SAT Scores in Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Palos Verdes Estates, CA

SAT Scores in Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Palos Verdes Estates, CA

Looking at homes to buy in California before we moved from my husband's last Marine Corps duty station of Twentynine Palms, CA, we tried to balance the purchase prices of homes (husband starting a new career in the civilian world after being a military judge) with great schools for our four children.  One of the things we looked at in choosing the Temecula and Murrieta, CA, area to settle in, related to schools, were the local high schools' SAT scores. 

My parents did the same thing back in the 1960's when they moved to the Palos Verdes Peninsula area where my twin sister, Laura, and I grew up.  In fact, our father retired from the military just prior to that move; he was Commandant at Edwards Air Force base, but that's another blog.  My sister, Laura Buchanan, still lives in the home we grew up in in Rolling Hills Estates

As of February 2010, here is how the high schools in Palos Verdes rank on SAT scores (average) against all other high schools in Los Angeles County.  They are in the top 12 high schools of all of Los Angeles County:

             HIGH SCHOOL                                   AVG SAT              RANK (on 1 to 10 scale, est'd til official)

  1. Gretchen Whitney High (Cerritos)                   2004                             10
  2. San Marino High                                           1821                             10
  3. La Canada High                                           1771                             10
  4. Palos Verdes Peninsula (Rolling Hills Estates)   1764                              9
  5. CA Academy of Music & Science                      1747                             10
  6. Beverly Hills High                                          1746                             8
  7. Mira Costa High (Manhattan Beach)                 1715                             9
  8. Arcadia High                                                 1710                             9
  9. Agoura High                                                 1703                             8
  10. South Pasadena                                           1697                             9
  11. Calabassas High                                           1690                             8
  12. Palos Verdes High (Palos Verdes Estates)         1669                            9

Compare these schools to the solidly performing high schools in the Murrieta and Temecula area in Riverside county by visiting my prior blog on this topic, SAT Scores in Murrieta and Temecula.  Entry home prices for a 3000 sq ft home there are in the high $200,000s into the $300,000s. 

Pro's of Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Palos Verdes Peninsula:

  1. Test Scores.  Clearly, the high school SAT scores are head and shoulders above those of the Inland Empire on the order of a couple hundred SAT points.   
  2. District Track Record: This district had these levels of scores when Laura and I went through them back in the early 1980's, helping us and many students get into high level universities such as Stanford.
  3. Lovely Homes on Large Lots with Tree-lined Streets. There is privacy, ease of access to the rest of LA while feeling away from it, horse-friendly neighborhoods and riding trails, gated communities if desired.

Con's of PV, RHE and PVP: For many, the entry level home price would be prohibitive.  An inland suburb such as the Temecula valley may be a must instead of an option as home prices fall as distance to the ocean increases.

Achieving Scholastic Success is More Than Access: I believe as parents we do our best to put our children into the best area we can, while balancing our family's financial abilities, etc.  I also believe that high schools scoring 7s through 10s, and above 1500 on the SAT as an average of all their students ARE "putting it out there."  That is, their school district and school site are making resources available in the normal school day for students who to perform at the top of their personal abilities.  This gives them ACCESS to higher achivement. 

Keep in mind that even at the best schools, the student and parents need to be gathering information about each class and teacher they plan to take.  Poll other parents and students. Try to determine if a "mean" teacher is really just a strict teacher.  It is a balancing act.  And, again, it is access.

Success Also Comes from Within: The student must draw from within to take action, take advantage of the access and resources provided by the school district, school, etc.  Students who take the extra step of adding outside studies to their schooling can increase performance significantly as well.  This is also the position that visiting colleges and universities took at a recent college fair I attended a couple weeks ago at Murrieta Valley High School, where our oldest is a sophomore.  Our goal for him is to spend his summer on a full SAT-preparation course.  I am still digesting the mass amounts of information provided at that college fair and will be posting a blog on it, or please email me at

For a full list of all CA high school SAT scores, please visit the LA Times Top Average SAT Scores.  The LA Times site also has additional information on each high school such as API ranking and diversity information.

Lisa Delzompo (951-704-4559)

"May your home always be too small ... to hold all your friends!"

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Comment balloon 0 commentsLisa Delzompo 951-704-4559 • February 19 2010 12:52PM
SAT Scores in Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Palos Verdes…
SAT Scores in Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Palos Verdes Estates, CA Looking at homes to buy in California before we moved from my husband's last Marine Corps duty station of Twentynine Palms, CA, we tried to balance the purchase prices… more