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Public district
Novato, CA
Students enrolled: 468

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1430 Johnson Street
Novato, CA 94947

School website
(415) 897-3101
(415) 897-7492
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Map of Rancho Elementary School address.
May 01, 2014
When it came time to pick a school for my son, I had a few choices I could go with. I am so happy that I picked Rancho! The staff there is very friendly and understanding of the child's needs and families concerns. My son, who was starting Kindergarten had many concerns and fears and his teacher and Principal has made this year, which is an important one in a child's school career a successful one. I have noticed this year that he has made leaps and bounds in his academics and social skills and I have Rancho to Thank for that. The parents of the students at the school are all very hands on and help each other out and that I feel makes it easier for the children to ask for help and keep our children safe at school as well. Rancho in my book is definitely a 10 and I am looking forward for the years to come there.

- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2012
wonderful school. My son was transfered to this school last year and see a big different on the school culture and kids behavior. Now I understand why this is a popular school that every parent wants to come. I hope this school continue to stay wonderful

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2012
Excellent school !!!...Principal , teachers , parents and students make a great community. Rancho is a diamond in Novato and Marin County.

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2012
Now that Rancho is a neighborhood school, our kids are able to walk and have easier access to a solid program with all their local friends. It has the same curriculum as the other schools, which we are happy with.

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2012
Rancho has been and continues to be an incredible environment for my children. We knew from the moment we toured the school, that Rancho was the best choice for our family. The kids are incredibly engaged, challenged, respectful and well-behaved. The standards set by the administration, teachers, parents, and ultimately the students, are very high. It's the best, we love it!

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2012
Rancho Elementary has such a wonderful staff and family community, something it takes years and years to build and to be successful at We are so lucky to attend our school of choice.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2011
Such a great school of choice. Amazing teachers, parents and students. This school should be celebrated for it's successes.

- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2010
I love Rancho because the faculty really care about the welfare of every child and the parents are so involved with the school: it's a top notch education!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 17, 2009
The parent and teacher invovlement is incredible and the learning environment allows the teachers to bring out the best in our children

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
There is so much parent & family involvement in this school that it feels more like a big family than a school!

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2009
Rancho is the best. The teacher stimulate each child according to their abilities. My child has learned so much in Kindergarten. We are just now entering the 3rd semester and she is reading fluently and is able to do additions mentally. This school is lottery based, but it is worth the every effort.

- submitted by a parent
October 19, 2008
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 18, 2008
Rancho is the best. It not only pushes the kids, it pushes the parents to get involved and stay involved. There is no magic to the formula - when parents are invested in the outcome, the kids excel.

- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2008
I love Rancho. I like the way parents get to interact with the teachers and principal as well as I like the volunteering opportunity as it gives us more insight about what our kids are doing in the class and their progress.

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a student
September 28, 2007
Love the school. We are very lucky to have both children in the school. Would like to see more language (Spanish), more music and the arts. Love the teachers, the principal and the grounds are beautiful.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2006
We have been thrilled with Rancho, the academics are outstanding, and the level of parent involvement is incredible. Additionally, although you need to particpate in the random lottery to enroll, the school is trying to encourage diversity by always having our Spanish speaking PTA President at each parent tour, and even setting up a seperate Spanish speaking only school tour. My children look forward to school everyday.

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2006
Our daughter is nearing completion of kindergarten at Rancho. We have been very pleased with all aspects of her experience this past year. Her teacher, Mrs. Bondanza, cares greatly about the children in her class and takes the time to help with individual student needs. We have been particularly pleased with the level of parent involvement in our daughter's class, including daily parent volunteers to assist with the rotating 'centers' workshops. All in all, this past year has been a great experience for us, but most importantly for our daughter who has grown by leaps and bounds.

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2005
This is one of the best elementary schools my son has studied in. I like parents to be involved in what is happening in school. This is just right for me. And Teachers are very communicative. Have some extra circular activities too.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2005
Rancho is an excellent school and as such there is more demand then space. Therefore, Rancho uses a lottery system to get in. This gives the perception of an 'elitist' school, or one not open to everyone. This is simply not the case. It's a Novato Public School, it's just not a 'neighborhood' school. If anything, I believe that makes it more open because it's not restricted to those who happen to live in the neighborhood. It's an outstanding school with excellent results. They are often punished for that success with this kind of perceprtion. I believe the key to Rancho is parental involvement. That may come from the fact that people had to take the extra step to get their kid in. One teacher told me it was 'the school she was born to teach in'. Is diversity an issue? Maybe, but remember the lottery is open to all kids.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2005
My child will be entering second grade at Rancho in the fall. The teachers truly seem to make and effort to know each and every child individually. For us the teachers were always willing to discuss my child's progress and have given us extra conferences. Rancho promotes strong academic achievement in a caring environment. Achievement and citizenship are recognized. The parent community is extremely involved. The leadership team and PTA board are intelligent and dedicated. Several family functions are offered throughout the school year, which provide a sense of community for all families.

- submitted by a parent
April 05, 2005
Rancho Elementary School, when I was a student had a good environment and teachers that helped me succeed to where I am now. Presently I attend St. Ignatius College Prepartory in San Francisco, and Rancho helped build basics for me to get there. However while I was a student the science and grammar departments were slightly low, though at the same time math was superb.

- submitted by a former student
March 31, 2005
Rancho is a fantastic school with tremendous parent involvement. 'Anyone' can participate in the lottery to get in, no one is excluded, and it's the luck of the draw if you are successful in getting in and well worth the effort trying. This is our daughter's last year at Rancho and we are very glad that she was able to get in. Those that bad mouth Rancho don't know what they are talking about. Rancho, it's teachers, students and parents are a tremendous asset to the city of Novato and well worth whatever effort it takes to go through the lottery process, drive your child to/from school on a daily basis and participate, to whatever degree possible, in the advancement of the school and your child's education. More schools should be run like Rancho.

- submitted by a parent
February 19, 2005
My wife and I are very happy with the quality of teaching at Rancho. Children are fully engaged, taught discipline from day 1. Parents are encouraged to be involved in kids learning activities by volunteering. My daughters Ananya and Amritha love their kindergarten teacher Mrs. Dobyns who has made them love school and enjoy learning every day. You can't go wrong if you pick Rancho elementary school in Novato for your little ones. Vidhyah & Soma

- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2005
Parent involvement is what makes this school stand out among other Novato schools.

- submitted by a parent
January 06, 2005
Rancho has provided my daughter with a great Kindergarten and 1st grade experience. The teachers expect the kids to do their best, and provide a positive environment for them to learn in. The school community is strong and actively involved. Children come first and a lot of families get involved in making the school exceptional.

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2005
I am a parent who feels Rancho does not promote much postive feeling in the community. This school has very little diversity, and the kids who attend are 'selected' children from all of the other schools. You must attend a school tour before qualifying for the 'lottery' that takes place prior to entering kindergarten, or you are put on a list. This only gives advantage to anyone who knows of the 'Rancho Requirements'. Once you are in Rancho, if you open your eyes wide enough, you will notice the lack of diversity, and special ed students. You will notice it in the newspaper when the STAR testing is posted. The results are clear that this school is very different than all of the others because of the hand picked students! Come on Rancho, face the real world!

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2004
Rancho is a great school that challenges every child. My child was attending Lynwood and the work was very easy and she was breezing through it. In first grade, she got into Rancho and ever since she has been challenged. Plus the parent involvement is fantastic! All the parents care so much about the school and their children.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2004
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
June 26, 2004
Rancho was different in the past focusing on essentials, a good thing to build a foundation. Currently their academics are the same as all california schools, it's the law. However, the parents still believe the school is different, it is not.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 07, 2004
Rancho is a public school not private and the parents think they are above the rest. I decided that it wasn't a school for my children do to the fact that the parents don't encourage diversity. You need to participate in a lottery to even have your child enrolled in this school.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2004
Rancho is a difficult school to get your kids into, but it's a great one. Other than the waiting list to attend, the school is perfect. Great setting, layout and teachers!

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: October 28, 2014

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Rancho Elementary School
1430 Johnson Street, Novato, CA  94947
(415) 897-3101
Last modified Rancho Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Rancho Elementary School Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 35 reviews. Top