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Exploring the Best Schools in South Pasadena: A Comprehensive Guide

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South Pasadena, a city renowned for its picturesque streets and vibrant community, holds a special appeal for families thanks to its exemplary educational institutions. From public to private schools, South Pasadena offers many educational options that cater to diverse needs, ensuring students from kindergarten to adult learners receive top-notch education. This blog explores what makes South Pasadena a prime choice for parents and students seeking quality education. Whether you are a new resident or considering a move, understanding the educational landscape is crucial, and our guide to the best schools in South Pasadena is here to assist you.

Why South Pasadena Schools Stand Out

The educational prowess of South Pasadena is primarily anchored by the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD), established in 1886. Nestled in the West San Gabriel Valley, SPUSD is a testament to longstanding educational excellence, currently serving around 4,800 students across five schools. What sets South Pasadena schools apart is not just their historical significance but their current performance metrics. With 84% of students demonstrating proficiency in reading and 79% in math, the district proudly exceeds state averages. These figures reflect a robust academic environment that consistently prepares students for higher educational pursuits and real-world challenges.

The SPUSD’s commitment to academic excellence is further underscored by its impressive 95% graduation rate among 12th graders. This high graduation rate is a clear indicator of the supportive and effective educational framework that South Pasadena schools uphold, providing a nurturing ground for student success and well-rounded development.

Public Schools Excellence

South Pasadena's public schools form the backbone of its educational excellence. The city's public school system is structured to cater to students from the elementary level all the way through high school, ensuring continuity and consistency in educational quality and approach.

A. Top Elementary Schools in South Pasadena

Elementary education serves as the foundation of a child's academic career, and South Pasadena's elementary schools are designed to start students off on the right foot. Here are the three prominent elementary schools in the district:

Arroyo Vista Elementary School

  • Location: 335 El Centro St., South Pasadena, CA 91030
  • Grades: Kindergarten – Grade 5
  • Students: 683

Marengo Elementary School

  • Location: 1400 Marengo Ave., South Pasadena, CA 91030
  • Grades: Kindergarten – Grade 5
  • Students: 761

Monterey Hills Elementary School

  • Location: 1624 Via Del Rey, South Pasadena, CA 91030
  • Grades: Kindergarten – Grade 5
  • Students: 584

These schools are not just learning environments; they are nurturing communities that encourage young minds to explore and grow. The emphasis on creating a balanced educational experience is evident in both their curriculums and extracurricular activities, ensuring that students develop both academically and personally.

B. Premier Middle School Education

Transitioning from elementary to middle school, South Pasadena Middle School serves as the only middle school in the district but stands out for its comprehensive educational programs.

South Pasadena Middle School

  • Location: 1500 Fair Oaks, South Pasadena, CA 91030
    Grades: 6 - 8
    Students: 1,146

The middle school phase is crucial as students prepare for the complexities of high school education. South Pasadena Middle School excels in providing a supportive environment where students are encouraged to engage in deeper learning and critical thinking. The school’s diverse array of programs helps students navigate their burgeoning interests and potential career paths, setting a solid groundwork for their future.

C. High Standards at South Pasadena Senior High School

As students approach their last years of high school, South Pasadena Senior High School is a place they can rely on for strong academics and plenty of activities that help them get ready for college and life after graduation.

South Pasadena Senior High School

  • Location: 1401 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, CA 91030
  • Grades: 9 - 12
  • tudents: 1,450

With a commitment to fostering intellectual growth and character development, South Pasadena High offers a variety of Advanced Placement (AP) courses, arts programs, and athletic opportunities. The high school's emphasis on a well-rounded education ensures students are prepared to tackle the demands of college and the working world as fully developed individuals.

Private School Alternatives in South Pasadena

For families considering private education, South Pasadena offers several esteemed private schools that provide distinct educational philosophies and smaller class sizes. These institutions complement the public schools by offering specialized programs and individualized attention to students.

Holy Family Catholic School

Location: 1301 Rollin St, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Grades: Prekindergarten - Grade 8
Students: 310

Almansor Academy (Institute for Redesign of Learning)

Location: 1955 Fremont Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Grades: Grades 1-12
Students: 139


Location: 1101 Arroyo Verde Rd., South Pasadena, CA 91030
Grades: Kindergarten – Grade 6
Students: 24

St. James Parish Day School & Kindergarten

Location: 1325 Monterey Rd, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Grades: Nursery/Preschool-Kindergarten
Students: 67

These schools not only focus on academic excellence but also emphasize the development of moral values and community involvement, providing a holistic education that shapes students into capable and responsible individuals. The average acceptance rate for these schools is 90%, indicating a high level of accessibility compared to the statewide average.

Preschool Education in South Pasadena

Recognizing the importance of early childhood education, South Pasadena hosts a variety of preschools that provide young learners with a nurturing and enriching environment. These preschools are dedicated to laying a strong educational foundation through play-based learning and creative exploration.


Location: 1507 Garfield Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Ages: 2 1/2 to 5 years old

St. James’ Parish Day School
Location: 1325 Monterey Road, South Pasadena, CA. 91030
Ages: 3 to 4 years old

Oneonta Cooperative Nursery School

Location: 1515 Garfield Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Ages: 2 to 5 years old

Room to Bloom Preschool & Child Care

Location: 1643 Indiana Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Ages: 3 to 5 years old

Colonial House Preschool

Location: 1124 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Ages: 2 to 6 years old

These preschools are committed to providing the highest level of care and development opportunities, fostering individual expression and growth in a welcoming and stimulating setting.

Homeschooling in South Pasadena

In South Pasadena, homeschooling is a viable option for families seeking a more personalized and flexible approach to education. This alternative educational path allows parents to tailor the curriculum to their child's unique needs and pace of learning. South Pasadena provides access to various resources that support homeschooling families.

Hodis Learning & Music

Courses: Kindergarten – Grade 12
Website: Hodis Learning & Music Homeschool Courses

Enlightium Academy

Courses: Kindergarten – Grade 12
Website: Enlightium Academy Homeschool Program

These institutions offer comprehensive courses ranging from basic subjects to specialized programs, all designed to meet or exceed traditional schooling standards. The flexibility of homeschooling paired with the support of established educational programs ensures that students do not miss out on quality education.

After-School Programs in South Pasadena

After-school programs in South Pasadena, also known as Out-of-School Time (OST) programs, play a crucial role in enhancing the educational experience of students. These programs provide additional learning opportunities and engage students in diverse activities beyond the regular school hours.

Right At SchoolLocation:

Arroyo Vista Elementary, Marengo Elementary, Monterey

Hills Elementary, South Pasadena Middle
Grade: Kindergarten – Grade 8

Camp Med

Location: 815 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Grades: 1 - 5

Beyond the Classroom

Location: 304 Pasadena Ave., South Pasadena, CA 91030
Grades: Kindergarten – Grade 5

These programs are designed to provide a safe and stimulating environment where students can explore new interests, develop essential social skills, and reinforce their academic learning through fun and educational activities.

Special Education Services

South Pasadena schools are committed to inclusivity and provide specialized education services for students with learning and emotional challenges. These programs are tailored to meet the diverse needs of students, ensuring that all have the opportunity to succeed academically and socially.

Almansor Academy

Location: 1955 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Grade: Kindergarten – 22 years old

Monterey Hills Elementary School

Location: 1624 Via Del Rey, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Grade: Kindergarten – Grade 5

These schools offer supportive environments where students with Severe Learning Disabilities (SLD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Emotional Disturbance (ED), Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and Other Health Impairments (OHI) receive personalized attention and instruction tailored to their specific needs.

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Derek Vaughan


Palm Ave

South Pasadena, CA 91030


Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Great information for both potential buyers & residents in the area. Thanks for sharing this data with us in the Rain!


May 13, 2024 12:42 PM