No rating

GreatSchools Rating

Cathedral Catholic High School

Private | 9-12 | 1730 students


Be sure to visit

Take along one of
our checklists:


Living in San Diego

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $672,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,380.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
Based on 4 ratings
Based on 6 ratings
Based on 17 ratings
Based on 6 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

53 reviews of this school

Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted June 26, 2012

My son will be a junior at CCHS in the fall. My daughter went to UNI and graduated from CCHS. While I see how a substantial number of students come from very affluent families, it is up to the individual to tell their son or daughter to stay true to themselves and to not feel 'inferior' in any way. I disagree with the extreme selective methods in athletics. If your son/daughter is truly talented, he/she will be part of a team. As simple as that. As for the religious education and previous comments. If the students are looking for 'fun', then they should join a mega church with all the bells and whistles. The presence of the Miles Christi priests on campus is a blessing in itself. I know no school is perfect, but we don't mind making the sacrifices needed to send our children to CCHS. Our daughter was truly prepared for college, while some of her friends who attended public high schools were lost when confronted with the academic demands of a university. This is a college prep school. It's good when teachers know you by name. Snobby kids are pretty much the biggest problem. I'll take that over drugs and police interventions any day, thank you.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 12, 2012

While I didn't realize this when I was actually a student there, looking back I realize that this school has done so much for me. I transferred here from a public school of the Poway Unified district and my gosh, what a difference! Cathedral's campus and facilities are beautiful and the classes actually challenge you. If I had stayed at my previous school, I wouldn't have been prepared for college at all.
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 12, 2012

I don't know why there is so much hate. My daughter attendes CCHS, and I am a teacher in a public school. This is one of the best schools in SD, parents/haters, do you know what your children get to experience in public schools? From gangs, weapons, drugs, sex in the bathrooms, name it!!! Please, don't tell me you are SO suprised your child learned "bad words" at CCHS, does your kid have a Facebook account? Have you ever checked it??? There is no high school that is going to prevent your child to be exposed to, unfortunately, the bad manners that rule our times, however I feel that at CCHS the students are safe, and that is important to me. As far as the academics are concerned, the student/teacher ratio is excellent, kids are not crammed in classrooms built for 30 that now hold 40 and plus. There is alway room for improvement, like in anything else in life, but considering what the alternatives are, thanks to all the budget cuts to education, a private school is the best option for students that put education first.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 10, 2012

As a parent of a Bullied student, I was very careful about what high school I would put my child in. CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC is an AMAZING SCHOOL! The academics are top notch, and to the student that says "teachers expect you to learn it", this is nonsense. Teachers are highly attentive, helpful and engaged. I help with a couple of sports teams, and speak with current and former students weekly. They LOVE this school, and their teachers. There is NO COMPARISON between CCHS and public school. We attended one of the TOP 10 Public Middle Schools in SD, and CCHS is far and away a much better school. Athletics are top notch, academics are #1 in San Diego, respect and atmosphere is outstanding. The whole "Rich Kids' is ridiculous. I saw more of this at Public Middle School than at CCHS. To any concerned parent, that wants the best for their child, do whatever it takes to get them to CCHS. It is an amazing school. We aren't Catholic, but love the way they encourage kids to support each other, respect other religions, and also contribute to society with volunteer hours. My student was a Straight A student in public school, and has had to STEP UP, in a big way to get close to that at CCHS.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 8, 2012

My daughter completed her first year. She is very happy and so am I. I feel she is getting a quality conservative faith based college prep education. The one star reviews baffle me. I feel all of the one star reviews from June 1st and 2nd were most likely by the same person.There was a similar theme. Rich snobs, religion and athletics. There are rich kids and poor at the school. If you have a problem with wealthy families this is not the school for your student. The school is Catholic, as highlighted in the name "Cathedral CATHOLIC High School. If you have issues with a Catholic school teaching Catholic doctorine then this is not a school for your student. Athletics, some sports are very competitive. Football, Soccor and Basketball. There are lots of other sports available that accept everyone. There are lots of clubs. . The school does a good job of keeping drugs off of the campus. The campus is very safe. If you are transferring to CCHS from a liberal atheist public school it would be difficult to adjust. Catholic schools tend to lean to the right.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 24, 2012

I am currently a senior attending cathedral and I am proud to say that I have done very well academically. Truthfully, to succeed at this school requires a lot of learning on your own. The teachers give out the work and expect the students to figure it out on their own. I personally got back a paper from a teacher that stated "stop wasting my time," when I hadn't done well on a test. Ironically, the teachers don't teach. On the other hand the campus is beautiful, so if you are one who judges something by its cover then this is the perfect place for your child. All in all, the teachers are not willing to help out a student in need which makes it extremely hard to be successful. I've attended this school for four years, I know what I'm talking about. And if you asked another student what they think about this school, I'll guarantee most of the kids would respond the same way I have. Don't ruin your child's life by putting them in this school. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or disagree with anything I have said.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 9, 2012

Cathedral is a great school. When you're on top, you should expect the jealous to try to knock you down. I guess one should never be surprised that the negative coments on this site come from parents and students who struggle with the fact that not everyone can be a star varsity athlete or Rhodes Scholar! As in life, there are those who will succeed and those who won't. At least at CCHS the students who apply themselves and take advantage of the resources that an institution of this type provides, will, ultimately be successful. But given human nature, the ones who fail will be the biggest whiners, blaming their school, society, "the man", or anything convenient for their inability to achieve. My three kids all graduated from Uni and are all successful, contributing citizens with children of their own. Over the years we've stayed close to the CCHS community and the USDHS legacy is still there. Go Dons! Keep the pressure on.

Posted April 17, 2011

This is a college prep school so expect it to be hard work. There seems to be an emphasis on testing at the expense of teaching, but that applies to the public schools too. With a transition student in Junior year, we found the staff very caring and accommodating and are extremely pleased how things panned out.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 7, 2011

We love Cathedral. Walk this campus you will see how high the bar is. Athletics: #1 in CIF in almost every sport,Academics: Ivy league acceptance for the top, UC,State & great private for the rest..Most get admited to 4 yrs. universities. This is not a rich school, plenty of students get financial help & they should. This is also a school of all colors and yes, religions as well. (Catholicism is taught) Uniforms,rules & detentions go with it. They try to make an impact on your student in 4 years. I looked at our top local public school & put my money here because our expectations are high also.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 19, 2011

School sets high standards in academics and athletics so your kids do their very best. Very happy with the school, community and catholic education!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 23, 2011

We live in Fallbrook, CA, and drive and hour each way just to get to this school--it's that good. Both my daughters are in Advanced Placement classes and Honors courses, and I am astounded at the gravity of the work they accomplish. I know that my college was not harder than their high school and I believe they are getting the best education possible. We would never leave Cathedral, and we recommend it to all our friends. In responce to the Transfer Student's review, neither of my girls found Cathedral to be overly snobbish. This is a great school and we will send all of our children and friends here.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 17, 2011

We win our CIF and state titles by selecting the best of the best. We work hard, nothing comes easy. And rich or poor, nobody buys their way onto a team. Therefore, rich snobs is a bit of an ignorant statement. We work hard to achieve good grades. To give this school 3/5 stars, simply because your child could not meet the academic, athletic and social standards, is an aimlessly poor way to judge a school. If your child is really the outstanding student/athlete you know him/her to be, the he/she should be able to withstand the difficult standards of an excellent school. Yes, it is a catholic school; they teach and practice catholic values, however, it is not exactly a charity foundation. Nor, is it a disabled outreach program, it is a college preparatory school. The people that rated this school must have been expecting something else; maybe they should have researched it better. You don t rent a comedy film, when you re expecting to cry about drama.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 7, 2011

Go big or go home because this school breeds winners and has no time for students who have no drive to be the best. Graduated in 2010 and was happy with my experience. Lots of opportunities to get involved. A new school so a chance for one to make a lasting difference in the school's history. Personally, I worked in the schools newspaper and got one of my stories published in the county magazine and helped the film department upgrade all their cameras to high definition.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 28, 2010

I liked Cathedral in some ways, hated it in others. Socially, it was okay. A lot of rich snobs but it's not too hard to find a niche. Athletically, the cuts are pretty hard for baseball and basketball but there is a no cut policy for football, rugby and wrestling which were the only sports I played. Academically, I had a few great teachers, a lot of average ones, and some who would hate on you all year long and even more who didn't even know how to teach. That being said, I enjoyed Cathedral. My main problem was the commute involved and the hassle it was arranging things with friends who live all over San Diego. Don't go to this school expecting to do a lot of stuff on the weekends.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 16, 2010

After having one son graduate from Cathedral and a second attending, I have come to realize that Cathedral only cares for students who are high achievers or super athletes. There is no room for the average student and forget about any form of help if you are struggling. Super strict yes, but unreasonable in their handling is an understatement. The staff can harrass the students anytime they want, judge your kid if he or she is struggling or not an elite athlete. I can say this as I have six years of experience with this school and every year I became more and more disappointed. We started when it was still Uni..A much better school before it came up north and became a rich snobby school. The staff is horrible and only care about making sure Cathedral Catholic becomes an elite school. Nurturing? not in the least....Save your money...
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 13, 2010

One of the top schools in San Diego. The school athletic facilities are #1 , small teacher to student ratio, academics and athletics combined with prayer is why there are so many successful graduates. Cathedral is for the student who wants to excell. It is not for the average or below average undeciplined student who wants to skate by high school. Most of these students transfer out after their freshmen year and thus the low rating from these bitter students and parents. If students sincerly make an effort they will grow academically and athletically.. If you are already a top scholar or athlete you will grow even more and find yourself at a top university. If you are a top athlete you will have even greater opportunities as recruiters look for Cathedral athletes because they know how to win Championships. Year after year they win more CIF titles than any other
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 30, 2010

An absolutely awful experience! As a transfer student, I was disappointed in every way possible about this school. Both the students and faculty are snobbish elitists, and most of the teachers could care less about the students' educations. Class options are limited, class sizes are double what they should be for the tuition, counselors are not helpful inthe least. The admin reserves the right to harass students mercilessly over petty issues, and dole out undeserved detentions left and right. Sports cuts are brutal and take the fun out of athletics. And the dances/activities are boring and poorly planned. Everything about Cathedral has made me feel as if I have wasted this school year and $11k of my parents' money to no avail, so I could not be any happier to be switching schools next year!
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 23, 2010

After two years here we are done. We should not have come back for the second year but really wanted to give Cathedral a chance. Contrary to what is told to those matriculating from the Diocese middle schools, Cathedral IS NOT the same school as Uni. I would say that over half of the student at Cathedral did not matriculate from the Catholic School system. I would not even say half are even Catholic. Makes no difference to Cathedral, where unlike other Catholic high school in the area, there is no tuition price discount for Catholic students, sending the message that they do not value faithful Catholic families anymore than non-Catholic families. The student population is drawn from wealthy (non-Catholic) North County residents which is reflected in the sense of entitlement of both the students and the parents. The parents and students think the rules just don't apply to them. D-
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 13, 2010

Cathderal looks like a beautiful mini-junior college from the outside. But, I agree with the post on May 23, 2009 stating 'Not so much attention paid to those students who struggle'. We chose CCHS for our child over the well reknown Poway Unified School District high school to be in a more nurturing, structured Catholic environment. The transition was difficult all around. The religion classes were great and improved the character of my child. However, the majority of kids are from wealthy families and drive expensive cars which made my child feel poor. The teachers were not dedicated and were difficult to find for after-school help. We transferred our student back to the Poway Unified School District in the junior year We are one of 8 families that did this. We misjudged our public school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 1, 2010

Academically strong. Athletically over the top (good athletes who could play at other schools will be excluded here). Safe and beautiful but this comes at a cost - Behavioral standards are EXTREMELY strict with detentions, referrals, and even police calls for fairly normal teen behavior Enter at your own risk.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 70% 26%
Two or more races 15% 3%
Hispanic 12% 52%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1%
Black 1% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School Leader's name
  • Mr. Stevan Laaperi
  • Coed
  • Roman catholic


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Diocese of San Diego
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »


Boys sports
  • Baseball
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.


To learn more about enrolling, please call the school.

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

5555 Del Mar Heights Road
San Diego, CA 92130
Phone: (858) 523-4000


Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »


Add this school to compare

Nearby schools

Canyon Crest Academy
San Diego, CA

High Bluff Academy
San Diego, CA

Westview High School
San Diego, CA