Educational opportunities are a big factor in many people’s choice of a home town. There are the K-12 schools for one thing, but there also are kids’ sports and extracurricular offerings to consider. On every point, Lake Forest offers just what you may be looking for.


Lake Forest’s K-12 schools are part of Saddleback Valley Unified School District—one of the top school districts in California. In most neighborhoods, homes are within walking district of an elementary school, and both Serrano Middle School and El Toro High School are centrally located.


The elementary schools are lively, happy places, with lots of parent involvement—on any school day, you’ll see the volunteer parents’ cars lining the streets. Each grade has its annual special event, such as building model California missions, going whale watching, an overnight trip to the capital city of Sacramento, or a week-long Science Camp adventure. Here is a little bit of one parent’s online review of Rancho Canada Elementary school. “This school makes me wish I was in school again. . . .So many parents help out at school, and the amazing thing is many of the parents WORK full time! The kids always dress up for spirit day and the teachers all get into spirit day too. . . .”  And speaking of working parents, the elementary schools have district-managed before and after school care programs at very reasonable rates. The Kid’s Factory after-school drop-in program is around $50 year where the kids can enjoy games, sports, arts and crafts and special activities until 4:30 pm at most schools. The TLC or The Learning Connection program offers more extended care from 7a.m. to 6 p.m. and they also have great low cost summer programs/camps.


Many parents dread the day when their child switches to middle school, but the faculty and administration at Serrano Intermediate are masters at helping to ease that transition. Here is what one teacher-in-training posted in an online review of Serrano. “As a prospective educator, I observed English and History classes. . .and was amazed at the quality of education. Courses were taught in an engaging way for students, with one teacher providing the class with advanced technology, and another with interactive group activities. . .” The Principal’s Message on the website says, “Serrano believes that intermediate school is a time of transition for our students as they explore their creative and academic talents. Serrano offers many opportunities for students to be involved in academic, social, and creative outlets. . .”


“Going to school” isn’t all there is to “getting schooled”: extracurricular activities broaden interests and build character. For elementary and middle school kids there are so many choices! For organized sports there are AYSO Soccer, NJB Basketball, Little League, and swim teams, and tennis teams, to name just a few. The city of Lake Forest and Saddleback Valley School District both have catalogues of enrichment “classes” of all sorts.


If you have current or future high school students in the family, you can look forward to their having a great experience at El Toro High School.  Academics are of the highest quality, and opportunities to participate in sports, clubs, and organizations abound.  Wikipedia notes that at El Toro High School, “Two-thirds of the student body are involved in athletics, visual and performing arts, and/or other campus activities.”


In short, Lake Forest is an ideal—even idyllic—place to grow up.  Consider visiting one or more of the schools: you’ll like what you see.


I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the schools in our little town of Lake Forest. What schools are you proud of in Lake Forest? Share your opinion below.



Jackie Barikhan and Right Choice Mortgage are pleased to be a part of Lake Forest and the Orange County Community. Remember us for all of your home financing and real estate needs. Call or text us at 949 600-0944 when you have questions about home loans or interest rates. We’d love to help you get the best home loan when you are ready to buy a home or refinance.