Lu Sutton, which opened in 1959, is named after a beloved but strict teacher and principal who wore cat-eye glasses…More and brought discipline to the largely rural town in the 1920s-50s. Today, the school at Center Road and Leland Drive serves families that live between Novato's downtown area and the quieter west side.
The school is one of eight elementary schools in the Novato Unified School District. The school is tucked away in a residential community on Center Road, just southwest of Novato Boulevard. The classrooms are separated among many small buildings, and beyond these structures is the Lu Sutton Park, complete with a Little League baseball diamond and grassy sports field.
The school has 20 teachers and 22 classrooms on the 10-acre property. One teacher has a Special Day class. Certificated teacher specialists on campus include three part-time music teachers and a physical education teacher three days a week. A full-time Library Media Center assistant maintains the library program. Students have the support of a resource specialist, an English language instructional assistant, grade-level Title I aides and a Project Coordinator.
As of the 2009-2010 school year, the ethnic breakdown of the student body included 44.7 percent Hispanics, 42 percent Caucasians, 5.4 percent African Americans and 4.4 percent Asian Americans. Thirty percent of the students are considered English language learners.
The socioeconomic status of the families in the Lu Sutton area is slightly below the district average of 32.9 percent, according to district statistics (socioeconomically disadvantaged students are those receiving free or reduced lunch or when neither parent is a high school graduate). Twenty-nine percent of the parents surveyed had college degrees, just below the district average of 31 percent.
Lu Sutton also offers child care for kindergarten through fifth-graders from any school. There are several fun activities including indoor and outdoor play, sports, gardening and sewing.