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K-12 students residing in El Cerrito are served by the extensive West Contra Costa Unified School District—one of seven unified school districts in the county. The district strives to provide the finest public education in a student-centered, safe learning environment. In addition to the traditional K-12 curriculum, WCCUSD offers English Learner Services, Gifted and Talented Education (GATE), Special Education, preschool, after-school programming, a School-to-Career program as well as Adult Education opportunities—among many other offerings.

Six facilities in the WCCUSD system provide exemplary education to El Cerrito residents. At the elementary level (K-6), students attend Castro, Fairmont, Harding and Madera Elementary Schools; at the middle school level (6-8), students are served by Portola Middle School; and at the secondary level (9-12), students enroll at El Cerrito High School.

Alternatives to the public school route are widely available as well. Notable options include the Windrush School and the Tehiyah Day School, along with Prospect Sierra , St. Jerome’s and St. John’s—all K-8 facilities.


Contra Costa College

Part of the Contra Costa Community College District, Contra Costa College is a two-year community college offering a range of Associate degree and certificate programs for transfer to a four-year institution or for immediate career entry. The selection of academic programs is vast at CCC, which, in addition to traditional course instruction, offers a PACE program for working adults and online course options for students in need of educational flexibility. El Cerrito residents can reach this San Pablo-based campus within 10 minutes.

University of California at Berkeley

A short drive down I-80 south brings students to the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California’s flagship campus. A leading public university, UC Berkeley offers more than 7,000 diverse courses in around 350 degree programs. The university currently enrolls more than 35,000 undergraduate and graduate students annually—ultimately granting approximately 10,000 Bachelor’s, Master’s, professional degrees and Doctoral degrees each year. The renowned faculty leading the student-base at UC Berkeley is composed of 2,028 experienced members—of which seven (out of the 20 total) represent Nobel Laureates.

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