Friday, September 30, 2011

School API percentile offers clear view of local schools' ranks

2011 public school API scores are released in August. Good to see that most schools have improved API scores. However, it becomes harder to tell the difference among schools. Is a school with API 930 much better than the one with API score of 910?

To answer this question, provides "school API percentile", which reflects a school's relative rank comparing with other local school in the same category. For example, an elementary school is only compared with other local elementary schools. If an elementary schools' API percentile is 20%, it means that there are 20% other local elementary schools fall behind this one.

With this data, we can clearly tell different API values between high schools and elementary schools. For example, Leland High's API score is 895 and it has 95% percentile, which means 95% local high schools have lower APIs than Leland High. But Los Alamitos Elementary's API score is 924 and its percentile is just 87%. Due to this difference, their local house average and median house prices are different too.

Surprised? You can check your interested schools on the website.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Overflow is not always the bad thing.

March is school enrollment season. Overflow happens every year, especially to those popular schools.
Many parents worry about overflows. It's reasonable because they spent a big fortune buying a house to attend that "popular" school. If their kids are overflowed to other schools, it may take a year for them to get back to the home school.

However, overflow is not always that bad. Usually, students are overflowed to the nearby schools within the same school district. Those schools' performance may not have big difference. Sometimes, students may be overflowed to a "better" school. For example, in Palo Alto Unified School district, Addison's students may be overflowed to Duveneck or Walter Hayes. Those three schools are all very good elementary schools.

If your kid is overflowed to a neighborhood school and you'd like to keep him/her there, you can submit an intra-district transfer request. Usually, your kid have high priority over the new registrations.

But the policy may vary in different school districts. The safest way is to call the district office to confirm.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Find overlapping school attendance area

School search is an important part in the house hunting, either for buying or for rent. Here, 'school' usually means all schools from grade K to grade 12. You probably start the search from a particular school, which can be an Elementary school, a Middle school or a High school. You may hear it from a friend, an agent or just from the local news. Then, you do the research and believe that this is the school you like. The next step is to find out what other schools have the overlapping attendance area. offers a tool to find the answer. In the following, we show you how to find overlapping schools step by step.

Figur 1
As highlighted in the Figure 1, we enter the school name into "Find school by name" search box and click the "Go" button. The according schools are shown on the map and the basic information about this school is shown in the bottom table.

Figure 2

Then, we click the school icon on the map or the school information row in the bottom table. After the click, we can see school attending area and the link of "show all overlapping schools" will appear beside the school icon, which is marked in Figure 2.

Figure 3

In the next, we click on the link "show all overlapping schools" and get all the overlapping attendance area for this school. All the possible overlapping combination are shown in the bottom table and all the overlapping schools appear on the map. While we move the mouse in the bottom table, schools for the highlight overlapping combination will show in RED color. This is demonstrated in Figure 3.

Figure 4

If we want to know how the overlapping attendance area look like, we can click on a overlapping combination in the bottom table. The overlapping attendance area for that combination will appear on the map, as shown in Figure 4.

Thus, given a particular school, we can clearly see all possible overlapping schools and the correspondent overlapping attendance areas.

For more cool features provided by, please explore our website at

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Find school by address

Having decent attending schools is one of most important factors for home buyers. It's not only because that parents want to send their kids to a good school, but also because that properties with decent schools have better re-selling values.
Therefore, finding school by address is a common problem faced by home-buyers. provides a flexible school searching tool to help them. As shown in the left figure, you just need to use "school search" panel and input the street address, then click on the "Go" button. The attending schools for that particular property are shown on the map. Plus, some basic school information, like API scores, are shown in the table at the bottom.

Besides finding school by address, you can also find school by API scores, by zip code, by city and by region. To know more about our cool features, please visit our website at
we also provide mobile service at

Monday, January 17, 2011

Same school but different coverage maps

Usually one school has only one coverage map. However, there are some exceptional cases. For example, Don Callejon Elementary school in Santa Clara Unified district has grade range from K to 8. That means that it serves as both Elementary and Middle schools. Interestingly, it has different coverages as Elementary school and Middle school. For such situation, we provide a "radio button" to allow user select different coverage for such a dual-role school, which is illustrated in the following graph.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Properties on the school boundary worth a double-check

We tried our best to make sure the school boundary data is accurate and up-to-date. But some times, the accuracy of school look up by address may also be affected by Google geocoding (i.e., a service we use to translate an address into a  longitude/latitude location), especially for houses on the school boundary.

Recently we  found such a case. As shown in the following figure, you can see that property is marked as the blue point, but Google geocoding returns a different point on the map. Although the two points are close to each other, they have different attending schools, because the property is just on the school boundary.

Under such a situation, even with our correct boundary data, the returned search results are wrong due to Google geocoding's inaccuracy. It's hard for us to completely avoid such mistakes. But, fortunately, in most cases, only properties on the boundary may face such problems. Hence, we encourage users to verify the school district office before they make any financial decision. just launched mobile services

We are pleased to announce that has launched mobile services.
By using this service, you can find attending schools by address with your mobile phone. You can either enter an address or just use your current location for school search.
With this "on the go" school locator, you can easily find attending schools for a property when you go to an Open House.
Please check it out.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why is different

Why is different? In my opinion, at least has following unique features.
  1. School-aware real estate search
  2. combines School and Real Estate search together by using our patent-pending "school-aware real estate search". It is totally different from traditional real estate search where you first find properties, then verify attending schools and related school information. With "school-aware real estate search", you start with school search. Once you find the target schools with our flexible school search tool, you can just search homes within that school attendance area. Thus, you won't bother to check properties which is actually out of your interested area and won't waste time to verify schools with a long candidate property list.
  3. Flexible school search tools
  4. Our search tool has the following capabilities.
    • You can find attending schools by residential address, zipcode, city, region or school name.
    • You can find  school by API scores. It can be a single school's API or the API combination of Elementary, Middle and High schools. The overlapping school attendance area is shown on the map in the latter case.
    • Given a particular school, you can find its overlapping schools. For example, given an Elementary school, you can find its overlapping Middle and High schools. 
To conclude, these unique features make different from other related websites or services.

You can go to to check it out by yourself. Any feedback or suggestions are highly appreciated.

School district changes in Dublin

In Nov. 2010, school board has approved school boundary changes for east Dublin schools. This mainly affects three schools: Fallon School, Green Elementary and Kolb Elementary. Here is the summary of the change*.

  1.  Fallon School is converted K-8 to 6-8 middle school.
  2.  Kolb Elementary is scheduled to open in the fall of 2011.
  3. Two areas Bent Tree and Silvera Ranch was belonged to Green Elementary. After fall 2011, students in these areas will attend Kolb Elementary school.
All these changes are reflected on The following figure shows attendance area of new Kolb school with the highlight of Bent Tree/Silvera Ranch area.

* For more detailed information, please visit
** Data source is Dublin Unified School District page.