To Learn in Ross: Schools and Such

October 23, 2009

Filed under: Marin Schools — Dave DuPont @ 10:49 am

While there are only two educational institutions in the small Town of Ross, California – one public and one private – much can be said about their quality. For a town of only 1.6 square miles and fewer than 2,500 people, this speaks volumes about the expectations of affluent residents of Ross and the surrounding areas.

The public educational institution in Ross is its K-8 Ross School, which has received the designation, “California Distinguished School” for three of its academic years – 1989, 1993 and, most recently, 2008. The student teacher ratio at the Ross School is 13 to 5. Even more impressive, the school recently ranked 26th out of 873 elementary public schools in California.

The mission of The Ross School is, “to build a solid educational foundation for all students while inspiring, guiding, and challenging them to learn and reach out to the world with compassion, integrity and courage.” The educators, administrators and board are dedicated to excellence and regard “education as a respectful partnership: student, home, school, community.”

The Ross School is currently undergoing extensive construction projects to improve and update its facilities by making “significant alternations to existing spaces, including renovation and demolition as well as new construction.”  Serving under 400 students, the Ross School is at 9 Lagunitas Road in Ross, CA, which is located in affluent and sought-after Marin County. The school telephone number is 415-457-2705.

The other school located within the borders of Ross is the private Branson School, which was officially established in 1920, with roots that go back to 1916. Perhaps Branson’s most famous alumna is Julia Child, the celebrated “French chef.” According to Woody Price, the head of the school, “Branson is committed to encouraging students to engage in a life of purpose, passion, and fulfillment.”

“The School strives to help young people develop the moral imagination to be open and responsive to the struggles of fellow human beings; to develop passions that enlarge their souls; to develop a love for the truth, and a desire and a conscience that drives all of us to try our best to make our community, our nation, and our world better.”

Branson is a co-ed, independent, college-prep day school. There are 320 boys and girls enrolled in grades 9-12. Branson’s faculty has 50 teachers, half of whom hold advanced degrees. The student faculty ratio is 8 to 1 with an average class size of 16.

Branson’s 17-acre campus includes 31 classrooms, a science center, a writing center, a computer lab, a theater, a family center, an art gallery and a library with 12,000 volumes. The athletic center, a learning center and music, art and dance studios complete the physical plant. In addition, Branson is linked throughout its campus with a fully integrated fiber optic and wireless network. Its athletic facilities also include access to fields and a gym at the College of Marin.

Branson’s address is P.O. Box 887, 39 Fernhill Avenue, Ross, CA. Its telephone is 415-454-3612.

For a top-notch education that includes both public and private institutions, Ross, California’s highly-regarded Ross School and Branson School are both winners.

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