Sausalito Marin City School District

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Sausalito Marin City School District
200 Phillips Drive

School typePublic, elementary school district
MottoBuilding Tomorrow Today
School boardMark Trotter (2006–10)
Whitney S. Hoyt (2005–10)
Shirley Thornton (1998–2010)
Thomas Clark (2002–08)
Elizabeth Todd-Gallardo (2006–08)
SuperintendentDebra Bradley
School numberNCES: 0636000 State: 2165474
Enrollment263 (2004-05)
 • Kindergarten37
 • Grade 133
 • Grade 227
 • Grade 323
 • Grade 431
 • Grade 532
 • Grade 622
 • Grade 733
 • Grade 825
CampusUrban Fringe of Large City / 3
AreaMarin County, California
Communities servedSausalito and Marin City
Sausalito Marin City School District Information
at the National Center for Education Statistics

Sausalito Marin City School District (SMCSD) is a public school district serving Sausalito and the unincorporated area of Marin City in Marin County, California. The school's administrative offices currently are in the Bayside Elementary/Martin Luther King, Jr., Academy facility in Marin City.[1][2] Previously the administrative offices were in Bayside Elementary School in Sausalito.[3][4]

As of the 2004-05 school year, the District had 263 students at its three schools.


During much of the district's history, the demographics were evenly split between White students and African-American students. Most of the military families from nearby bases, who were mostly White, sent their children to Sausalito public schools. After the Cold War ended, the United States Department of Defense closed Fort Baker, Fort Berry, and the Presidio of San Francisco. Over 100 students left the school district in one period after the military transfers. By then, many families in Sausalito were sending children to private schools instead of public schools. By 1996 80% of the students were African American, and most of the district's students were poor. Despite the district's high student spending and small class sizes, test scores were low.[5]

In 1997 the Marin County Civil Grand Jury published a report indicating that, despite the ample funding, the district had poor performance and violence.[6]

In 2006 Jennifer Gollan and Don Speich of the Marin Independent Journal said "Poor academic achievement in the Sausalito Marin City School District has rendered the concept of public neighborhood schools largely meaningless as dozens of children in the district, both black and white, flock to private schools."[7]

A 2008 followup to the county report indicated improvements and suggested that the Bayside and Martin Luther King schools be returned to K-8 configurations.[6]

In 2011 Rob Rogers of the Marin Independent Journal said that the district continually had, of all of the Marin County school districts, the lowest test scores. That year the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education named Willow Creek Academy one of the top charter schools in California.[8]

On Thursday January 21, 2014, the board voted to make the Marin City school a K-8 and to close Bayside, having its buildings be used by the Willow Creek charter school, which will use the Bayside campus to house three additional classrooms.[9] The consolidation of Bayside into MLK will be in effect in the northern hemisphere fall of 2013.[10]

In 2014 the district community and administration stated that there is no will to merge with another school district since the community does not wish to lose local control. At the time the district planned on making some cuts to educational services due to costs, despite having $30,000 per student per year due to a tax loophole.[11]

Current status[edit]

The Sausalito Marin City School District has two schools:

• Bayside Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy: K-8

Until 2013 this school was located on two campuses, the elementary (Bayside) in Sausalito and the middle school (MLK) in Marin City. In 2013 the Bayside campus was given over to the charter school (see below) and Bayside students and staff were moved to the MLK campus. There are currently about 145 students attending Bayside MLK, 90% of whom receive free or reduced lunch and virtually all of whom live in Marin City.

• Willow Creek Academy, K-8

This independent public charter school was begun in 2001 by a group of Sausalito parents who wanted to provide a public school option for Sausalito families. Prior to WCA’s opening, basically all Sausalito children went to private schools, as Bayside was considered undesirable (after the military fort closed in the 1990s, the racial make-up of the school shifted dramatically when military families left, greatly lessening the number of white students). Willow Creek Academy has grown from its initial K-3 formation, housed on the Bayside campus, to a K-8 with approximately 380 students in the 2015-16 school year. The charter school has its own board.

Parents must apply to attend Willow Creek Academy. ″In accordance with California Education Code section 49011, Willow Creek Academy encourages—but does not require—families to participate in school activities.″ [12]

The Sausalito Marin City School Board:

The district school board has five members. For several years before this board shift, and after it, Willow Creek board members and parents had been pushing for more and more funding each year, including what became an ever-increasing “supplemental grant” from the district. In the 2014-15 school year the amount of this grant was $425,000. At the same time, Bayside MLK’s budget was being drastically cut (e.g., the budget developed for the three years between 2014 and 2017 calls for the cutting of 3 classroom teaching positions [out of 9] as well as the Counseling, P.E./Health, and Visual and Performing Arts positions). While the supplemental grant is now decreasing, the current superintendent, Mr. Van Zant, and the school board worked out a funding formula for the two schools that is largely based on the number of students attending each school. In addition, the district shoulders many costs for the charter school that they are not obligated to provide. According to state law, the public school board is responsible only for overseeing the charter school budget to ensure that it remains financially viable. In practice, however, the charter school, although independent, is treated as simply the other public school by the school board members when it comes to funding such things as groundskeeping, building maintenance, furniture, technology, energy costs, a world language program, nursing, an after-school program, and all special education costs and services, as well as providing all school buildings at no cost (see Memorandum of Understanding between SMCSD and Willow Creek Academy, in Board Packet of 11/10/15, which was voted on and approved with no opportunity for public comment prior to this meeting,[citation needed]

The former superintendent, Steve Van Zant instituted the following significant changes at Bayside MLK:


— ¬Middle School teachers must now hold a multiple-subject credential rather than a single-subject credential. Middle Schools are considered part of the secondary school environment, as high school is, and this generally means that a middle school students’ math teacher, for example, is a certified mathematics teacher rather than a generalist K-8 self-contained classroom teacher. In a public K-8 school, hiring multiple-subject (generalist) teachers is allowed, but there are no provisions to ensure that students are receiving an education equitable to that of middle school students in other schools. This change caused the lay-off of two middle school teachers in March 2014, one in Mathematics and the other in English Language Arts/History Social Studies. — A separate Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program is started. Prior to this year TK students were included in the Bayside MLK kindergarten classroom (Willow Creek Academy does not have a TK program). This new program is not operated by the school district, but rather by a charter school (Academy of Arts and Sciences which operates in several locations across California). The superintendent set this up saying, “They [this charter school] owe me a favor.” There is a question about whether students were enrolled in both this charter school and the SMCSD school district for some period of time, resulting in “double dipping” regarding ADA. — Loss of full-time K-8 Spanish teacher; replaced with an on-line program for middle schoolers only. The program had major technological difficulties and is dropped at the end of its first year of use (2014–15). — Loss of full-time Reading Intervention program run by the Teach for America program, called Reading Partners. This national program utilizes volunteers to work individually with students using a structured, research-based intervention program. That intervention program was marginally replaced by a part-time phonics-based small group intervention effort, rather than the more full reading and writing program offered by Reading Partners. — Reduction of the visual arts program from a full-time teacher working with students twice a week (one discipline-specific lesson and one integrated with classroom teachers’ curriculum) to a 40% position working with students once per week for 40 minutes (to cover teachers’ prep time). — Reduction of music program; in 2014/15 only K-5th grade students receive music instruction once per week for 40 minutes, with the exception of a few middle schoolers who receive small group guitar or drumming lessons once a week through an outside grant.


— The Middle School program is reduced from 3 teachers to 2, requiring a 7th/8th grade combination group. These two teachers are each responsible for teaching three grade-levels of content in two subject areas (one teaches math and science, one teaches English/Language Arts and History/Social Studies. — Spanish language instruction is completely eliminated. — An elementary position is eliminated, resulting in two combination classes, a 3rd/4th and a 4th/5th. [Prior to this the school always maintained one teacher at each grade level, given the difficulty in adequately covering subject matter standards and content. Willow Creek Academy implemented combination grades in 2016 with a combo 3rd/4th grade class.] — The full-time school counselor position is eliminated. Many if not most of the students at Bayside MLK have experienced trauma of various kinds. The counseling program provided students individual and/or small group time to learn coping and resilience strategies. This full-time program will be replaced with a school psychologist (new to the school) already responsible for all educational testing at both Bayside MLK and Willow Creek. One day a week will be added to this position to cover all counseling needs at Bayside MLK. — The full-time Physical Education/Health certificated position is cut entirely. PE/Health will now be staffed by two para-professionals without training. All students will receive 40 minutes instruction twice a week (160 minutes every ten days). The education code states that elementary students should receive 200 minutes of instruction per week; middle school students should receive 400 minutes per week. — The 40% Math Coach/Specialist contract is eliminated. This coach has worked with teachers to support making the instructional shift to Common Core Standards. The teacher moving into the 6th-8th grade Math/Science position had agreed to make this move partly based on an agreement that the math coach would support her this year. She has never taught middle school math before. — Music instruction is further reduced. In 2015, only K-2nd grade students receive music instruction once per week for 30 minutes, except for a few students who receive instrumental lessons during the week and on Saturdays from volunteers.

Willow Creek Academy in 2015-16:

Please see the Willow Creek Academy website ( for full information on their programs and staffing. Their programs include—

• Counseling (2 positions) [separate from the district school psychologist mentioned above at Bayside MLK]. • Student Support Specialists (one for grades K-5; one for grades 6-8). • Spanish/Multicultural Studies. • Physical Education for kindergarten-2nd grades and 3rd-8th grades (two positions, now called Directors of Play), as well as a coordinated recess program called Playworks. . [While the director of the P.E. program at Willow Creek does not hold a teaching credential, he does hold a B.A. in Kinesiology with a focus on Physical Education]. • a full-time Math Coach to support staff in the teaching of Mathematics.


The District had 19.0 full-time-equivalent classroom teachers (2.0 kindergarten and 17.0 elementary). The other 25.0 staff included 11.5 instructional aides or coordinators, 8 district and school administrators, and 5.5 support staff. There were no guidance counselors or library staff.


In 2015 it became the first school district in the United States to only serve organic and genetically modified organism-free food. A pilot program to only serve that kind of food was enacted at Bayside/MLK in 2013.[13]

The District budget as of 2004-05 was $5,333,000, or $17,203 per student. Revenue sources were 6% federal, 81% local, and 13% state.

School Buildings Improvement Bond[edit]

On November 2, 2004, District voters approved Measure I, the School Improvement Bond of 2004, a $15.9 million bond measure that authorizes funding for repairs, upgrades, and new construction projects to the three schools in the District.

The District contracted with the Professional Projects Advisory Group, VBN Architects and Turner Construction to prepare a detailed timeline and budget for construction.[14]

Community demographics[edit]

In 2000, the attendance area had a total population under age 18 of 1,265, of which 101 (8.0%) were Hispanic.[15]

The racial composition was

  • White alone: 618 (48.9%)
  • Black or African American alone: 395 (31.2%)
  • American Indian or Alaska Native alone: 8 (0.6%)
  • Asian alone: 79 (6.2%)
  • Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander alone: 2 (0.2%)
  • Some other race alone: 55 (4.3%)
  • Population of two or more races: 108 (8.5%)


Bayside/Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy
200 Phillips Drive

School typePublic, elementary school-junior high school
PrincipalCherisse C. Baatin
GradesK-8 (formerly 7–8)
Enrollment51 (2004-05)
 • Grade 726
 • Grade 825
Feeder schoolsformerly: Bayside Elementary School
Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy Information
at the National Center for Education Statistics

Bayside/Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy[edit]

Bayside/Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy had[when?] an enrollment of 51 students in seventh and eighth grades. With 3.0 full-time-equivalent teachers, Martin Luther King, Jr. has a student-teacher ratio of 17.0. The campus is located in the urban fringe of a large city. Martin Luther King, neither a charter or magnet school.

Student demographics
The majority of the students are Black or African American. Enrollment by race or ethnicity and by gender are as follows:

  • American Indian/Alaskan: 0 (0.0%)
  • Asian: 1 (2.0%)
  • Black: 40 (78.4%)
  • Hispanic: 5 (9.8%)
  • White: 4 (7.8%)
  • Male: 24 (47.1%)
  • Female: 26 (52.9%)

Martin Luther King, a Title I School, with a School-Wide Program. The majority of the students are eligible for subsidized meals: 92.% for free lunch or reduced-price lunch. There are no migrant students.

Willow Creek Academy[edit]

(See article on Willow Creek Academy.)

Former schools[edit]

Bayside Elementary School
630 Nevada Street

School typePublic, elementary school
PrincipalCherisse C. Baatin
Enrollment106 (2004-05)
 • Kindergarten17
 • Grade 115
 • Grade 211
 • Grade 310
 • Grade 415
 • Grade 522
 • Grade 616
Bayside Elementary School Information
at the National Center for Education Statistics

Bayside Elementary School[edit]

Bayside Elementary School has an enrollment of 106 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. With 9.0 full-time-equivalent teachers, Bayside has a student-teacher ratio of 11.8. The campus is located in the urban fringe of a large city. Bayside is neither a charter or magnet school.

Student demographics
The majority of the students are Black or African American. Enrollment by race or ethnicity and by gender are as follows:

  • Amererican Indian/Alaskan: 6 (5.7%)
  • Asian: 0 (0%)
  • Black: 79 (74.5%)
  • Hispanic: 15 (14.2%)
  • White: 6 (5.7%)
  • Male: 54 (50.9%)
  • Female: 52 (49.1%)

Bayside is a Title I School, with a School-Wide Program.[16] The majority of the students are eligible for subsidized meals: 74.5% for free lunch and 7.5% for reduced-price lunch. There are no migrant students.


  1. ^ "District Office." Sausalito Marin City School District. Retrieved on January 3, 2016. "200 Phillips Drive Marin City, CA 94965"
  2. ^ "Bayside Elementary/Martin Luther King, Jr., Academy." Sausalito Marin City School District. Retrieved on January 3, 2016. "200 Phillips Drive Marin City, CA 94965"
  3. ^ "About the District" (Archive). Sausalito Marin City School District. April 5, 2005. Retrieved on January 3, 2016. "Location & Mailing Address 630 Nevada Street Sausalito, CA 94965"
  4. ^ "Your Schools" (Archive). Sausalito Marin City School District. February 10, 2004. Retrieved on January 3, 2016. "Bayside Elementary School 630 Nevada Street Sausalito, CA 94965 "
  5. ^ La Ganga, Maria L. "COLUMN ONE; Sausalito Schools: Money Isn't Enough; A wealthy district struggles to teach some of its poorest students, creating an education enigma. Underachievement ignites a firestorm of protest from frustrated parents." Los Angeles Times. May 16, 1997. Part A Metro Desk Page 1. Retrieved on July 4, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "The Sausalito Marin City School District." Marin County. June 26, 2008. Retrieved on January 3, 2009.
  7. ^ Gollan, Jennifer and Don Speich. "Public school exodus." Marin Independent Journal. June 12, 2006. Retrieved on July 4, 2011.
  8. ^ Rogers, Rob. "Willow Creek in Sausalito named one of state's top charter schools." Marin Independent Journal. June 16, 2011. Retrieved on July 4, 2011.
  9. ^ Prado, Mark. "Board vote will result in closure of Bayside School in Sausalito." Marin Independent Journal. January 24, 2013. Retrieved on February 3, 2013.
  10. ^ "K-8 Comprehensive Education Program." (Archive) Sausalito Marin City School District. Retrieved on February 3, 2013.
  11. ^ Tucker, Jill. "Tiny Marin County district clings to struggling school" (Archive). San Francisco Chronicle. Saturday, April 5, 2014. Retrieved on January 3, 2015.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Palmer, Tamara. "Sausalito Marin City School District Becomes Nation's First Organic, GMO Free District" (Archive). NBC Bay Area. August 28, 2015. Retrieved on January 3, 2016.
  14. ^ Sausalito Marin City School District, accessed 2007-02-26
  15. ^ NCES Census information from the United States Census 2000
  16. ^ Title I School-Wide Program: NCES term for "a school in which all the pupils in a school are designated under appropriate state and federal regulations as being eligible for participation in programs authorized by Title I."

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°51′50″N 122°30′04″W / 37.863894°N 122.500992°W / 37.863894; -122.500992