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San Rafael Early Learning Center at Short School

Introducing the San Rafael Early Learning Center at Short School

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San Rafael City Schools is pleased to share the opening of the San Rafael Early Learning Center at Short School (35 Marin St, San Rafael) for the 2024-25 school year! We are proud to partner on this endeavor with our longstanding partner Community Action Marin (CAM) as we work together to serve children who are primarily 3-4 years old. Designed specifically for these young learners, the campus will provide many unique opportunities and benefits.  

It will be home to several programs, including:

  • The new longterm location for the Laurel Dell Transitional Kindergarten program. There are space constraints at Laurel Dell preventing TK from being on site and after engagement with the community, the decision was made to house their TK at Short. After TK, students will transition to the Laurel Dell campus. 
  • The new longterm location for the District's Early Intervention Preschool Program, which is being relocated from the Old Gallinas campus. Their four half-day classrooms will occupy two classrooms. This move will increase students’ access to general education opportunities and support improved transitions to TK and kindergarten classes throughout the District. 
  • A temporary location for one Coleman Transitional Kindergarten class for the 2024-25 school year due to space constraints at the Coleman campus. This TK class will return to the Coleman campus for the 2025-26 school year. Students will continue with Kindergarten at Coleman. 
  • A temporary location for two Venetia Valley Transitional Kindergarten classes who are relocating for the 2024-25 school year due to construction at the Venetia Valley campus. These TK classes will return to the Venetia Valley campus for the 2025-26 school year.
  • The new longterm location for preschool classes with our longtime partner Community Action Marin (CAM). They will be relocating preschool classes from the San Pedro and 215 Mission (their Canal Childcare Center) sites, and it will allow them to continue to deepen the partnership with SRCS using their whole family approach. They will be leasing the space (four classrooms and some auxiliary and shared spaces) from SRCS to support the best outcomes for children and families.

The Short School campus is being transformed to accommodate young learners. Renovations and updates include: surplus material give-away to staff and neighboring districts; painting and carpeting the interiors; reroofing portables; renovating the playgrounds and bathrooms with age-appropriate equipment and fixtures; and supplying right-sized classroom furniture and materials. The work is estimated to be completed in August 2024 prior to the start of the school year. We anticipate having on-site administration and office staff available, and transportation will be offered for SRCS families. The number of students on campus will fluctuate depending on the day and time, but we anticipate using all 10 of the facility’s classrooms. 

The campus will support the District’s growing TK program. TK is a high-quality early learning program the year before Kindergarten. There has been a phased-in implementation, and soon, all four-year olds will be eligible. Classrooms are language rich and joyful and promote learning through play, social emotional growth and self-regulation skills. 

At one time, the Short facility served as an early childhood education center. It then was an elementary school and in 2019, SRCS shared that it would close after the 2019-20 school year. A Short School Community Taskforce was highly engaged in the process and helped make the recommendation, and in early 2020, the Taskforce recommended the Board pursue a path to primarily use the space for early childhood education programming. Read more background about the closure and more details about the Taskforce recommendations for future use

We look forward to keeping our community updated as we prepare to launch the San Rafael Early Learning Center at Short School! 

About Community Action Marin (CAM)
As the county’s official antipoverty agency, Community Action Marin's mandate is to eliminate the causes and consequences of poverty. Our mission is to make it possible for people to achieve well-being by providing the vital services they need to thrive. Our agency is grounded on a whole-family approach to ensure all-around stability and economic vitality for our community, driving equity and self-sufficiency for all. We are the largest non-profit provider of social services to individuals and families of low income in Marin County, serving over 20,000 individuals annually across our key service areas. Together, we break down barriers that get in the way of fair and lasting change for all Marin residents. Learn morre about CAM.