Top Schools in Orange County

There are a lot of top-notch schools to choose from in Orange County – in fact, these institutions, whether public or private are competitive enough to be considered to be some of the country’s finest. Here are just some of the top schools based on 2014’s rankings.

Top Elementary Schools

The Orange County Registerranked these public elementary schools on a set of criteria that included academics, student’s test scores, Academic Index Scores, innovation, fitness programs and diversity. Of all the 371 schools that were assessed, 22 outstanding schools stood out from the crowd and were ranked with the following designations: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Here are the top 5: 

  1. Stonegate Elementary
  2. Ethan B. Allen Elementary
  3. Jack L. Weaver Elementary
  4. Stone Creek Elementary
  5. Villa Park Elementary


As for the top performing private schools in Orange County, AreteemInstitite, Caden Academy Mission Viejo, Grace Harbor Church & School, Halstrom Academy’s campuses in Anaheim, Huntington and Mission Viejo and St. Catherine’s Academy in Anaheim take the top spots, getting high reviews from

Top Middle Schools

Orange County’s Best Middle Schools Report examined 88 middle school campuses and rated them based on campus environment (class size, diversity), Academic Performance Index, as well as algebra proficiency, among other factors and indicators. The El Rancho Charter School took the top spot, while Orchard Hills followed suite, taking the 3rd spot.

Top High Schools

A total of 70 campuses that were evaluated in Orange County – and out of all of those, 18 schools were able to get Gold, Silver and Bronze distinctions.


  1. Oxford Academy, Anaheim Union High
  2. Northwood High, Irvine Unified
  3. Orange County School of the Arts, Santa Ana Unified
  4. Laguna Beach High, Laguna Beach Unified
  5. Silver

  6. Yorba Linda High, Placentia – Yorba Linda Unified
  7. Arnold O. Beckham High, Tustin Unified
  8. Middle College High, Santa Ana Unified
  9. Troy High, Fullerton Joint Union High
  10. Early College High, Newport-Mesa Unified
  11. Bronze

  12. Bolsa Grande High, Garden Grove Unified
  13.  Nova Academy, Santa Ana Unified
  14.  San Clemente High, Capistrano Unified
  15. Sunny Hills High, Fullerton Joint Union High
  16. University High, Irvine Unified
  17. Mission Viejo High, Saddlback Valley Unified
  18. Irvine High, Irvine Unified
  19. Brea Olinda High, Brea Olinda Unified
  20. Los Alamitos High, Los Alamitos Unified

As for the high-performing private high schools in Orange County, Sage Hill School in Newport Beach takes the top spot. Other top-performing schools include Areteem Institute in Irvine and Halstrom Academy’s campuses in Anaheim Hills, Huntington Beach and Mission Viejo.

Top Awards

Schools in the OC are often recognized for their excellent performance as academic institutions, pushing the envelope when it comes to learning and innovation, bringing creativity and technological innovation to their campuses.

Santa Ana’s Orange County Educational Arts Academy exceeded the statewide goal of reaching an Academic Performance Index of 800. Charles G. Emery on the other hand, was awarded the California Distinguished School award and the prestigious National Blue Award just recently.

Among other K-8 schools that offer great campus environments and high performing students areMission Viejo’s Oxford Preparatory Academy (with an outstanding API score of 990 in 2013). Robert C. Fisler Elementary in the Fullerton School District, got the second highest API score of 976, while Vista Verde Verde in Irvine Unified got an API score of 960.

Click here to visit Orange County Register’s website, where you can search schools in Orange County by name, read helpful school reviews and compare up to three schools to find the right one for your kids.