A+
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Academics
    A+
  2. Diversity
    B+
  3. Teachers
    A+
  4. College Readiness
    A+
  5. Clubs & Activities
    A+
  6. Health & Safety
    A-
  7. Administration
    A+
  8. Sports
    A+
  9. Food
    A-
  10. Resources & Facilities
    A
Address
50 Embarcadero Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Telephone
(650) 329-3701
Website

Palo Alto High School Rankings

Niche ranks over 14,000 public high schools based on statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents.

Academics

Percent Proficient - Reading
83%
Percent Proficient - Math
78%
Average Graduation Rate
96%
Average SAT
1370
395 responses
Average ACT
31
191 responses
AP Enrollment
35%

Culture & Safety

Health & Safety
A-
Based on chronic student absenteeism, suspensions/expulsions, and survey responses on the school environment from students and parents.
Poll
81%
of students agree that they feel safe at their school.31 responses
Poll
68%
of students agree that they like their school and feel happy there.31 responses
Poll
What are your favorite school events or traditions?
Based on 108 responses
Report
  • Spirit Week
    17%
  • ...Spirit Week
    17%
  • Prom and Grad Night
    14%
  • The Turkey Trot
    13%
  • Senior cut day
    12%
  • Seniors wearing camouflage
    12%
  • Streak week
    6%

Students

Diversity
B+
Based on racial and economic diversity and survey responses on school culture and diversity from students and parents.
Students
1,943
Free or Reduced Lunch
8%
90%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.30 responses
67%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.30 responses
90%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are athletic.30 responses

Teachers

Student-Teacher Ratio
16:1
National
16:1
Average Teacher Salary
$102,888
Teachers in First/Second Year
11.7%
79%
of students and parents agree that the teachers give engaging lessons.47 responses
79%
of students and parents agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.47 responses
89%
of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom.47 responses

Clubs & Activities

Clubs & Activities
A+
Based on expenses per student, number of sports offered, and student and parent reviews.
Girls Athletic Participation
Average
Boys Athletic Participation
High
Expenses Per Student
$20,600/ year
National
$11,890
86%
of students and parents agree that there are plenty of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in.51 responses
69%
of students and parents agree that clubs and organizations get the funding they need.51 responses
69%
of students and parents agree that lots of students participate in clubs and organizations.51 responses

Palo Alto High School Reviews

255 reviews
All Categories
Palo Alto High School (Paly) is a very accepting high school, full of talented and intelligent individuals. We have received lots of criticism in the past in regards to the competitive nature at our high school, but I believe that the teachers and administration are doing there best to support the students. All the teachers and administrators are very accessible and helpful, and they provide any support, academic or emotional, when needed. The competitive nature at our school arises from the students themselves because everyone is so motivated to succeed, so everyone is doing their best, be it in classes, athletics, or clubs. Another thing that surprised me was the amazing school spirit. Our football and basketball games have a decent student attendance, but regardless of the number of people in the crowd, the crowd still goes wild. Our spirit is especially portrayed during our spirit week where all the classes compete against one another.
Review Your School
As a minority PALY was a very interesting school, it was very fit towards a specific group of students and because of that some students slipped through the cracks. I did love the school spirit and culture around specific sports being on the soccer team you were already into a brotherhood that was very special so PALY had its ups and its downs. I believe they should change the way they find diversity, get more colored or diverse teachers so the diverse students feel they have someone they can connect to and really just speak to about problems they may have.
The teachers at this school are some of the school's best attributes. Many of them are highly qualified, care genuinely about what they teach and encourage you to do the same. Almost every teacher I have had here has put in effort to engage students and drawn student attention to opportunities in their area of interest. Occasionally grading can seem unfair or subjective, especially within the english department, but in general this is pretty unavoidable. If you ask the teachers for help during tutorial or in class, they are for the most part willing to help you improve. I really like lecture style courses, which I know some people find boring, but I have still been exposed to a healthy ratio of hands-on and project based teaching approaches. Presentation and communication skills are really developed, though you don't really notice this until you listen to how awkward some professional talk are. Basically, you are one step ahead. The science teachers, in particular those that are known for being tough, are amazing. They are wonderful at addressing questions and communicating content that is often beyond the typical high school comprehension level. Failing is pretty much impossible if you actually put in effort and talk to you teachers. Teachers are really not the issue here.