My freshman daughter and I are just back from San Rafael High's back to school night and I would like to share my first impressions: Physical facilities are well maintained, the grounds are clean and my daughter feels safe and secure at the school. Nice architecture too and a good location next to Whole Foods, Montecito Shopping Center, CVS, Peet's Coffee so the campus has a kinda Berkeley feel. About half the school is Hispanic, so "everything" is bilingual which makes it wonderfully easy to learn Spanish. Spanish teacher is a dynamo, Algebra II teacher is a Cal Poly SLO mathematics major, English reading list includes "To Kill a Mocking Bird" and "Slaughterhouse Five" and as these are two of my favorites books, I'm very impressed with the English teacher. Biology teacher is an actively involved in local environmental volunteer. Daughter is running the mile in 8 minutes 20 seconds, so hats off to the PE coach too. Principal mentioned that the school was "crazy fund". Summary, academically rigorous, diverse student population, accepting (no bullying apparent), warm and welcoming school. Character building football team though, please know I respect you for your efforts.
I do not recommend this school. They are in the dark ages and to not require their teachers to use schooloop system to post assignments and progress of the students. As a parent, you will be in the dark about how your student is doing until it is too late to correct it. They have an excellent system in place but very few teachers use it. Only 3 of my sons teachers use it to post assignments and only 1 out of 7 of his teachers post their progress and grades. Get with it SanRafael high school!
San Rafael High is one of the S.F. Bay Area's best kept secrets. The school provides a rigorous and high quality educational experience for a diverse student body. Students and staff function as a cohesive community. Not only are the top students accepted to competitive colleges of their choice but they also graduate from universities such as U.C. Berkeley, Cornell, Brown and Stanford with honors. I once heard another parent say that going to SR would increase the chances of getting accepted to ivy league and other highly competitive universities because at SRHS the number of top students is low so your child will be a big fish in a small pond. The implication being that you would not get as rigorous of an educational experience at San Rafael High compared to some of the local private school options. This is simply not true. If anything your child will be better prepared for a competitive university education by San Rafael high teachers. By and large the teachers have high expectations, are experts in their fields and support student learning without coddling them. Students graduate with the skills, motivation and independence necessary to succeed in college and beyond.
This school is a well oiled machine, thanks to Judith Colton--subsequent principals just put her work on automatic pilot because she's done the hard part. The halls are clean, empty and quiet during class time (unlike certain neighboring high school) the campus is secure thanks to Ben of security. The students behave beautifully because they are held accountable for their actions. and the administration backs up their teachers. Sure, they are strict, but the students are better off because of it. You will never find a better high school English department in the Northbay, The English teachers are scary smart and hold high standards for all of their students. If you ever happen to visit the classroom of say, Mr. Bond, Mr Simenstead or Ms Thurston, you will feel like you walked into a college English class. The teachers are exciting to watch and the students in turn, are excited to be there. This is just an outstanding school.
Provides an excellent education for a diverse, multicultural community
I love how the diversity of students in the school population translates into an inspiring and uniquely feisty school spirit. The academic standards are excellent as are the sports and music programs even on a super tight Cali budget. I especially love the media academy because it employs an open classroom type environment for juniors and seniors giving them the experience of working together for a common purpose. And those cheerleaders are the future flygirls of America for sure. Go Dawgs!
i love my school, the teachers are fun and amazing as well as helpful and educational, the after school activities are endless, and the kids are warm and welcoming. Yu can trust a review this student who has a 4.3 GPA.
My daughter is thriving in this school. However, I am not impressed with the way this high school is run. The principal seems disconnected. Though the yearbook is done by a class, she should have hired someone who would oversee well. The 2007 yearbook is appalling! I have been to many HS graduations and have never seen such crowd control in place. There are some excellent teachers as well as terrible ones.
San Rafael high school is one of the best schools in Marin. It has a challenging english department with many great teachers. The Math department is also very good with graduates from prestigious colleges teaching the courses. There are buildings dedicated to programs such as Music and science.The football team made it to semifinals. It also doesn't hurt that it has the 2nd best looking campus in all the Marin county Schools.
San Rafael High School seems to have gotten off track. I am an alumnus, not a parent, but many of my friends are still involved there, either as students or as teachers. The teachers range anywhere from adequate to excellent. Some programs, such as the music department, are outstanding. However, school leadership is sorely lacking. Judith Colton, principal of SRHS, seemed disconnected when I attended, and apparently very little has changed. New policies are implemented without regard to how it will affect student life and the work of the faculty. Some disciplinary policies are strange; for example, detentions are routinely assigned for tardiness, but punishments for unexcused absences (cutting class) seem nonexistant. The block schedule is holding several departments back and is extremely erratic. The administration needs to examine what it's doing to help and hurt the students and teachers, and perhaps SRHS will become a great school again.
Other than academics, everything depends on parent involvement. The drama and music departments are excellent and strongly supported by parents. Some sports teams are strongly supported by the parents, but not all. Academics are good to excellent. Our son graduated and was accepted at his first choice university. The school is rated among the top in the country.
This was once a very good school - just a few years ago. Changing demographics have led to declining test scores. The canal area of San Rafael is a hispanic community of urban density. Students from this area make up more than half of the school population. The second largest group is upper middle class whites. As a result of the new demographic, the school's focus has changed to meet the needs of the new majority. Mainstream classes are now intended for an audience of hispanic students who are often English learners. Honors classes can still offer a good education. The music program is very good and well supported by parents.
Over all, not bad. As A Student there it was ok. Some of the teachers arnt very smart at times. P.E was great tons of activites and gyms. The Labs are fun, fast computers and good class mates. One thing bothers me thought in my four years there we had Five princables. They kept quiting for some reason. One only lasted two weeks. SO on the whole I had good times there.
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