San Dieguito Union High School District and Canyon Crest Academy rank #1 in Niche School Rating

San Dieguito Union High School District and Canyon Crest Academy continue to climb in the school ratings, recently being named the number one district and high school in San Diego County, according to a news release. Niche’s 2018 Best Public High Schools ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education, along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users.

CCA also ranked as number two in the state of California, and is ranked #19 of 17,867 public high schools in America. The district also placed two other schools in the county’s top 10, Torrey Pines High School at number two and San Dieguito Academy at number six, the news release stated. The San Dieguito Union High School District is ranked number five in the state of California and Torrey Pines High School is ranked number 10 in the state of California, according to Niche’s 2018 Best Public High School ranking. Visit

“We are very proud of our district and our school and also proud of our partner down the street, Torrey Pines High School. We are happy to be ranked number one in the county, but how great is it that Torrey is number two and SDA is number six? We have great educators in this district,and it is a district that has learned to do more with less, since we are the lowest funded high school district in the state of California,” says CCA Foundation Executive Director, Joanne Couvrette. “The Canyon Crest Academy Foundation’s theme for this year is ‘Grit and Gratitude’ and we are very grateful for our teachers, our students, and our parents who keep the focus on education and enrichment.”

The top-ranked San Dieguito Union High School District is number 77 out of 77 high school districts in state funding, receiving just $8,319 per student in Local Control Funding Formula monies. The state average is $9,750 per student. “There are currently 12,799 students enrolled in the district, so if the district were to receive just the average funding it would be $18,315,369 more for these top-ranked high schools and their talented teachers and students,” the news release stated. The school foundations, through the generosity of its donors, contribute approximately $6 million to the school district programs each year, to fulfill their unified missions of enriching the experiences of district students.

The gap in funding for the top-ranked district in the county is much higher when compared to a district with comparable demographics, the Los Gatos-Saratoga District, which receives $4,934 more in per student funding, according to the news release. With the district’s current enrollment of 12,799, an additional $4,934 per student would amount to a total of $63,150,266 if the district were funded at an equivalent per student rate as Los Gatos, the news release said. Many parents credit the school district administrators for maintaining such a high level of performance on such a comparatively low amount of funding. Said one district parent in the news release, “I think we need to sing the praises of this school district’s management team, who are obviously proving that you can do a lot with a little. The number one district on the smallest budget is a very impressive accomplishment!”

Canyon Crest Academy recently hosted a parent panel for the school’s new student orientation, which included former and current CCA parents answering questions and giving tips to parents of the entering freshman class. According to Kelley Vacheron, former CCA Grad Nite chair, and parent of three CCA graduates, “This is a private school education at a public school price, free! Of course, we all pay our taxes, but there are a lot of families out there paying a $35,000 tuition who cannot boast this level of education. We are so lucky. This is a great community of parents, who are involved in the school in so many ways.”

She also mentioned that Canyon Crest Academy is also one of the few schools in the county to offer a Grad Nite at the school site, when many other schools have moved it to an offsite location due to lack of volunteer support, the news release said.

Couvrette encouraged parents at the orientation to sign up to volunteer, saying, “I know a lot of the kids will tell their parents that they shouldn’t volunteer anymore, once they are in high school, but we have plenty of volunteer opportunities at the school and your student won’t even know you are here. Every year, the schools depend on the PTSAs and foundations to help them find volunteers to staff registration, Back-to-SchoolNight, Wellness Days, and much more.”

“Most of us in this district take it for granted that we have great schools, staffed by hard-working, dedicated teachers and administrators, so we never even think to attend a school board meeting unless we have a complaint to voice. But wouldn’t it be great if every parent took the time to attend just one meeting this year to let our district officials know we support their hard work, and encourage them to continue to put students first and focus on the mission in a positive, productive way to keep our district at the top of the educational landscape,” says Vacheron in the news release.

Parents are invited to attend the next SDUHSD school board meeting, and all school board meetings, to express their gratitude and voice opinions on all educational concerns. The next meeting is on Sept. 14 at 6:30 pm at the school district offices, 710 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas. A complete list of school district board meetings can be found at

– News release information submitted by the Canyon Crest Academy, Torrey Pines High School and San Dieguito Academy Foundations.