Rancho, located in the Presidents neighborhood not far from Novato High School, is consistently the city's…More highest-scoring elementary school on annual tests and is a major source of pride for the Novato Unified School District. It is known for its high standards for personal responsibility and heavy involvement by the parents.
Rancho was a "back to basics" school from the 1970s to the early 2000s, but now teaches the same curriculum as the other elementary schools in Novato. Rancho has no neighborhood boundaries from which it draws students and thus has kids enrolled from across the city.
A lottery system is used to determine who is accepted each year. Parents interested in enrolling their kindergartners at Rancho are recommended to set up an appointment to receive a school tour unless the family has had another child at Rancho within the past three years. Anyone may fill out a registration packet at any neighborhood school office as well as an intra-district transfer application.
Some critics have questioned why Rancho still has no drawing boundaries and the lottery system now that the curriculum is no longer "back to basics." The school district has contracted a facilities study that will address that subject sometime in 2012.