Barstow Unified School District and the Silver Valley Unified School District provide public education for students in Barstow and the surrounding areas. A total of 10 elementary schools, one elementary/middle school, five intermediate and middle schools, three high schools, an adult evening high school, and one alternative education center serve over 8,000 students.
Both school districts strive to provide the resources and programs needed for each and every student to succeed. The EXCEL program at most Barstow elementary schools is an excellent example of the unique programs that are developed with the goal of bringing out the best in every student.
The EXCEL program serves students who have been identified as having a gap in their learning. The resource teachers and aide, the reading instructional aide, and the ELL aide work in the lab to provide small group and individual learning as needed. In the afternoon, students are sent to the lab on an as-needed basis to access the Compass Learning software program on lab computers.
Students who experience deficiencies in their reading abilities are also served by the lab and its staff. The Corrective Reading program identifies specific reading problems and provides instruction to help students improve in decoding, fluency or comprehension skills. As a part of this program, teachers create focus walls to help students identify the tools needed to be successful readers.
These focus walls display information on reading strategies, vocabulary and grammar rules, which are used daily to help students improve their reading skills. Similar focus walls that cover math concepts are also created for students. These walls have proven to be an effective tool in helping students identify and learn the concepts needed to do well in math and reading.
In addition to the public school system, parents and guardians have the option of sending their children to one of several private schools in the area. These schools include Altus Academy Barstow, Barstow Baptist Academy, Barstow Christian School, and Barstow COGIC Christian School.
Outside of school, library services are available at the Barstow branch of the San Bernardino County Library. The local branch maintains reference materials and a small collection to suit the needs of the local community; however, thousands of materials are available from the county library through a computerized catalog, which can be accessed at any branch location. Materials can then be borrowed through interlibrary loans. The Barstow Library is also home to the Barstow Literacy Coalition.
For residents looking to further their education beyond the fundamentals provided at the K-12 level, Barstow Community College offers numerous programs that lead to certificates, associate degrees and the ability to transfer to a four-year program if the ultimate goal is to complete a degree at the college or university level.