Excellent Marin Schools Attract Home Buyers
The outstanding public schools in Marin continue to attract home buyers who are willing to pay 25-50% more for houses with outstanding and distinguished schools. For the full story, see Parents pay plenty to get kids into better schools in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 28, 2010. In 2016, strength of Marin schools remains a strong motivating factor for young home buyers in Marin.
School Ratings: The New California Schools Dashboard
The State of California requires annual testing to evaluate achievement levels of students and the improvement of individual schools. As of March 2017, the new California Schools Dashboard replaces the previous California Academic Performance Index (API, through 2014). The new Dashboard is preliminary to a full release in Fall, 2017. “The dashboard replaces the Academic Performance Index, which was based solely on test scores. The system reports on such things as academic progress, English learner progress, suspension and graduation rates and students’ readiness for college and careers, as well as English and math test scores for grades three through eight.” Marin IJ, March 17, 2017.
Rating of schools is subjective and depends on the goals and expectations of parents as well as curriculum, educational philosophy, teaching staff, community involvement, and more. Here is a website that attempts to consolidate many sources of information into ratings for elementary schools.
Distinguished Marin Schools
Each year, the California Department of Education selects the highest achieving public schools in the state as Distinguished Schools. Schools may apply for this award only every four years. Here are the Marin schools on the list over the last seven years (2007-2014). The program will select high schools in 2015 and elementary schools in 2016.
Distinguished Elementary and Middle Schools
|Fairfax/San Anselmo||Wade Thomas Elementary
White Hill Middle
|Kentfield||Anthony G. Bacich Elementary
Adaline E. Kent Middle
|Henry C. Hall Middle|
|Mill Valley||Old Mill Elementary|
|Novato||Lu Sutton Elementary
San Ramon Elementary
(Dixie School District)
Miller Creek Middle
(San Rafael District)
|Sun Valley Elementary|
|Sausalito||Willow Creek Academy
|Tiburon||Bel Aire Elementary
Del Mar Middle
|West Marin||Inverness Elementary|
Distinguished High Schools
|Sir Francis Drake High|
|Tamiscal High *|
* Independent study/ alternative education
Continuation High Schools
San Andreas High School, part of the Tamalpais School District, has been recognized as Model Continuation High School for 2018. The school serves 85-90 students. “These schools are recognized for creating innovative programs that focus on academics and social and emotional learning and helping students who have faced many challenges, including chronic absenteeism and truancy, get back on the path to realizing their full academic potential.” See our High Schools page for a list of Independent study/ alternative education (Continuation) High Schools in Marin.
Marin Charter Schools
Marin has two established and successful charter schools in Novato and Sausalito:
- Novato Charter School, K-8, is located in Hamilton Field, Novato. “Through a curriculum based on the Core Principles of Public Waldorf education our teachers nurture the imagination in the early years, building a foundation for abstract thinking, gradually and appropriately challenging the intellect through out the grades.” Their program includes nature-based education. See more on their Youtube channel. The school held its first classes in 1996.
- Phoenix Academy in San Rafael “provides a safe educational environment where chemically dependent students can develop a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle, make significant academic progress, identify and address emotional issues, and make sound career and vocational decisions in a highly structured and closely supervised setting.”
- Ross Valley Charter, K-5, in Fairfax, has a curriculum that “relies heavily on project- and problem-based learning. With two grade levels in one classroom, teachers focus on individual learning progress, customizing instruction and guidance to accommodate students’ needs.”
- Willow Creek Academy, K-8, in Sausalito, “provides a rigorous, inquiry driven, project oriented learning environment that encourages differentiation of instruction as much as possible. The core curriculum emphasizes educational experiences that prepare students to meet or exceed state curriculum standards.”
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