What Are the Best School Districts in San Diego?

  Photo Credit: Rusty Clark 

It’s back-to-school season again! One of the biggest considerations for families when buying a new home is school district. Naturally, parents want the best education possible for their children, and so competition for homes in these districts can be fierce.

If you’re thinking about moving your family to San Diego, or already live in the area and want to move your child into a top-ranking San Diego school district, here are the latest school rankings for the San Diego metro area:

Best San Diego school districts for K-12: 

  1. Poway Unified School District: With a total of 38 K-12 schools and 35,298 students, Poway Unified School District spends an average of $9,397 per student. The district receives an A+ ranking for San Diego and is rated 15th in all of California.
  2. Coronado Unified School District: This is a smaller district, with six schools covering grades K-12. The district spends an average of $10,177 for each of its 3,120 students and is ranked 18th in California.
  3. San Marcos Unified School District: San Marcos has a total of 19 schools covering grades K-12. The district spends an average of $10,881 on each of its 20,107 students and receives an A ranking for San Diego.
  4. Carlsbad Unified School District: Covering 16 K-12 schools with 10,993 students, the Carlsbad School District receives an overall A rating for San Diego. It spends an average of $13,697 per student and receives an A+ for educational outcomes (namely, SAT and ACT scores).
  5. Julian Union High School District: This is the smallest district on the list, with two schools covering grades 9-12. The district spends an average of $16, 874 on each of its 152 students. It receives an A- ranking for San Diego.
  6. Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District: This district incorporates eight schools for grades K-12 and a total of 4,162 students. It receives an A- ranking overall, with an A+ for student culture and diversity.
  7. San Diego Unified School District: This is the largest district on the list, with 228 schools covering grades K-12. It spends an average of $10,904 on its 130,303 students and receives an overall ranking of B+, with an A+ ranking for educational outcomes and student culture and diversity.
  8. Vista Unified School District: Vista has 34 schools covering grades K-12 and 25,670 students. It spends an average of $8,288 per student and receives an overall ranking of B+.

 Best San Diego school districts for high schools: 

  1. San Dieguito Union High School District: This district has 10 schools covering grades 7-12 and incorporates 12,497 students. It spends an average of $9,212 per student and is ranked 17th in California. San Dieguito Union serves students in Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Carmel Valley, and the surrounding areas.
  2. Grossmont Union High School District: This district has 18 schools covering grades 9-12 and 22,555 students. It receives an A- rating for San Diego and spends an average of $13,840 per student. Grossmont Union serves La Mesa, Spring Valley and surrounding areas.


Please note that these rankings are not based on my opinions or the opinions of Globella Buyers Realty. The list shown here is based on rankings from Niche.com rankings take into account 2013-2014 academics, health and safety, parents’ and students’ overall experience, teachers’ grade, resources and facilities, and extracurriculars. Particularly for the top 3-4 districts, it’s hard to say definitively which one is the best! Other websites, like greatschools.org, provide slightly different rankings, and Niche.com does not provide comprehensive rankings for some districts. It’s always best to read up on multiple scores when looking at school districts, so I encourage you to dive deeper, do your research, and reach out to me with any questions!

Of course, school district is just one of the many factors that go into finding the perfect neighborhood and home for your family. Here are some more helpful hints aboutrelocating to San Diego and buying a home in San Diego. If you’re ready to get started, schedule a and Buyer Strategy Session today so we can discuss the ins and outs of the San Diego real estate market and determine what you need and want from your new home!


Justin Gramm is the founder and principal broker of Globella Buyers Realty, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer Brokerage.

Exclusive Buyer Agents do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. They have no "inventory" to try to sell you. They can represent you in purchasing any home. They are specialists at representing buyers only on the buyers' side of the transaction. Exclusive Buyer Agents work to get buyers the best price and terms when they buy a home.

If you have excellent credit and plan to buy a home or condo in San Diego County within 90 days, contact Justin Gramm to hire an agent on your side of the transaction. More about Justin Gramm on . Call Justin at (858) 437-2662 or E-mail.

Justin Gramm, Broker
Globella Buyers Realty
Ph: 858.437.2662Fax:858-228-9801
CA 92115 US
 CA BRE# 01714813
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