Schools in Palo Alto>Question Details

Stephan, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

How would you describe the public and private education options in Palo Alto?

Asked by Stephan, San Francisco, CA Mon Apr 23, 2007

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The public schools in Palo Alto are simply phenomenal, and are the key driving factor of prices in this area. Most schools are in at least the 90th percentile of all California schools, and some of them are in the 99th percentile and better.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
Why would you move to Palo Alto and send your kids to a private school? You would be paying a premium in terms of your housing cost for the access to a top-rated public school district. Settle in a less expensive area and free some funds for a private school
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 6, 2012
Since nobody touched upon the private option in PA, I thought I would.

I've had a brief experience with private schools in Palo Alto at Elementary school level. It was great. After touring various options (Super academic, relatively laid back, montessori, catholic etc) - I decided on a hybrid model between Montessori and structured academic. My experience was very positive, most importantly my child loved it and we got treated like royalty by the school administration (I suppose everyone does).

We decided to move my child to public because we wanted to give it a shot. I must say that the private curriculum is ~ 1 year ahead of public. This is uniform across most private academic schools, and this is their chief value proposition - that they keep your child on an advanced track. However, unless you take solace in the fact that your 1st grader can do 2nd grade math or higher, IMO in big picture it does not matter.

In public schools, the teachers are very supportive to the student's individuality and ability. Public schools are well funded. Also, the parental participation in public schools is phenomenal.

So barring the ego massage that private schools will offer, I see little difference between private and public. Private academic schools are decidedly more aggressive, and for some, it can be attractive. However, for me personally, there are no regrets to moving to public!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 30, 2011
Palo Alto has been known for its schools for decades. The Stanford influence is there and because of such great schools the property values have always been high. It is also one of the few Unified districts on the Peninsula allowing for cost savings and creativity in programs. As a graduate of Palo Alto High many moons ago, I can tell you the education I received was better than any college provides today. We were, at that time, the equivilent of a Stanford junior college in teaching. The district is still like this today and is fortunate to have a great deal of parent support.
Web Reference: http://www.wilkasgroup.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2007
Palo Alto schools are great, i had the luck of attending one. Gunn High School is located in a fairly secluded area on the border of Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills, the student body is diverse with a higher percentage of international students in comparison to Paly (the other Palo Alto high school).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2007
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