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San Diego Schools: An Ultimate Guide

When looking for a place to live, school district quality is one of the most important factors that homebuyers take into consideration. This is particularly true for expecting or new parents. This is because parents want to give their children the best opportunities in life, and it's known that a good school district can significantly impact a child's chances of being successful in the future.

There are a lot of good reasons to move to San Diego, including the strong job market, the impeccable weather, and the thriving culture. However, parents moving to the region are also going to need to know that their children can attend high-quality, highly rated schools.

Are you wondering what you need to know about San Diego schools to help you make the right decision when it's time to relocate?

Let's dive into everything you need to know.

San Diego School Districts

One of the first things you'll want to know when you are considering moving with kids is how the school districts are in your new area. While there are a number of private school options for parents who would rather go that route, there are also a number of highly-rated public school options in the city and county.

San Diego Unified School District

There are 203 schools in the San Diego Unified School District with an enrollment of 103,000. The student-to-teacher ratio in these schools is 24:1.

This is the second-largest school district in California. There are 113 elementary schools, 24 middle schools, and 27 high schools in addition to dozens of alternative, atypical, and charter schools.

(Do you have elementary school age children? If so, check out our complete guide to the elementary schools in San Diego.)

There are several highly rated high schools in this district. This includes Mt. Everest Academy which is considered one of the best San Diego high schools.

One of the best charter schools in the country is also in the San Diego Unified School district, which is the Preuss School.

Scripps High School is also a top-rated school in the district. It serves the family-friendly community called Scripps Ranch and was given the Silver medal from U.S. News as one of the best high schools in San Diego.

Poway Unified School District

Poway Unified School District is made up of 32 schools and has 37,000 enrolled students. The student-to-teacher ratio is 25:1.

This is considered one of the best school districts in the entire San Diego area. 21 of the schools are in San Diego and 11 of them are in Poway. While this school district is known for being great as far as academics go, it doesn't compare quite as well when talking about extracurricular activities.

San Dieguito Union High School District

There are ten schools in the San Dieguito Union High School District with 13,000 enrolled students. The student-to-teacher ratio is 25:1.

Serving grades 7 to 12, this district serves elementary school students from the North County districts of Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, and Cardiff. Students that are in the Rancho Santa Fe district attend SDUHSD schools as freshmen in high school.

There is an alternative high school in this district as well as five comprehensive middle schools and four comprehensive high schools. Three of the schools in this district received the honor of being named the top high schools in San Diego which are Torrey Pines High, Canyon Crest Academy, and Diegueno Middle.

Canyon Crest Academy is often in the top three on lists outlining the best public schools in the San Diego area. It is also often considered to be one of the 20 top schools in the state.

Vista Unified School District

This district has 34 schools and an enrollment of 23,000. The student-to-teacher ratio is 22:1.

The fourth-largest school district in San Diego County, this district has magnet schools, alternative high schools, comprehensive high schools, and special education schools.

Serving Vista and parts of San Marcos, Carlsbad, Oceanside, and incorporated San Diego county, this district won the distinction of being a Gold Ribbon school from the California Exemplary Arts Education awards. It is considered one of the best school districts in the area for students that are interested in the arts.

Carlsbad Unified School District

There are 14 schools in this district with 11,500 enrolled students. The student-to-teacher ratio is 25:1.

Carlsbad Unified School District is considered one of the best school districts in all of San Diego. While the extracurricular offerings and facilities might be lacking compared to other districts, the high schools are consistently very highly rated.

There are two high schools, three middle schools, and nine elementary schools in this district.

This district is high performing in Mathematics, English Language Arts, and English Learning. Sage Creek High School has high AP participation and graduation rates and is considered one of the top five high schools near San Diego.

San Marcos Unified School District

This district has 20 schools and 21,000 enrolled students. The student-to-teacher ratio is higher than in other districts at 36:1.

San Marcos Unified School District serves San Marcos as well as areas of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Escondido, and incorporated portions of northern San Diego county.

San Diego Private Schools

You'll find more than 300 private schools in the San Diego area. These include secular schools and parochial schools. The average student-to-teacher for private schools is quite a bit lower than the public schools at 14:1. In the top private schools in San Diego, there are nearly 57,000 students enrolled.

Let's take a look at some of the private schools in San Diego that are considered to be among the best.

Maria Montessori School

Montessori schools follow the Montessori method of education that seeks to develop natural activities and interests among young children rather than using formal teaching methods. It views children as naturally eager learners and emphasizes independence.

At Maria Montessori school, their mission is to provide a comprehensive Montessori program. This means that it considers the intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development of the total child. They accomplish this by addressing the individuality of each child and providing an emotionally secure and nurturing environment.

(Are you shopping around for a new home in the San Diego are? Take a look at our complete guide here!)

The Waldorf School of San Diego

These schools are based on an educational philosophy set forward by Rudolf Steiner. Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, architect, social reformer, and esotericist, among other things. Starting around 1919, Steiner began working with other society members in order to found a number of practical activities and institutions, including the very first Waldorf School.

The idea behind this educational method has to do with developing students' practical, artistic, and intellectual skills in a holistic and integrated manner.

This school is located in the Oak Park neighborhood and offers preschool and kindergarten through grade 12. This school was founded in 1981 and focuses on providing educational activities that are designed to the needs of children at different stages of development.

San Diego Jewish Acadamy

This is an independent Jewish day school that is located in the Carmel Valley community. There are three schools that make up this school, which are the SDJA Early Childhood Center, for grades K-5 there is the Golda Meir Lower School, and for grades 6-12 there is the Maimonides Upper school.

This school isn't affiliated with any particular movement of Judaism or synagogue. What began as a small neighborhood school in 1979 has grown quite a bit in the last several decades. 92% of this schools 494 students end up going on to attend a 4-year college.

Francis Parker School

When you move to San Diego, you'll likely hear this school referred to as Parker. This college-prep independent day school serves students from junior kindergarten all the way to grade 12.

This school was founded in 1912 and now is comprised of the original campus as well as a second campus.

According to Niche.com, this school is the second-best high school for STEM in all of the San Diego area.

Academy of Our Lady of Peace

On Niche.com's list of the best catholic high schools in San Diego, Academy of Our Lady of Peace ranks at number three. This is an all-girls private Catholic school with 750 students in grades 9-12. The student-teacher ratio here is 16:1.

92% of students attend a four-year college after they graduate.

(Curious about where the best neighborhoods are in San Francisco? Take a look at this article!)

Cathedral Catholic High School

By some accounts, this is the best Catholic high school in the region. This is a coed Catholic school that is operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

San Diego Higher Education

The city of San Diego is quite educated when compared to the U.S. as a whole. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 44.4% of San Diegans over the age of 25 hold bachelor's degrees. As far as the whole United States goes, this percentage is 30.9%.

This means that San Diego is the ninth-most educated city in the entire country.

There are a number of universities and colleges in San Diego, including:

  • California State University - San Marcos
  • California Western School of Law
  • San Diego Christian College
  • National University
  • San Diego State University
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of San Diego
  • University of Phoenix
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • Alliant International University
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • California College San Diego
  • Brandman University
  • John Paul the Great Catholic University

According to U.S. News, the University of California San Diego is the best college in the area. This is followed by the University of San Diego, San Diego State University, and Point Loma Nazarene University.

The college in the area with the lowest acceptance rate is National University, followed by San Diego State University, the University of California San Diego, and San Diego Christian College.

There are also quite a few community colleges in San Diego. These include:

  • Grossmont College
  • San Diego Community College District
  • Palomer Community College
  • MiraCosta College
  • San Diego Mesa College
  • San Diego City College
  • San Diego Miramar College
  • Southwestern College

San Diego has three ABA-accredited law schools and one medical school in the city (UC San Diego School of Medicine.)

Trade Schools in San Diego

There are also plenty of opportunities in San Diego for people who want to build a successful career in a trade. Here are some of the top trade schools in the area:

  • San Diego Medical College
  • Bridge Career Education
  • Fast Track Medical Training Center
  • Phlebotomy U
  • Concorde Career Colleges
  • Center For Employment Training
  • Western Truck School
  • Riggins Urban Barber College
  • Bellus Academy
  • San Diego Masters of Bartending School

As you can see, you can find training in just about any trade in San Diego.

San Diego Schools: You've Got Plenty of Options!

As you can see, there's no shortage of options when it comes to schools in San Diego. In fact, no matter what your child's interests are, you are likely to find a school that will help them focus on what they love doing the most.

Are you buying or selling a house in San Diego? Is it time for you to start your search for a real estate agent in the area? Then you've come to the right place!

If you're searching for a home in an area where your children can attend the best schools, we're here to help.

We are a husband and wife duo that are committed to giving you the advice you need and always putting your needs first. If it's time for you to find the right real estate agents for your home sale or purchase, contact us today!

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