Top 6 Best Elementary Schools in the Bay Area

best elementary schools in the bay area

Choosing an elementary school for your kid can be an incredibly stressful experience as well as an overwhelming one, especially if you are unfamiliar with the schools in your area or unsure of how to differentiate between them.

Even though there are many schools throughout the Bay Area, not all of them are equally equipped to prepare your child for their future.

There are tons of factors to consider when trying to find the best elementary school in the Bay Area, whether it’s the school’s curriculum, extracurricular activities, teacher-student ratio, location, safety record, or graduation rate.

Thankfully, the top 6 best elementary schools in Bay Area on this list offer some of the best elementary education in the Bay Area at competitive prices that won’t break your bank.

Top 6 Best Elementary Schools in the Bay Area

1. Woodside Elementary School

Woodside Elementary School is a public K-8 school district located in San Francisco Bay Area. The school commence service in 1991 with just 24 classrooms and 600 students from kindergarten to 6th grade.

Woodside Elementary is an exceptional school in every way. Woodside’s teachers are top-notch with the school placing 1st among 5,817 others in the Best Public Elementary School Teachers in California rankings, and they offer rich projects and programs that promote critical thinking skills. In addition to its academic offerings, Woodside has a full range of after-school activities for kids.

There’s also a wonderful parent community at Woodside that organizes fun gatherings throughout the year. Finally, students have access to incredible outdoor spaces that incorporate nature into everyday learning experiences.

Some of the classes available in Woodside Elementary School are:

  • English language
  • Arts
  • Music program
  • Social studies
  • Mandarin or Spanish
  • Music
  • Physical education
  • Science
  • Ability-Grouped Accelerated Mathematics

The school also boasts low-class sizes, a solid athletics program, a fair Student-Teacher ratio, and a high graduation rate.

2. Yu Ming Charter School

Founded in 2010 and located in Oakland, CA, Yu Ming Charter School is a K-8 public school and California’s first Mandarin Immersion school. Students graduate with strong fundamentals in reading, math, writing, Mandarin, and study skills, which translates into stronger performance on standardized tests.

It originally opened its doors to an inaugural class of 100 Kindergarten and 1st-grade students in 2011 and has been growing in size, reputation and rank since then.

Located on two campuses (one for elementary school students and one for middle school students), Yu Ming is an excellent option for parents who are looking to expose their children to a challenging environment that will lead to higher intelligence.

This Montessori school, which emphasizes strong arts programs, offers an extended school day and summer camp for students. It also strives to develop its students as compassionate, innovative, and ethical leaders. With a unique focus on Mandarin Chinese language, it does just that by encouraging them to think beyond their own self-interests.

Yu Ming Charter School has been ranked 7th of the Best Elementary School in California by U.S. News & World Report as well as 2nd of the Best Charter Elementary School in California. It also received a National Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S.

3. Walter Hays Elementary School

Walter Hays Elementary School is a public school serving Pre-schoolers to 5th graders only. It was named after a prominent Presbyterian minister who lived in Palo Alto for 15 years. 

The strong academic program at Walter Hays has earned its accolades from U.S. News & World Report and Parenting Magazines as one of CAs best elementary schools.

It is located in Palo Alto, CA  where students will find plenty of green space to play outdoors and get involved in other activities contributing to their academic success while also offering students the opportunity to participate in after-school activities such as Run for Fun Camp, Art and Soul Create, Easy Spanish is Fun, Basketball, After School Tennis and so much more.

For these reasons, Walter Hays Elementary School was ranked 7th place on the list of Best Public Elementary Schools in California.

4. Duveneck Elementary School

Duveneck Elementary School is one of the twelve K-5 elementary schools situated in Palo Alto, California. There are about 417 enrolled students and there is about 45 academic and non-academic staff at Duveneck Elementary School.

With its low student-to-teacher ratio of 16:1, great reputation and focus on academic rigor, Duveneck Elementary is consistently ranked 4th among the Best Public Elementary Schools in California. An impressive 81 percent of students meet or exceed state standards for English proficiency and 86 percent do so for math proficiency.

The diversity at Duveneck can be seen in its student body, which has 30% minority students (African-American, Hispanic, and Asian). It’s nice to see all different kinds of people and to know they are not treated differently than anyone else because of their skin color or culture.

Students can choose from over 11 different extracurricular activities and clubs, including sports, art, music, and chess. After school, hours are filled with academic programs designed to build a sense of belonging such as Starbright Math, Tennis, 1 on 1 Basketball Games, Video Game Design, Public Speaking, Creative Product Design, Jiu-Jitsu Self Defense class, and many more.

Parents are encouraged to actively participate in the Duveneck community through PTA participation and various fundraising events.

5. Ohlone Elementary School

Located in Amarillo Avenue, Palo Alto, California, Ohlone is an urban public school and a Palo Alto Unified School District member with close to 525 students and an 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio.

The school’s curriculum places an emphasis on wellness, and they offer free lunch to all students. In addition, parents can get engaged in the PTA sponsoring community activities and supports school volunteers with a donation.

If you want your children to grow up with a love of learning, Ohlone is a great option. The school has been celebrated for its commitment to innovative teaching methods that involve lots of hands-on experience, from project-based learning to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) programs.

In addition to core subjects like science and math, students are taught team building. problem-solving skills, public speaking, and Mandarin as part of their curriculum.

Ohlone Elementary School also has a full after-school program that includes Euro School Tennis, MustardSeed, 1 on 1 Basketball, Run for Fun, Music Academy, Biseh Art, Accelerate hoops and so much more.

Ranked 7th among 5,956 Best Public Elementary Schools in California U.S. News & World Report, Ohlone is a school with a difference; It uses whole-child education to educate students, which means it teaches both academics and social skills alongside each other.

6. Lucille M. Nixon Elementary School

Located in Stanford, CA, Lucille M. Nixon Elementary School is a K-5 public institution named after Lucille M. Nixon, a prominent poet and school supervisor from Palo Alto, California.

The school is acknowledged by U.S News and World Reports as one of the Best Public Elementary Schools in California and is also known to have the Best Public Elementary School Teachers. 

Nixon features a non-traditional curriculum that puts a heavy emphasis on creativity, problem-solving skills and also makes use of interdisciplinary learning to help students learn how to make connections between seemingly disparate concepts.

Students at Nixon benefit from an elementary education program that is designed specifically for their learning levels, interests, and abilities.

Afterschool activities such as Tennis, 1 0n 1 Basketball, Starfire Engineering,  Learn to Draw, Ukulele, Chess, Danceworkz, Run for Fun, and many more are scheduled for 1 to 1.5 hours a day, where the kids are encouraged to participate in enrichment classes, sports teams, community service and more. Nixon Elementary School provides students with top-notch tools to foster a love of learning from an early age.

If you’re looking for a solid elementary school that your kids can attend for years to come, look no further than Lucille M. Nixon. Not only does it have excellent academics and facilities, but it also has an active community around its programs.


While there are so many different factors that go into choosing a school, ultimately what matters most is finding a place where your children will get an excellent education. All of these options rank highly on US News ranking and have solid reputations within their communities.

Hope this list of the best elementary schools in the Bay Area will help you find a prospective school for your kids to attend.

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