20 Best High Schools In California

San Marino High School
Photo credit: Mending Kids International / Flickr

Before graduating from a California high school, students must take 13 specific yearlong courses and pass the California High School Exit Examination, which covers English language arts and math.

There are 4,495 high schools in California, made up of 3,523 public schools and 972 private schools. California ranks as the 1st state in terms of student enrollment and 1st in terms of total number of schools. It ranks 50th for the student/teacher ratio and sits 38th for the percentage of students on free or reduced lunches.

Check out our list of top 20 high schools in California:

20. San Marino High School

San Marino High School (SMHS) is a known public high school in San Marino, California, United States, and also the only high school in the San Marino Unified School District, Los Angeles County. According to the 2013 California Academic Performance Index Survey, the district was the highest-performing unified school district for the eleventh consecutive year, with a score of 953 points out of 1,000 possible.

San Marino High School’s state Academic Performance Index (API) is 932 out of a possible 1000 points, as determined by the California Department of Education.

It was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2006 and a Gold Medal school by U.S. News and World Report, ranking in the 80s in the nation. San Marino High School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges through the Focus on Learning process.

California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE) has once again named San Marino High to its Honor Roll for 2008 in the “Scholar Schools” category. This category recognizes schools for academic excellence, regardless of demographics or any other factor.

In 2009, the school was among 261 named California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education (CDE).