We’re all aware of the big hitters for the San Antonio school system. High schools like Alamo Heights, Reagan, Clark, and Johnson (among several others) offer big, impressive stats like high-scoring academics, densely populated graduating classes, and Friday night football crowds showered with media attention aplenty.
However, as glamorous as these big-city districts may be, many suburban residents have traded in their sprawling metro ISD for the sort of Texas hometown charm found in schools that lie outside city limits.
What these outlying schools and districts lack in size, they more than make up for in passionate hometown loyalty, favorable student-teacher ratios, and (perhaps above all) personality. Among the following 11 suburbs, we didn’t find a single school we would dream labeling as “cookie-cutter”.
26107 Lost Creek Way (Boerne, TX)
A small town just 20 miles north of San Antonio’s buzzing city limits, Boerne, TX exemplifies “Hill Country charm” (and excellence) in every way...including its local schools. Serviced by Boerne ISD (which also stretches to include nearby town Fair Oaks Ranch), Boerne ISD schools include (among others) Kendall Elementary School, Boerne Middle School North, Boerne Middle School South, and two high schools: Samuel V. Champion High School and Boerne High School. Notably, the district was ranked #20 on Niche.com’s “Best School Districts in Texas” (high-scoring in academics and college prep) and constantly churns out creative, driven students. Case and point: in 2014, both Boerne High School and Samuel V. Champion High School were among 500 schools in the nation listed on Newsweek's Top High Schools in America!
A classic “West Texas”-flavored farm town 15 miles west of San Antonio city limits (off Highway 90), Castroville was founded and established in 1844 and continues to serve as “home” for nearly 3,000 residents. Voted the “#1 in Best Places to Live in Medina County” and the #15 “Safest Suburb in Texas” by Niche.com, we aren’t surprised that the school system follows suit in its levels of excellence. Served by Medina Valley ISD (notable for strong diversity and great teachers and academics), this district scores high in reading and math proficiency, ranking as a “Niche Standout High Schools in Texas”. Area schools include Castroville Elementary, brand-new Loma Alta Middle School, Medina Valley Middle School, and Medina Valley High School. Besides boasting consistently increasing growth over the past few years (7% – 10% new students every year), the district consistently outscores all State averages in accountability ratings and testing! Go Panthers!
5499 Devonwood St (Schertz, TX)
Two next-door-neighbor small towns on the eastern cusp of the San Antonio metro area, Schertz and Cibolo, TX are popular communities for hoping to stay close to Randolph AFB (which is just five miles west) and send their kids to great schools. Serviced by the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal-City ISD (a mouthful, we know), Schertz-Cibolo schools include Barbar C. Jordan Intermediate School, Elaine S. Schlather Intermediate School, Dobie Junior High School, and Wiederstein Elementary School, as well as two high schools: Byron P. Steele II High School (Cibolo) and Samuel Clemens High School (Schertz). Notably, the district was named #41 on Niche.com’s list of the “Best School Districts for Athletes in Texas”...a fact most notably seen in the always-thrilling rival football game between Steele Knights vs Clemens Buffaloes: “The Battle of 3009.”
3780 Cremini Dr (Bulverde, TX)
Though just seven miles north of San Antonio city limits on Hwy 281, Bulverde, TX is a San Antonio suburb that feels solidly planted in the Texas Hill Country. A community of just under 5,000 residents, Bulverde is both small and charming, but not so small that the school systems suffer. Serviced by the highly acclaimed Comal I SD (#9 “Best School District in San Antonio Area”), Bulverde students are generally zoned to Smiths on Valley High School,Smithson Valley Middle School, and Johnson Ranch Elementary School; however, many students also have the opportunity to attend Memorial Early College High School, a highly academic collaboration with Alamo Colleges. Notably, the beloved Smithson Valley Rangers regularly advance to compete at state championship levels in many popular sports!
Best known for its annual Strawberry Festival, Poteet, TX lies nestled just 17 miles south of San Antonio city limits. Served by its classically hometown-flavored school district (Poteet ISD), Poteet is a small town with a big punch, competing in the full myriad of sports and bursting at the seams with die-hard loyal fans. From Poteet Elementary School to Poteet Intermediate School, Poteet Junior High School, and Poteet High School, the Aggies prove that Poteet is way more than strawberries.
417 Simon Crest (Canyon Lake)
One of the most coveted “suburbs” in the San Antonio area, Canyon Lake (located 20 miles northeast of San Antonio city limits) has that ability to feel like a vacation every day of the year. School-aged kids, however, may beg to differ. Hardworking students in this area are zoned to Comal ISD, including Canyon Lake High School, Bill Brown Elementary School, Rebecca Creek Elementary School, and Smithson Valley Middle School (though, like Bulverde, students also have the option of Memorial Early College High School). Like its highly-rated neighbors, the brand-new Canyon Lake High School is already leading with impressive stats: this latest campus skyrocketed above its enrollment projections, topping the 1,000-enrollment mark. Go Hawks!
Perhaps the teeniest town on our list of suburbs (housing just over 1,000 residents), La Vernia holds that sort of enviable small-town glory that Texans hold dear. Located 15 miles west of San Antonio city limits, La Vernia (served by La Vernia ISD) is a beacon for not only academic excellence (ranking as an above-average public school district), but also extracurriculars and arts. Composed of La Vernia Primary School, La Vernia Intermediate School, La Vernia Junior High School, and La Vernia High School, La Vernia ISD boasts a marching band, three concert bands, a choir, and a One-Act Play Troupe that has gained regional recognition! Additionally, the La Vernia Bears compete in sports across the board, from volleyball to football to golf and tennis.
18611 Canyon View Pass (Helotes, TX)
A distinctly “Texas” town in and of itself (though it is perched just outside the northwest outskirts of San Antonio), Helotes is composed of nearly 50 different neighborhoods and maintains a population of nearly 10,000 residents. One of the only suburbs on our list served by a San Antonio district (Northside ISD), we still think Helotes earns a well-deserved spot for its phenomenal extracurriculars and incredible FFA program. Schools (many located directly within Helotes) include Helotes Elementary School, Kuentz Elementary, Beard Elementary School, Hector Garcia Middle School, Sandra Day O' Connor High School (though some, including those in Helotes’ neighbor Sonoma Ranch, are also zoned to Brandeis High School). As mentioned above, the O’Connor Panthers lay claim to the largest and most expansive FFA complex in the district, boasting an Agriculture Department where students learn a wide variety of agricultural techniques in a hands-on environment.
126 Indian Blanket St (Poth, TX) SOLD
Despite its small-town size (2,066 residents and 825 students), Poth, TX is a southeast San Antonio suburb that is not to be tampered with. Across the board, Poth ISD (served by Poth High School, Poth Junior High School, and Poth Elementary School) is home to dedicated students, parents, and teachers who truly put the work in to show the rest of the area that small town schools are also sometimes the most passionate. Besides high-ranking academics and teachers, the Poth Pirates’ excellence shows up in their athletics department, boasting a historically good girls volleyball team and ranking on the list of “Best School Districts for Athletes in Texas.”
Located 20 miles southeast of San Antonio city limits, Floresville, TX is a small town that has always been known for raising up surprisingly successful students. (Notably, Floresville was the birthplace and hometown of several former military officers, politicians, presidential contenders, and even an actor!) Playing a major part in this sort of ambitious upbringing, Floresville ISD boasts above-average student performance, especially notable in academics and diversity. From Floresville Early Childhood (pre-k) up through Floresville North Elementary, Floresville South Elementary, Floresville Middle School, and Floresville High School. Contributing to this excellence is the partnership of Floresville ISD and the Alamo Colleges Floresville Center, which provides college courses to high school students and the community.
27411 Parkweg Loop (New Braunfels, TX)
A veritable Hill Country darling, New Braunfels is perched several miles northeast of San Antonio off of I-35 and offers some of the most unique small-town vibes in the area. Set on the confluence of the sparkling Comal and Guadalupe Rivers (and heavily flavored with German heritage), New Braunfels boasts over 67,000 residents served by New Braunfels ISD (and also partially by Comal ISD). Schools include Carl Schurtz Elementary School, Klein Road Elementary School, New Braunfels Middle School, Oak Run Middle School, New Braunfels High School, (and some to Canyon High School). Known for highly rated academics (and a ridiculously unique mascot), the New Braunfels High School Unicorns are ranked high in college readiness and well-roundedness.
If you’re interested in settling into one of these top-notch districts, we’d love to help get you started. Connect with a lender, download our exclusive Buyer’s Guide, and contact an agent to get started!