Head of School

Dear families,

Welcome to Marin Primary & Middle School!  While there are many distinct features that make our school extraordinary, I believe that it is our continued commitment to our founding beliefs that is the most important underpinning for all we do.

Our founding head of school, David Heath, believed that in order for children to flourish in school, they needed to know that three fundamentals would hold true: that they would be safe, that their teachers would know them, and that they would have a friend.  Ensuring that our students are connected, grounded, and known remains central to all we do.  At Marin Primary & Middle School, we have always believed that it is the deep connections - between students, with teachers, and with ideas - that help kids know themselves and push through boundaries in school and in life.  Every day, we strengthen these connections so that our students are able to tackle new ideas and challenges, pursue their goals with optimism and courage, and apply all they learn to the world they’ll inherit.

The challenge for schools is that we don’t know what the world will look like when our students join the workforce:  What tools will they need to accomplish their tasks? With whom will they work? Where in our global community will they be?  What we do know with certainty is that students who have been taught what to learn, but not how to learn are lacking the self-awareness, critical-thinking, discernment, and power of inquiry they need to excel.

At Marin Primary & Middle School, students learn to look for the connections between ideas and people. They grow to know themselves as learners, to self-advocate, and to take risks. Here, students learn to communicate effectively and to embrace the perspectives of the great diversity of our world. Often called 21st Century skills, these educational cornerstones are much more challenging to internalize and to teach than simple data collection.

This brings me back to David Heath’s three fundamentals.  When students feel safe, known, and grounded, they are open to learning. They are able to see adults as allies and be willing to ask for help when needed.  They are more willing to take risks, be wrong, fail, and persevere in class.  This is at the core of what I have come to celebrate about Marin Primary & Middle School.  We understand the connections between how a child feels and what that child will be able to learn. The true magic here is in how the teachers foster connections and stretch students to their individual potential.  Emphasizing the why and how of the material rather than simply the what, students are challenged to delve deeply to understand the connections that underlie all learning.

It takes connections, curiosity, and courage–and at Marin Primary & Middle School, that is our unique focus. 

With gratitude, 

Andrew