Home Buying in Orinda>Question Details

Orinda Home…, Home Buyer in Orinda, CA

Orinda vs. Lafayette schools

Asked by Orinda Home Search, Orinda, CA Tue Jun 22, 2010

We are looking at homes in Orinda and Lafayette in the $1.5 million range for our two-child family. School quality is obviously a key consideration for us. The Orinda schools seem to have a bit better reputation than Lafayette schools, at least at the middle- and high-school level. We are interested in any informed comments on the relative strengths/weaknesses of the Orinda vs. Lafayette schools. Thanks!

Help the community by answering this question:


Dave, that is a good point. I would also like to mention athletics as a reason to consider such close schools. Children are challenged academically and as athletes. A well rounded student will thrive and we do have some healthy competition amongst the high schools here in the East Bay. Finally there is diversity. Merrit should be given for the schools that have a litlle more diversity than others when the API has such a narrow spread.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
You are splitting very fine hairs here.

There is another consideration. If you child is truly exceptional, then a school with high scores,lots of Advance Placement courses and the like is stimulating and a great place for the child. On the other hand, if your child is closer to average, that environment may be overwhelming for the child. So the "best" schools may not be the best for every child.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
You truly can't go wrong with either the Orinda or Lafayette schools. Both areas are known for their wonderful support of the schools, and the extra-curricular programs surrounding each. I lived in the area from the mid 90s until 2005, when I moved to Sequim. I learned that the Sequim high school seniors grab an amazing chunk of scholarship money when they graduate. The sports program is terrific and varied. Twenty miles away in Port Angeles, their high school is highly supportive of students with music apptitude, including some who are inducted into the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra. If your budding students are interested and eager in their studies, make friends easily, and have emerging interests that you'd like to consider, take some extra time to find out what's available for them in either location. What an exciting time for you and your family. The areas are gorgeous.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Dear Lamorinda Homebuyer,

First and foremost, welcome to the Lamorinda community, and I trust that your homesearch up to this point has been both fun and exciting.

Regarding the differences between the Orinda and Lafayette school districts, I agree with a few of the responses below in that all of the schools are truly exceptional. They are all winners, and you really can't go wrong with any of them.

To add some data into the mix, by looking at the state API scores (Academic Performance Index), the Orinda School District, comprised of 4 elementary schools and 1 middle school, has an overall score of 954 out of 1000. The Lafayette School District, also comprised of 4 elementary schools and 1 middle school, has an overall score of 917. All of the high schools in the area are part of a separate school district--the Acalanes School District--and Orinda's Miramonte High has a score of 928 while Lafayette's Acalanes High has a score of 902. Strictly by the numbers, Orinda scores higher, but all of these scores are outstanding.

I hope this information helps you in your search. I am a native Orindian and absolutely loved my educational experience here. One of my best friends went through the Lafayette system, and she absolutely loved her experience as well. If you'd like, I'd be happy to talk in more detail with you about the different schools and their personalities, as well as the neighborhoods that feed into each school.

All the best,
Andi Brown
Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Orinda
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Hi Orinda Home Searcher,
I am actively working with a young families looking for homes in both the LaMorinda area and south Walnut Creek. Schools in these areas are some of the best in the state and it really comes down to how you feel about the home itself. I suggest to stop focusing on which school has the slightly higher stats and rather find the forever home that speaks to you and your family. Hopefully it will be a long term investment that will pay off some time in the future if and when you decide to sell, but in the meantime, it will be the place where your children grow up, make friends and you call 'home'.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
For high schools the Acalanes Union School District is the number one district in the state. So from a high school standpoint Lafeyette is going to be a much better choice.

I can't necessarily speak on the middle schools, because the Acalanes Union School district only includes certain high schools in the 680 corridor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
As you know the schools in both cities along with Moraga are incredible. U.S. News and Reports 2010 ranks Campolindo(86) and Miramonte(89) HS in the top 100 schools in America -- Gold Medal List. The other high schools in the area are not far behind. As for the elementary schools they are very comparable. Since there is such a high caliber of schools in the area your home search should be more based on the home and location traits verses the school. The only place of concern are homes are far up Pleasant Hill Rd. with Lafayette addresses however feed into the Mt. Diablo school system.

I live in Lafayette, the Burton Valley area, with 4 kids going into the Lafayette schools and couldn't be happier. If you would like any assistance in finding the perfect neighborhood for you I would love to help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
As a life-long East Bay Area resident, I have always heard that Orinda sets the bar. This lore comes from friends and family; I have an Aunt who is a grad of Miramonte and I have cousins who attended Acalanes High School. My dad grew up in Lafayette and attended Pleasant Hill High School (now closed) and mom went to Clayton Valley. Enough about my family lore. I don't have children myself so I can't offer personal parent-teacher feedback. However, do take a look at the school scores with the link below.

Best wishes in your home search and let me know if I can be of service to you; I am here to help.

Arturo C. Shivers, REALTOR, SFR
Lic. #01779941
760 Camino Ramon, Suite 200
Danville, CA 94526
Office: (925) 855-8333 Ext. 272
Mobile: (415) 871-4239
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer