Schools: Novato

Public Schools:

Hamilton (K-5)
Loma Verda (K-5)
Lu Sutton (K-5)
Lynwood (K-5)
Olive (K-5)
Pleasant Valley (K-5)
Rancho (K-5)
San Ramon (K-5)
Hill Middle School (6-8)

San Jose (6-8)
Sinaloa (6-8)
Marin Oaks High School (9-12)
Novato High School (9-12)
San Marin High School (9-12)
Marin School of Arts Charter High School (9-12)
NOVA Independent Study (K-12)
Novato Charter School (K-8)
Nexus (7-10)

Novato Unified School District
Dr. Shalee Cunnignham, Superintendent
1015 Seventh Street, Novato, CA 94945
(415) 897-4201 Fax: (415) 898-5790


The Novato Unified School District serves students in kindergarten through grade 12 in northern Marin. The district includes eight elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, one necessary small high school, an independent study program for K-12 (NOVA), a community day school and two charters: one K-8 and one high school. September 2006 district enrollment was 8,060 students. The Novato Unified School District Education Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PTA activities, booster clubs, leadership teams, The Novato Foundation for Public Education (School Fuel) and classroom programs provide opportunities for parent participation in shaping the quality of instruction. Parents, community members and local businesses support the district through a parcel assessment, A+ for Kids and The Novato Foundation for Public Education. The district also benefits from collaborative partnerships with several businesses, community agencies and the Novato Community Hospital. In November 2001, the community passed a $107 million facilities improvement bond to enable the district to repair and renovate its facilities. A parcel tax was passed in March 2005, to support visual and performing arts, class size reduction, counseling and library services. Improvement projects are ongoing and focus on safety and upgrading facilities.

Learning has no limits. Hamilton Elementary School includes two campuses: the former Meadow Park School and Hamilton School. The combined campus occupies 18 acres and has a library, multi-use room and turfed playing fields. The overriding goal of preparing students for the 21st century guides our work in curriculum and instruction and our interaction with children and parents. Staff and parents work in consort to provide a meaningful education in a nurturing and inclusive environment to maximize learning for a diverse population. Students participate as leaders on Student Council and as Conflict Managers. They also study Megaskills and Bully Proofing social skills programs. Hamilton is one of four Novato Schools that received a grant from the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (BASRC) in collaboration with the District Education Center, focusing on improving students' reading skills.

Building a future for all children. Loma Verde Elementary School is located on 12 acres and has a multi-use room, computer/science lab, library and turfed playing field. The school reflects a commitment to an academic focus. The staff uses a variety of teaching strategies to meet the needs of all students, such as team teaching with the support staff, cooperative and paired learning and cross-age tutoring. Recognizing positive behavior is an important part of the development of the students' self-esteem. Students participate in Leadership Council, conflict management, and Bully Proofing. Parent participation is strong and focuses on supporting all students in the diverse population, through PTA, Leadership Team, and volunteering. Loma Verde Elementary is a California Distinguished School.

Educating all students to become life-long learners who are independent, responsible and productive citizens in our diverse society. Lu Sutton Elementary School, located on 10 acres, has a multi-use room, library, computer lab and turfed playing fields. Students participate in a rigorous standards-based program with an instructional focus on language, math and science. Involving the family as a partner in learning is the cornerstone of the program. Teachers incorporate hands-on projects involving the entire curriculum. To further enhance our instructional program, students benefit from a strong Student Council program (grades 3-5) as well as our Mega Skills program that promotes strong character and citizenship. Our very supportive PTA supports Lu Sutton in a variety of ways, including art docent presentations, numerous field trips, assemblies and the beautification of the school campus.

Faculty and staff provide a standards-based comprehensive curriculum that addresses and meets the needs of all students in a safe and nurturing environment. Lynwood Elementary School is located on 10 acres and has a multi-use room, computer lab, library and turfed playing fields. Literacy is a school focus. We offer a number of programs to meet the needs of our students. Our instructional assistants and volunteers read with the students daily. Teachers and support staff work in grade level teams to provide a strong core program for students. Lynwood has an excellent counseling program as part of its School Linked Services project. This is the third year of the Even Start grant, which addresses preschool and parent education. Lynwood is one of four Novato schools that have received a Readiness grant through First Five of Marin. This summerwe held our first Kinder Academy.

We are committed to providing a challenging standards-based instructional program that focuses on developing the knowledge and skills in students required for them to become responsible and resilient learners in a rapidly changing world. Olive School is located on nine acres and has four classroom wings, a multi-use room, library, computer lab and turfed playing fields. For the past twelve years, Olive has operated on a modified calendar. Our third grade eliminated the "Early Bird/Late Bird" schedule to provide a full day of instruction that enables us to implement the standards-based curriculum. To further enhance our instructional program, students benefit from a strong Student Council program (grades 3-5), art docent lectures and numerous field trips and assemblies. In addition, our PTA funds an art and multiyear Spanish language program for all students.

Dedicated to building a community of learners where students strive to reach their full potential academically, socially and emotionally. Pleasant Valley School is located on 12 acres and has a library, community center, turfed playing fields and a wellequipped computer lab. Staff and parents work in partnership to provide a safe and stimulating learning environment. There is a high level of parent involvement. The standards-based academic program is enriched with such activities as field trips and assemblies. Technology is integrated into the curriculum of all classes. Positive social skills are encouraged through class meetings, a conflict managers program and a life-skills group. The Eagle Word Program promotes strong character and citizenship. The PTA supports the school in many ways, including the beautification of the school campus. Pleasant Valley was named a California Distinguished Schoo in 1993 and again in 2002 and received a Marin County Golden Bell Award in 2002 for the Book In A Bag program.

Acquisition of basic skills through direct instruction. Rancho School is located on 11 acres. It has a newly remodeled library, computer lab, multi-use room and turfed playing fields. Rancho School is the home of the Essentialist Program, a more structured approach to education, with an emphasison basic academic skills and subjects and establishment of good study habits. Rancho is a magnet school serving students from throughout the Novato Unified School District. Rancho provides a variety of activities for students, many sponsored by the PTA. An Eagle Card program serves as an incentive for academic achievement, good behavior and helpfulness. The school has a high level of parent support. Rancho has been a California Distinguished School, received the Governor's Reading Award and received a Golden Bell in 2002 for their "Ranchoberg" project.

Children, parents and staff work cooperatively at San Ramon in a safe and caring environment where all children can learn, be successful and prepare themselves to live in and contribute to, a changing world. San Ramon Elementary School is located on 7 acres. It consists of three buildings clustered around a library. Kindergarten classes are held in a separate cluster. The school is surrounded by turfed playing fields. San Ramon focuses on educating the whole child. The instructional approach is to involve students with decision making and problem solving in a cooperative setting with emphasis on integration of subjects. It is recognized as a model program balancing rigorous academic content standards with enriched student appropriate curriculum. In 1995 and 2000, San Ramon was designated a California Distinguished School.

Maximize student success through academic achievement and social development. Hill Middle School was completely remodeled in 1991 when it opened as a middle school. The school facilities include a multi-use room, gym, two computer labs, research lab, media center, library, science labs, art room and television studio. Hill's commitment to student learning is reflected in its emphasis on the whole child. Whether it is in the core curriculum, student activities, performing arts, physical fitness, foreign language, computer education, counseling or peer educators, the emphasis is on the student. A well-established positive reward system for academics and behavior is in place. Regular student of the month assemblies are celebrated. Small World Week takes place each January. Civil War Days occur in May. Hill Middle televises news every Friday to each classroom. Hill has been awarded a Marin County Golden Bell Award three times for outstanding after school support programs, student involved garden projects and support core classes for our EL students. Hill has been named a California Distinguished School twice.

Where children learn and grow in a supportive environment. San Jose Middle School is located on 18 acres. Special facilities include a library, gymnasium, new computer/multi-media lab, band and chorus room, a wood shop and several turfed playing fields. San Jose's staff provides a safe, inviting environment for students where social and emotional growth is valued. All students in English language arts, history, social science, science and physical education take a common core curriculum. Math and science are offered in heterogeneous groups. Elective exploratory courses allow students to pursue areas of interest. A variety of elective courses are offered, including exploratory, Spanish I, publication, music, drama, woodshop, art, leadership and various support classes. The instructional approach encourages independent thinking, integration of content, cooperative learning and infusion of technology. Student activities are numerous. San Jose received a Marin County Golden Bell Award in 2002 for its school-wide project, is a California Distinguished School and is the first recipient of a Hewlett/Annenburg Grant in Marin County.

Sinaloa Middle School is a supportive community where students are challenged to acquire the knowledge and skills to live as responsible individuals in a world of change. Sinaloa Middle School is located on a 25-acre wooded site and has facilities that include a library, gymnasium, computer lab, woodshop, band, art and drama rooms and several large turfed playing fields. Spanish is offered in the eighth grade. Sinaloa offers multiple avenues for students to develop a sound educational foundation through emphasis on study skills and critical thinking. A guidance program in educational planning, goal setting and decision-making assists students in becoming independent and self-confident. Peer tutoring matches students who help each other with schoolwork. Students in grades 7 and 8 are trained to act as buddies for incoming 6th graders. All standard middle school required courses and electives are offered. Special events and activities are part of Sinaloa's daily routine. Student clubs are primarily oriented toward community and school service. Sinaloa won a Marin County Golden Bell for its student activities program and was named a California Distinguished Middle School in 2003.

"Promote resilient, compassionate and responsible young adults" in a small community where students actively participate in both the learning and the decision-making. Marin Oaks High School is the district's alternative high school located on the Novato High School campus. This location gives students an opportunity to enroll in elective classes at Novato High School in addition to their assigned core curriculum. Marin Oaks High School continues to offer an alternative program for students looking for a smaller learning environment with greater flexibility. Students enrolled have the opportunity to make up lost credits while working to improve basic skills. A counseling program is part of the basic curriculum with each student developing an Individual Learning Plan. In addition to offering individual instruction and counseling support, Marin Oaks' students are able to take advantage of a variety of instructional strategies including small classroom instruction, computer assisted instruction, project based curriculum, Regional Occupational Program classes and local community college courses.

The world is a teacher. NOVA Independent Study program is the only K-12 independent study program in Marin County. It is located on the Hill Middle School site on the left side of the campus. NOVA is an alternative program that offers self-directed and individualized learning experiences for elementary and secondary school students. A wide variety of human and standards-based material resources are available for students. Instruction is collaborative between the student and the teachers. NOVA requires the same number of credits for graduation as required by all Novato schools at the 8th and 12th grade levels. In 2004, NOVA Independent Study was commended for its fine program and received a full six-year accreditation with a three-year review by WASC.

The mission of Novato High School is to create a safe and positive environment in which to educate and inspire our students, instill in them respect for self and others, and foster an appreciation for learning. Novato High School will prepare students for postsecondary education, economic selfsufficiency and effective citizenship in aculturally diverse society. Novato High School is situated on 38 acres, with 56 classrooms, labs, a lecture hall, career center, library, music room, three computer labs and two gymnasiums. Outdoor facilities include tennis and basketball courts, softball and baseball diamonds, a football stadium and a swimming pool. Novato High School provides students with many opportunities to develop their personal interaction skills. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are an integral part of student assignments. The academic program covers college preparatory courses (honors/advanced placement), vocational and general education, art, music, technology, business, and industrial arts. Novato is home to the Marin School of the Arts, a general arts-based magnet school. An array of co-curricular activities is available. Novato High has won the Marin County Academic Decathlon nine years in a row. The faculty is comprised of professional educators who are fully credentialed and in some cases possess advanced degrees.

Provide a supportive environment where each student can attain his or her potential. San Marin High School is located on 39.6 acres. It has a gymnasium, student center, career center, science lecture room, and computer and photo labs. Its athletic facilities include tennis and basketball courts, a baseball diamond and a newly refurbished football field and all-weather track. San Marin has established educational objectives aimed at providing students with challenging learning experiences in academics, in making future career and educational choices, in appreciating arts, in developing an understanding of the world community, the role of citizenship and personal responsibility, and in promoting desirable leisure-time activities. San Marin has an award-winning band and choir and an assortment of clubs to meet the wide range of student interests. Over 80% of our students are involved in athletic or performing arts, which represent their involvement and pride in San Marin High School. In 2002, San Marin High School received a Marin County Golden Bell Award for its Communications and Multi-media Academy.

Committed to educating the whole child through a Waldorf-Inspired curriculum. Novato Charter School is a public charter school in which teachers use educational methods that nurture and inspire creativity, critical thinking and motivated learning. As an institution committed to educating the whole child, the school endeavors to foster the unfolding of each child's full potential. Using a Waldorf-method's curriculum integrated with current best educational practices and state standards, our teachers nurture the imagination in the early years in order to build a foundation for abstract thinking. The child's intellect is appropriately challenged in the middle years and through 8th grade. This education places equal emphasis on a solid academic foundation, artistic expression and social/emotional development. Novato Charter School offers visual and performing arts, foreign language, music programs, handwork, woodworking, gardening and environmental education, games and celebration of seasonal festivities.

MSAT is dedicated to helping students achieve personal and academic success using project-based learning, integration of arts and technology, personalization and high expectations for all students. MSAT is a public charter high school located on the Indian Valley Campus of the College of Marin. Based on a nationally recognized, award-winning model for high school education, MSAT offers a rigorous, relevant curriculum based on proven best practices. MSAT students will graduate qualified and prepared for college and career and having mastered core academic, leadership, art and technology skills. MSAT has a student-teacher ratio of 22-1. MSAT's teachers are state-certified, experienced and passionate. Principal Stewart Fox, a middle and high school administrator, has more than 25 years of experience. Executive Director Bob Lenz is an experienced Marin educator, teacher trainer and member of the Board of Directors of Marin's Buck Institute for Education.

It is our intention to motivate students, engage them in academic inquiry, support their social/emotional growth and show them how to become active, contributing members of the community. Nexus Academy is currently located at the District Education Center. We are a Community Day School for 7th through 10th graders in the Novato Unified School District. Students are referred to the program through the expulsion process, the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) or Probation Services. Students and their families participate in an intake meeting prior to enrollment. At that meeting, and Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is developed to identify required steps to insure student success. Students have the opportunity to make up lost credits while continuing to meet grade level curriculum standards. Counseling services are also available to all students. Staff focuses on academic and social/emotional growth to support students as they work toward re-entry into the mainstream site. The program fosters safety and a sense of belonging. The staff creates a positive learning environment so that students may reach their goals.

Private Schools:

Grades: PK- 8th
Enrollment: 235

Christian Life School
1370 S. Novato Blvd
(415) 892- 5713

Marin Christian Academy and Noah's Ark Preschool located in Novato, CA, provide some of the best private school education in Marin County for Preschool through eighth grade. Marin Christian Academy is committed to providing a high academic program with proven curriculum that will include the development of the whole child spiritually, mentally, socially, physically and emotionally. MCA?s strong academic program is Biblically based and uses a comprehensive core curriculum with an emphasis fine arts and technology. Through the academic program, students are challenged to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, become caring citizens of society, develop critical thinking skills, study skills and basic academic skills that are essential to future to success. MCA?s goal is to equip students to become intrinsically motivated to perform and achieve, commit themselves to becoming life-long learners, accept responsibility for their own actions and serve God and their fellow man with love and respect.


Grades: PK-5th
Enrollment: 240


Good Shepherd Lutheran
1180 Lynwood Drive
(415) 897-9761

Located in the beautiful rolling hills of Novato, Good Shepherd Lutheran School offers an enriched academic experience in a nurturing Christian environment. The preschool program serves children from the age of two until Kindergarten. Our elementary program, Kindergarten through 5th grade, provides the students with a stimulating academic curriculum and enrichment classes that include instrumental music, drama, chorus, Spanish and art. All K-5 teachers are credentialed. Founded in 1976, Good Shepherd seeks to provide innovative learning opportunities where children feel challenged and supported. With smaller class sizes and an aide in every classroom, teachers are able to differentiate their programs to meet the needs of all students. Good Shepherd is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association and the California Association of Private School Organizations, and is accredited through the National Association of Education of the Young Child.


Grades: Toddler-K
Enrollment: 58


Montessori School of Novato
1466 S. Novato Blvd
(415) 892-2228

Montessori School of Novato has been owned and o operated by Susan Young since 1985. Susan has a BA in child psychology and an AMI certificate. She has been working in preschools for over 25 years. The last 20 years in Montessori classrooms. The school is licensed by the California State Department of Social Services for ages two to five years. The Montessori school year begins in September and ends in mid June. Enrollments are accepted throughout the year on a space available basis. The school year follows the Novato public school system schedule although daycare and summer programs are available. Montessori School of Novato is licensed for 60 children. There is one Toddler Class for two year olds with a maximum of 10 children with a teacher and an assistant. Toddlers are not required to be potty trained. There are two primary classes with a mixed age group of children ages three to five years. Each class has one teacher and an assistant with a maximum of 24 in each class. The enrollment in each class varies each day because children can be enrolled for three, four or five days a week.


Grades: K-12th
Enrollment: 152


North Bay Christian Academy
6965 Redwood Blvd
(415) 892-8921

North Bay Christian Academy is K-12 school with a 25 year commitment to academic excellence and strong character development with an emphasis on Christian worldview. All our regular and advanced placement classes are University of California approved. Intimate class size (10:1 student-teacher ratio) with caring, award-winning instructors! Language instruction is available in Spanish, French and Latin! NBCA is the most affordable private education in Marin. NBCA is the only Evangelical Christian high school in Marin County.


Grades: K-8th
Enrollment: 292


Our Lady of Loretto School
1811 Virginia Avenue
(415) 892-8621

Our Lady of Loretto School embraces a philosophy that places the highest priority on each child's relationship with God and on each child's self esteem. The faculty and staff, as facilitators of learning, are dedicated to providing the quality of education that encourages self-expression, embraces diversity, and balances independent thought with cooperative effort. We strive to accomplish these goals in a Christ-centered atmosphere, rich in Catholic tradition, outstanding in intellectual challenge. Our Lady of Loretto School seeks to instill in students a sense of social conscience, personal commitment, and Christian action. Drawing from the strength of their foundation in Catholic values, students will be empowered to assume responsibility for personal and moral decisions in an increasingly complex and demanding world.


Kentfield Campus
835 College Ave
(415) 457-8811

Indian Valley Campus
1800 Ignacio Blvd
(415) 457-8811

College of Marin
David Wain Coon, Ed.D
Marin Community College District
835 College Avenue
Kentfield, CA 94904

College of Marin has been providing exceptional educational opportunities since 1926. The College has earned a reputation as a quality educational institution that provides a pathway for achievement and success for students of all ages. Each semester about 8,000 students are enrolled in over 1,100 credit classes on the Kentfield and Indian Valley campuses. Approximately 100 international students participate in College of Marin's International Student Program, making for a culturally diverse educational experience. Known as Marin junior College, the first Associate Degree was granted in the spring of 1929. In 1948 the college was renamed College of Marin. On the Kentfield campus one can view a 20-foot, six million year old fossil whale on display in the Austin Science Center, picnic in the grove of giant Redwoods or visit the current art exhibit in the Fine Arts Gallery. The College is noted for its drama, dance and musical performances in the Fine Arts Theatre. Other excellent offerings include a nationally accredited Nursing Program, a science field program and competitive athletic teams. The Indian Valley campus opened in 1975 after five years of holding classes at various sites in North Marin. The 33-acre site includes 200 acres of open space, an Olympic-size swimming pool and many hiking trails. Programs in Multimedia Studies, Auto Technology, Machine and Metals Technology, Court reporting and Medical Assisting are located at the Indian Valley Campus.

Dominican College
50 Acacia Ave

Dominican University of California is an independent university of Catholic heritage located 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, California. Founded in 1890 by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, Dominican enjoys a century-long reputation for excellence in scholarship, research, and community outreach. The University offers more than 60 programs of study that reflect the diversity and creativity of the faculty and students. With almost 2,000 graduate and undergraduate students and a student to faculty ratio of 11:1, Dominican is able to successfully blend personal direction associated with smaller schools with the academic resources of a larger university.