San Diego School System

san diego schools

Families relocating to San Diego have two major concerns:
  • how to find a good San Diego school for their children, and
  • where to buy or rent an affordable house.

Interestingly, the two questions are related because where you go to school depends on where you live. Thus, many people buy or rent a house near their San Diego school of choice. When it comes to choosing a school, you have 3 choices:
  1. Public Schools
  2. Private School
  3. Home School click here for Universities & Colleges

Public Schools Most of the public schools in San Diego are grouped into the "San Diego Unified School District". It was established over 150 years ago and currently serves over 132,000 students from over 15 ethnic groups speaking over 60 languages. The District includes
  • 118 elementary schools,
  • 24 middle schools,
  • 29 high schools,
  • 35 charter schools, and
  • 15 atypical/alternative schools.

How Does the San Diego Unified School District work?

If you wish to enroll your child into a public San Diego school, your child will probably go to a neighborhood school close to where you live. Use this
search engine to determine where your child will attend public school.

If you wish your child to attend another public school other than the one in your neighborhood, then you need to make an application. This is done through the School Choice Enrollment Options. First you need to determine why you want your child to attend another school and then apply through the proper channel:
san diego schools
Oak Park School is a Magnet school emphasizing music.
  • Magnet: Some schools focus on a particular theme. For example Oak Park emphasizes music; Spreckels encourages Spanish; and Webster encourages math & science. If you want your child to be in one of these themed-schools, then you apply through the Magnet program. Read more...

  • VEEP: If you wish your child to participate in an exchange program then you should apply through the VEEP program. This program allows students to experience a different environment, culture, and/or community. Read more...

  • PISC: If you happen to live in an area where a school isn't very good academically, then you can apply to another school which is doing better. Read more...

  • Open Enrollment Program: This program is a "free for all". Everyone is allowed to apply to enter another school for no particular reason. Entry is based on space availability and a first-com-first-served basis. Read more...

  • Chartered School: Most chartered schools are created by a group of people who share a similar interest or philosophy. Chartered schools are a part of the public educational system; however, they have much autonomy. They offer parents a different way of educating their children. Read more...


In summary, most children attend a public school near where they live, this is the neighborhood school. If you do not wish to go to your neighbor hood school, you may apply through:
  - Magnet (apply to a schools with a specialized focus or theme)
  - VEEP (apply to an exchange program)
  - PISC (apply to go to a better school)
  - Open Enrollment (apply and hope to get in based on space availability)
  - Chartered (apply to be in a unique learning environment).

Learn about: