Best private high schools in California

Written by:
December 13, 2021
Canva

Best private high schools in California

America's private high schools opened long before their public counterparts and even before the United States was first established. The Roman Catholic Church in the 1700s started private schools in Florida and Louisiana while in New York (a former Dutch colony called New Amsterdam), the Dutch West India Company and Dutch Reformed Church set up private schools that filled the void left by the colonies' lack of an education system.

That changed in the 1840s when the U.S. instituted a uniform public school system. To stay relevant, private schools changed from marketing themselves as the only option to portraying their education as the "best" option. To this day, private high schools have positioned themselves as fast-tracks to admittance into elite universities. Faced with the rigorous demands of the highly competitive college admissions process and increased pressure over getting into the "right" school, parents (most often parents with means) often consider private schools for their children.

Stacker compiled a list of the best private high schools in California using rankings from Niche. Private schools have historically catered to America's most elite, with exorbitant tuition and legacy admissions ensuring the socioeconomic exclusivity of student bodies. Scholarships, incremental transparency in the admissions process, and improved (albeit still imperfect and unequal) access to excellent early education for students of all backgrounds have allowed more low-income students and minorities today to take advantage of these schools. Still, white students continue to represent the vast majority of private-school students.

Read on to find out the best private high schools in your state.

#25. Urban School of San Francisco (San Francisco)
- Enrollment: 420 (9:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#24. Chadwick School (Palos Verdes Peninsula)
- Enrollment: 867 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#23. The Webb Schools (Claremont)
- Enrollment: 399 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#22. San Francisco University High School (San Francisco)
- Enrollment: 410 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#21. Sage Hill School (Newport Coast)
- Enrollment: 545 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#20. Menlo School (Atherton)
- Enrollment: 795 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#19. Lick-Wilmerding High School (San Francisco)
- Enrollment: 490 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#18. The Branson School (Ross)
- Enrollment: 320 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#17. The Harker School (San Jose)
- Enrollment: 1951 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#16. Marlborough School (Los Angeles)
- Enrollment: 533 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#15. Windward School (Los Angeles)
- Enrollment: 625 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#14. The Quarry Lane School (Dublin)
- Enrollment: 775 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#13. Head-Royce School (Oakland)
- Enrollment: 900 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#12. Westridge School (Pasadena)
- Enrollment: 550 (5:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#11. The Thacher School (Ojai)
- Enrollment: 259 (4:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#10. Cate School (Carpinteria)
- Enrollment: 298 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#9. Polytechnic School (Pasadena)
- Enrollment: 859 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#8. The Bishop's School (San Diego)
- Enrollment: 800 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#7. Flintridge Preparatory School (La Canada Flintridge)
- Enrollment: 530 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#6. Crystal Springs Uplands School (Hillsborough)
- Enrollment: 539 (9:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#5. Castilleja School (Palo Alto)
- Enrollment: 430 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#4. Stanford Online High School (Redwood City)
- Enrollment: 903 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#3. Harvard-Westlake School (Los Angeles)
- Enrollment: 1620 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#2. The Nueva School (Hillsborough)
- Enrollment: 853 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#1. The College Preparatory School (Oakland)
- Enrollment: 373 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

You may also like: Best public high schools in California

Trending Now