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Archbishop Riordan High School

Private | 9-12


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Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $460,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,610.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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18 reviews of this school

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Posted January 15, 2014

The RSP program at Riordan has 3 Tiers that cater to the degree of support that a boy needs upon entering high school. My son is diagnosed dyslexic, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and has slow processing. The school is on the block system and the boys start the year with 1 of their 4 classes being an RSP class which allows them to get tailored support and tutoring on their other classes materials and homework. They also make sure that the boys accommodations are all well known by all their teachers. The RSP students can take all of their tests and quizzes in their RSP homeroom just by signing up. The schools has an iPad program and makes extensive use of assistive technology for the RSP students, which is extremely helpful. The school is under 500 students (all boy) but has full range of athletic and artistic electives.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 29, 2011

Overall great parent support. The young men are responsible and very respectful. The Dean takes his job too seriously and harasses students for minor infractions (such as a little stuble on their chin). Great academics and teacher support. Very rigorous schedule!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 30, 2010

I am an Alumni. Archbishop Riordan High School was not only a Great School for me as student but being an alumni of this great community, continues to be a great force in my life today!

Posted December 11, 2010

Both my son and husband went to Archbishop Riordan High School. ARHS is excellent in every aspect. They care about every aspect of your son. The teachers go way beyond what is necessary if your son has a problem. They will go to other teachers if your son isn't succeeding in their class. The principal is very involved with the boys. Every boy who goes here is a special person to each and every teacher. The boys act the same whether they are in public or in the school. They are very courteous and responsible.

Posted December 9, 2010

Who knows the email address of the school? I have a stuent want to apply this school, but don't konw the application conditions. Thank you!
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted February 5, 2010

Riordan is an awesome school for boys because it treats boys as whole persons and is tuned into the ways boys develop academically and in all other ways. The result is fine young men who do well after Riordan. I cannot speak highly enough of the excellent academic education at this school and also the 'heart' that accepts the boys and helps them become gentlemen in the true sense of the word -- putting others first. Our son has been accepted at a number of top schools as a senior at Riordan and we plan to send the rest of our boys to this topnotch school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 17, 2010

I'll be honest, the first month of Riordan I hated it. Now I really can't say any more great things about it. Riordan offers grade academics for both those who are struggling and those who want to excel. The teachers really want to see their students succeed and make themselves available after school and during lunch. But it's not just the academics, its the sense of brotherhood. The boys who go there are your friends for life and will always be there for you. Riordan is just a great school. Not that SI and SH are bad but from the way I look at it Riordan prepares their students better morally for the future ahead. This is because the student body is very diverse, you get boys from all different backgrounds. This way everybody respects all different people: rich or poor. Send your boy here and you'll get what I mean.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 16, 2010

We have two sons attending Riordan High School. We made our selection of Riordan after visiting the other regional Catholic High Schools all fine institutions. We were impressed with Riordan s preparedness in educating our sons and this was the school they chose to attend! They participate in AP classes, multiple athletic WCAL teams and band. We were hesitant about the all male enrollment but the academic, social and athletic maturity growth afforded by the lack of distractions is measurable. There are dances and co-ed school activities with Mercy SF. Academics is the core focus but if your son is interested in a fine athletic program, strong band program, theater, media production and many clubs then you should consider Riordan as a strong school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 14, 2009

I have a sophomore attending Riordan and the teachers and staff are top notch. They truly care about their student's success. There are high schools that we could have sent our son to that are closer to home (SHCP/Stuart Hall for Boys) but we chose the best by choosing Riordan.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 1, 2008

I have already graduated one son from Riordan and think it is a great school. many view it as being a step down from SI or SH but in my mind the maor difference is that they are Co-Ed. As many others have pointed out, there is a great sense of family at Riordan and I get the feeling that all are welcome here. My other son is a Junior and although he would prefer to be with a bunch of girls all day long he clearly has benefitted from the all boys format and the associated lack of distraction. We attend many sporting events even though our kids are not in sports and find the parents to be genuinely nice people with a great sense of school and commitment that extends beyond just paying rather than committing.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 19, 2008

Riordan is a fantastic school steeped in tradition and excellence. My first choice was SH. Once I entered the school, I never looked back! If I was given the chance to go to SH, I wouldn't have gone for anything in the world. Riordan is a great institution that focuses a lot on academics. I got involved every year in every aspect of the school. It truly is a great school and the experience was life changing. Riordan is a very close environment in which everyone has great respect for one another. There are so many opportunities at the school such as marching band, campus ministry, art, theater, excellent sports programs, and more. Riordan is the school to be at.
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 14, 2008

My son struggled the 1st year he was Riordan, mainly because he did not want to go to an all boys school. His 1st choice was SH. He resisted, and his grades suffered because of it. Now that he is a Junior, he just can't say enough good things about the school and what wonderful experience he's had so far. He encourages 8th graders to apply to Riordan. Riordan is easier to get into than some of the other private high schools because the school wants to give these young men an opportunity. Once in the school you must maintain a certain GPA otherwise you're out. 5 of my son's friend's were asked to leave by Sophomore year because they could not maintain their GPA. Riordan means business. They're main goal while you're at Riordan is to prep the boys for college. They have such a wonderful, friendly staff .
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 22, 2005

A great school with a great tradition!
—Submitted by a former student

Posted June 17, 2005

A great school, with a great staff and well qualified staff. Offer many AP classes to help your child suceed!
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 10, 2005

Lots of AP classes, sports and ec's. Takes boys of all abilities. Strong parents groups.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 20, 2004

Excellent school. My son is a Sophomore and loves it. Classes are hard, but the free period each day allows students to complete homework and still have time to play sports.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 14, 2004

I have a junior at ARHS and have been pleased from the very first day of the choice we made in this high school. The quality of the staff and administration is absolutely fantastic as are the extra curricular activities from the athletic department to a superb drama department and to being home to the only marching band (80 strong) in San Francisco. There are many more fine attributes that I have left out. Riordan is a 'diamond in the rough'
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 25, 2003

We choose this high school for our 14 year-old son based on a number of factors--mainly small class size and individual attention to the students. Also, being an all boys school we felt that there would be less distractions for our son. The ARHS has a unique college prep program called the '4X4' in which the school term is split into 2 terms, students take 4 separate courses per term. Each class lasts for 80 minutes daily, allowing the students a more concentrated time for their classes. Also, ARHS gears their education towards the way a boy processes information, making it an ideal school for boys to learn at their optimal potential. Also, the school has a strict dress and grooming code which we felt that other schools (mainly public) lack. Also, ARHS uses 'Power School' for both parents and teachers where parents can go on-line on a daily basis to check their son's attendance, academic performance and e-mail teachers directly about their son's performance. Overall, we thought that in comparison to other private schools in the city of San Francisco, Riordan would give our son an extremely well-rounded education. The school has a great community spirit and parents are asked to take an active role in providing the 'Riordan family' atmosphere.
—Submitted by a parent

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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
Asian 28%
Hispanic 25%
White 22%
Two or more races 9%
American Indian/Alaska Native 8%
Black 7%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1%
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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School basics

  • All boys
  • Roman catholic
  • NCEA


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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Archdiocese of San Francisco
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175 Phelan Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112
Phone: (415) 586-8200


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