My daughter is in 2nd grade at Marin and has been there since Kindergarten. She loves the school and has a great group of friends. The PTA works very hard and so far we have had great teachers. In Kindergarten my daughter learned all the basis needed and her teacher was very warm and sweet. She began first grade reading only some sight words, by the end of first grade she was reading chapter books. The principal has only been here a few years (Ms. Richie) but has worked in the Albany school district for a long time. She has been great, she is always available and spends WAY more time with the children then I remember from my Elementary school principal. The only issue that we have is the lack of diversity with the school, which is a problem with the district as a whole. The cost of living in Albany is very high and they do not allow out of district transfers which unfortunately leads to less African American and Hispanic families in the city (therefore less diversity is the students and staff). The test score for minority students is also lower. The good thing is that the school and the district do recognize this problem and are trying to put things in place to fix it. Marin will also be going through a renovation soon, when it is done the campus will be even better (physically) than it is now.
We are happy at the school and plan to send our future children here as well.
I second the December 2011 post. Marin is the best that I could expect from public education in the East Bay. The school excels in math and science, and it offers excellent chess and music programs. The parents are very involved and work with the dedicated teachers and administration to make the most of school and its students. It is an honor for my children to attend this school, and I wish that all public schools would be at least this great.
We were really looking forward to start at Marin. The disappointment was huge. You can check almost everything on that school checklist: the school is clean, the library is good, there are pizza and movie nights, PJ days and field trips. What this school lucks is actual teaching. Kids in 2nd grade did not get ANY homework till end of October, handful of HW for the whole year. Whatever assignment kids did get was inadequate for the grade level. A week or so before the STAR test the teacher started showing them SOME things, but what can they get in ONE week?! We are going over math using Singapore Mathematics on our own, with language disaster. The motto is No Stress not sure if that s for kids or for teachers. Apparently no stress comes with no teaching . All parents I know do heavy extracurricular activities. It really depends on what you are looking for; this school is not about academics. On a positive note - lots of social events, lots of volunteers.
This school has a sweet community and dedicated staff who try really hard with the limited funding available. Unfortunately, there has been unnecessary administrative turnover and the district seems to have an agenda that I believe is not in the students' best interest. However, in terms of public schools in the east bay, any of the 3 elementary schools in Albany are still a great option.
I think that the third grade is the best because the teachers are the best and I love the computer and card club in Room 3. All the teachers are great and I love the playgrounds. I also love that my friends at Marin come from countries all over the world. Happy Marin Student
Unfortunately, Marin and Albany schools seem to have a better reputation than they deserve. We've had 2 kids at Marin, including one just finishing up there. We think the quality of the teachers is uneven - there are some great teachers, and some pretty poor ones. With the great ones our kids had pretty good years. With the others, those were the years the kid hated going to school. We've also seen that if a kid is ahead of their grade in something, there's not much the teachers do to keep them interested - they mostly teach to the 'average' kid. For such a small district there seems to be some nasty politics sometimes, like with the debate going on about the crazy schedules in K-3. The school community is OK, though compared with what we hear from other schools and districts there's a lot more interaction between families elsewhere.
Marin Elementary is a wonderful school. The teacher are commited to the students. My daughter, Julianna, had a very positive experience during the three year she attended this elementary school. The teacher were very focused on helping her succeed at her studies. Ms. Kubicki and Mr. Schauffler, her fifth grade teacher also kept each parent informed of class studies and activities thru monthly newsletters and emails. Ms. Wong, the science teacher, made science interesting this year for Julianna. The art teacher had her work displayed at a nearby Art Studio which really boost my daugher's self esteem. The visual performing arts teacher helped develop each student's public speaking. The new principal, Ms. Hornada, assisted me in helping my child receive academic assistance. Also, the school secretary and office staff have been very kind to my child. I would highly recommend this school.