A common question that I receive from people relocating to Orlando or Central Florida is What are the best schools or school zones in Orlando?
Schools are such a personal decision because what is important to people or parents varies from person to person or parent to parent. Orange County has the ninth-largest school district in the United States and the fourth largest in Florida. The district serves more than 206,000 students. This can make searching for the “best” school somewhat of an obscure objective. As a parent of two myself, schools and school zones are certainly an important factor in my decision-making for where my family and I live and own real estate. I am sure it is for you as well.
It seems that I am more often asked about public and private schools. So in this blog, I’ll speak to mostly that, however, keep in mind, there are plenty of reputable charter, magnet, and voucher programs across different schools in Central Florida as well.
What are the Best Schools in Orlando and Central Florida?
If you prefer to watch a video of the Best Schools in Central Florida, please reference the video link above.
Here is what you will see in the video and in this article:
1. How to find the ranking of schools and all of the interesting data points on the different websites.
2. A few of the public and private schools in Orlando or Central Florida that are highly ranked on multiple sources.
3. Areas of Central Florida that have the sweet-spot zones where you can find two or more levels of public schools where each are highly ranked.
*Please keep in mind that the schools mentioned here are not my opinion of the best. These are the schools that are high;y ranked on multiple sources.
Where to research school ratings for Central Florida schools:
There are two popular companies that have websites to find school rankings which are Great Schools and Public School Review. The websites are https://www.greatschools.org/ and https://www.publicschoolreview.com/.
Navigating the school ranking websites to research things important to you:
It seems that popular search platforms like Zillow, Compass, etc. advertise rankings from Great Schools. If you are to click on the rankings on a particular home, it will take you to the Great Schools website. From there, you can look into lots of details on the particular schools. These details include test scores, student readiness, college success, equity, student demographics, and more.
If you care or want to cross-reference these, then Public School Review will have more information and possibly different rankings as well. There are graphs and charts presented in a nice layout on Public School Review. A map area of the school zone is shown in the bottom right on this site. A link for the other schools in the area is also provided on Public School Review.
The schools that are listed in this blog and in the video consist of schools that were top-ranked on both greatschools.org and publicschoolreview.com. Charter and magnet schools were not included.
There is an example I walkthrough in the video above.
Highly ranked public schools in Central Florida:
In no particular order, here is the handful of schools that ranked highly on both mentioned websites:
Top-Rated Central Florida High Schools:
Top-Rated Central Florida Middle Schools:
Top-Rated Central Florida Elementary Schools:
- Independence Elementary
- Audubon Park K-8
- Princeton Elementary
- Whispering Oak Elementary
- Bay Lake Elementary
- Laureate Park Elementary
- Windermere Elementary
- Heathrow Elementary
- Woodlands Elementary
- Wekiva Elementary
Top Ranking Private Schools in Central Florida:
Tuitions for the top-ranked private schools in Orlando:
Lake Highland Prep: Prekindergarten = $15,300; Kindergarten = $16,100; Grades 1-5 = $19,500; Grade 6 = $22,500; Grades 7-12 = $24,400.
Trinity Prep: $24,385
Bishop Moore: Catholic = $12,984.00; Non-Catholic = $17,952.00
*other fees may apply in addition to the tuition.
Areas of Central Florida with multiple high-ranked schools across grade levels:
- Lake Nona High, lake Nona Middle
- Avalon Middle / Timber Creek High
- Independence Elementary / Windermere High
- Audubon K-8 / Winter Park High
- Lawton Chiles Middle / Jackson Heights Middle / Hagerty High School
There are other schools that were not mentioned or featured in the video that do have good reputations among local families. It is encouraged that you do your own research for schools. This article and video exist only to assist you in your search. We hope that you have found it to be a helpful starting point.