Schools: San Rafael

Public Schools:

Vallecito (K-5)
Dixie (K-5)
Mary E. Silvera (K-5)
Miller Creek Middle School (6-8)

Dixie School District
Mike Watenpaugh, Superintendent
380 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 492-3700 (Information)



Bahia Vista (K-5)
Coleman (K-5)
Glenwood (K-5)
Laurel Dell (K-5)
San Pedro (K-5)
Sun Valley (K-5)
Davidson (6-8)
Venetia Valley (K-8)


San Rafael School District
Mike Watenpaugh, Superintendent
310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 492-3200 (Information)
(415) 492-3233 (Superintendent's Office)
Fax: (415) 492-3245



The San Rafael Elementary School District serves neighborhoods within the central Marin community of San Rafael. The district has six elementary schools, one K-8 school and one middle school. The schools for kindergarten through fifth grade are Bahia Vista, Coleman, Glenwood, Laurel Dell, San Pedro and Sun Valley Elementary Schools. Venetia Valley is the kindergarten through eighth grade school. James B. Davidson Middle School serves students in grades 6-8. District enrollment is 3553 students. Students of the San Rafael Elementary School District are also in the San Rafael High School District. The district office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parent volunteer participation within the district takes many forms. Parents assist in the classrooms and in PTA-sponsored programs that enrich the core curriculum and raise funds for student programs. Members of the business and residential community support the San Rafael Elementary School District through contributions to the San Rafael Public Education Foundation. Several community organizations and local businesses provide volunteers who assist in the classrooms or offer after-school tutorial training.


Bahia Vista School serves the communities east of Highway 101 and south of the San Rafael Canal, including Larkspur Landing. In the fall of 2006, students and staff of Bahia Vista were welcomed into an entirely new school built on the location of the former school building. The new facility consists of two, two-story buildings that can accommodate approximately 450 students. Bahia Vista School has a strong focus on literacy and uses ?Success for All,? a phonics-based reading program developed at Johns Hopkins University. Student achievement of fundamental skills is stressed and measured through standardized tests, benchmark assessments, portfolios of student work and teacher observation. English learning students also receive daily structured, systematic instruction in English Language Development. The school community celebrates student cultural and ethnic diversity. The Bahia Vista Family Center (BVFC) serves students and their families by providing access to a variety of services and after school programs. The BVFC is a Healthy Start Program. The school also has an Even Start family literacy program as well as an extensive after school program through grant funding.

Coleman School, located east of Highway 101 near Central San Rafael, serves the Dominican neighborhood and downtown San Rafael. It is an entirely new school facility, constructed in 2004. Classrooms are arranged around the library, which serves as a focal point on the campus. A separate kindergarten building is located at the front of the campus to provide easy access for students and their families. The campus also includes a multi-purpose building and soccer field. Coleman School has a literacy coordinator who provides resources, staff development and support in the reading program. Technology supports learning across the curriculum and in the library resource center. Also, every classroom has access to state-of- the-art technology. In addition to the core curriculum, Coleman offers music, yoga, physical education, creative arts instruction, school tutorials and after school enrichment and support classes. The school/parent community is actively involved as volunteers on SSC, PTA and SELAC Committees. Parent-paid after school daycare is available on site.

Davidson Middle School, a culturally diverse grade 6-8 school serving San Rafael, offers a comprehensive academic and enrichment program for students both during and after the school day. Our Core program offers advanced and on-level classes in Language Arts, Social Studies, Math and Science. Physical Education and an extensive elective program are also part of the curriculum. Through a block schedule, students are able to successfully achieve the state standards at an appropriate pace. GATE, ELL and Special Education classes are offered, as well as a comprehensive after school program. A strong counsel-ling program is also provided. An intensive intramural program complements the school day activity. Having recently completed a $19.5 million renovation of the campus, students are provided with the most up-to-date facilities, classrooms, technology, textbooks and materials. Working together with a strong PTA and other community agencies, Davidson offers a unique and comprehensive program for each child in order to insure student achievement and preparation for high school.

Glenwood School, a National Blue Ribbon School, located east of Central San Rafael, serves the area from Bayside Acres east to Peacock Gap. Glenwood School has a multipurpose building, state-of-the-art computer lab, new art and science building, a large library and baseball diamond and soccer fields. The school's access to a marsh provides for a seasonal environmental study program. Glenwood School provides standards-based instruction and enrichment programs that lead to a high level of academic excellence. Parent involvement and an emphasis on family activities are vital components of the Glenwood School program. The many volunteer hours given by parents (approximately 6,000 hours per year) greatly benefit the school. The school community is culturally diverse, representing many countries. Education workshops help parents integrate learning into family life. Active parent participation is evident and welcomed throughout the school. Before and after school programs include Scout troops, sports and classes in Spanish, French, writing, chess and art. Daycare is available before and after school.

Laurel Dell School, the district's smallest school, opened its doors in 1996. Laurel Dell serves students both in the Bret Harte and east Gerstle Park neighborhoods, and throughout the district. The school has seven classrooms, a library and a computer lab, an outdoor amphitheater, and a beautiful school garden. Laurel Dell offers students a challenging classroom experience and an extended-day kindergarten program. The curriculum is delivered through developmentally appropriate practices that meet the needs of the school's diverse population. All classroom teachers provide quality, standards-based programs in literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies. Laurel Dell enjoys a diversity of cultures among the student body. The PTA/SELAC is very active and supports the school community, sponsoring special events and coordinating parent efforts such as creating a school garden, the Harvest Festival, Dollar Days, and Fiesta del Sol. After school programs include SNAP, Cub Academy, art, science, YMCA sports and academic tutoring.

San Pedro School is located in the Loch Lomond neighborhood east of downtown San Rafael. It serves the communities east of Highway 10, the area south of the San Rafael Canal, and the Loch Lomond neighborhood. San Pedro is now enjoying recent renovation with a new multipurpose building, library, computer lab and classroom wing. The sports fields were restored, and completed in 2007 school year. San Pedro implements standards-based, district-adopted curriculum in all subject areas and provides intense reading and English language intervention through three different research-based programs. Enrichment programs include 4th and 5th grade music (vocal and beginning instrumental instruction), 3rd-grade string exposure, K-3 grade music (vocal and rhythm instruction), and 4th and 5th grade poetry workshops. Fifth-grade students participate in the Walker Creek Outdoor Education Program. Additional academic support and enrichment is provided for all 4th and 5th graders and some 3rd graders in an extensive after-school program.

Sun Valley School is located at the western end of San Rafael adjacent to rolling hills and acres of open space. The school serves the western portion of San Rafael including the Gerstle Park and Spring Grove areas. Sun Valley School has a new multipurpose building, library, soccer field and school garden and continues to enjoy the newly renovated school facility. The curriculum at Sun Valley is delivered through developmentally appropriate single-grade and multi-age instructional practices that meet the needs of the children. Both multi-age and single-grade classrooms provide quality standards based programs in literacy, mathematics, science and social science. Fifth grade students participate in outdoor education. The Block enrichment Program includes weekly art and music, bi-weekly P.E. and a rotation of science, computers and garden taught by appropriate consultants. After school activities include art, foreign language, sports and scout troops. A plethora of after school classes are provided by San Rafael Community Services. On-site day care is available after school.

Venetia Valley School is a K-8 school serving the communities of Los Ranchitos and Santa Venetia. It is located in northeast San Rafael near Marin County Civic Center. The school buildings have recently been remodeled and modernized. Venetia Valley School emphasizes a curriculum that challenges each child to excel in reading, writing, mathematics and science, as well as art, music, gardening, and special physical education programs. Classroom technology enhances student learning. Students in grades K-5 may opt to participate in an English/Spanish dual language program that develops student literacy in both languages by the 5th grade. The 6-8 grade program consists of two to three classes at each grade level, offering a full range of challenging, academic instruction. Flexible grouping is used to address student needs and interests.

San Rafael High School (9-12)
Terra Linda High School (9-12)
Madrone Continuation School (9-12)
San Rafael Adult Education

San Rafael High School District
Mike Watenpaugh, Superintendent
310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 492-3200 (Information)
(415) 492-3233 (Superintendent's Office)
Fax: (415) 492-3245

The San Rafael High School District provides secondary education to students residing in two elementary districts of central Marin: Dixie School District and San Rafael Elementary School District. District students also reside in the Marin Community College District. The San Rafael High School District has two comprehensive high schools, San Rafael High and Terra Linda High, an alternative high school, Madrone, and an adult education program for those wishing to learn English. District enrollment is 2,158 students. The district office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parents, community members and local businesses support the district's schools through contributions to the San Rafael Public Education Foundation. Parents take an active role in the district by volunteering with classroom activities, PTA and Home and School Club programs, site leadership teams and booster clubs. The local business community supports the district by contributing matching donations and serving on school advisory committees.

San Rafael High School is a 118 year old institution occupying 33 acres in central San Rafael. The school has an auditorium, theater, wood and metal shops, five computer labs, a swimming pool, three gyms, six tennis courts, a radio station and an all-weather track and lighted athletic field. The school was recently modernized. San Rafael High offers college preparatory instruction and more than 20 honors/advancement placement courses in math, English, foreign language, social studies, fine arts and science. San Rafael High offers courses in technology, business, industrial arts, computer networking and other vocations. Along with the award winning music program, courses are also offered in theatre and fine arts. A rigorous English Language Development program serves a student population representing 30 countries. Wiring for classrooms has been completed since San Rafael's status as a Digital High School. The staff includes 53 certificated teachers, two assistant principals and two counselors to assist the principal. Approximately 80% of the students enter college each year.

Terra Linda High School, a 2005 Distinguished School, provides comprehensive 9-12 grade education on a well-equipped and spacious campus in northern San Rafael. TLHS has a library computer lab and media center, a journalism lab, a Computer Assisted Design lab and science, math and English labs. Athletic facilities include a gymnasium, pool, a new all-weather track and football and soccer field, lacrosse and baseball fields. The school was recently modernized and added a new Performing Arts Center. TLHS offers more than 20 honors and advanced placement courses in English, math, science, social studies and foreign language. TLHS provides technical preparation in catering and small business design, design and construction and auto mechanics. Quality drama, music and athletic programs are also offered. A well-trained and highly qualified group of professionals staff TLHS. As a Digital High School, TLHS has completed networking throughout the school. More than 90% of the graduates enter post-secondary educational institutions. The staff includes 58 certificated teachers, two assistant principals and two counselors to assist the principal.

Madrone Continuation High School provides an alternative secondary education for students in the San Rafael High School District. The school is currently undergoing modernization and students and programs have been relocated to the Davidson annex property for the 2006-2007 school year. Students receive individualized attention in classes that emphasize academics, self-discipline, self-esteem and accountability. Each student is assigned a school counselor. Technology is integrated into the coursework, with a ratio of one computer per every two students. The average class size is 17 students. Student achievement is measured on a pass/fail grading system. Students may earn a diploma at Madrone or return to the comprehensive high school program. Graduation requirements are consistent with those of the comprehensive high school program.

San Rafael Adult Education is an independent program offering classes in metalworking, steel pan drums and Spanish, as well as English as a Second Language (ESL) for limited and non-English speaking students. ESL classes are held Monday through Friday mornings from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Bahia Vista School and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Venetia Valley School (formerly Gallinas). Student creativity is developed through Metalworking and Intermediate Spanish classes, held on Tuesday evenings at San Rafael High. Steel Pan Band class is held Tuesday evenings at Davidson Middle School. San Rafael Adult Education operates independently with its own administration and students.

Private Schools:

Grades: K-8th
Enrollment: 148

Brandeis Hillel Day School
180 N. San Pedro Road
(415) 472-1833

Brandeis mission is to serve the Jewish community by providing children with an outstanding academic program in general and Judaic studies within a dynamic and diverse Jewish cultural environment. Brandeis Hillel Day School (BHDS) is an independent co-educational school providing an outstanding academic education for children in grades kindergarten through eight. Brandeis Hillel students become accomplished, independent, creative and critical thinkers who develop a life-long love of learning. A low student to teacher ratio allows students individual attention and sets the foundation to build self-confidence within a nurturing environment.


Grades: 9th-12th
Enrollment: 400


Marin Academy
1600 Mission Avenue
(415) 453-4550

Marin Academy is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory high school, located in San Rafael, California, twelve miles north of San Francisco. Marin Academy is recognized as an innovative school whose blend of rigorous college preparation and distinguished performing and visual arts occupies a unique place in secondary education. It is a school which seeks to balance its commitment to providing an outstanding academic curriculum alongside a variety of challenging experiences - among them athletics, outdoor education, and service learning - when, taken as a whole, constitute a Marin Academy education.


Grades: PK-8th
Enrollment: 189


Marin Waldorf School
755 Idylberry Road
(415) 479-8190

The Waldorf curriculum is complex and articulated throughout the eight years that the class teacher remains with their students. Each Waldorf School is independent and each Waldorf class teacher decides the best way to deliver the curriculum to his or her own set of students. A Waldorf education has abundant richness to offer above and beyond a conventional education. There are no grades until late middle school. Instead, teachers hold detailed parent conferences and write extensive reports on the children's progress. In lieu of textbooks, the children create beautiful main lesson books alongside their block studies. There is no standardized testing, though students in seventh grade begin practicing for SSAT placement, and there are no computer or video aids in any classroom.


Grades: 2yrs- 6th
Enrollment: 115


Montessori de Terra Linda
620 Del Ganado
(415) 479- 7377

Montessori de Terra Linda (MDTL), has been serving children and their families since 1970. MDTL offers a Montessori education for children ages two through twelve. Montessori de Terra Linda is associated with Association Montessori Internationale. AMI is the original association created in 1932 to uphold the standards of Montessori education as set by Dr. Maria Montessori. Montessori de Terra Linda's program assures that each child receives the highest level of Montessori education, one that not only provides a solid foundation for his or her further education, but is a preparation for life. Montessori de Terra Linda provides a unique learning environment founded on the principles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. Our dedicated school community guides and nurtures the natural unfolding of the whole child in an atmosphere of order, beauty and harmony. Each child is actively supported in the self-directed pursuit of lifelong intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth.


Grades: K-8th
Enrollment: 260


St. Isabella's Parochial Elementary
1 Trinity Way
(415) 479-7373

St. Isabella School has been Educating Tomorrow's Leaders for over 40 years. The philosophy and values of St. Isabella School call us to provide an outstanding education which integrates the teaching of Jesus, and the gospel values into every aspect of the intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and most importantly, spiritual growth of each child. St. Isabella's encourages their students to discover and to develop their God-given gifts; to become people of character with a love for learning and a zest for life. St. Isabella School has 260 students, with an average of 29 students per class, kindergarten through grade 8. There are classroom aides for grades 1-5 and K-8 science classes. The middle school, grades 6-8, is departmental. The faculty includes specialist teachers for Spanish, music, algebra, PE, computer technology and science. St. Isabella's also has a school counselor and two learning resource teachers; one for grades K-4, the other for 5-8. Our full and part-time faculty gives us a teacher student ratio of 1:17.


Grades: K-8th
Enrollment: 380


Mark Day Elementary
39 Trellis Drive
(415) 472-8000

Saint Mark's School provides a challenging academic program in a nurturing community that values respect, responsibility and trust. An independent, nonsectarian school, Saint Mark's enrolls students in Kindergarten through grade eight who will benefit from rigorous academic and creative challenges. While the school celebrates world cultures, faiths and values, it has no religious affiliation of its own. The school works in partnership with families to foster academic success and personal growth. Saint Mark's recognizes that a diverse community enriches the learning of all students and promotes global understanding and citizenship. Saint Mark's was accredited in 1984 by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and was given full membership in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).


Grades: K-8th
Enrollment: 227


St. Raphael's Elementary
1100 5th Avenue
(415) 454-4455

Saint Raphael School is a fully accredited Catholic elementary school located in the heart of downtown San Rafael, adjacent to the Church and Mission. Saint Raphael School, rooted in the Dominican tradition, is dedicated to living out Catholic values in a richly diverse population, while providing a strong academic education for all students. As Catholic Educators, Saint Raphael's primary challenge is to present the gospel message of Jesus in order to develop a Christian community that promotes the values of love, peace, and service to others on personal, group, national and global levels. Saint Raphael's believes that nurturing healthy intellects, psyches, and bodies fosters intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity that are essential to the overall development of the student. Saint Raphael School is part of the educational system of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The faculty believes that parents are the primary educators and they are there to assist them in their task.


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.