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The Marin School

Personalized High School Education at its Best, College Prep Since 1980


The Marin School’s mission is to provide a collaborative learning community that inspires confidence, creativity, integrity, and academic excellence through a deep belief in a student's potential.


We are a welcoming, inclusive community: At TMS, each student is seen and celebrated for who they are, as they are.  This warm, welcoming culture lays a foundation where self-confidence, personal growth, creativity, and learning can thrive.


We believe a college prep curriculum goes beyond the classroom: High school isn’t just academics; high school is life experiences, milestones, and memories that happen outside the walls of a classroom.  By equally prioritizing the mastering of content and teaching students how to think, reason, interpret, analyze, and improvise, TMS graduates leave with the future-ready skills needed to embark on life's journey as thoughtful, confident, contributing members of the global community.


We take a creative approach to everything we do: Creativity is encouraged and embraced at all levels of the learning process, in classrooms and across disciplines.  The Marin School teachers are empowered to teach, and students are free to learn in surprising and unique yet thoroughly effective ways.  


We are a small school by design: Our small class size (8 average) and low-student-to-teacher ratio (6:1 average), naturally encourage more personalized teaching, experiential learning, innovative lessons, and non-traditional, yet effective, learning opportunities.  


Collaboration and connection: At TMS, students, and faculty thrive with a collaborative approach to education.  Our teachers, counselors, and administrators establish a strong rapport that fosters a community of mutual respect.  Students' strengths, passions, and areas of growth are supported at all levels.


We honor the individual learning style of every student: We are committed to creating a community of learners that embraces neurodiversity and supports a variety of learning challenges and strengths.


Focus on balance: We have a balanced approach to academics with meaningful, manageable coursework.  With a focus on the Whole Student, TMS emphasizes mindfulness with the goal to reduce anxiety and ignite intellectual curiosity.  

A Brief History of The Marin School 


The Marin School (TMS), formerly known as North Bay Secondary School (NBSS), then as North Bay Marin School (NBMS), was founded in 1980 by a small group of teachers who recognized that a number of capable students were not achieving success in a traditional public school setting. NBMS used an accountability-based program that made it possible for these capable students to achieve their academic goals.    


NBSS originally included both middle school and high school grade levels and accepted a wide range of students. As has been true throughout its history, the school was characterized by small classes and personalized attention given to each individual.  


In the mid 1980s, the North Bay Marin School (NBMS) split into two schools: North Bay Marin School and North Bay Orinda School (now known as Orinda Academy). The two schools functioned as a single nonprofit corporation with a single Board of Directors.


In 1998, NBMS legally separated from NBOS, established a separate non-profit corporation, and created a new Board of Trustees. In 2002, the Board of Trustees created a new mission statement and new name for the school. The Marin School’s mission became: To provide a collaborative learning environment that inspires creativity, integrity and academic excellence. The Marin School (TMS) continued its identity shift by promoting its strong academic program, small classes, experiential learning, and personal attention.


TMS has had a few different locations in its history. Originally, the school’s campus was in residential Mill Valley, on a site leased from the Mill Valley School District. In January 2004, TMS moved from Mill Valley to Sausalito and remained in Sausalito for nine years. In April 2013, TMS moved from Sausalito to San Rafael, and remained there for 10 years until its closure. 


The original essence of the school—a belief in the potential of each student—has remained consistent throughout the school’s history. We are proud of every student who came through our doors, and of every employee whose commitment and creativity promoted the mission and values of TMS. 

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