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Understanding gender identity and supporting transgender teens - event recording and resources

Understanding gender identity and supporting transgender teens - event recording and resources

Thank you for joining The Spahr Center and The Marin School for a virtual presentation on gender identity, and how to support the transgender youth in your life. Links to the event recording and resources mentioned during the presentation are below. Click here to view the event recording. Passcode: $0jZC66$ Are you the caregiver of a young person exploring their gender identity? Do you sometimes struggle with the right words or the “right thing” to do to show your love and support? Are you hoping to learn more about what this exploration will mean for your child? If so, we welcome you to join The Marin School and The Spahr Center for a virtual presentation on gender identity, and practical advice on how you can support the transgender youth in your life. Part 1: LGBTQ+ 101 A breakdown of terminology, pronouns, language best practices, myths, and facts about gender identity. Part 2: Panel Discussion and Q+A The panelists shared personal stories, answer questions, and talk about why it is especially important to support transgender youth and how each of us can do that right now. More resources: Parents/Caregivers Support Group (2nd and 4th Tuesdays) Upcoming dates: 2/8 7-9pm PST 2/22 7-9pm PST Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqduyqqjgqEtVVJuKZmOEoYwSgfMyM6-HC Grandparents Support Group (2nd and 4th Tuesdays) Upcoming dates: 2/8 10-11am PST 2/22 10-11am PST Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpfuGvqTotHNFANukC7eDUYozbE2-8SDuD Teach Pride Toolkit: bit.ly/teachpridetoolkit Teach Pride Reach Wide Resource: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nHq6CQo3FfCXvEVKaWdnaI2cSJDxe9sxOQe6g6Ny7cg/edit#heading=h.rpblulaw0qsb Have questions for the team at The Spahr Center? Fel Agrelius, Director of LGBTQ Programs at The Spahr Center Questions for Fel? agrelius@thespahrcenter.org Alex Marshall, student at Evergreen College, LGBTQ activist, and former TMS student Questions for Alex? marshallalex26@gmail.com (415) 342-4476 Andrea Coughlan, parent group facilitator, educator, and Alex’s mom. Questions for Andrea? andrea.coughlan7@gmail.com (314) 662-4638 Janna Barkin, Panel Moderator and Parent Group Advisor at the The Spahr Center, author, educator, and mom of a transgender son. Questions for Janna? jbarkin@thespahrcenter.org www.hesalwaysbeenmyson.com

The Marin School Empowers Students to Boost Their Confidence, Improve Their Homework Management

The Marin School Empowers Students to Boost Their Confidence, Improve Their Homework Management

There is a low murmur of voices, occasionally punctuated by laughter. Students work on laptops and tablets, heads bending closer together as they begin to tackle their first assignments of the year. In quieter corners, some students work individually, sketching, typing or reviewing assignments and schedules. Though it’s the first block of the day on the second day of the new school year, a few seniors are already in study hall, sipping coffee and getting a head start on assignments. Chanel Nijmeh, The Marin School’s director of learning services, is at the core of this bustling universe, quietly working with a student TA to put together a course syllabus. She takes a few minutes to check in with a nearby table of students to give guidance about writing an Honors English essay. Also circulating among the students is math specialist Steph Lapine, who offers support to students getting back up to speed with precalculus after the summer break. To call this a “study hall” is something of a misnomer. Often, what happens here is more of an “active support session,” or an opportunity for students to collaborate outside of class. Students who find organization and time management challenging can learn new strategies such as how to break an assignment down into small, manageable chunks, or how to use a color-coded planner to stay on top of homework. But more than anything, study hall is often the place where a student’s relationship with school and classwork can experience a shift from something that feels stressful or contentious into a process that feels productive and positive. The adjacent Learning Center is where this happens in an even more intensive and individualized way. With guidance and support aimed at growing agency and self-reliance, students discover what tools are most effective and, therefore, which study skills to hone and improve. But it isn’t merely through learning effective strategies that TMS students find confidence and success; it is also through the relationships they build with TMS’ Learning Services team, and with each other. Creating an environment that feels comfortable and conducive to collaboration allows students to grow in confidence and discover their voices. “Without a doubt, the most rewarding part of my job is watching students experience success — whatever that might mean or look like for them,” says Nijmeh. “During my time at The Marin School, I’ve seen firsthand the transformation that occurs when students feel like they belong. Watching my students grow in confidence and find their voice brings me a lot of joy.” Originally published September 1, 2021

The Marin School’s Fall Trips: Building Trust ‘Outside the Walls’ Yields Confidence in the Classroom

The Marin School’s Fall Trips: Building Trust ‘Outside the Walls’ Yields Confidence in the Classroom

When you think about your first few weeks of high school, your mind likely conjures up images of lockers, class schedules, orientation and syllabi. But at The Marin School, back to school also means whitewater rafting, hiking, backpacking, ropes courses and roasting marshmallows around the campfire. There is a reason why fall trips are one of the oldest traditions at The Marin School. Within our classrooms, we challenge our students to take risks, to try new things, to be vulnerable and to collaborate with their classmates while engaging in active problem-solving. The most important pieces to any successful collaboration, however, are trust and rapport. Our teachers and staff have found that one of the best ways to quickly grow this trust is through a memorable experience that goes beyond the everyday classroom. Studies have shown that groups who work together toward a collective goal forge a strong sense of togetherness. For example, rowing a raft down the river together transforms a group of individuals into a cohesive unit as they synchronize their physical and mental movements. These are the kinds of experiences that transform classmates into lifelong friends. Just ask Jake and Lola; on their ninth-grade fall trip, an unexpected tumble into the water cemented their growing friendship as they laughed and helped one another back into the raft. Later that night around the campfire, they learned that despite their very different backgrounds, they had a lot in common. When they returned to the classroom, they felt more comfortable tackling class projects together and with their classmates. Over the years, our alumni always note that many of their most memorable TMS moments were those moments outside the classroom — navigating the metro together on the senior trip to Barcelona, building a dry ice “cannon” for added ambiance at the Halloween-themed dance, or taking a Segway tour of San Francisco with their favorite teachers. “They may forget some geometry or poetry in a few years, but they’ll never forget experiences like fall trips,” notes longtime TMS English and drama teacher Phil van Eyck. The Marin School is a college preparatory high school providing a collaborative learning environment that inspires creativity, integrity and academic excellence. Learn more about how this small school is making a big impact; join us for a virtual info session or campus tour! Originally published October 8, 2021

Why Pronouns Matter: How Accepting Language Creates a Community of Respect

Why Pronouns Matter: How Accepting Language Creates a Community of Respect

For many people, introducing yourself to someone new is pretty simple. In the words of Claire Carden, senior at The Marin School high school in San Rafael, “You’ve been introducing yourself your whole life. You’re a total pro.” But as she reminds us, with each generation, the ways we show respect to one another are always changing. In late November, with the support of TMS’s LGBQT+ Club, two TMS seniors presented to staff and faculty about the importance of honoring pronouns. More than just an informative lecture on modern semiotics and grammar conventions, we were reminded how paying attention to an individual’s pronouns is a big step in creating an open and accepting environment. At The Marin School, we pride ourselves on providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all. Though our community was an early adopter of sharing “preferred pronouns” in introductions, part of staying on top of best practices involves gladly accepting the honor and opportunity to be “schooled” by our students. They gently reminded us that saying “preferred” could imply there is some other option, or that being transgender is somehow a choice. They reminded us that even cis people should share their pronouns because people’s gender should be self determined, not assumed by others. Their presentation — which we encourage you to watch here — also included a helpful overview of gender and sexuality spectrum — namely that gender and sexuality are not the same thing — they are more nuanced. There is your gender identity, and there is the sex you were assigned at birth (biological characteristics of a person). When it comes to our sexuality, someone might be emotionally attracted to certain biological characteristics and physically attracted to others. Want to really be an ally, but notice you tend to slip into old speech patterns? Practicing can help. If someone corrects you, say thank you. The best way to show you care is to correct yourself and move on. To quote our students, “Respecting someone’s pronouns doesn’t cost you anything, but it might mean everything to them. It’s ok to make mistakes — it is our willingness to learn, and not the mistakes we make that are important.“ Some other important tips for being an ally: DO use gender-inclusive language — watch the video presentation for examples of gender neutral pronouns for groups like “folks.” Never assume someone’s pronouns based on their physical appearance — if you need clarification, doing so privately and thoughtfully is a good way to go. There is never a good time to ask if someone is trans, that story is theirs to share with you at THEIR discretion. Remember — it is not the job of a trans person to educate you — don’t ask them to speak on behalf of the entire trans community. It can feel tokenizing, and exhausting to answer questions about gender identity. Every voice in the trans community represents a completely different experience. For more information on how YOU can be an ally: check out The Marin School’s curated resources, or contact Fel Agrelius at the Spahr Center, a non-profit community agency devoted to serving, supporting and empowering Marin’s LGBTQ+ community. Originally published on December 8, 2020

Students at The Marin School Find Unexpected Success in the Process

Students at The Marin School Find Unexpected Success in the Process

When Ayden K-F. began designing a prototype for an articulated robotic hand, he was meticulous in outlining the steps and materials he would need to be successful. Ayden, a ninth-grader at The Marin School, took on an ambitious project for his freshman seminar passion project. Thirteen-year-old classmate Emily M., already an accomplished musician who’s proficient in Spanish guitar, wanted to transcribe and play a Willie Nelson song that she loved. Fast forward a few weeks to the deadline, and both Ayden and Emily presented standout projects. Neither of them had met the goal originally outlined in their projects, but both felt extremely proud of the final product. In fact, they both were more successful because their projects did not end up as originally intended. Planning a successful project requires more than just outlining the steps; requires flexibility and responsiveness throughout the process. And learning from your mistakes is a far more satisfying experience in the long run, especially as you build resilience. As we know, things don’t always go as planned. When the original parts for the robotic hand didn’t fit and Ayden had to find a new solution, or when Emily realized that it’s much more complex to transcribe music by ear and to translate from treble to bass clef than she expected — did they give up? No, they went back to the drawing board. They demonstrated resilience by trying a new iteration, and they practiced self-advocacy by asking for help. What better skills are there for success in the 21st century? The Marin School’s freshman seminar passion project is designed to intertwine information literacy, social-emotional learning and design-thinking skills into an independently managed project. Students are guided to discover an area that is of deep interest to them, and then to build a program that encompasses their individual and unique interests. Through research and reflection, students are empowered to develop their own goals. These projects then culminate in a presentation, and the student is free to choose any format to present their findings, experience, product, etc. These presentations ultimately demonstrate mastery of time management as well as exhibit self-reflection and personal growth. They also illustrate that challenges, barriers and obstacles are the building blocks of any great project. Even more importantly, students learn that “failure” is an opportunity rather than a disaster. When these students presented their final projects, they shared with their peers how when things went poorly, they were able to try something different and benefit so much more from the process. Ultimately, they learned a lesson that will benefit them for the rest of their lives: You can’t fail if you don’t give up. Through the freshman seminar passion project, the students at The Marin School have learned that when things don’t go as planned, it usually means you are on the right track! Even when we fail, we find unexpected success in the process. Originally published April 1, 2021

Finding the Right High School for Every Kind of Learner, Including Neurodivergent Teens

Finding the Right High School for Every Kind of Learner, Including Neurodivergent Teens

The Marin School (TMS) is an independent, college-prep high school in San Rafael. Small by design, TMS students thrive in a challenging, collaborative environment where dedicated faculty set high expectations and encourage each student to realize their full potential, The Marin School values every kind of learner, including those who are neurodivergent. We offer a UC-approved, thought-provoking curriculum, with a creative approach to everything we do. Our small, supportive environment inspires our students to take risks and explore new ideas. 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. Here are some parent testimonials. Find balance, and get the support and connection you need to thrive Go beyond the mountains of busywork and endless, repetitive homework. Our classes focus on engagement and depth of understanding. Our social-emotional curriculum emphasizes mindfulness, with the goal of reducing anxiety and inspiring intellectual curiosity. We are small by design, not by default — and being small has significant benefits. The largest benefit? Our teachers truly understand their students – who they are, how they think, and what motivates them to excel. College prep curriculum with a creative approach Imagine a science class where instead of a quiz, your teacher designs an escape room, and you and your classmates must solve puzzles to open a lockbox containing the key! At TMS, creativity is encouraged and embraced at all levels of the learning process, in the classrooms, and across disciplines. The Marin School teachers are empowered to teach, and students are free to learn in surprising, unorthodox, and thoroughly effective ways. Unique STEM offerings include virology, zoology, and our FabLab maker space. Digital, visual, and performing arts electives provide opportunities for artists at all levels of experience to refine and grow their skills. Our sports teams compete in a small-school sports league with an emphasis on health and wellness — all teams are co-ed and no tryouts are required. A daily shuttle service makes stops along a central corridor throughout San Francisco and Marin County. Want to learn more about how The Marin School can make a big impact for your student? See us in action — join us today for a campus tour. https://marinmagazine.com/community/education/finding-the-right-high-school-for-your-neurodivergent-teen/

Understanding Gender Identity and Supporting Transgender Youth - virtual community event

Understanding Gender Identity and Supporting Transgender Youth - virtual community event

RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/244849259727 On February 2nd, we invite you to join The Marin School and The Spahr Center for a virtual presentation on gender identity, and to learn how you can support the transgender youth in your life. Part 1: LGBTQ+ 101 A breakdown of terminology, pronouns, language best practices, myths and facts about gender identity, plus time to answer audience questions. Part 2: Panel Discussion and Q+A with: Fel Agrelius, Director of LGBTQ+ Programs at The Spahr Center Alex Marshall, student at Evergreen College, LGBTQ activist, and former TMS student Andrea Coughlan, parent group facilitator, educator, and Alex’s mom. The panel will be moderated by Janna Barkin, Parent Group Advisor at the The Spahr Center, author, educator, and mom of a transgender son. The panelists will share personal stories, answer questions, and talk about why it is especially important to support transgender youth and how each of us can do that right now.

Check out TMS Student  photography in FastForward Magazine

Check out TMS Student photography in FastForward Magazine

www.fastforwardweb.com Check out pages:16, 20, 22, 26-27 & 29 to view current and graduated TMS student's photography in FastForward magazine! Click here, then scroll down to view the photography contest issue.

Financial aid for returning families: deadline is February 12, 2022

Financial aid for returning families: deadline is February 12, 2022

The re-enrollment process for the coming school year will begin soon!
Are you prepared?


The deadline for returning families to submit a Financial Aid application and supporting documentation is Saturday, February 12th, 2022. The financial aid application deadline for returning families is Saturday, February 12th. In order to submit the required supporting documents by this deadline, please be sure to file your 2021 income tax statements as soon as possible.

That being said, we understand that for some families, not all tax documents will be in-hand by the February deadline. We will accept an informed estimate or draft of the 2021 tax return if necessary. Please be sure to clearly indicate “Draft” or “Estimate.” Your 2020 1040 must be submitted to be considered. If waiting on K-1 requires you to file an extension, please upload a draft tax return clearly titled or marked “Draft” or “Estimate.” Some important reminders:
Unless there has been a change to your family's income, you can expect that your award will remain relatively similar to the previous year's award. Returning students are prioritized over new students in our Financial Aid budget. This is why we request complete your application by the February 12th deadline. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Sierra Antonio, Director of Admissions + Marketing: santonio@themarinschool.org How to complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) Visit the SSS Family Portal at www.solutionsbysss.com/parents/. Create your Family Portal account with your email address and a password. If you applied for financial aid last year, log into the Family Portal as a Returning Family using the same email address and password. You can log out of the portal at any time and return later to finish it. Next steps: After you pay for and submit your PFS, you have access to the Family Portal’s “My Documents” tab to upload required documents as part of your application process. For more info, visit www.themarinschool.org/tuition-and-financial-aid

11th Grade Family College Night: 11/16 6pm

11th Grade Family College Night: 11/16 6pm

Dear 11th grade Students and Parents, Thank you very much for your patience while I healed and helped the seniors get in their Early Applications. We had 14 of the 21 seniors complete an application for the November 1st deadlines which means many will hear results in December. Next year you will also be going through this process and I want to give you all a preview of the timeline, supports and opportunities you will have at TMS during your College Process. I will be hosting an 11th grade family college night on Tuesday Nov. 16th. at 6pm. This will be a virtual event and you all will receive packets with further information before the event. Please Save the Date: 11th Grade Family College Night Tuesday Nov. 16th at 6pm Best Regards, Brad Jackson

Updated 2021-22 Calendar

Updated 2021-22 Calendar

Get to know TMS! Virtual info Session + Open House

Get to know TMS! Virtual info Session + Open House

Two ways to experience The Marin School! Virtual Info Session, Saturday, November 6, 10:00-11:00 am Learn more about The Marin School's curriculum, program, and community values from TMS faculty and staff, and hear current students share what it's like to be part of the TMS family. RSVP to the Admissions Office: admissions@themarinschool.org or register with Ravenna! Open House + Small Group Workshops: Wednesday, December 1st, 6:00-8:00 pm Join us for an Open House where prospective students have the opportunity to attend two 30-minute workshops led by TMS faculty and staff. ​ ​ In addition to learning more about TMS's curriculum, community, and teaching philosophy, you'll have the opportunity to experience a hands-on workshop led by our faculty. ​ When you register, you'll have the opportunity to review our "course offerings" for the day and rank your top three choices. RSVP to the Admissions Office: admissions@themarinschool.org or register with Ravenna! Important Note about health and safety protocols for in-person events Currently, all visitors and event attendees are required to show proof of vaccination and remain masked for in-person school-sponsored events. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility in advance as we work to maintain the health and safety of our community and to continue to welcome visitors to our campus.

Please keep in mind that as the season progresses, we may need to make changes to our protocol and event formats. Thank you in advance for your understanding and flexibility!