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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 2,072 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. According to state test scores, 82% of students are at least proficient in math and 82% in reading.

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
82%
Percent Proficient - Math
82%
Average Graduation Rate
95%
Average SAT
1380
752 responses
Average ACT
31
369 responses
AP Enrollment
40%

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Note: School map boundaries may have changed for the current school year so please contact your school district to verify school assignment for your child.
Living in the Area
A+
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Cost of Living
    D+
  2. Good for Families
    A+
  3. Housing
    C
Median Household Income
$157,120
National
$55,322
Median Rent
$2,471
National
$949
Median Home Value
$2,000,000
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
75%
of students agree that they feel safe at their school.40 responses
Poll
63%
of students agree that they like their school and feel happy there.40 responses
Poll
What are your favorite school events or traditions?
Based on 140 responses
Report
  • Spirit Week
    18%
  • Seniors wearing camouflage
    15%
  • Prom and Grad Night
    14%
  • Senior cut day
    13%
  • ...Spirit Week
    13%
  • The Turkey Trot
    11%
  • Senior no pants day
    5%

Students

Diversity
A
Based on racial and economic diversity and survey responses on school culture and diversity from students and parents.
Students
2,072
Free or Reduced Lunch
10%
92%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.39 responses
64%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.39 responses
90%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are athletic.39 responses

Teachers

Student-Teacher Ratio
16:1
National
17:1
Average Teacher Salary
$124,742
Teachers in First/Second Year
8.7%
77%
of students and parents agree that the teachers give engaging lessons.56 responses
79%
of students and parents agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.56 responses
88%
of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom.56 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
$21,626/ year
National
$12,239
87%
of students and parents agree that there are plenty of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in.60 responses
70%
of students and parents agree that clubs and organizations get the funding they need.60 responses
70%
of students and parents agree that lots of students participate in clubs and organizations.60 responses
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Palo Alto High School Reviews

312 reviews
All Categories
Paly High is one of the most unique high schools in the nation. It is very academically focused, and pushes students to the next level. It opens doors for collegiate and career opportunities, and adequately prepares students for college. Although it is a great school, there is a toxic environment ever present on campus between students, as there are times when students view each other as competition and not classmates or friends. I personally enjoy sports over academics, so this school has been a unique experience, as I was new to the school my junior year. However notwithstanding, Paly High is a great school and I am proud to call myself a Viking. SKO VIKES!
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Palo Alto highschool can be extremely intimidating at first. With so many affluent students and competitive classes, it can be hard to settle in right away. I will say though that once you find your place either in academics, clubs, sports, or just the right group of friends there really is no better school. It is arguably one of the most well-balanced schools in athletics and academics that also has an amazing sense of community and traditions. Being a student-athlete myself I can't think of better athletic facilities and coaching at the high school level especially for a public school. I highly recommend attending if you want to have a well-rounded high school experience with some of the best high school athletics, journalism programs, unique classes, and amazing academics all around. This is a school like no other with a tradition and student body that rivals all others. SKO VIKES
Overall, Paly is a great high school that will prepare all students for college, but still has a few minor issues. The teachers are dedicated and helpful, and there are many resources for mental health and college/career guidance. The sports teams are also of high caliber, with many teams ranking high statewide each year. However, the one main problem with Paly is the overwhelmingly competitive environment. Many students are high achievers with grand academic goals, and their peers are often pressured into committing to too many rigorous courses or extracurricular activities.