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Schools in Marin County

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > K-12 Schools > Schools in Marin County

Editor Note: Few BPN subscribers live in Marin County, so reviews are limited.

General Info

Nov 2012

Re: Moving to the Bay Area - which public school system?
If you are working in San Francisco, you should consider RENTING a place in Marin County (Mill Valley School District, MVSD). The rents are not much more than other parts of the Bay Area and you don't have to pay for private school. It's very expensive to own a home, so many families rent. Many families are moving to the area for the excellent schools, so the class sizes are starting to increase, but the class sizes are still smaller than other parts of the Bay Area. Mill Valley is an easy commute to San Francisco with excellent public transportation options (nice commuter buses and/or the ferry). The five public elementary schools in Mill Valley are excellent (high test scores, PE/Recess everyday, Arts/Music education, etc.). Parent

Marin School of Art and Technology

March 2006

Great Charter High School ! My son is a great kid, straight A student and is very interested in Technology. He has been complaining about school all through middle school because he finds the curriculum and the homework boring. We have looked at several high schools, both private and public schools and finally found Marin School of Art and Technology. We visited several tomes and my son spent a whole day there. He just loves it. MSAT is an envision school that was founded just 3 years ago. The staff and curriculum is creative, new and exciting. The kids are very involved. It is a drive for us from Albany, but it is worth it for us to see that our son is both happy and get great education. Best news it is FREE and they are still accepting applications! We will be forming a carpool with other families. Check out their website You can email me if you’d like more information .

Moving to Marin for the schools

March 2004

The Berkeley public school has not worked for us. Sadly, we are considering moving to Marin for the public schools. If you have any experience with the public schools there we would very much appreciate your information and opinions, positive or negative, specific or general. This is a difficult decision, and we need as much information as possible. Thank you so much. Sad to leave Berkeley

My husband and I moved our family from Marin to Alameda a couple of years ago. While our child was only nearing school age when we moved here, I do have some knowledge of the schools in Marin(both public and private) and would be happy to share what I know with you via email. It would be helpful to know why the Berkeley schools are not working for you, more detailed information. Just realize that life in Marin is very different from vibrant, multi-cultural Berkeley, in ways both good and bad. amy
We also moved to marin for the schools and easier commute and we love it. We choose Mill Valley because it's really close to the city and they have open enrollment for the 5 elementary schools (all of which are supposedly great). It is also a very child friendly town with lots to do and lots of kids and dogs everywhere. Our child has not started at the elementary school yet but there is lots of info on scores online. Good luck with your seach and/or move. For us the move over here was a great choice (and you are still pretty close to Berkeley). New marinite
We faced a similar decision (a little more than a year ago) and moved to central Marin county from Berkeley. We have a child in kindergarten at Bacich Elementary School and I highly recommend it. The teachers are great, resources are plentiful (extensive fundrasing insulates them from state budget woes), and the parents are very involved. - Been There

More discussions about Marin Schools

San Dominico School

October 2002

I am very interested in hearing about anyone's experience (or friend's/relative's experience) of San Dominico School in Marin County. From what I know, it is an all-girls school (a dying breed) and starts at K or 3; I can't quite remember which. Thanks for the input - Curious parent

I highly recommend San Domenico. There is a lower school which is K through 8 and is now all co-ed. The upperschool (highschool) is still all girls and is residential for international students. My sister and I attended San Domenico from K through 8 (grad. in 1989 & 1992)and had a wonderful experience. At that time it was only coed through 5th grade. The school has greatly expanded it's enrollment since then and has installed an incredible garden that is tended by the students and integrated into the curriculum. I will never forget my years at san Domenico and the relationships that I formed with my teachers there are still very much a part of my everday reality. San Domenico is renowned for being a supportive community that families can draw upon in their times of need. Our father died when my sister was in 8th grade and the outpouring of support from the school community was immeasurably heartening. Feel free to contact me with specific questions. nicole- San Domenico alumni
I attended San Domenico from 1st-8th grades (1976-1984) and had a fabulous experience. When I went there, it was co-ed only through 3rd grade, which I guess has changed. It is a great community; I am still good friends with about half of my grade school class! The setting couldn't be more beautiful, and the strong Christian foundation is fundamental to the school's character. Melissa T
From: Bonnie (9/98)

There is a great Waldorf school in Marin County just off of Lucas Valley Road: the Marin Waldorf School ( phone 415-479-8190). They go from kindergarten (starting at age 3 1/2 ) through 8th grade. They have a wonderful site, great program, and fine teachers. My older daughter graduated from 8th grade there. Marin Academy is well-known as a good private high school, and there are several others whose names I can not remember at the moment. Good luck!

From: Karen (9/98)

I live in San Anselmo, where my daughter is also 4-1/2. She attends San Anselmo Pre-School ("SAPS"), at 121 Ross Avenue. Both she and we love it. We love the professionalism and caring qualities of the teachers. You'd want to see it for yourself, no doubt, so I won't go into all the pluses. However, there are a few minor "down" sides that you would want to know about starting mid-year. (1) There are a lot of kids, lots of teachers and activities and it can be hard on some kids who start in the middle of the year, not knowing anyone - we know a little boy who might have been better off in a much smaller place. My daughter started in the summer and that was great as she got used to the teachers, routine and made friends before the Fall onslaught. On the plus side, your daughter would probably qualify for the "pre-k" program in which the oldest kids spend much of the day in a smaller group (12-14 kids with 2 teachers). Starting part time and shorter days might make it easier; be sure to talk to the director (Elizabeth) and head teachers. Another minor difficulty is that the teachers work only half days. This seems to do much for the morale of the staff but it can be difficult for students to have so much change at first, and for parents to have to wait a whole day (or weekend) to be able to communicate with a morning teacher (if, for instance, you want to know how your daughter is handling her adjustment). Again, make sure you talk with Elizabeth and head teachers about how to best get this information. And, again, if she is in the pre-K program it will be a little easier; although the teachers do not work half days, your daughter would have the same 2 teachers (who teach together) every day, whereas in the regular program kids have up to 4 different teachers during the week.

There are also several other full-time and part-time pre-school programs in the area, but we liked this one best; I know a few people who have used Robin's Nest.

I'm afraid I haven't done any research on schools but can tell you generally Marin schools are supposed to be good. As I understand it, Ross/Kentfield is the best district, San Anselmo is next, then San Rafael. I think that both the S.A. grade schools are "distinguished" schools, and we plan to use the public schools, unless we run into problems. Some of our neighbors have chosen private schools. I'm not sure of their reasons, whether it has to do with the quality of education or for other reasons. In general the schools are good, the area is full of families, there are tons of arts programs and classes and after school programs and the town keeps voting to increase taxes for schools.

I don't know how the public schools here compare with private ones here or in the East Bay; I'd love to know more if anyone else does!

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