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Best Bay Area High Schools 🎓 | Top Magnet, Charter, Public & Private Schools in Bay Area

Last Updated on: 4th August 2023, 06:26 am

If you are moving to the Bay Area with children, then choosing a good school is likely one of your top priorities. Although choosing a school is a big decision, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. You can easily decide on a school as long as you know what to look out for. When finding a Bay Area school, you’ll want to consider:

  • AP participation rate
  • Noteworthy programs such as athletics, art, music, or STEM
  • Student improvement
  • Awards
  • Test scores
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Classroom size
  • Programs for gifted students
  • College readiness measures

There are many incredible Bay Area schools and Bay Area school districts to choose from. We’ve narrowed down a list of the best high schools in the Bay Area to make your search just a little bit easier.

Best School Districts in Bay Area

What is the best school district in Bay Area? There are over 100 school districts in the Bay Area, but some stand out more than others. According to US News, the top 5 school districts in Bay Area are:

Many of these districts feature some of the top-rated high schools in the Bay Area, winning multiple awards for their academics and extracurricular activities.

Best Public Bay Area High Schools

When searching for the best high schools in Bay Area, there are hundreds of places to choose from. There is no shortage of amazing public, private, and magnet schools in the Bay Area. Here are just a few of the best Bay Area high schools.

Mission San Jose High School | One of the best Bay Area high schools for math and science

Mission High School was founded in 1964 and is a part of the Fremont Unified School District. In 2022, US News listed Mission San Jose as the 94th-best high school in all of the United States. In addition to this award, US News also listed the school as the #2 top school in the San Francisco metro area. Mission San Jose High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 1987, 1996, and 2008.

Mission San Jose is very well known for its academics, especially math and science. In 2022, the Science Quiz Bowl team placed second in Nationals. The school has also placed high in championship competitions in speech and debate, chess, and Go (an abstract strategy board game).

Lowell High School | Listed as one of the top 100 schools in the United States

Lowell High School is easily one of the best schools in the Bay Area. You can be sure that your student will get individualized attention, as the teacher-to-student ratio is 25:1. US News lists Lowell High School as #1 in the San Francisco Metro Area and #82 in the country. Lowell historically has test scores that rank among the Top 10 Public Schools in California and has been named a National Blue Ribbon School five separate times (1983, 1994, 2001, 2012, 2019).

 

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The graduation rate at Lowell High School is nearly 100%, and it is the largest feeder school to the University of California system. In addition to its many successful academic programs, Lowell High School offers a wide variety of sports opportunities. Lowell has competitive football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, golf, cheerleading, and baseball teams. The school also has many successful clubs and encourages students to create their own organization if there isn’t one already.

Henry M. Gunn High School | One of the most highly-rated high schools in the Bay Area

First established in 1964, Henry M. Gunn High School is one of the best Bay Area high schools. It is located in the Palo Alto Unified School District and is one of two public high schools in Palo Alto, California. Henry M. Gunn was recently ranked as the number 1 public high school in California for 2022.

Gunn offers 22 Advanced Placement classes and eight honors classes, many of which involve math. Every year, the school has about 30 American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) qualifiers. The AIME is a prestigious 15-question test given to those who rank in the top 5% on the AMC high school mathematics examination.

As of 2023, Henry M. Gunn High School offers over 90 different student clubs, teams, and organizations with focuses in many different areas. Some of the most popular clubs include theatre, debate, robotics, and music.

Saratoga High School | Award-winning college prep high school in the Bay Area

Saratoga High School is a part of the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District and is one of the highest-rated Bay Area public schools. Saratoga was recently named the #1 Best College Prep Public High School in California and #3 best high school in California by Niche. The graduation rate of Saratoga High School is 99%, and 97% of graduates attend college.

 

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60% of Saratoga students participate in athletics, and the school has won championships in tennis, cross country, golf, and volleyball. In addition to athletics, Saratoga is known for its STEM program. The school has a four-year engineering program called Lead the Way and also offers 35 honors and Advanced Placement courses.

Some notable alumni from Saratoga High School include Olympian Cyndy Poor, singer Vienna Teng, and director Steven Spielberg.

Best Private Schools in Bay Area

If you aren’t interested in public schools, then there are many Bay Area private schools for you to choose from. Private schools oftentimes offer specialized programs and individualized attention that may be harder to get at a public school. Here are a few of the best private schools in Bay Area.

Redwood Christian High School | Top-rated Bay Area private school

  • Affiliation: Christian
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Enrollment: 712

Redwood Christian High School is one of the best private schools in the Bay Area. The mission of Redwood Christian School is to “provide a Christ-centered education which is able to equip students for daily living and eternal life.” The high school offers a rigorous college-prep academic program that is designed to meet the entrance requirements for the California State University and College systems, all built on the foundation of a Biblical worldview.

Redwood Christian High School encourages all students to participate in athletics, and 60% of the student body does just that. The campus has the newest state-of-the-art gymnasium for various sports teams to practice in. In addition to athletics, there are 15-20 clubs for students to choose from each year.

For grades 9-12, the tuition rate is $16,674.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory | Ranked #1 private school in San Francisco

  • Affiliation: Catholic
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Enrollment: 1,354

Located in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory is one of the highest-rated Bay Area private schools. Recently, Sacred Heart was listed as the best private school in the San Francisco area. Sacred Heart provides a wide array of courses, including college preparatory, honors, and Advanced Placement. Every student at Sacred Heart is required to take English and Religious Studies for four years, as well as three years of Math and Social Studies.

If your child wants to play sports, then you’ll be happy to know that there are 22 teams on 52 sports levels for students to participate in. Last year, the Fightin’ Irish claimed its first championship football title in school history.

 

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Tuition for Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory is $23,000.

Silicon Valley International School | Bay Area private school offering courses in many languages

  • Affiliation: None
  • Grades: 6-12
  • Enrollment: 677

Silicon Valley International School is one of the best premier bilingual schools in the country. This Bay Area private school focuses on bilingualism, encouraging students to learn multiple languages in order to demonstrate integrity and sensitivity across cultures. As of 2023, Silicon Valley International School teaches in English, Mandarin Chinese, French, and German.

In 2017, SVIS students tested above the highest-ranking school systems in the world and scored in the top 10% worldwide. The school also ranked within the top 3 schools in California and the top 10 schools nationwide, according to AATG. In 2022 and 2023, Bay Area Parent awarded a Gold medal to Silicon Valley International School for Best International School.

In addition to its incredible academic opportunities, Silicon Valley International School encourages students to get involved in extracurricular activities. SVIS competes in girls volleyball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, coed cross country, coed golf, and coed tennis.

As of 2023, the tuition at Silicon Valley International School is $43,490.

St. Ignatius | Private school in Bay Area known for its amazing sports teams

  • Affiliation: Catholic
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Enrollment: 1,507

Located in the Sunset District of San Francisco, St. Ignatius is a top-rated college preparatory school in the Bay Area. St. Ignatius is one of the oldest secondary schools in the country, recently celebrating its 165th anniversary. St. Ignatius’s mission is to provide students with a well-rounded education to prepare them for life after high school. To achieve this, students are required to take a wide array of classes in many different areas.

 

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St. Ignatius has 66 athletic teams in which over 70% of the student body participates. The school has championships in rowing, lacrosse, soccer, football, swimming, and cross country. In addition to athletics, St. Ignatius offers many amazing academic opportunities. They offer accelerated, honors, and Advanced Placement classes. St. Ignatius requires all students to take courses in mathematics, English, science, social science, arts, religious studies, language, wellness, and community service.

In 2023, the tuition for St. Ignatius was $29,450.

Map of Best High Schools in Bay Area

Here is a map of the best Bay Area High Schools.


Now that you know all of the best high schools in the Bay Area, which one will you be choosing? Any one of these Bay Area high schools will be a great option for your child. Once you’ve decided on a school, it’s time to make your move to the Bay Area- and our experienced Bay Area movers are on standby to make your relocation as smooth and seamless as possible. We are here for you every step of the way! Give AMS Relocation a call today at (650) 284-2931 to discuss your move and get started with a free quote.

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