You can find school scores on sites like www.greatschools.net
Finding good rentals is a little harder.
Also, while there are many good schools in the cities that are along the 280 route, there are not that many rental properties in a lot of these areas and different schools have different extra curricular activities which may be appealing to you.
for example: Las Lomitas District is small, with just 2 schools, Las Lomitas: K-3 and La Entrada 4-8. La Entrada has a wonderful newer science building.
Palo Alto school district is larger with 10 Elementary schools, including several programs that have lotteries for entry: Hoover which is more teacher directed, Ohlone which is more project based learning, a Mandarin Emersion program, and a Spanish Emersion program. Also, the Palo Alto Children's Theatre has a great in school theatre program in the schools from 3-8 grades.
Las Lomitas has a large rental area in Sharon Heights and Palo Alto also has some large apartment complexes.
Renting single family homes is competitive, but can be done.
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