5 of The Best Schools in San Antonio: SchoolSparrow’s Hidden Gems

Finding an acceptable public school can be a difficult task for parents who are moving to or within the San Antonio Metro Area. There are so many schools, it is not possible to visit them all to find those that seem like good matches for your family. If you are like most people, you develop a list of possible schools through word of mouth, and you find some highly rated schools on school ranking websites. 

But proceed with caution. 

Those school ranking websites are not factoring in parent income, which has the largest impact on student test performance at a school. So, a school that is scored a 9 or 10 on other school ranking sites actually doesn’t tell you a lot about the school itself, but what it does tell you is that the school is most likely located in a privileged area. These areas often have the most expensive real estate in the metropolitan area, and very little diversity. 

There are so many great schools in San Antonio, many of which have dual language programs, but not all of these schools are well represented on school ranking websites. Many students in San Antonio are getting a holistic education, with 79% of students in the San Antonio ISD participating in the fine arts.

These five schools are five of the best schools in San Antonio, that are underrated by conventional school ranking websites. Because of low scores on sites such as GreatSchools, these schools are very often overlooked, but at SchoolSparrow, these are some of the highest ranking schools in all of San Antonio. We like to call them our “hidden gems”.

Read about SchoolSparrow’s more equitable ranking system that identifies these hidden gems.

1. Morrill Elementary – San Antonio, TX (11 minute drive from the Alamo)

Morrill Elementary is one of the very best schools in San Antonio, located in Mission San Jose. However, when you look at its GreatSchool score of 6/10, you wouldn’t know it.

Morrill Elementary. Image: http://harlandalemes.aws1.sharpschool.com/about_the_school/directions___contact

Morrill Elementary is an A+ according to SchoolSparrow, with grades of an A or higher at every grade level.

Part of what makes this school a hidden gem is its test scores. At Morrill’s parent income level, the reading/language arts standardized test scores should average about 32. Morrill students shatter this score, with an average score of 53.0!

This score is 65% above expectation, and lands Morrill Elementary at number one on this list. 

The average list price per square foot of a home in this zip code is $106, which is below average for San Antonio. The average home value is $124,051 in zip code 78214. This makes this area the most affordable of all of the hidden gems on this list.

To go along with all of this, Morrill Elementary is closer to downtown than any other school on this list.

Parents looking for schools for their children in San Antonio should take a very close look at Morrill.

Address: 5200 S Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78214 Website: http://harlandalemes.aws1.sharpschool.com/

2. William Paschall Elementary – San Antonio, TX (16 minute drive from the Alamo)

William Paschall Elementary is the most diverse school on this entire list, located in  the Sunrise neighborhood. It has a SchoolSparrow diversity score of 20 out of a possible 40.

William Paschall Elementary. Image: https://www.facebook.com/1414273658704422/photos/a.1414282042036917/1900063233458793/?type=1&theater

Paschall Elementary gets a grade of A- on SchoolSparrow. This is a significant increase from its GreatSchools score of 4/10.

With its A- grade, Paschall Elementary should be scoring closer to a 10/10 on GreatSchools.

The reason for this A- grade is because standardized test scores exceed the scores that would be expected based on parent income. The expected score is 34.46, but students actually score 10% higher than this, at an average of 38.0.

The average list price per square foot of a home in this zip code is $106, which is below average for San Antonio. The average home value is $166,310 in zip code 78244. This school is in a very affordable area of San Antonio.

William Paschall Elementary is the definition of a hidden gem, as GreatSchools rates it as a below average school, when in reality students exceed expectations. It is time to stop overlooking Paschall Elementary.

Address: 6351 Lakeview Dr, San Antonio, TX 78244 Website: https://www.judsonisd.org/Paschall

3. Dellview Elementary – San Antonio, TX (17 minute drive from the Alamo)

Dellview Elementary is another school that scores a pedestrian 4/10 on GreatSchools.

SchoolSparrow grades Dellview an A, which means it should be scoring close to an 8 or 9.

Dellview Elementary. Image: https://www.neisd.net/Page/2963

Dellview is another school that outperforms expectations. They are outperforming expected test scores by 21%. The expected score on the reading/language ats portion of the MAP test is 35, but students actually average an average score of 42.

Dellview Elementary is trending up, as the test scores are exceeding expectations by 11.9% more than the previous year.

All of this contributes to the fact that a 4/10 is far too low of a score for Dellview Elementary. This score might cause some people to not take a look at the school at all. However, Dellview is a hidden gem in San Antonio that every parent should give consideration.

The median list price of homes in this zip code is $133, with an average home value of $165,597.

Address: 7235 Dewhurst Rd, San Antonio, TX 78213 Website: https://www.neisd.net/dellview/

4. Colonial Hills Elementary – San Antonio, TX (15 minute drive from the Alamo)

Yet another school in San Antonio that is given an A grade by SchoolSparrow is Colonial Hills Elementary School.

Colonial Hills Elementary. Image: https://www.neisd.net/colonialhills

However, when you look at GreatSchools, Colonial Hills Elementary only appears to be an average school, with a score of 6/10.

This is not the case, as Colonial Hills is a top elementary school in all of San Antonio.

Much like the other schools on this list, Colonial Hills Elementary surpasses standardized expectations by quite a few points. With expectations for the reading/language arts portion of the map test being 33, Colonial Heights students actually achieve an average score of 40.

A 22% performance above expectations is the main reason that Colonial Hills finds itself on this list. Give this school a careful look as a possible school for your children.

The median list price of homes in this zip code is $139, with an average home value of $273,148.

Address: 2627 Kerrybrook Ct, San Antonio, TX 78230 Website: https://www.neisd.net/colonialhills

5. Gillette Elementary – San Antonio, TX (16 minute drive from the Alamo)

Like a few other schools on this list, Gillette Elementary gets an A grade according to SchoolSparrow.

When you look at GreatSchools, Gillette has a below average score, which is why we consider it a “hidden gem”. It gives Gillette Elementary a 4/10. This score is much too low, and with an A grade, it should be scoring close to a 9/10.

Gillette Elementary. Image: https://www.businessyab.com/explore/united_states/texas/bexar_county/san_antonio/harlandale/gillette_boulevard/625/gillette-elementary-school-210-989-3100.html

Gillette Elementary exceeds standardized test expectations more than all but one school on this list. Based on parent income, the expected score is 33, but students at Gillette average a 43 which is outperforming expectations by over 30%, which is outstanding. 

The average list price per square foot of a home in this zip code is $119, which is below average for San Antonio. The average home value is $138,498 in zip code 78221.

Like all of these schools, Gillette Elementary deserves heavy consideration from all parents looking for schools in San Antonio.

Address: 625 Gillette Blvd Bldg. 1, San Antonio, TX 78221 Website: http://harlandalegillette.aws1.sharpschool.com/

BONUS. Wilshire Elementary – San Antonio, TX (14 minute drive from the Alamo)

A school that is too good to leave off the list is Wilshire Elementary, located north in San Antonio. 

Wilshire Elementary. Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypCsqNsWzRg

It is one of the most diverse schools, both on this list, and in San Antonio in general. It has a SchoolSparrow diversity score of 20 out of a possible 40.

Beyond this, Wilshire Elementary is yet another school in San Antonio that exceeds reading/language arts standardized test expectations, when adjusted for parent income.

Wilshire Elementary students were expected to score an average of 32, but actually scored an average of 37. 

Students at this school exceeded expectations by 16%, yet the school only scores a 4/10 on GreatSchools. Wilshire scores an A- on SchoolSparrow, which is closer to a 9/10.

This GreatSchools score causes people to count Wilshire Elementary out as a potential option, when in reality, it is a quality school that should not be overlooked.

The average list price per square foot of a home in this zip code is $116, which is below average for San Antonio. The average home value is $155,163 in zip code 78218. This is one of many schools on this list located in affordable parts of San Antonio. 

Address: 6523 Cascade Pl, San Antonio, TX 78218 Website: https://www.neisd.net/wilshire

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