The Ross School District is a single-site school district, serving 385 students in kindergarten through eighth grade in the community of Ross, CA. Ross School is an award winning, dynamic school committed to academic excellence and innovation. Habits of heart, mind and action are at the core of all decision making centered on the learner and their experience. Students are expected to apply their thinking and learning in a variety of highly engaging and forward thinking courses.
Curriculum is based upon the Common Core State Standards, grounded in rigor and differentiated supports for all levels of learners. In addition to core academic instruction, students are provided enrichment and innovative curricula taught by specialized teachers for music, art, physical education, reading, Spanish, technology integration, fabrication laboratory and STEM classes as part of the instructional program. The average class size for grades K-8 is 22 students. The average student to teacher ratio is 13:1.
In addition to working with their classroom teachers, students in grades K-5 work with apprentice teachers, support teachers or instructional assistants. Students in sixth to eighth grades have four core classes of language arts, math, science and social studies along with PE and electives. Electives include art, guitar, band, strings, Spanish, fabrication lab, robotics, app creation, journalism, community service and more.
Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) education is an integral component of the Ross School education. Two classrooms are dedicated music classrooms and two are dedicated visual arts classrooms, serving students at all grade levels. Musical theater productions are integrated in all grades K-8; grade level performances enhance curriculum and embed VAPA standards. Choral music begins in kindergarten and at 4th grade students transition to instrumental music instruction as part of their program through 6th grade. Band, orchestra and choir are electives beginning in 7th grade.
The District is proud of its reputation for being innovative and has been nationally recognized for its technology integration throughout its program. All students are offered embedded technology courses led by Planet Bravo with advanced curricula focused on student engagement. They are also offered project-based courses in the Fabrication Lab where design and maker education come to life. In addition, students apply science, technology, engineering and math concepts in weekly STEM class where Next Generation Science Standards are already integrated. Students have access to and are gaining proficiency with the school’s 3D simulator, zSpace, as well as its laser cutter, 3D printers and other building tools. Students have one-to-one laptops in grades 1-8. Students in grades 6-8 have a take home Chromebook program, and grade level sets of iPads are provided in grades K-5. Every classroom is equipped with integrated white boards, surround sound speakers and the ability to screen cast from wireless devices.
Ross School is a California Distinguished School. Additional awards and accolades include the prestigious International Literacy Association Award, Civics Education School of Distinction Award, and nominee for the Heart of Marin County Community Service Award.
The District also has a culture of caring that is infused throughout the school. Students in grades K-8 are involved in Bear Families where 8th grade big buddies lead a series of community building activities for their own K-8 Bear Family. Social skills curriculum as well as community service is embedded into the culture of the school. A middle school community service elective works with community members and has raised over $36,000 for local and global charities. Students truly live the motto of heart, mind and action.
The District benefits from a long history of outstanding support from its parents and the broader community, evidenced by the successful passage of multiple parcel taxes and bond measures. The community has passed two bond measures to build a state-of-the-art building and multipurpose room. The community contributes 30% of the district’s operating budget, over $1.25 million dollars, in Foundation, PTA and Endowment contributions annually, in addition to recent renewal of a parcel tax to support innovative programs.
Teachers and staff model habits of heart, mind and action for their students and colleagues to infuse a culture of caring. Highly engaged parents support and promote community building through volunteerism and partnership with the school. The collective belief is that our learners are the reason we exist, and our mission is to serve them well. Ross School is a vibrant place to learn and grow with a strategic vision and momentum that is destined to continue.