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San Rafael, CA
Students enrolled: 248

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Po Box 6188
San Rafael, CA 94903

(415) 479-3727
(415) 479-9961
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Map of St. Isabella School address.
April 02, 2015
I have recently graduated from St. Isabella School after nine years there. The school provided a wonderful start to my Catholic life, and I can't thank them enough. The principal (as of 2012) is an absolutely wonderful and loving person, and I'm sad that I don't see her anymore. The academics are strong, and somewhat rigorous. By the end of eighth grade, I knew most of the material from the algebra 2 textbook. Granted, I was in the optional accelerated math class, but still. The amount of homework is perfect. A good amount that is rarely overwhelming. Socially, this is a great community. Among the boys, virtually no cliques formed, and even though there was a little bit of bullying, our new principal fixed the problem. My problems with the school have only surfaced over the last few years. For one, even though it is a private school, the math curriculum has been switched to the Common Core standards, which are confusing and ridiculous. Some of the teachers (one in particular) abuse their power, acting somewhat dictator-like. Though there are a few exceptions, most of the staff is nice and friendly.

- submitted by a community member
February 03, 2015
I have nothing but great things to say about St. Isabella's School. It is truly a school community with terrific parental participation. I am amazed at the level and quality of work that my fourth grade daughter is required to perform. The staff , faculty and parents at St. Isabella's are outstanding and the commitment to the students growth and well being both academically and spiritually really shows. I would strongly recommend St. Isabella's to any parent looking to give their children a top notch education within a faith based community.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2015
I am so impressed with St Isabella's. This school is really unlike any other. The teachers and principal are phenomenal. They truly care about the students and it is such a nurturing environment. The kids also care about each other and it is evident. Just today I watched a kid get hit by a bouncy ball and although he was fine, the entire class of kids rushed over to help him up and make sure he was okay. The entire class. I have also witnessed time and time again the older students looking out for the younger students. At St Isabella's I have also noticed an emphasis on student leadership. For example, the students (including the Kindergarteners) give the classroom tour and answer any questions the prospective parents might have, and the school assemblies are led by the students. It goes deeper than that though- it's reinforced in the classroom. My child, who before coming to this school wouldn't make eye contact with adults and would speak looking at the ground, now confidently talks to the principal and other adults. And finally, academically this school has impressed me- and I have very high standards. The teachers are experienced and know how to teach!

- submitted by a parent
December 15, 2014
My son attended St. Isabella from K through 8. The size of the school, with one class per grade, is just right allowing everybody to get to know each other and the location, away from busy streets, with a large, grass field is safe. Aftercare is a particularly strong asset as you can use it on an hourly basis, as needed, with no long-term commitment. Teachers really care for the kids and the environment is supportive. I was not catholic when my son first started at SI and when we were considering schools for him I was not very religious and was unsure about a catholic education but my wife went to catholic school and felt strongly about it. I have since come to understand the importance of moral teaching, social justice and why it is important for your child, Christian or not, to understand that they are not the center of the universe (despite what mom and dad think!). In addition to giving our son an excellent education that prepared him for high school (he is excelling in his first year at Marin Catholic) SI taught him that serving your community and helping people are more than just nice ideas, they are the core of a well-adjusted person and a valued member of society.

- submitted by a parent
December 12, 2014
This school has a wonderful sense of community and is providing my child with excellent academics. In fact, the schools test scores have been consistently high - since we have been attending the school. It is a quiet gem in Marin County!

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2014
St. Isabella School is a wonderful, nurturing, and challenging environment. The school faculty and staff are excellent with the students. The students are happy and feel very comfortable at this school. We have been a part of this community for close to 30 years and St. Isabella has been a positive staple in our lives.

- submitted by a community member
July 08, 2014
We left the school last year. The teachers are nice and well-meaning but our children were not being challenged academically. Their new school (also in Marin county) has an atmosphere that is not only more welcoming but more inclusive and a superior administration.

- submitted by a community member
May 17, 2014
Our son has thrived at St. Isabella School. The teaching staff are excellent - challenging academically, supportive, engaged with parents, attentive to the children. Our principal exudes an "open door" policy - she is open to input from parents and eager to recognize the success and accomplishments of students. St. Isabella offers state of the art technology for all grades, a gifted music teacher and children's choirs, an award-winning Debate Club, and a spacious campus that the kids take full advantage of every day. If you are looking for a small, K-8 school with a wonderful community, conveniently located in Central Marin, you would be wise to consider St. Isabella School!!

- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2014
We are very happy with the school. Both kindergarten and first grade have been a great experience for our son. The principal has been fantastic.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2014
I am a current student at this school and enjoy attending. There are some problems though. Even though the some teachers are friendly, others need to be a bit nicer. Another thing is that we used to have good hot lunch. Now we have a service called schoolfoodies. This service is nasty and one of my friends got moldy pizza. Also, schoolfodies produces so much trash and waste. Another thing is the playyard policy. We are not allowed to have a football, because they say its "too pointy". A football is about as pointy as my finger or tip of my shoe. I also think the uniform policy is ridiculous. We are not allowed to wear black Nike socks because there is a white swoosh on them and they say that is not matching.

- submitted by a community member
September 27, 2013
St. Isabella in San Rafael is wonderful catholic school to educate your children not only in the normal education subjects but also in many of life's greater lessons. Things like being community minded, being respectful, caring, honest and giving are also taught. The classes are well structured and the teachers and staff are strong. This is our 3rd year and our kids love it at St. Isabella.

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2013
This school should not be considered to be parochial let alone religious in anyway. It is disappointing as both my husband and I both attended parochial many years ago and felt our experiences are no where where this school should be. Discipline is negative as are the teachers, especially in KG where you need empathic, warm-hearted individuals for the young ones. If you have a bad teacher, then you are stuck - only one class per grade..... and there are a lot of bad teachers. The good teachers have moved on as they too did not like the principal, vp and staff. I agree with the prior post that parents are clicky and gossip more than I have ever experienced in my life. Overall would not recommend - a VERY NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE AT THIS SCHOOL. We will be transferring our child to another parochial school in Marin.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2013
This school has been great for my son. The staff are wonderful and always willing to help and support him. In the last year I have seen many great changes in and around the campus. Thank you St. Isabella school for all that you have done for us.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2013
We have been part of the SI community for 8 years. The parents that volunteer consistently are amazing workhorses and can be counted on to do just about anything for the school. The kids feel safe secure and having come from the Catholic school system myself I like that they wear a uniform and must follow a code of conduct that is basically treating others as you would like to be treated. The school is tucked away off of Freitas Parkway and I like that it's not a thoroughfare for general traffic. I am very happy with the school.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2013
If you are looking for a good Catholic education, the answer is to look elsewhere. This school does not have a christian, let alone catholic philosophy or morals. There are plenty of excellent Catholic schools in Marin but sadly this is not one of them. The low admission is a TOTAL giveaway. The principal, vp and staff are about the worst you can imagine and the good teachers have left. The parents are clicky and gossip at every chance possible. All around pathetic,immoral and in no way should be referred to as being a religious school that practices what it preaches. I had to chose one star to post this or I would have given it a ZERO.

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2013
Considering enrolling our child and have gotten the cold shoulder repeatedly from their Principal and Assistant Principal. Showed up for Tour and they had no record of appointment, got tour from Principal and wanted to do more due diligence and said they would accomodate. Wanted to talk to enrolled parents and ask some basic questions on community and culture and they seem to be afraid to accomodate after repeated inquiries. Thought this might be a good program but now is off our radar.

- submitted by a parent
June 05, 2013
This s a good school. The new principal is doing an outstanding job, and the teacher and parent community is wonderful. We've been at St. Isabella for 8 years, and the school is wonderful!

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2013
The school is terrible. There is a reason enrollment is at 50% in the early grades. The teachers are sub-par, the teaching method is outdated by 20 years and there is no progressive/innovative teaching that is found in other private schools. I agree with the prior post that the principal is apathetic, as are most of the teachers. Discipline is archaic and overall not a supportive positive environment. Exclusions are the PE teacher, after-school care and the supporting aides/helpers in certain classes. Save your money, look elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2012
Not up to par for the amount of tuition per year, teachers have been there too long to have a fresh outlook on education, less than healthy hot lunches, not a great experience- unorganized and apathetic principle.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2011
Excellent school, great teachers, highly active parent community. We've been there for 6 years, and have enjoyed every year. Our children are excelling, and the school has good academic programs and plenty of after school enrichment programs as well.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 22, 2010
I don't feel that this is the case at all. I am currently a kindergarten parent at St. Isabella, 4/22/10. I feel that the kindergarten teacher and full time aide are very competent. We value and respect our religious beliefs and that is why we enrolled our children in a Catholic school. If you want less religion, go to a private school. There is only 30 minutes of religion taught in each grade throughout the day. I don't feel that is taking away from the academic workload. The California state requirements are followed.

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a administrator
July 10, 2007
St. Isabella School is a closely knit community ... both school and parish. My three children have been attending this wonderful K-8 school for seven years and it just gets better with each passing year. Our teachers and administrators are exceptional. They encourage high academic success and maintain high moral standards in each of our nine classerooms. Parent volunteerism and our phenomenal fundraising efforts ensures that our facilities and programs improve and grow every year. We love St. Isabella School!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 04, 2005
excellent, dedicated teachers. well structured lesson plans. involved pta.

- submitted by a former student
February 24, 2005
School provides an excellent education and the skills for a child to succeed. There is a high paent envolvement and everyone is made to feel part of this schhools success.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2005
We are very pleased with the education our children are receiving at St. Isabella School. The faculty and staff are outstanding and extremely dedicated.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2005
St. Isabella is a wonderful school. The teachers are caring professionals. The parents work very hard and raised over $200K last year. The graduates get into the best Catholic high schools in the area! We love it at St. Isabella!

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2004
St. Isabella's is a fine school but the teacher's could focus more on inspiration than discpline to motivate the children. Also, although religion is clearly part of the reason that one attends, we hope the time spent declines over time in favor of more academic work. But mostly, we wish they would limit class size to < 30 and if necessary increase tuition to ensure a better student/teacher ratio and to increase teaching aid and educational exposure the children recieve. Having said that, we are keeping our child in the school, but supplementing studies with additional 'homework'.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2004
The Kindergarten is terrible. They have a no hug policies even for parents towards their own children while helping in the class. They have actually sent home a memo that stated that parents could not pick up their children and carry them to their cars after school and that the children should be forced to walk to their cars. The teachers have discussed personal information and their opinions of our child with other parents who have children in the same grade. They have on more than one occasion made statements that were not true. The kindergarten class has problems, what they are, I can only guess. Too high of expectations. Too many children in one room (28). Incompetent teachers. Limited teaching skills and experience. We were warned of these issue prior to signing up and failed to believe what we had heard. Look closely, examine the teachers, ask the teachers about any past problems with children and/or parents.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: April 02, 2015

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St. Isabella School
Po Box 6188, San Rafael, CA  94903
(415) 479-3727
Last modified St. Isabella School is a Private school that serves grades K-8
St. Isabella School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 29 reviews. Top