I chose The Marin School for my daughter because she learns best in small groups. The school has proved to be a great fit for her. She's doing well academically, enjoys her peers and staff immensely - and smiles more! She's encouraged to be who she is - unique - and her self esteem is at an all time high. I'm so glad we made the choice to enroll her in TMS.
Robin Critelli (Lily '14)
My son got lost in the large public school. He was tutoring friends in advanced algebra but was all but failing the class himself. With the small class size and focused teachers at TMS, my son now gets answers to his questions quickly and easily so he is excited about learning and the roadblocks to learning have been removed. I never have to ask him about his homework. He now takes responsibility on his own. Not only is he a much happier young man, our time together is stress free.
Joan Levison (Gabe '12)
- “The safe and intellectually challenging environment The Marin School offers has been incredible for the development of my son's critical thinking abilities and overall fulfillment. He is a very happy teenager who loves his school and his teachers. He used to blend in with the crowd and be invisible, but The Marin School brought him out of his shell through its dedicated teachers and the undivided attention he gets in the small class size setting.”
Celia Graterol and Sally Kuhlman (Alejandro ’08)
“Like many teens, our son thrives in environments that offer clear structure and expectations, on-going specific feedback, opportunity to put the feedback to use, and a friendly and supportive atmosphere in which teachers and administrators see and meaningfully challenge him. In choosing a high school, his criteria included: (1) academically challenging; (2) close to home; and (3) friendly. The Marin School provides all of that and then some. As a result, our son is thriving academically and is a happy teen. I also love the fact that I need not become the “homework police”. He knows exactly what is expected and when and is motivated to get his work done and get on with having fun! The Marin School makes a huge positive difference in our lives!”
Pat Newmann (Jeremy ‘09)
“At TMS, my son isn't expected to fit into a cookie-cutter mold. He can be his best self without judgment. That's why, I think, he is able to push himself farther than he ever has academically - he feels safe enough to take risks and fail. That's what learning is all about: plunging into unfamiliar territory with enthusiasm and curiosity. And frankly, part of that unfamiliar territory is in the quality of the work that is expected at TMS. He has never been held to such high standards because so many of his teachers in the past mistook his distractibility for inability. The teachers at TMS recognize his potential and hold him accountable.”
Joan Ryan (Ryan ’09)
“My boys are taking a vested interest in their education for the first time. I think the clarity of what’s expected has made them much more responsible students. The online monitoring system has made my life a lot easier. If an assignment is not completed, we know. My boys can download their assignments from the Internet, or check their homework schedule for the week and plan accordingly. This online posting has helped them learn to schedule their time and be more responsible. There is never any question or confusion about what’s due and when.
Last year my son was struggling with math in eighth grade; he hated it. This year math is his favorite subject, and he's doing great. When he came home from his math final exam and I asked him how he had done, he said, “I think I missed 2 problems.” He received a 91 on the exam. I couldn't be happier for him. Going to The Marin School has really helped his self esteem. The collaborative and supportive environment of The Marin School has given our boys a place where they can learn, mature and develop to their full potential.”
Melanie Rovens (Andrew ’07, Bradshaw ’09)
"I have been most impressed by the enthusiastic teaching staff - their sincere dedication to "knowing" each student both as a learner and a person has made a tremendous difference in our daughter's school experience. The time and attention they so generously and patiently extend to every student is unparalleled in any other school setting I am aware of.”
Cathy Levin (Sarah ’06)
“We are grateful to The Marin School for understanding our teens. We, as parents, have daily updates as it concerns each day’s classroom performance. The teachers and staff are cool, young and have a very open outlook. We wish that we elected to send our daughter to The Marin School from the very start of her high school experience.”
Bob and Bonnie Penprase (Liz ’06)
“What initially attracted us to TMS was the teacher to student ratio of 1:8 and the unique structure of the school day (a combination of classes and workshops where teachers review homework with each student). This meant to us that the teachers were very hands-on with each student and that busywork and huge nightly homework loads—which have no correlation with amount learned—were not the only focus every evening, so a student’s family life could also be valued and honored. These were the things that most attracted us to TMS, and as this is our second year here, we now know how wonderful the school really is for our teenager who is flourishing under the guidance and expectations of his excellent teachers and his very nice peers.”
Louann Brizendine (John ’08)
“Thank you for continuing to provide the structure that allows each individual to be recognized for his or her strengths. The Marin School’s particular attention has given our son the confidence to confront those things that were more challenging. The faculty’s rigor and support has meant he’s not been overlooked in any way and now feels capable of meeting the challenge.”
Kelly and Larry Sultan (Max ’06)
“Three weeks before our son, John, finished his first semester of sophomore year at a local public high school, we were surprised to discover that he had a couple unsatisfactory grades. He could graduate from high school with these grades, but he wanted to go to a good college. Through personal references and networking, we heard of The Marin School in Sausalito, a small college prep high school, headed by long-time educator Barbara Schakel.
TMS's low student/teacher ratio results in close communication between students and teachers. Parents and students have access to online data submitted by the teachers, which includes daily homework completion percentages and bimonthly progress reports. All teachers meet daily to discuss every student's progress. They telephone home when students are sick to ask how they feel and to assist them with any work missed. It's a relief to not be a "homework police" and to enjoy time spent with our much more confident son.”
Jeanne and Bill Cahill (John ’07)
“The Marin School offers a personal, dynamic approach to education unrivaled in the Bay Area. Our daughter, Lauren, transferred there in the middle of her sophomore year after becoming disillusioned with the unnecessarily competitive and high-stress environment that persisted at the private high school she was attending in San Francisco. As she described it, she felt that she was taking in massive amounts of information while studying late into the night and for most of every weekend, but actually learning relatively little in the process. She has found the culture and teaching philosophy at The Marin School to have precisely the opposite effect -- she is gaining wisdom and knowledge critical to her success in college and beyond.
One of the most incredible attributes of The Marin School is its flexibility in creating academic programs best-suited to each student’s particular interests and abilities. For example, Lauren is accelerated in mathematics, and after having demonstrated the ability and desire to advance to calculus in her junior year, she was allowed to skip pre-calculus. This was really incredible, because it posed a seemingly impossible dilemma -- the scheduled calculus class conflicted with Lauren's honors history class. This dilemma might have foreclosed Lauren from taking calculus this year in most schools, but not for the incredibly committed faculty of The Marin School. One of the advanced math teachers gave up his daily free period to hold class one-on-one with Lauren, and he is designing a more advanced mathematics program for her senior year that will go beyond calculus. Considered as a whole, it has been our experience that the small class size and close interaction among the staff, faculty and students has created a truly supportive, enriching and productive atmosphere in which students of all abilities and interests flourish to achieve their fullest academic potential.” Luanne Sacks (Lauren ’07)