Schools across the country have been through difficult times in the past two years, but as learners are again returning for in-person education in the Bay Area, they will be welcomed with the new awards their schools have earned.

Some Bay Area schools dominated the top spots in the newly-released list of best schools and districts, according to a ranking and reviews site for U.S. schools, Niche.

Landing in the fourth spot nationwide was a private school in Oakland, the College Preparatory School. Also included in the top ten was the Nueva School in Hillsborough, which garnered ninth place.

The ranking website assesses several data points to come up with the annual rankings. Among these are the quality of colleges the learners consider, metrics on SAT/ACT scores, as well as the student-teacher ratio based on the record of Niche users, the schools and the country’s Department of Education.

In California, the two spots for the best private schools were awarded to the College Preparatory School and the Nueva School, respectively. Landing in fourth place was Stanford Online High School, and following it was Castilleja School.

Bay Area public schools failed to be included on the top 10 list across the country but in California, Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto got the top spot in the best public high school list. The same list included Saratoga High School, which ranked third, and Palo Alto High School, ranking fifth, SFGATE reported.

For the straight fourth year, Stanford Online High School became the top 1 Best Online High School in the country. An education institution is regarded as an online high school if they have no physical presence. The schools that adopt remote instruction amid the health crisis, on the other hand, were not considered.