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Did you know that Pittsburgh has a whopping 625 schools? It’s no surprise why so many people struggle to find a good elementary, middle, or high school! Having hundreds of schools to choose from can make it a challenge to narrow down the best ones.
For that reason, we’ve put together a simple guide to the best schools in Pittsburgh to help you save on research time. Whether you’re moving long-distance or locally to Pittsburgh, get ready to find out all there is to know about the city’s public schools, private schools, and more!
How do you find the best schools in Pittsburgh?
Choosing the right school in Pittsburgh starts with one question: private school or public school? Next, figure out which schools are nearby your house so that it won’t take forever to commute. Of those schools, do some research about their overall ratings so that you get a comprehensive look at whether your children will like it there and how the quality of education is.
A few questions to consider when looking for the best schools in Pittsburgh include:
- What percentage of high schoolers graduate each year?
- What are the students’ math and English proficiencies?
- What is the school rated on top review sites?
If you want a closer look at Pittsburgh’s various school systems, stay tuned!
How are public schools in Pittsburgh?
First, let’s talk about the state of Pennsylvania. It has an average high-school graduation rate of 91%, meaning that over 9 of 10 seniors go on to receive their diplomas. The city of Pittsburgh has a comparable graduation rate of 90.4%. In other words, that is good news if you’re considering a move to the City of Bridges.
Math and English proficiencies have been lower than normal in the city of Pittsburgh since the pandemic. One report shows that the public schools in the Pittsburgh SD School District’s math proficiency is 31%, with the reading proficiency at 49%. While both of these scores are below the state average, educators are hopeful for improvement in the coming years.
Patricia on Quora says, “...Basically, it’s Pennsylvania, there are a lot of good school districts here. It kind of depends on exactly what you are looking for- gifted ed, special ed, general ed, sports, arts, vo tech, etc.”
In other words, don’t let the occasional bad review scare you away from sending your kids to public school in Pittsburgh. There are plenty of highly rated school districts that might be perfect for your child.
Top-rated public schools in Pittsburgh
See below for a list of some of the best elementary, middle, and high schools in the city of Pittsburgh:
Best Elementary Schools in Pittsburgh:
- Jefferson Elementary School
- Peebles Elementary School
- Streams Elementary School
- Howe Elementary School
Best Middle Schools in Pittsburgh:
Best High Schools in Pittsburgh:
- Upper St. Clair High School
- Mt. Lebanon Senior High School
- Avonworth High School
- Fox Chapel Area High School
What private schools are in Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh has 480 private schools. Here are some of the top-rated options:
- Shady Side Academy (#1 private high school in Pittsburgh, serves PK and K-12)
- Winchester Thurston School (#2 leading Pittsburgh private high school, serves PK and K-12)
- Sewickley Academy (#3 in best private schools in Pittsburgh, serves PK and K-12)
- The Ellis School (#4 private high school in the city, serves PK and K-12)
- Aquinas Academy (#5 private Pittsburgh high school, serves PK and K-12)
And below are some more private schools to choose from:
- The University School
- Saint Joseph High School
- Central Catholic High School
- Trinity Christian School
- First Love Christian Academy
What are suburban Pittsburgh schools like?
Pittsburgh has countless suburbs offering different elementary, middle, and high schools for your kids. All in all, you’ll find that the suburbs are safe and come with great school ratings, meaning that your kids will have a good chance at a quality education.
Regarding suburban school life in Fox Chapel, one person says, “Fox chapel school district [is great]. Very good, well rounded public education. Six different municipalities make up the district offering a WIDE range of price/size/neighborhood/community.”
Whatever suburb you choose, make sure it’s a place you could see yourself living in for the long term. That means it’s important to investigate the cost of living, quality of life, restaurants, and more available there, in addition to the schools. Once you know that information, it’ll be much easier to tell if you and your kids will be happy living there.
What suburbs have particularly good school systems?
As mentioned above, there are many great suburbs in Pittsburgh. However, three suburbs that come up on many lists of the top schools include Franklin Park, Marshall Township, and Bradford Woods.
Franklin Park has about 14,701 people living there. The suburb itself has a small-town atmosphere, giving you peace of mind about your children’s safety. These Pittsburgh public schools are great, too. In fact, they’re rated an A+, so you can trust that your kids will get a great education with top-quality teachers.
Marshall Township is a little smaller than Franklin Park (population: 9,319). As you might expect, you get the same small community vibe in that suburb. With A-rated public schools and family-friendliness, this suburb is a great choice when considering school districts in Pittsburgh, PA. When it comes to raising kids and buying a home, you can’t go wrong in Marshall Township.
Bradford Woods is another small suburb with impressive school ratings. There are only 1,267 people who call Bradford Woods home, making it the perfect place to live if you really enjoy the quiet, on top of a good school. From the public school systems to housing, this suburb scores highly. So, why not add it to your list of potential suburbs?
What are the best school districts in Pittsburgh?
Here are some of the best school districts in the Steel City:
North Allegheny School District
What is at the top of the list of best school districts in Pittsburgh? You’re looking at the North Allegheny School District! There are 8,499 students there between grades K-12. Roughly 71% of these students are proficient in mathematics, and 86% of these students are proficient in reading.
Mt. Lebanon School District
This is the runner-up for the best Pittsburgh school districts! Voted an A+ in academics, teachers, and college prep, you can’t go wrong there. About 5,361 students go to school in the Mt. Lebanon School District, with 91% proficient in reading and 79% in math.
Fox Chapel Area School District
As another of the leading school districts, Fox Chapel is a great choice for people looking to move to Pittsburgh with kids. With 4,093 students between PK and K-12, your kids should have no problem making friends. The math proficiency is 78%, and the reading proficiency is 87%.
Good luck with your school search
You now know the best schools in Pittsburgh, so we hope that takes some stress off your plate! Additionally, here are a few other guides that might help with your move to the city (The 5 Best Neighborhoods for Families in Pittsburgh and The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh). And lastly, if you end up moving to Pittsburgh and need a hand, don’t forget that Bellhop is just a phone call away. We have local Pittsburgh movers, offer long-distance moves in Pittsburgh, and can even help with last-minute Pittsburgh moves.
Book a move online today.
Other Pittsburgh Guides
What’s the Cost of Living in Pittsburgh?
The Five Best Neighborhoods for Families in Pittsburgh