Schools in Williamsburg and York County

Our Local public school systems consistently rank above average in national ratings.


A variety of education options exist for very young children, ranging from organized play groups to preschools to day care centers. Programs are also available for preschoolers with disabilities or other risk factors that may benefit from early intervention. Child and Family Connection, a local resource and referral agency, can guide parents through the abundance of choices.


James City County and the City of Williamsburg participate in a joint school system that serves both localities. In recent years, Expansion Management magazine, which rates school systems nationally, has consistently rated this system with a gold ribbon, indicating ranking in the top 17% nationally of systems evaluated.
Eight elementary schools, three middle schools, and three high school with one alternative education site serve the joint James City County and the City of Williamsburg school system.  The average ratio of teacher to pupil is 1:22.  Each school is fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education.
*Additional Programs:

  •  Regional magnet school for fine and performing arts
  • Regional vocational training center
  • Governor’s School for accelerated science and technology courses
  • Work-based career-related internship program
  • Concurrent enrollment in high school and college courses
The York County School Division consists of ten elementary schools, four middle schools, four high schools and one charter school. Enrollment has increased steadily since the 1990s. While the lower County, historically, was responsible for most of the growth in enrollment, recent and projected developments in the upper County will create the most enrollment increases in future years.
By almost every measure of academic achievement – such as promotion rates, graduation rates, and standardized test scores – York County’s school students rank among the best in the state. As a result, York County is among the leading localities in the percentage of high school graduates planning to continue their education (95%)
York is one of only three public school systems in Hampton Roads to receive Expansion Management Magazine’s Blue Ribbon rating. In 2005, Money Magazine named York County schools one of the top 100 education buys in the country. Additionally, in 2012, Newsweek ranked two York County high schools among the best in the Country.


Primary Private Education

Walsingham Academy: Established in 1947, and directed by the Sisters of Mercy in partnership with a lay Faculty, Walsingham Academy is committed to the education and development of the whole person through a caring curriculum, emphasizing responsible leadership in an increasingly complex world.

Walsingham offers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Williamsburg Christian Academy: The vision of Williamsburg Christian Academy is to co-labor with parents and the Christian community to educate young adults to possess:

  • A lifelong desire to think critically with Truth being the core foundation
  • A visible and deepening personal relationship with Christ and the confidence to share His love
  • Excellent linguistic, mathematical, scientific, artistic, physical and social skills
  • Christ-centered spiritual and moral values
  • A sense of God’s calling to joyful and consistent service

Hampton Roads Academy: Hampton Roads Academy prepares students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade intellectually, artistically, physically and morally for higher education and for life within an inclusive community of service, compassion and excellence. Hampton Roads Academy is an independent, nonprofit, college-preparatory day school.

Williamsburg Montessori School is an independent school dedicated to creating confident, self-reliant and self-motivated children from toddlers to adolescents who are prepared for the adventure of life

The Williamsburg Montessori School at-a-glance:

  • Founded in 1982
  • Affiliated with the American Montessori Society
  • Toddler program (18 mos. – 3 years)
  • Children’s House program (3 years – 6 years )
  • Lower Elementary program (grades 1 – 3) established in 1996 and located on the main campus at Longhill Road
  • Upper Elementary program (grades 4 – 6) established in 1998 and located on Scotland Street
  • Middle School program (grades 7 – 8)  established in 2010 and located at the Watermen’s Museum on the York River, Yorktown
  • Enrollment: 140
Providence Classical School

Providence Classical School has brought the rich tradition of classical education back to Williamsburg, Virginia. PCS offers a back-to-basics education utilizing time-proven classical methods based on the Trivium.

Providence Classical School currently offers half-day and full-day kindergarten through 12th grade. PCS is an independent private school which provides a nurturing environment, offers small classes, and emphasizes development of the Christian character. Our school has experienced excellent growth and has expanded to offer additional classes in many grades this year.

The Providence Classical School campus is located in the Greensprings area of Williamsburg. We invite you to schedule a tour of our spacious and bright new school! The Campus, featuring a Grammar (lower) School, a Dialectic(middle) School, a Rhetoric (High) School and Veritas Gathering Hall, is located at 6000 Easter Circle, Williamsburg, VA 23188 (at the corner of John Tyler Highway/Rt. 5 and Greensprings Plantation Drive, across from Jamestown High School.)


Higher Education

The College of William and Mary:

William & Mary is the second oldest college in the nation, but also a cutting-edge research university. They are highly selective, but also public, offering a world-class education without the sticker shock.

Their students are not only some of the smartest in the world, but passionate about serving others and serious about having fun. Their professors are teachers, scholars and research mentors, the cornerstone of a thriving intellectual community that produces experienced, engaged, successful graduates.

William & Mary is a “Public Ivy”—one of only eight in the nation. That means they offer a superior education that’s accessible to everyone. They love their hometown of Williamsburg and the amazing Commonwealth of Virginia and they’re proud to be one of the reasons for their economic success.

America’s second university, founded in 1693, The College of William & Mary has about 7,600 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 36 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in arts and sciences, business, marine science, education and law.


According to a recent U.S. News and World Report poll, William & Mary is the top-ranked, small public university and ranked second in the nation in efficiency.


Aquaculture and maritime industries on technical and regulatory issues, economic development, and environmental matters.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has a three-part mission to conduct interdisciplinary research in coastal ocean and estuarine science, educate students and citizens, and provide advisory service to policy makers, industry, and the public. VIMS provides these services to Virginia, the nation, and the world.
The School of Marine Science (SMS) at VIMS is the graduate school in marine science for the College of William & Mary. Chartered in 1940, VIMS is currently among the largest marine research and education centers in the United States.

Mason School of BusinessForecasting, domestic and international marketing, operations management, and information systems.
The Mason School of Business offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

  • Full-Time MBA: A full-time MBA for the strategic thinker who’s willing to roll up their sleeves for two years and take an active role in seizing the great business challenges on the horizon.
  • Executive MBA: An intense program for hard-driving, hard-working mid-career professionals who are ready to move into senior leadership positions.
  • Flex MBA: The part-time MBA for the working professional balancing family, career and education.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration: An undergraduate business program without limits and filled with possibilities—just like its students.
  • Master of Accounting: With the rigor and intensity of a “fifth year” program, the MAcc is a practical but unique path to a career as a CPA, perhaps independently or at one of the Big 4.
  • Center for Corporate Education: Custom and open enrollment executive programs for business professionals.

Christopher Newport University: Christopher Newport University is a dynamic, thriving institution where you’ll find dedicated professors and small classes that are the hallmark of a private liberal arts education, and magnificent facilities that few institutions can rival.

Undergraduate and graduate programs at CNU include more than 80 academic majors and programs, ranging from accounting to theater arts, management to social work. Our 4,884 students come from every region in Virginia, 25 other states, and 30 foreign nations.

The youngest comprehensive university in the Commonwealth, Christopher Newport University was founded in 1960 as a two-year branch of the College of William and Mary. The University became independent in 1977 and gained university status in 1992.

Today, CNU combines traditional liberal arts and sciences curriculum with contemporary teaching ideologies and an emphasis on growing leaders of the future.

Thomas Nelson Community College: There are more than 40 fields of study at TNCC.

The associate degrees and certificates at TNCC are designed to prepare you for the world of work or further study. Not only will you learn technical or business skills, you’ll also learn teamwork, decision-making and other interpersonal skills that employers are seeking in today’s workplace.

Faculty members at TNCC have been recruited from all over the nation and represent experienced professionals from a wide variety of fields. They are here because they love to teach and are committed to creating an environment that fosters critical thinking and learning. They take pride in helping our students meet high standards in the classroom. Since classes are generally smaller than at a typical four-year college, you’re never just a number. If you plan to transfer to a four-year college, it makes sense to complete your core courses with high quality instruction at a reasonable cost.

The students at TNCC represent amazing diversity. Students are not only multi-cultural, but also multi-generational. Many of our students have already been part of the workforce or have attended college elsewhere. Their opinions and understanding of real life circumstances only add to the learning experience at TNCC. We know that the lifestyles and goals of students vary considerably and we strive to help tailor education to meet student needs.

New Thomas Nelson Community College in Williamsburg -  New Historic Triangle Campus: Located just minutes from the gates of Ford’s Colony, the New Historic Triangle Campus will continue Thomas Nelson’s history of providing service in the Historic Triangle dating back over 30 years. Coming Fall 2009!

Old Dominion University: Located in historic Norfolk, Va., the 188 acres of the Old Dominion University campus stretch from the Elizabeth River to the Lafayette River. Although situated in a metropolitan setting, the University offers a small-college look and feel, with tree-lined walkways, a mix of old and new buildings, and colorful gardens and ponds.

Founded in 1930 as a division of the College of William and Mary, Old Dominion has grown into its own over the years and is now one of only 101 public universities with a Carnegie/Doctoral Research-Extensive distinction.

Hampton University: Hampton University, a dynamic, progressive institution of higher education, is a privately-endowed, non-profit, non-sectarian, co-educational, historically black university. It is located in southeastern Virginia and boasts one of the loveliest campuses in the nation, with a picturesque waterfront and historic buildings and landmarks. Hampton University has grown into a comprehensive university providing a broad range of technical, liberal arts, pre-professional, professional, and graduate degree programs. They also offer cultural entertainment and athletic events keep you in touch with the other students and members of the Hampton University family.

University of Richmond: The University of Richmond blends the intimacy of a small college with exceptional academic, research and cultural opportunities usually found only at large institutions. A nationally ranked liberal arts university, Richmond offers a unique combination of undergraduate and graduate programs through its schools of arts and sciences, business, leadership studies, law and continuing studies.

A Richmond education provides an engaging blend of academic programs found at no other university in the nation. Featuring 108 majors, minors and concentrations, our programs afford students ample time for intellectual exploration prior to choosing a major. Plus, the nation’s first school of leadership studies and a top 25 undergraduate business school greatly enhance our strong liberal arts curriculum.

Virginia Commonwealth University: Virginia Commonwealth University is the largest university in Virginia and ranks among the top universities in the country in sponsored research.

Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 32,000 students in 208 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-five of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 15 schools and one college.

MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers.

Adult Learning Opportunities

Many of colleges including The College of William & Mary and community colleges in Williamsburg allow senior citizens to audit classes free of charge.

College towns have always attracted people of all ages, and Williamsburg is the epitome of a college town. Boasting an ambience that is cozy and cultural with the Christopher Wren Association, there is truly something for all ages here.

The Christopher Wren Association:

  • One of the most popular social and educational groups for area residents.
  • Regular membership is $85 per semester which includes 12 classes over a 12 week period.
  • By designing their own curriculum, the Christopher Wren Society arranges for volunteer instructors from The College of William and Mary faculty (current and retired), from it’s own membership, and from the community at large.