Back to class: Pasadena's top-rated and most-improved public elementary schools

Back to class: Pasadena's top-rated and most-improved public elementary schoolsPhoto: Unsplash
Published on August 27, 2019

How strong are the public elementary schools in Pasadena?

With a fresh school year kicking off, we analyzed newly released data from — which include comprehensive report cards, rankings and reviews — to identify those schools that made the biggest strides last year and those that lead their peers.

Washington Elementary School's overall rating improved the most among similar schools in Pasadena, rising from a C- to a C+, according to data from Niche.

For the 2019-2020 school year, the school, located at 1520 N. Raymond Ave., enrolls 573 students. Washington Elementary School serves a diverse population: 83% of students identify as Hispanic and 13% identify as black. Niche graded the school a C+ for academics (on an A-D scale).

The overall ranking comes from Niche's proprietary algorithms. A school's ranking might change due to many factors, including the relative rankings of similar schools and whether a school gained or lost peers due to openings or closings. Other numbers come from current public data from the U.S. government.

Academically, 29% of Washington Elementary School's students scored as proficient or above in math, and 30% did so in reading. That's compared to city averages of 37% in math and 45% in reading. The school's improved overall rating is notable in that it serves a less-affluent population, with 85% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, 21% more than the city average.

It's not the only school that's climbed Niche's rankings this year. Hamilton Elementary School saw its overall rating improve from a B to a B+. The school is located at 2089 Rose Villa St. and currently serves 598 students, of whom 44% identify as Hispanic, 24% identify as white and 16% identify as Asian.

Niche graded Hamilton Elementary School a B+ for academics on an A-D scale. The school's latest math proficiency was at 58%, and reading proficiency was 66%.

Willard Elementary School also saw improvement in its overall rating, from B- to B. The school is located at 301 S. Madre St. and has 598 students currently enrolled, of whom 74% identify as Hispanic.

Niche graded Willard Elementary School a B for academics on an A-D scale. Its latest math proficiency was at 38%, and reading proficiency was 53%. The school also serves a less-affluent community, with 69% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

While some public elementary schools in Pasadena are moving up the ranks, others are consistently top-rated overall, including:

  • Eugene Field Elementary School, with an overall rating of A-.
  • Don Benito Fundamental, with a B rating overall.
  • San Rafael Elementary School, rated B overall.

Want more of the latest intel on Pasadena schools? Hoodline also analyzed the latest Niche ratings for the city's public high schools.

This story was created automatically using data from, then reviewed by an editor before publication. Click here for more about how and why Hoodline is automating local news. Got thoughts about what we're doing? Go here to share your feedback.