Schools Serving Los Gatos
Just west and south of the intersection of Blossom Hill Road and Harwood Road sits a neighborhood of Los Gatos homes with three subdivisions: Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos & Surmont. Nearby public landmarks are Belgatos Park and the Walgreen’s shopping center (corner of Blossom Hill and Harwood), with a Mountain Mike’s Pizza and a Starbucks coffee shop.
For many Los Gatans, all three of these east Los Gatos areas (and sometimes a broader one still) are generally referred to as “Belwood” or “Belwood-Belgatos.” (The Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police cert map identifies the whole region plus the Strathmore neighborhood, which is across Blossom Hill Road, as “Belwood” generally.)
The terrain is nearly level, with very low, gentle hills over most of the area. With winding, mostly tree-lined roads and tidy houses, it’s a very attractive neighborhood overall. For those looking for an arduous climb on foot or bike, though, Harwood Road provides a nice challenge. At the top, you’ll see a fantastic view of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley for your trouble. (There are some challenges to be found in the open space trails, too.)
Belgatos Park and trails
At the middle of this community is the very inviting Belgatos Park, a scenic, setting which includes a playground near the parking lot, picnic areas, restrooms, trails into the hills (with some wonderful valley views), and access to the Heinz Open Space Preserve and its network of trails also. (And it’s not far to the Santa Rosa Open Space area either.)
One hill attracts kids who enjoy sliding down it on bits of cardboard, and thus has been nicknamed “cardboard hill” for decades. Most of the time these cardboard sledding enthusiasts are pretty good about picking up their “sledding vehicles” when done.
The paths are popular with people on foot, but also those on mountain bikes or horseback. As there are a few larger properties which are zoned for horses in the area, this is a very nice equestrian option.
For photographers, the park has abundant worthy subjects year round, both of the open space and the valley views below. In the early morning hours, or near sunset, you may see some deer too. But be careful: bobcats and mountain lions are in these hills also.
What are homes like in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont?
Earlier today on my Valley of Hearts Delight blog, I wrote about the K12Niche.com report on the best public high schools in our area, with a smaller study on private ones as well. How did the high schools serving Los Gatos fare?
First, let’s just touch on what the Niche Report was looking for in the studied schools. Their criteria for grading or judging the school’s success included a variety of factors, including academics, athletics, safety, facilities, teachers, etc. – so very broad.
Los Gatos is served by three regular public high schools which were included in this study:
- Los Gatos High School, which covers most of the town, ranked # 81 of the 41 schools included
- Leigh High School ranked # 16 of 41
- Westmont High School ranked #19 of 41
How about our nearest neighbors?
Saratoga was #1, Lynbrook #3. Leland in Almaden was #11. Pioneer came in at #14.
Check out the whole list on the K12Niche site:
Several school districts provide education to students in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno: how are the scores?
The Academic Performance Index (API) scoring system is leaving California, but right now it’s still the most commonly used way of comparing the testing results of students in public schools. (Private schools are not rated in this way.) Many home buyers prefer to buy “in the schools”, meaning in the Los Gatos Union School District. However, on the elementary and middle school level, the scores are just as high – if not higher – in the other two Los Gatos and Monte Sereno school districts: the Union School District and the Campbell Union School District. Have a look:
For more info and longer discussion on this topic, please see the related article on my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog:
To see the real estate market trends by school district, please check out this article: