This is One of the Most Exemplary and Equitable School Districts in California


California boasts a multitude of outstanding public school districts that provide a prestigious education to an extremely diverse student body. The Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District stands out among them as an exemplar of excellence and equity on a state level.

What distinguishes the Joint Union High School District of Los Gatos-Saratoga?

A relatively small district, the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District (LGSUHSD) serves approximately 3,200 pupils in grades 9 through 12 across two high schools: Los Gatos High School and Saratoga High School. The district is renowned for its exceptional scholastic performance, as evidenced by the consistent ranking of both of its high schools among the top public high schools in the country, as reported by numerous publications and websites.

LGSUHSD is ranked the third best school district in the nation and the finest in California, according to the 2024 Niche rankings. Academics, faculty, health and safety, college readiness, and health and safety all received A+ grades for the district. Diversity, sports, organizations, and activities all received an A grade. Additional merits include a notable graduation rate of 99%, a strong college readiness index of 95.8%, and a modest student-to-teacher ratio of 19:1.

However, what truly sets LGSUHSD apart is its steadfast dedication to promoting inclusivity and equity among all students, regardless of their socioeconomic standing, academic ability, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status.

The educational district has formulated an all-encompassing equity plan that delineates its overarching goals, strategies, and initiatives, with the intention of guaranteeing equitable access to resources and opportunities for every student to thrive academically and beyond. A selection of the district’s equity initiatives are as follows:

  • Providing personnel with opportunities for professional growth in areas such as implicit bias, social justice, anti-racism, and cultural proficiency.
  • The implementation of a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) that employs intensive, universal, and targeted interventions to address the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students.
  • Offering a wide range of courses and programs, including Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Career Technical Education (CTE), and Special Education, to accommodate the unique interests and abilities of each student.
  • Creating an environment at school that is secure and supportive, encouraging positive interactions, mutual regard, and a feeling of inclusion among faculty, students, and their families.
  • Promoting active stakeholder participation in constructive dialogues and collaborative endeavors aimed at addressing issues of equity and inclusion at both the district and community levels.

In comparison to other districts in California, what is the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District’s academic performance?

It is advantageous to assess LGSUHSD’s accomplishments in relation to other prestigious California districts that are recognized for their excellence and fairness. The following are the ten most prestigious educational districts in California, as determined by the 2024 Niche rankings:

  1. Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District
  2. Palo Alto Unified School District
  3. La Cañada Unified School District
  4. Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District
  5. San Dieguito Union High School District
  6. Carmel Unified School District
  7. San Marino Unified School District
  8. Acalanes Union High School District
  9. Manhattan Beach Unified School District
  10. Piedmont City Unified School District

These districts exhibit notable attributes in common, including exceptional scholastic achievement, substantial college readiness, noteworthy rates of graduation, and a favorable student-to-teacher ratio. Nevertheless, they diverge with regard to inclusivity, fairness, and diversity.

As an illustration, LGSUHSD claims a student body that is more heterogeneous, consisting of the following: 2% from other backgrounds, 28% Asian, 9% Hispanic, 4% multiracial, and 3% black. On the contrary, certain other school districts exhibit a preponderance of Caucasian students, including La Cañada Unified School District (66 percent), Carmel Unified School District (71 percent), and San Marino Unified School District (75 percent).

In addition, LGSUHSD distinguishes itself through its comprehensive and clear equity strategy, which is prominently displayed on its website. A specific segment of the site is devoted to equity and inclusion, furnishing staff, students, and families with in-depth resources. Conversely, certain alternative districts exhibit a dearth of explicit sections pertaining to equity and inclusion on their websites, or present less elaborate strategies accompanied by policies or declarations that are overly general or ambiguous.


The Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District serves as an exemplar of excellence and fairness among school districts in California, ensuring that every student, irrespective of origin or aptitude, receives an exceptional education.

The district actively promotes a culture of respect and belonging for all through a variety of programs and initiatives that address the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students, in addition to a steadfast commitment to equity and inclusion and a well-defined vision. It demonstrates to other school districts in the state and the nation how to attain educational excellence and equity, thereby serving as a model.

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