There are a lot of schools in San Diego, but today on Off the 56 we’re covering the overall best school districts in San Diego County so you can make an informed buying decision for you and your family. If you’d like more information on homes or communities located within each of these top school districts, just reach out!

First, a few facts about what it’s like to go to school in San Diego.

If you’re new to San Diego, you might be surprised to learn that most of the schools in San Diego are outdoors. Which means kids are outside for a lot of the day as they move from classroom to classroom. Lunch is often eaten on a covered patio area rather than in an enclosed room. So you will need to make sure your kids wear sunscreen to school every day!

Another thing you might not be aware of is that many schools in San Diego don’t offer transportation to school in the form of school buses. If they do have transportation, you often have to pay extra for it. For example, Poway Unified has a charge for bus transportation. That’s partially because in San Diego they really try to build the schools in neighborhoods so that the kids can actually walk or bike to get to school.

Many San Diego Schools also offer great before and after school programs which fall under the heading of ESS – Extended School Services. ESS also offers summer camps and programs that can be very affordable.

Schools may have varying start times even within the same district. This is something to keep in mind if you are planning to drive your kids to school and both parents also have to get to work.

Finally, since San Diego is a coastal city, there are many different sports offered here that are not offered at schools across the country like surfing, crew, beach volleyball, water polo, and more. Similarly, there are also schools that don’t have traditional school sports like football or activities like cheerleading.

So with that in mind, let’s get to the best school districts in San Diego County!

San Dieguito Union School District

This is the public school district that encompasses Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carmel Valley, Rancho Santa Fe, and more. has actually ranked San Dieguito Union School District the best school district in San Diego. Schools in this district include Torrey Pines High School, Canyon Crest Academy, Carmel Valley Middle School, and more.

Visit District Website

Poway Unified School District

Poway Unified School District is also an A+ rated school district on This is the school district that our kids are part of as well. This district encompasses communities like Rancho Peñasquitos, Torrey Highlands, 4S Ranch, Del Sur, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, and more. There are thirty-nine schools in this district, making it the second biggest district in all of San Diego! Schools include Del Norte High School, Westview High School, Poway High School, and others.

Visit District Website

Coronado Unified School District

Heading south, another A+ rated school district on is the Coronado Unified School District. This is probably the smallest school district in San Diego as it just covers Coronado Island.

Visit District Website

Carlsbad Unified School District

Another smaller district, Carlsbad Unified School District covers all four Carlsbad zip codes. Ranked the 38th best school district in all of California, schools in this district include La Costa Canyon High School, Carlsbad High School, Pacific Rim Elementary School, and more. Schools in this area are known for their aquatic sports and also for baseball – the Phillies #1 draft pick a few years back, Mickey Moniak, attended high school in this district!

Visit District Website

San Marcos Unified School District

Ranked the 45th best school district in California by, San Marcos Unified School District is another top district in San Diego County. It’s A-rated on and includes schools like San Marcos High School, Double Peak School, La Costa Meadows Elementary, and more.

Visit District Website

Grossmont Union High School District

This A-rated district covers Grossmont, El Cajon, La Mesa, and some other areas in East County San Diego. This district is ranked #74 on’s list of the best school districts in California.

Visit District Website

San Diego Unified School District

This is the largest district in San Diego County and covers the bulk of the schools that are located in the city of San Diego. Because it is so large, it has a wide variety of schools with different individual rankings though the district itself overall has a B rating from One school in particular, the Preuss School, is the 87th best school in the country and 9th best in California! San Diego Unified School District covers schools in La Jolla, Sorrento Valley, Mira Mesa, and Scripps Ranch all the way to downtown.

Visit District Website

If you’re interested in private schools, the #1 ranked private school in San Diego is the Bishops School in La Jolla. Other highly rated private schools include La Jolla County Day School, Francis Parker School, Cathedral Catholic School, San Diego Jewish Academy, and more.

Have questions on what we shared? Need help figuring out which neighborhoods and school districts might be best for you? Shoot us an email and let’s talk!

Sign up for updates!

Sign up for updates!

Enter your email to get updates straight to your inbox.

Thank you! You have successfully subscribed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This