Silicon Valley real estate values are driven by many factors, possibly the greatest of which is the quality of the public schools.

A Word About Silicon Valley School District Boundaries

The school boundaries in Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley includes all of Santa Clara County plus a bit of Santa Cruz County, San Mateo County, and Alameda County) are not defined by the city or town boundaries. The reason for this is that the school district boundaries were formed before all of the current city or town limits were finalized. This makes it confusing for everyone, but especially people relocating to the San Jose area.

As an example, let’s look at the Town of Los Gatos and its schools. It would seem that the Los Gatos School District should include all of the Town of Los Gatos and everything within the town limits, but that isn’t the case. Some residents of Los Gatos belong to the Los Gatos School District, others to the Moreland School District (which includes some of Saratoga and San Jose too), and still others to the Union School District (which includes part of the Cambrian Park area of San Jose). Even more complicating is the fact that a small part of Almaden Valley (a district in San Jose) has “Los Gatos Schools”. So you could possibly be in San Jose and attend Los Gatos Schools. That isn’t convenient, either. The people living in that part of Almaden, just off Guadalupe Mines Road, must drive through a section with Union Schools to arrive, some 15 minutes later, at the nearest school in their district!

It’s similarly odd in San Jose – kids there don’t all attend San Jose Unified Schools. As you already know, some students living in San Jose go to Los Gatos Schools and some to Union Schools. Others attend Cambrian Schools (a different district with very high scores). Some in the Santa Teresa or South San Jose area are assigned to Morgan Hill Schools.

Santa Clara shares the same fate, with some students attending Santa Clara Schools and others Cupertino Schools.

So the first thing to understand in learning about the public schools in Santa Clara County is that the boundaries are not necessarily defined by the city in which you reside.

The second thing to understand is that there are districts for elementary and middle schools and also districts for high schools. So when you speak of which school district, there are really two to consider. If you live in Monte Sereno, for instance, the public schools would be the Los Gatos Union School District and the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union H.S. District.

How do you know which school district your child would attend? Luckily, the Santa Clara County Office of Education has a very helpful School District Locator online. There’s also a map of the boundaries – it’s very general but will give you a rough idea of the regions for the districts. You can get a paper copy that’s fairly large at bookstores.

Links to Critically Important Information on Silicon Valley Public Schools


Santa Clara County School API Scores (Growth – Rev Oct 31 2007)

More API Information from the State of California

Santa Clara County High School SAT Scores by District (click on each to see schools listed)

Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Results

Great Schools has wonderful information for consumers (this link will NOT allow you to click backwards to return to any site, so please bookmark this one!):

Finally, some statistics on Private School Statistics.