Are you planning to purchase a home and start a family?

Or… are you relocating to a new area and want to make sure your lil’ kiddos go to incredible schools?

If so, you have probably put some serious thought into the schools that your area has to offer.

Well, now a days, the data available online is incredible and provides comprehensive details on each school and how they rank against their counterparts.

With the right search tools, you can easily compare the test scores of elementary schools in Orangevale, CA to another school in Roseville, CA. You can also check academic progress ratings, college readiness, advanced courses, and even parent reviews.

Yikes… kids don’t stand a chance anymore (just kidding – LOL).

Where are these search tools located?

Great news!… All of this data is available in one place 🙂

It is put together by an incredible non-profit organization ( whose mission is to help parents get a great education for their children and for communities to ensure that all students receive a quality education.

What a noble mission, right?  – Yep, very cool if I do say so myself!

The image below indicates the different metrics used to determine the ratings


As you may notice from the image above, the metrics are very different from elementary school to high school. This is important to understand because schools are no longer rated solely on test scores (which used to be the case). For example, high schools now weight “College Readiness” at 50% and “test scores” at only 24%. The shift in metrics is putting a greater emphasis on the schools ability to properly prepare a student for success in college and career.

How do major home search sites use this data?

Another place you may see school data is on the major home search websites. For example, if you have ever browsed for homes on sites like Zillow, Trulia, or Redfin, odds are you have probably seen the basic ratings for nearby schools provided by (see image below).

School Reviews - Loomis.png

The schools listed above were found on and are the elementary schools in Loomis, CA. All of which were ranked by on a scaled from 1-10.

As you may notice, Zillow provides the basic ranking (scale from 1-10), however, it does not provide any additional data and/or how the score is calculated. This is where GreatSchools comes in.

How to find more info on a specific school?

Let’s say for example, you are considering relocating to Loomis, CA (small country town outside of Sacramento) and you were purchasing a home that would have your third grader going to Loomis Elementary school. You know based on the ratings that this school is an 8/10 (which is great); however, you would like to see how that score was generated.

Best way to quickly learn more is to visit and search for “Loomis Elementary School.” Once you locate the school, you will be directed to a dashboard that breaks down the score into several categories (see image below for reference).

Loomis Elementary.png

As you will see for the image above, the dashboard shows the overall rating of the school, the test scores, academic progress, parent reviews and more.

Further, by clicking on each category, you can compare the ratings to the state average and see where this school ends up.

BTW – The parent reviews can be very revealing and insightful as well… and maybe it’s just me, but they are fun to read.

Online info is great, but what if I want more information?

GreatSchools is a solid way to learn about a school that you are considering sending your children to. With that said, it is NOT the end all, be all. There are various other ways to gather intel on your child’s future schools, both online and in person.

GreatSchools ratings will help get you started but it would be wise to visit the schools you are considering, talk to the staff, chat with some parents, and possibly even chat with the local police department. If you were to do all of the above, you will likely know more than most about your kids’ school and you can having peace of mind knowing you made a solid school selection.

Interested in learning more about the ratings, categories, and data? The link below will re-direct you to the information page providing comprehensive details on the rating system.

Thanks for reading, happy house hunting!

All the best!

Want to buy, sell, or invest in real estate?

Silva Realty Team can help!

We cover Sacramento & Placer County in California with a special focus on Roseville, Rocklin, Loomis, Penryn, Lincoln, Newcastle, Orangevale, & North Natomas (Sacramento).

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