I grew up in Pleasant Hill and Concord and went to school in the area. The schools in the area are Generally pretty good. Here is a useful website for someone like yourself with grade school age children, http://www.greatschools.org/ you can look up schools through out California and check their ranking, Good luck.
Greaschools.org is a valuable tool and resource to research each school in the respective districts. State budget cuts have had a large impact on class size, reduction in staff and available resources. It's never been more important for parents to be involved in whichever school you enroll your children. Having school age children myself, it is more important than ever to be involved.
Feel free to reach out to me for more in-depth local knowledge on both cities, neighborhoods and schools.
I live in Martinez and on the board of directors for the Martinez Chamber. Both Pleasant Hill and areas of Martinez offer you and your family good choices for schools and homes. Martinez tends to be a little less money than Pleasant Hill.
I suggest that you work with a knowledgeable realtor and start a search to see where it leads. I can send you to a website to evaluate both school districts.
In terms of desirability, I would have to give it to Pleasant Hill, mostly referring to the cost of homes between the two cities (Pleasant Hill is generally more expensive and its closer proximity to Walnut Creek). For exact numbers, check with the Police Department but Pleasant Hill tends to be a safer community, However, Martinez is still a very desirable place to live, depending on your taste. Housing tends to be cheaper, and there is a more historic feel to the city.
I have been a Martinez resident for 23 years, and went to Pleasant Hill schools K-12 so I have much expertise on both areas. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
I have a new listing in the Gregory Gardens area coming on the market next week. It is 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, wonderful floorplan, nicely updated. Pricing is expected to be in the mid $500,000 range. Wonderful master suite upstairs, with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath on the main level. Updated throughout. A wonderful home. If you have interest, please contact me for a preview showing. This home is a great value for the Pleasant Hill area. Schools are top notch, and proximity to area amenities is even better.
Richard S. Hoag
Premier Realty Associates
I sort of agree with Suzanne. Alhambra School district does rate better across the board but check the numbers on a school by schhol basis. There are huge swings in the Mt.Diablo district, some are better than Alhambra, others not so much.
Pleasant Hill and Martinez attract different buyers. A buyer who would have to stretch to Walnut Creek's first choice would be Pleasant Hill and would not consider Martinez. ON the other hand Martinez is historic bedroom community with many parks and open spaces that I would charactize as iconic and close to the hearts of the Martinez owner. These two "cultures" if that is even the proper word are different, if that makes a difference to you.
Actually Martinez school district is rated a little higher than Pleasant Hill, depending on the address. Feel free to visit my website to search for properties and their corresponding schools.
Regards, Suzanne Looker, http://www.suzannelooker.com
For school comparison information, I would recommend going to my website at http://www.RealEstateCraig.com, and then click on the "School Reports" tab for information and comparisons. Also, while there, you can click on the "Community Info" tab to get community reports, city profiles and to make comparisons.
Realtor®, Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®)
Security Pacific Real Estate Services
I would suggest visiting GreatSchools.com. You'll be able to see the school rankings and read what other parents say about the specific schools your children would be attending. Both Pleasant Hill and Martinez have high ranking and lower ranking schools so it will depend on the area you are specifically looking in.
Both Pleasant Hill and Martinez have areas that are considered "more desireable" for various reasons. It all depends on what you are looking for in your new home and of course the price range you are in. It's tough to guide you without knowing the specific needs of your family.
Best of luck in your home search. If I can help in any way please let me know.