15 Great Back-to-School Movies

As summer tapers off to the beginning of autumn, you know what comes next–the first day school. Scrolling through my Facebook feed lets me know that many children have already returned to their classrooms to learn. Friends and family have taken their daughters and sons off to college to start their adventures away from home. 

At my house, we sit and wait. In two weeks, our four-year-old’s preschool year will begin. This year she will be attending a new preschool in our small town, instead of driving 20 minutes to our parish school. We decided on the change for a couple of reasons; we wanted to be closer to her school and the tuition at this school is much more affordable. 

A few days ago, on Monday, I took Ginny to her preschool orientation. She got to see her classroom, meet her teachers, and spend time playing with her 27 classmates. (Well, I’m not sure all 27 were there, but I’m guessing most were.) While she played, the lead teacher talked to all the parents to give us an idea of what to expect for the year. Just listening to the expectations on the year got me excited over the prospects of what my little girl will learn in the next year. Of course, I had to remind myself that we will be moving to a new town once our house is sold, and she won’t be attending that preschool the entire year. 

15 Great Back-to-School Movies
Photo by Autumn Mott

With all these thoughts of school, I decided to start watching some back-to-school movies to remind me of times gone by! Of course, my girls won’t watch most of these, and that’s okay. They get to watch programs on Netflix like Sesame Street, Super Why, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sid the Science Guy, and the recently added Reading Rainbow. When I put them to bed, I can stream these 15 great back-to-school movies now on Netflix! 

School of Rock

I have to admit that I’ve never seen this film, and not being a huge Jack Black fan, I’ve avoided it. However, there is something appealing about watching a substitute teacher teach rock ‘n roll.

High School Musical

This movie is campy, but also lots of fun. Part of me is embarrassed to admit that I’ve seen it more than once. 

Mean Girls

A hysterical movie about the perils of being a girl in high school. It highlights the desire for power and how it can all go wrong while being funny at the same time. 

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The first time I saw this film I was a high school teenager myself. I loved all the trouble Ferris involves his friends in and, yet, doesn’t get caught. Am I the only one who wonders what he’d be up to now as an adult in the working world?

Coach Carter

Inspiring (and true) movie about a high school basketball coach who puts academics first. Wouldn’t it be nice if all coaches were like this?


The ultimate movie of the 1990s! I still dream about having Cher’s closet, and I love watching KU alum, Paul Rudd, in one of his first big roles.


Based loosely on a small town in Missouri, no dancing is allowed, but the high school students want a prom. The best part of this film is watching Kevin Bacon. 


As a kid, I loved this movie. As an adult, I still love it and can’t wait to show it to my girls some day. 



If you love dark humor, you’ll love this cult classic. I watched it in a film class and learned about some of the symbolism in the film (pay attention to who wears red). All about popularity, power, and how it can all go wrong.


This movie, about a power-hungry student versus a teacher, made everyone notice Reese Witherspoon! I bet you’ve never seen student council elections like this before.

Can’t Buy Me Love

This film is about a nerd (played by a young Patrick Dempsey) who pays a popular girl to become popular himself. Will the power go to his head? 


A funny, satirical film that left me laughing (and watching over and over). When a teen girl who attends a Christian high school finds herself pregnant, she starts looking at the people in her class a different way (while hiding her pregnancy).

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

So, Bill and Ted need to do a history report. Luckily, George Carlin comes along with a time machine (in the form of a phone booth) to help them out. 

Teen Witch

While this may not be an A-list film, I loved it. A teen girl just wants the popular boy to notice her. Now that she realizes she’s a witch, she might be able to get what she wants.

On the Way to School 

This amazing documentary is on my list to watch this month. The filmmakers follow four children from different countries (Kenya, India, Morocco, and Argentina) around the world as they make their way to school.  

Do you have a movie about school that you love to watch? Tell me about it.

Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam which means that they pay for the streaming service in exchange for me posting once a month about the service. All opinions are my own.

About Denise

Hi! I'm Denise, a 40+ year old SAHM trying to navigate the world of motherhood. I blog about parenting, food, and have been featured a few times on BlogHer. I enjoys solving mysteries (Okay..reading mysteries or watching them on TV), cooking, and drinking way too much caffeine than I should. Basically, anything I needs to do to survive the toddler years.



%d bloggers like this: