As the old saying goes, the most important thing in real estate is location, location, location. But location means different things to different people. For some, it means proximity to work, transit, or amenities. But for many families in the Silicon Valley, location, location, location really means schools, schools, schools. The Bay Area is home to many of the top public schools in the country. Therefore, getting your kids into a desired set of schools can become the driving force in choosing a home.
School disctricts can be confusing for new parents or those relocating to the area. Districts have splintered into various smaller districts over the years that don’t necessarily coincide with city limits, or their own name for that matter. For example, Fremont Unified High School District doesn’t serve residents of Fremont (a city in the East Bay) as its name suggests, but currently serves over 10,000 high school students in all of the City of Cupertino, most of Sunnyvale and portions of San Jose, Los Altos, Saratoga, Santa Clara, and unincorporated Santa Clara County. Likewise, Los Altos School District serves students in grades kindergarten to eighth (K-8) and its boundaries include most of the City of Los Altos, half of Los Altos Hills, parts of Mountain View, Palo Alto and some unincorporated county lands. It is possible to live in an area where your kids would go to Los Altos schools for K-8 and Fremont Unified for high school.
To determine if a home is within a certain school boundary, visit the school district website for that school. A list of school districts can be found at the county websites:
School Districts use one or more of the following methods to determine enrollment boundaries:
To make life easier for my clients, I have assembled several maps to depict the approximate boundary lines for popular school districts. Below I show the elementary school boundaries for Palo Alto.
Please contact me if you would like to see school boundary maps I have created for:
Testing scores can be found at the California Department of Education’s website:
For analysis and reviews on schools, visit www.greatschools.org and sign up for an account.