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A+
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Academics
    A+
  2. Diversity
    A
  3. Teachers
    A+
  4. College Prep
    A+
  5. Clubs & Activities
    A
  6. Health & Safety
    A-
  7. Administration
    A-
  8. Sports
    A+
  9. Food
    B
  10. Resources & Facilities
    A-
Palo Alto High School is a top rated, public school located in Palo Alto, CA. It has 1,992 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. According to state test scores, 72% of students are at least proficient in math and 87% in reading.
Address
50 Embarcadero Rd
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Telephone
(650) 329-3701
Website

Palo Alto High School Rankings

Niche ranks nearly 100,000 schools and districts based on statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents.

Academics

Percent Proficient - Reading
87%
Percent Proficient - Math
72%
Average Graduation Rate
97%
Average SAT
1370
690 responses
Average ACT
31
323 responses
AP Enrollment
40%
Living in the Area
A+
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Cost of Living
    D+
  2. Good for Families
    A+
  3. Housing
    B-
Area Feel
Urban Suburban Mix
Median Household Income
$147,537
National
$55,322
Median Rent
$2,379
National
$949
Median Home Value
$1,989,300
National
$184,700

Culture & Safety

Health & Safety
A-
Based on chronic student absenteeism, suspensions/expulsions, and survey responses on the school environment from students and parents.
Poll
78%
of students agree that they feel safe at their school.37 responses
Poll
62%
of students agree that they like their school and feel happy there.37 responses
Poll
What are your favorite school events or traditions?
Based on 127 responses
Report
  • Spirit Week
    17%
  • Prom and Grad Night
    15%
  • Seniors wearing camouflage
    14%
  • ...Spirit Week
    14%
  • Senior cut day
    13%
  • The Turkey Trot
    12%
  • Streak week
    5%

Students

Diversity
A
Based on racial and economic diversity and survey responses on school culture and diversity from students and parents.
Students
1,992
Free or Reduced Lunch
9%
92%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.36 responses
61%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.36 responses
89%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are athletic.36 responses

Teachers

Student-Teacher Ratio
16:1
National
17:1
Average Teacher Salary
$115,981
Teachers in First/Second Year
8.7%
77%
of students and parents agree that the teachers give engaging lessons.53 responses
79%
of students and parents agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.53 responses
87%
of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom.53 responses

Clubs & Activities

Clubs & Activities
A
Based on student and parent reviews of clubs and activities.
Girls Athletic Participation
High
Boys Athletic Participation
High
Expenses Per Student
$18,599/ year
National
$12,239
86%
of students and parents agree that there are plenty of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in.57 responses
68%
of students and parents agree that clubs and organizations get the funding they need.57 responses
68%
of students and parents agree that lots of students participate in clubs and organizations.57 responses
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Palo Alto High School Reviews

292 reviews
All Categories
It has a huge name (tons of students are admitted to top-tier colleges), and students do really well. The academics are rigorous, though decidedly less so than its sister school, Gunn, but because its name holds, students don't necessarily suffer any disadvantage, at least on paper. Sports are respected, the campus is unique and beautiful. The administration underwent various scandals these past years over sexual assault in the student body, and they don't do an amazing job in general. The culture is pretty cliquey, though probably less so than the average American school. There is substantial diversity, although in terms of gross family income, it's without a doubt much higher than average, as median homes likely cost 2-3mil in PA neighborhoods.
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Considering I spent four years at this school you would think that I would have grown to like it a bit. Well, I haven't. For a school that's in a neighborhood where the houses cost millions of dollars, you would think the schools would be amazing. To be fair the school has amazing computers and state of the art equipment but the overall environment of the school is awful. Not only are the teachers mediocre at best but they don't treat the students fairly and they don't think they have to do their job. The teachers are constantly complaining about how bad the students do but don't teach the material well or even make an effort to teach better. They also complain about how they have to grade work, even though most of the teachers actually have assistants that do the work for them. While there are a few teachers who do really care about their students the chance of you getting one of them is pretty rare. Overall, not too happy with my experience at this school.
Overall I have enjoyed my time at Paly, but it's definitely not for everyone. It has an outstanding reputation and we get amazing opportunities from speakers to teachers. We're fortunate to have a beautiful campus and some stunning facilities, such as the Media Arts Center. We also have a large range of classes, clubs, and other activities so everyone is involved in some type of activity with the school. Our journalism program, for example, has many resources and we have over 10 publications. However, with a rigorous school comes competition; however, that's not to say other students won't help each other. Additionally, it is a fairly large school and it's easy to feel overwhelmed.