Sonoma County continues to be ranked as one of the top 55 metropolitan regions in the United States for most-educated residents by It’s no wonder, that education is a priority, with Sonoma County offering a number of top-rated K-12 schools and a variety of innovative charter schools as well as quality higher education option.

K-12 Education

Sonoma County schools excel in providing their students a quality education and preparing them for college and workforce readiness. Seventy-five percent of the schools in the region have been recognized as California Distinguished Schools and ten have been accredited as National Blue Ribbon Schools.

The region is divided into 40 school districts serving kindergarten through twelfth-grade. There are a total of 174 public schools: 98 elementary schools, 24 middle/junior high schools and 18 high schools, approximately 64 private schools, and several alternative and independent study schools to choose from. As in many regions, Sonoma County’s demographic of students continues to change and evolve. With this, the Sonoma County school system has stepped up to provide greater advanced, language, and special services for its diversifying community.

If you are looking for a place to begin familiarizing yourself with Sonoma County’s schools and districts, we recommend you look at Sonoma County’s Office of Education site listed below. As well we list several others sites to help you get a balanced perspective of good public and private schools in the region.

Sonoma County Office of Education
Site includes maps of school districts, contact information, lists of schools, test scores, etc.

Sonoma County Office of Education District finder
Tool to look up your school district by street address.
The country’s leading source of information on public and private school performance.

Private School Review
A review of private schools in Sonoma County.

Public School Review
A review of public elementary schools in Sonoma County.

Career Technical Education
The the CTE Foundation help ensure that Sonoma County students are ready for the jobs of tomorrow

Sonoma County High School Districts

Higher Education

Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa Junior College

Established in 1918, Santa Rosa Junior College serves more than 28,000 students each year, offering associate degree programs in more than 100 majors (many designed to transfer to four-year colleges and universities), as well as career and technical education, certificate programs, and online classes. In addition to its 100+ acre campus in Santa Rosa, SRJC operates a 35-acre satellite campus in Petaluma, a Public Safety Center training police officers and firefighters in Windsor, and a 260-acre farm in Forestville that houses its agriculture, wine, and food programs.

Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University is a regionally serving public university of more than 9,000 students. With a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, Sonoma State offers 41 undergraduate and 16 graduate degree programs utilizing the innovative programs and resources of the North Bay. In addition to the university’s 269-acre campus, Sonoma State owns and operates 4,160 acres of preserves for research and education in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Officially opening in 1961, Sonoma State has more than 70,000 alumni across 50 states and in 56 countries. The university is ranked in the top 20 of the “Top Public Schools,” according to the U.S. News and World Report, and Money Magazine ranked the university as the 12th best college in the nation for transfer students in 2019.

Empire College of Law, was accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California in 1982 and offers a Juris Doctor program. Starting in spring of 2023, Empire College of Law is a branch campus of Monterey College of Law, an accredited nonprofit law school. The University of Northern California is a highly selective graduate school in Petaluma offering programs in biomedical engineering and technology. Meridian University in Petaluma is committed to teaching the disciplines of business, psychology and education with an integrative curriculum that emphasizes the forces transforming our culture today. The North Coast School of Education offers seven teacher credentialing programs. Their goal is to develop a workforce of teachers and leaders who engage in research-based educational practices, understand the importance of college and career readiness, and are willing to develop and implement innovative methods and ideas in California public classrooms, schools and districts.