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North Bay Children's Center Garden of Eatin Project
934 C St, Novato, CA 94949
The North Bay Children's Center, located in Hamilton Field, provides year round child care services for infants,More toddlers and preschoolers,  as well as before- and after-school services for kindergarteners through 5th graders. On this Novato campus, NBCC has the Garden of Eatin Project, which serves as an educational learning garden for children under 5, as well as part of a prevention program for childhood obesity. Here children learn where fruits, greens and vegetables come from and how to plant and harvest them. They eat the fresh fruits and vegetables in their daily on-campus meals. For more information about NBCC and the Garden of Eatin, please call or visit their Web Site.
Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden
1800 Ignacio Blvd, Novato, CA 94949

In cooperation with the College of Marin, the Conservation Corp North Bay forged this farm, fostering education andMore outreach programs. This farm acts as a model for environmental awareness and sustainable living. Programs are available for middle school to college students and Bay Area residents.

The farm is located in the College of Marin campus, adjacent to the school athletic field.

Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Elementary School campus
1180 Lynwood Dr, Novato, CA 94947

Good Shepherd's elementary campus blends Biblical lessons with a deep and worldly curriculum for students inMore kindergarten through fifth grade. (There is a separate preschool at the site and a middle school across town.) Learning within the context of relationships is a key part of the learning process at Good Shepherd, founded in 1976 as part of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

In addition to the core curriculum taught by grade-level teachers, the school brings in specialists to teach music, art, technology, Spanish, outdoor education, gardening and physical education.

Good Shepherd is accredited by the National Association of Education for Young Children and is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association and the California Association of Private School Organizations.

Our Lady of Loretto School
1811 Virginia Ave, Novato, CA 94945

Built in 1958, Our Lady of Loretto School was the first parochial school in northern Marin County and is run byMore Ursuline Sisters. Started for grades one through three, the school added a grade each year until 1965, then added a kindergarten in 1992. Today the school is overseen by Principal Annette Bonanno and it plays a large part in the lives of many Catholic residents of Novato. 

The elementary and middle school lessons include  accelerated math, Spanish, computers, music, physical education and science. The  average class size is 25 students and the tuition is about $7,000 annually.

Among the enrichment activities offered include a student theater  company, academic chess, glee club, weight training, gardening, choir, speech and debate, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, altar-serving, student council and CYO sports teams.

Mindful of its mission to be "witness to the love of Christ for all," the school is committed to diversity and admits student of any race, color and national and/or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded to or make available to students.

Novato Charter School
940 C St, Novato, CA 94949

The dream of a small group of active parents seeking educational reform came to fruition in August 1996 when fourMore years of work resulted in the opening of the Novato Charter School. It is a cluster of portable classrooms near the corner of Main Gate Road and C Street a few hundred yards east of Hamilton Meadow Park School.

The school, with kindergartners through eighth graders, uses Waldorf-based curriculum to encourage abstract and critical thinking. Foreign language instruction starts in the first grade, and multicultural content is incorporated often. An emphasis on nature helps promote respect for the environment and humankind, according to the school's website. The school became the first in Marin County to get all its power from a solar power system in November 2008, and the organic garden is central to the kids' learning experiences.

Parent involvement is also a key part of the school's design. It includes a close relationship with the teachers and a strong parent education program. There is an active effort to limit children's exposure to commercial media images. The idea is that a reduction or elimination  to electronic media encourages cooperative rather than competitive learning.

All children are eligible for enrollment at the Novato Charter School. Parents must make an appointment and attend a tour of the campus in order to fill out an application and sign a parent participation agreement. Since there are regularly more applicants than spaces available, a lottery is held to fill the spots.

Fundraising is a constant challenge for the Novato Charter School because it does not receive parcel tax dollars or proceeds from school bonds. Thus it is one of the lowest funded schools in Marin County, in a State that already ranks 46th nationwide in per-pupil spending. Almost half its funding comes from pledges through the nonprofit Novato Charter School Foundation.

Novato Charter's API index for the 2009-2010 academic year was 892, second among elementary schools the district behind Rancho's 947. The state has set 800 as the score schools should strive to meet.

As of the 2009-2010 school year, the ethnic breakdown of the student body included 83.3 percent whites, 4.5 percent Hispanics, 4.5 percent Asian Americans and 2.9 percent African Americans. Only four out of 246 students in 2009-2010 were considered English language learners.

Singing Winds Playgarden
6 Ramona Way, Novato, CA 94945
Singing Winds Playgarden is preschool that offers a morning program for children. The program takes toddlers who areMore walking and runs through age 6. The curriculum focuses on the developmental needs of the child, providing a safe environment while also offering educational and recreational activities. Activites offered to children include storytelling, gardening, baking, crafts, painting, Eurythmy, creative play, nature walks and singing. All teachers at this school are Waldorf trained. The lead teacher holds a state teaching credential and master's degree in curriculum development. The staff is experienced and certified in CPR. The program lasts from mid-August until mid-June.
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