Palos Verdes Estates is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, situated on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The city was master-planned by the noted American landscape architect and planner Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The city is located along the Southern California coastline of the Pacific Ocean. The population was 13,438 at the 2010 census, up from 13,340 in the 2000 census. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Palos Verdes Estates is the 81st richest place in the United States with at least 1,000 households (based upon per capita income). The 90274 ZIP code (covering the cities of Palos Verdes Estates and Rolling Hills) was ranked the 47th most expensive housing area among high property value U.S. ZIP codes in a 2007 study by Forbes.com. Palos Verdes is also particularly well known for its high-performing schools, with various national publications ranking the high school between 8th and 44th best in the nation in the 2000s and 2010s.
The city is served by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. A previous The Washington Post study ranked the nearby Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (the “Panthers”; enrollment 2,400) as the # 8 best among public and private high schools in the United States. U.S. News & World Report recently academically ranks it # 89 among 18,500 U.S. high schools, and Newsweek ranks it # 146. In 2014, thedailybeast.com ranked the two area high schools as the 44th and 121st best high schools in the country.
Palos Verdes Peninsula High School also annually honors the largest collection of National Merit Scholar commendments (usually 50-60) enrolled in a U.S. high school in any year. In any given year there is routinely a dozen-way or more tie for the Valedictorian (highest grade point average) honors in the graduating class. The smaller enrollment Palos Verdes High School (the “Sea Kings”; enrollment 1,900) achieves the same quality education standards and is equally competitive academically. It just recently achieved the same API score as Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, an astounding 898. Both schools’ students and faculties in science and computer science curricula are participants in national robotic engineering advancement, and have competed against universities (Caltech, Stanford, Princeton, Cornell) and defense contractor firms in government-sponsored robotic science application challenges (example: The Sea Kings competed in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge; the only U.S. high school to do so).
Public school-enrollment students can attend either Palos Verdes High School in Palos Verdes Estates (Lunada Bay), or the larger Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, in adjacent Rolling Hills Estates. Prior to 2002, students were only offered to attend Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, as the Palos Verdes High School, originally built as a high school, had been designated an intermediate school as student enrollments declined in 1970–1990s. In 2002 Palos Verdes High School was recommissioned as a high school again to accommodate the recent growth in student enrollments across the entire Palos Verdes Peninsula. The student enrollment growth has occurred as original homeowner-retirees have sold their homes over the recent years to younger families, and moved to smaller senior citizen housing on the peninsula or elsewhere.
Chadwick School is another well known school in the area. It is a K-12 independent, nonsectarian school which was established in 1935.
In 1992 the International Bilingual School, a Japanese preparatory school for grades K-9, moved to Palos Verdes Estates. By 2002 the PVUSD had filed suit to force the International Bilingual School to leave the property that the school was located in. The PVUSD owned the school building.