Best Schools Districts in Phoenix, Arizona
If you’re moving to Phoenix with kids, you undoubtedly want to know the best school districts in Phoenix, Arizona. With so many family friendly suburbs, beautiful weather, and plenty of space to run, jump, and play, families all over the country are wheels up for Phoenix. But what are some of the best schools in the area, and how can you find the right one for you from afar? Luckily, we’ve done the footwork for you. All that’s left now is packing the backpacks and getting the kids on the bus!
Why are schools so good in Phoenix?
You may have heard that the schools in Phoenix are outstanding, and studies show this to be pretty accurate. Statistically, Arizona as a whole actually ranks the lowest in education out of all 50 states. How could the lowest ranking state also have great school systems? The answer is: location, location, location!
A great portion of Arizona is rather unpopulated, and with a smaller population comes less access to public funding for education. The Phoenix area is by far the most population dense area of Arizona. It’s so populated in fact; that 4.1 million of the 6.9 million people who reside in the state of Arizona live in Maricopa County. That’s more than half of the state within one county. Take a state as big as California, for example; and you can see that with a population of about four million in Los Angeles, and about four million in Phoenix, Phoenix is every bit as population dense as the second largest city in America.
If tax dollar funding is going somewhere in the state of Arizona, it’s most likely going to be Phoenix. When that funding is for public education, the result is pretty outstanding schools. With state of the art buildings and facilities, excellent teachers, and great extracurricular activities to round out the educational experience, Phoenix schools have it all.
Learn More: Pros & Cons of moving to Phoenix
The Best School Districts in Phoenix:
One of the most popular ways to evaluate schools is by using niche.com. Niche.com utilizes a number of factors in their rating system. Students and families can rate their school system and leave reviews detailing their experiences, both good and bad. This allows prospective students and their parents to get an up close view of what being a part of a given school system would be like. Niche gives each school district a “report card” with grades (ratings) being given in each of the following categories: Academics, Diversity, Teachers, College Prep, Clubs & Activities, Health & Safety, Administration, Sports, Food, and Resources & Facilities.
According to niche.com, the top three school districts in the Phoenix area are:
Chandler Unified School District No. 80
Chandler has the highest ranked school district in the Phoenix Metro area! As a suburb of Phoenix, this school district is known for its relatively small classroom sizes and has a student-teacher ratio of 19:1. There are over 30 elementary schools that all feed into 7 middle and 7 high schools. – Chandler Unified School District No. 80
Scottsdale Unified School District
The Scottsdale Unified School District is just slightly smaller than Chandlers, with almost similar rankings when it comes to student-teacher ratios, test scores and ratings. Just know that the cost of living in this area is higher than other suburbs of Phoenix. – Scottsdale Unified School District
Gilbert Public Schools
Right next door to Chandler, is Gilbert, Arizona and the Gilbert Public School district. This area is known for top teachers, decent test scores and an affordable cost of living. If you’re considering moving to Gilbert, we suggest doing so sooner rather than later. This is because the entire area is a top place to move to and is growing quickly. – Gilbert Public Schools
Learn More: Cost of living in Gilbert, Arizona
Peoria Unified School District
Peoria is a suburb of Phoenix that lies northwest of downtown and is a highly sought after area to move with a family in Phoenix. The schools are highly rated and are excellent for kids/students who are looking for great athletic programs. – Peoria Unified School District
Tempe Union High School District
Tempe, Arizona has consistently been rated as one of the top places to live in all of Arizona, so it’s no surprise that it’s school system is highly rated as well. The district includes seven high schools, most of which are ranked highly with great athletic programs and test scores. – Tempe Union High School District
While some might be rated higher than others on the list, they all rank extremely closely, and are all exceptional school systems.
Best Private Schools in Phoenix, Arizona
Though Phoenix has excellent public schools, if a private school education seems to be the best fit for you and your family, there are plenty of options. Here are a few of top private school options in Phoenix:
- Phoenix Country Day School
- Rancho Solano Preparatory School
- and Arizona Culture Academy and College Prep
If you want a private Christian school:
- Gilbert Christian Schools
- Northwest Christian School
- and Tri-City Christian Academy
…all rank highly on the niche.com list. As you can see, whether you are looking for public or private education in Phoenix, there’s a LOT of options.
Learn More: Top Neighborhoods to live in Phoenix, Arizona
Finding the right school in the Phoenix area
With so many schools and highly rated school districts, it can be daunting trying to find the right fit for you, especially if you don’t even live in Phoenix yet. Ratings will show you statistics like how students test at these schools, how many students there are per teacher, and how well the athletic teams place. But if you want to know the nitty-gritty of each and every school, you might want to do some sleuthing on your own.
If you already have a home picked out and locked down, that narrows down the schools significantly. If you are waiting to choose a home until after you’ve decided on a school district, you might just have to go with the statistics and choose via highest rating.
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Researching schools in Phoenix, Arizona
(1) Websites like greatschools.org have extremely extensive resources for parents trying to find their dream school from a distance. Though nothing can replace a “day in the life of said school,” there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of finding your perfect educational experience.
(2) Making a list of what is important to you can really help during this process. Do you want to make sure your child learns a second language? Maybe your student has special needs, so the special education resources at a given school will be very important to you. If you have a little athlete on your hands, a school with plenty of sports teams and some good, healthy competition probably means more to you than a small, art centered conservatory. When you’ve narrowed down your desires, start looking around for schools that offer what you want and need.
(3) Keep in mind that every school is going to tell you they’re the best fit for your child. If you really want the truth, talk to other parents. Facebook groups, church groups, and friends with school aged children who live in the area can be invaluable resources.
Ask about not only your top desires for your child’s education, but also how things are handled at the administrative level. Maybe a school with excellent test scores actually has a well known nasty bullying problem. Perhaps the small school you overlooked has after school clubs that are the perfect fit for your newly uprooted student looking for a way to make new friends.
(4) Reach out to us! Most of our team has school age children, so we have first hand knowledge of the area’s schools systems. Feel free to reach out to us when you’re searching for your new home in Phoenix, and we’ll help you match your school needs with your perfect home.
Sometimes the unadvertised aspects of a given school are the most important. Once you know a little bit more about how each school operates, you have a much greater chance of finding just the right one!
Thinking of moving to the Phoenix Metro Area?
If so many outstanding schools at your fingertips have you thinking Phoenix is just the place for you, reach out to me, because I would love to make your families dream a reality. Contact us at AZ Livestyles Group today, and your little ones could be in any one of these fantastic Phoenix schools in no time!
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