Moving from NYC to Bay area- Peninsula


We will be moving to Bay area- Peninsula region in May/June next year and are looking for advice on school districts for our to-be 5 year old.

We are currently looking at Palo Alto, Mountain view, Cupertino areas as we will be commuting to Menlo park n sunnyvale for our respective work places

Any recommendations on areas from school n commute prospective will be appreciated.

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I don't know what your budget is or if you plan to rent/own but in general the quality of the school district correlates directly to housing prices. Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Mountain View all have great school districts and are very close to your workplaces. Palo Alto is probably regarded as the best but it's also super expensive to live there, and maybe not worth it. Cupertino and Mountain View are both nice but also expensive since they're the HQs of Apple and Google, respectively. Driving from Cupertino to Menlo Park might make you hate your life, since traffic between Palo Alto to South Bay is probably some of the worst on the Peninsula. But, especially on the Peninsula, it's hard to escape some kind of commute - Caltrain runs a decent service if your offices are nearby or a bikable distance away.

Some other options:
Redwood City: Cheaper but schools are worse. I think elementary schools are generally pretty good there but get worse for middle/high school. TBF, I've heard from educators that it's not so much the quality of schools that are bad, only that they have more diversity of incomes and more english as a second language which can lead to worse testing outcomes.

Los Altos/Woodside: Also expensive but has great schools - has a more country, rural vibe than cities closer to highway 101, which I find charming! There are super affluent neighborhoods in these cities, and a few affordable areas.

San Carlos: Your commute might be a little worse but great schools and charming downtown. A lot of young families live there.

Unfortunately, I don't know much about cities south of Mountain View. We looked a little at moving to Sunnyvale and it's cheaper but seemed like houses were generally postage stamp sized and neighborhoods felt a little depressing (very limited knowledge though, someone correct me if I'm off base). Santa Clara has good neighborhoods and schools, I hear. I also have a lot of friends moving to the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose lately, which has a very cute downtown area and better schools.

I go on Zillow a lot and check the school ratings associated with houses in neighborhoods we're interested in. Maybe everyone does that already but thought I'd mention!