Carolina. When the school expands to serve grades K-12, various career and college preparation pathways will be offered to high school students.

Carolus teachers and counselors are South Carolina-licensed educators who are dedicated to seeing students succeed. They perform ongoing evaluations to determine student progress in the circus and identify where additional support is needed.


“Our schools – both traditional and alternative pathways – play a vital role in shaping the future of South Carolina’s workforce. By providing career readiness programs to our young students, schools like Carolus Online Academy equip our students with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in South Carolina’s growing and ever-evolving job market.”

— Terry Alexander, Representative South Carolina House District 59

“The groundwork for our children’s future begins as early as kindergarten – ultimately setting students on a clear path for success with endeavors such as employment, enrollment, or enlistment.”

John Pallasch, Carolus Online Academy Board Chair

330 Pelham Rd. Suite 101
Greenville, SC 29615

(877) 254-3459

Additional Online/Virtual Schools

South Carolina public schools prepare students for college, careers, and citizenship, with educational standards and support that align with the South Carolina Deparment of Education’s mission to “provide leadership and support so that all public education students graduate prepared for success.” 

South Carolina charter schools offer free public school education in schools that operate independently of local public school districts. Charter School options in Columbia offer excellence in academics that focus on a variety of missions such as performing arts, cyberlearning, dual language, and more. Check out the great options around Columbia! 

South Carolina alternative schools offer options to families that are customized for students to best learn in an environment that better serves those students’ unique needs. Learn more about local options below! 

Need afterschool support, learning, or tutoring services? Check out the options below offered in Columbia. 

Partner with us!

We at Columbia Mom are happy to share all of the great education and education support options in and around Columbia. Partnering with us provides your business greater visibility with a large, targeted audience of local families. Join our community of partners and help us enrich the lives of Columbia moms! 


  1. This is a great start! Please include schools that serve students that learn differently. Parents who are already facing challenging circumstances are desperately looking for alternatives to the Public School option. Columbia has great alternatives! Glenforest School, Sandhills, Charter Schools like PACE Academy.

    • Great suggestion! We’d be glad to add these to the guide. If you know of other options than the ones you’ve listed, please let us know. Thanks!


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