Education in Clayton

Education in Clayton NC

Clayton residents enjoy a wide range of educational choices, from outstanding public and private schools to internationally recognized universities in the nearby Triangle area such as Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

Business Week magazine, one of the world’s leading business publications, has rated Clayton’s schools among the top in the U.S. and ranked the town in the top 10 of the country’s most affordable places for families to live and assure a top education for their children.

Johnston County Schools is comprised of 42 schools that serve over 33,000 students from kindergarten through grade 12. The Clayton area includes: West Clayton Elementary, East Clayton Elementary, Cooper Elementary, Powhatan Elementary, Riverwood Elementary and River Dell Elementary schools serving grades K-5; Clayton Middle School, Archer Lodge Middle School and Riverwood Middle School, serving grades 6-8; and Clayton High School, Corinth Holders High School and Cleveland High School, serving grades 9-12. All schools are accredited by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.

Johnston County Schools strives to create an atmosphere of communication among students, faculty and the community, in order to encourage the development of well-rounded students, taking into account social responsibility, diverse teaching methods and practical considerations. As a result of their aggressive efforts, Johnston County Schools ranks in the top 20 percent of North Carolina schools, with an average SAT above the national average. The schools in Clayton also serve as the home to many National Board Certified faculty. For more information, call the Johnston County Schools Central Office in Smithfield at (919) 934-6032 or visit

Johnston Community College, located about 10 miles east of Clayton in Smithfield, is part of the North Carolina Community College System. It has an enrollment of approximately 6,000 and offers a wide variety of associate’s degree programs. Learn more about JCC at

The Small Business Resource Center is located at the Johnston County Workforce Development Center in Clayton. The center’s mission is to support the entrepreneur in starting a business and to provide assistance to business owners in being more successful. The center does this by offering training, counseling and information services to the general public at no charge. The Small Business Center works with the local Chambers of Commerce, professional organizations and other governmental agencies to provide training at low or no cost to the general public. Counseling is by appointment and is provided at no charge by calling (919) 209-2015.

There are many other colleges, universities and technical schools within commuting distance of Clayton, including Campbell University, North Carolina Central, Louisburg College, Barton College, Peace College, Saint Mary’s, Shaw University, Meredith College and St. Augustine just to name a few.