Mark Day School

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Mark Day School
Grass courtyard surrounded by sidewalks, small trees, blue-gray single-story building
Butterfly garden at Mark Day School
39 Trellis Drive
San Rafael, California 94903

United States
Coordinates 38°0′25″N 122°33′17″W / 38.00694°N 122.55472°W / 38.00694; -122.55472[1]Coordinates: 38°0′25″N 122°33′17″W / 38.00694°N 122.55472°W / 38.00694; -122.55472[1]
Type Independent school
Established 1980
Headmaster Joe Harvey
Grades K-8
Enrollment 380
Color(s)      Blue and
Mascot Sky Lion

Mark Day School (formerly Saint Mark's School) is a coeducational, independent, kindergarten-8th grade school in San Rafael, California, in Marin County. The school was established by an Episcopal parish in 1980. Within a few years, it moved away from the Episcopal Church and is now an independent school with no religious affiliation.[2] Joe Harvey has been head of school since 2011, succeeding Damon Kerby, who had served as head since 1987.

On May 23, 2014, the school announced that it would change its name to Mark Day School. The change took effect on July 1, 2014.

Special programs and curriculum[edit]

Mark Day School provides hands-on learning, Guided Reading in the lower grades, daily physical education, a chess program, and visual arts, drama, and music. Foundational skills and competencies in traditional disciplines are interwoven with four cross-disciplinary "literacies": cross-cultural literacy; ecological literacy; media and information literacy; and social, emotional, and ethical literacy. School plays are performed at the Marin County Civic Center's Showcase Theater. Kindergarten through 5th grades follow the Bridges in Mathematics curriculum.

Mark Day School offers curricular Mandarin and Spanish beginning in kindergarten.

Famous people who have spoken at the school include Melba Pattillo Beals, astronaut Leroy Chiao, Holocaust survivor Dora Apsan Sorrel,[3] and Olympic swimmer Matt Biondi.

In 2006, Mark Day School initiated Northern California's only all-female chess tournament.

School partnerships[edit]

The school has a global education program that is supported by local and international relationships.

In 2000, the school established a partnership with eSibonisweni Primary School in KwaZulu, South Africa. In addition to raising funds for food programs, school supplies, and infrastructure projects, Mark Day School sends a delegation to eSibonisweni every other year; the group consists of faculty members, parents, and students, who do joint academic and art projects and assist with building maintenance and beautification. In 2012, a delegation of students and educators from the Kliptown Youth Program in South Africa came to campus to teach and learn along Mark Day School faculty and students.

In 2003, Mark Day School partnered with Canal Alliance, a nonprofit center supporting the Hispanic community in Marin County on immigration and education issues. The two organizations have developed several joint educational initiatives, including a community-leadership course for 7th graders.

Mark Day School also has a partnership with Beijing No. 2 Experimental Primary School. In fall 2008, the school welcomed its first guest from Beijing, Liying Ma, and in 2014 the schools hosted their first exchange student visitors.[4]

central courtyard of Mark Day School

Environmental stewardship[edit]

The school has made environmental awareness part of its program and has a native-butterfly habitat garden and an organic fruit, vegetable, and flower garden that has been recognized by Marin Master Gardeners as a model for school gardens. The garden program has its own teacher and has been integrated into the curriculum for Lower and Middle School.

Accreditation and memberships[edit]

Mark Day School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and the California Association of Independent Schools. In 2014, CAIS accredited the school for seven years.[5]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Saint Marks School
  2. ^ "History". Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ McKay, Harry V.; Crystal M. Land; Sue Slotnick; Cheryl Ting (2008). "Report of the CAIS Visiting Committee". Santa Monica: California Association of Independent Schools.