The pandemic, for better or for worse, has normalized the idea of online schooling.
But even before COVID-19, some students were already exclusively learning virtually. Niche, a ranking and reviews site for schools across the country, released its list of the top online schools in the U.S. today, and a Bay Area school retained the top spot for the third year in a row.
Stanford Online High School is the No. 1 Best Online High School in America, according to Niche, out of 380 online schools.
Schools that have online courses in addition to a brick-and-mortar presence are not considered online schools, nor are schools that are currently holding classes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Niche also released its annual list of the top California public school districts this week, analyzing multiple data points, including metrics on teachers, health and safety.
Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School claimed the top spot for the second year in a row. The Palo Alto Unified School District came in second and the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District came in fifth.
The Tamalpais Union High School District, No. 4 in 2019, fell to No. 10.
The Bay Area ranked particularly high this year on Niche’s list of the best private high schools in America, with five coming in the top 20. The College Preparatory School came in fourth, Stanford Online High School took eighth, Castilleja School came in fourteenth, Crystal Springs Uplands School took fifteenth and The Nueva School took the eighteenth spot.
Niche bases its rankings on U.S. Department of Education data self-reported by school districts and from school reviews, test scores and survey responses.