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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.

Miss Sandie's School
2001 Center Rd, Novato, CA 94947

Miss Sandie's School has been a leading preschool and child care facility in Novato for over 30 years. It providesMore child care for toddlers as young as 2 months, preschool for 2 - 5 year olds, and after school for Kindergarteners as well. Miss Sandie's School offers a play-based environment with many top-notch outdoor play structures where you'll even find climbing walls.

Its classroom curriculum varies from structured group activities to more individualized art projects, allowing for social and independent learning. Students at Miss Sandie's School will learn music, Spanish, art, in addition to planting and harvesting in their organic gardens. Also a neat tidbit, Miss Sandie's School was the first preschool in the United States to be solar powered. For more information about the school or to schedule a visit, please give Miss Sandie's School a call or visit its Web site.

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.
Lu Sutton Elementary School
1800 Center Rd, Novato, CA 94947

Lu Sutton, which opened in 1959, is named after a beloved but strict teacher and principal who wore cat-eye glassesMore 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.