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Nine San Rafael City Schools (SRCS) campuses will get Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations thanks to the combined resources and support of the Transportation Authority of Marin, Marin Clean Energy and Pacific Gas and Electric. Adding these charging stations positions SRCS as a leader supporting California’s clean energy goals. The SRCS Board of Education approved the project at its December 17 meeting.

“We’re thrilled that our community partners are making EV charging stations possible on so many campuses,” said SRCS Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh, Ed.D. “Our Board, staff, students and community members have advocated for these stations and community funding and rebates will make them possible.” 

The school board action allows the District to commit to PG&E EV Network Terms & Conditions (including easement rights); initial site assessments and preliminary designs; and directional approval to proceed with a Request for Proposal procurement process, following public contracting code for PG&E qualified contractors.

The schools being identified for EV stations include: Terra Linda High School; San Rafael High School; Madrone Continuation High School; Davidson Middle School; and Glenwood, Bahia Vista, Coleman, Sun Valley and San Pedro elementary schools. 

The District successfully applied for and acquired specialized grants and rebates to install and cover the EV charging equipment cost. Funding resources include:

  • Transportation Fund for Clean Air Grant through the Transportation Authority of Marin - $60,000
  • Marin Clean Energy Rebate - $65,772
  • PG&E Charge Rebate - $575/port

There is no initial cost to the District. Charging stations will be a mix of dual and single head stations, following accessibility requirements. The projects will go through a Division of State Architect review. As many SRCS campuses are undergoing construction as part of Measures A and B, installing EV stations should be seamless and not disruptive. 

Nicholas Nguyen, Principal Project Manager for the Transportation Authority of Marin, stated, “Installing electric vehicle charging stations is an important, forward-thinking move by San Rafael School Board. TAM is glad to be a guiding resource and funding partner in this effort by the District to combat climate change and accelerate the transition to fossil-free transportation. While TAM advocates for carpooling and alternative modes of transportation to reduce congestion and emissions, we believe electric vehicles offers a clean choice when the other options are not available. Working together, we can make a big difference.” 

Dan Zaich, Senior Director of Capital Improvements explained, “Our intentions with these preliminary plans include a four-hour time limit at each station with posted signage outlining guidelines.  SRCS plans ‘pass through charges’ where the vehicle owner pays only for the electricity used via a punch key and credit card system, similar to those systems seen at shopping malls.” 

In light of the announcement that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will end, we want to remind our entire community that San Rafael City Schools welcomes all students and families, regardless of their immigration status. Our "Dreamers" are vital contributors to our SRCS community.

Click here to read a letter from the Superintendent in English or click here to read the letter in Spanish.

The SRCS Board of Education often reviews its Board Policies and makes updates to align with recent changes in state law and to adapt to research and changes in best practice for educational programming. 

Recently, the SRCS Board began reviewing updates to its Board Policy 6154 on Homework/Makeup Work. Language for Board Policies often comes from the California School Board Association (CSBA). The recommended CSBA language, which is included in SRCS’ draft revised policy, includes updates such as allowing full credit to be given for makeup work satisfactorily completed within a reasonable time, regardless of whether the absence is due to an excused or unexcused absence. Additionally, the draft policy addresses guidelines for the assignment of homework, communication of homework expectations to students and parents/guardians and resources to assist students in completing homework and developing good study habits. 

The revised policy will be brought to the Board for final review and consideration at a future meeting in May. Click here to download the draft revised Board Policy 6154. If you have any feedback, please contact your principal or email


La Mesa Directiva Considera Revisiones a la Política de Tareas y Trabajos de Recuperación 
El Directorio Educación de SRCS a menudo revisa sus Políticas de la Mesa Directiva y hace actualizaciones para alinearse con los cambios recientes en la ley estatal y para adaptarse a la investigación y cambios en las mejores prácticas para la programación educativa.

Recientemente, el Directorio de SRCS comenzó a revisar las actualizaciones de su Política 6154 de la Mesa Directiva sobre Tareas y Trabajos de Recuperación. El lenguaje para las políticas del Directorio a menudo viene de la Asociación de Mesas Directivas Escolares de California (CSBA). El lenguaje CSBA recomendado, que se incluye en el borrador de la política revisada de SRCS, incluye actualizaciones tales como permitir que se otorgue crédito total para el trabajo de recuperación satisfactoriamente completado en un tiempo razonable, sin importar si la ausencia es con excusa o es injustificada. Además, el borrador de la política aborda las pautas para la asignación de tareas, la comunicación de las expectativas de tareas a los estudiantes y los padres o tutores, y los recursos para ayudar a los estudiantes a completar la tarea y desarrollar buenos hábitos de estudio.

La política revisada será presentada ante la Mesa Directiva para su revisión final y consideración en una futura reunión en mayo. Haga clic aquí para descargar el borrador revisado de la Politica 6154. Si tiene algún comentario, comuníquese con su director/a por correo electrónico en

The Board began its review of the District's policies and procedures for facilities use at a study session for the Board on Oct. 24. Due to recent changes in law, staff has worked to update the Board Policy, particularly to reflect changes in the Civic Center Act. Additionally, there was a public study session on Nov. 7 and a public comment period to collect input from the community. The focus of the review process is on proposed changes to the following:

  • Existing Board Policy and Exhibit 1330
  • Administrative Regulation 1330 and related 1330 Exhibits
  • Fee Schedule
  • Application and Permit Form

At the Board meeting on Nov. 14, the updated policies and procedures were presented to the Board for a first reading. Click here to download the documents

Fee Schedule
Additionally, the District is updating the related Fee Schedule, which will be made available for review and public comment from Nov. 18 -  Dec. 5. A Public Study Session on the completed Fee Schedule is scheduled for Dec. 1 at 4 pm at the District Office. Click here to download the proposed Fee Schedule. Public comments on the Fee Schedule should be submitted to Dr. Dan Zaich at on or before Dec. 5.

Timeline for Review
SRCS has identified the following timeline for reviewing these policies and procedures, which has been updated to include the latest events:

Date/Time/Location Event
10/24/16 - 11/10/16   Public Comment Period on Proposed Policies and Procedures
11/7/16; 5 pm; District Boardroom Public Study Session on Proposed Policies and Procedures
11/14/16; 6 pm; District Boardroom Board Meeting, 1st Reading
11/18/16 - 12/5/16 New: Public Study Session on Proposed Updates to Fee Schedule
12/1/16; 4 pm; District Boardroom New: Public Study Session on Proposed Updates to Fee Schedule
12/12/16; 6 pm; District Boardroom Board Meeting, 2nd Reading and Recommended Board Adoption

Click here to download the full schedule for more details on the process. Additionally, click here to download the presentation from the Nov. 14 Board meeting.

Blue RibbonThe U.S. Department of Education announced on Sept. 28 that Sun Valley Elementary School has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. Sun Valley Elementary is one among 279 public and 50 private schools receiving this honor.

“We could not be more proud of this recognition for Sun Valley,” said San Rafael City Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Watenpaugh. “The teachers, staff, students and families are most deserving of this significant honor. The award affirms the school’s outstanding academic program, as well as their model efforts to address students’ social-emotional needs.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award supports the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence.  

Schools are nominated for the award by the state department of education, and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Schools may apply for status as Exemplary High Performing or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing.  Sun Valley Elementary is recognized in the category of Exemplary High Performing Schools, which means that it is among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. 

“With more than 500 students from a variety of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, we have worked tirelessly to create an inclusive community that addresses all of our learners’ needs,” said Sun Valley Principal Julie Harris. “To achieve high levels of student achievement, we’ve invested in extensive professional development, and as a result, the classrooms are rich with rigor, engagement and joy and every child has the skills and supports to reach their full potential.”

Superintendent Watenpaugh, Principal Harris and Literacy Coach Dr. Maggie Stevens will represent Sun Valley Elementary at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7-8 to celebrate their hard-won achievement. Following the trip, there will also be a local celebration for the Sun Valley school community.
U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King made the announcement on Sept. 28. The announcement can be seen here:

Doug MarquandAfter an extensive search process for a key administrator position, San Rafael City Schools (SRCS) is pleased to announce that the Board of Education appointed Doug Marquand as the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services at its meeting on September 12, 2016. The addition completes the SRCS administrative team for the 2016-2017 school year. He will start with the district in mid-October. School Services of California assisted with the statewide search and selection process. 

Mr. Marquand will provide districtwide leadership in collaboration with Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh, Ed.D. to develop and implement district policies and initiatives that advance and prioritize the work of SRCS' strategic plan. He will oversee the district's business services department, which includes payroll, maintenance and operations, transportation, and food and nutritional services, along with all business-related services to SRCS.

"We feel fortunate to not only have found a leader with such great depth of experience in business services and implementing bond programs, but also someone who goes beyond 'number crunching' and is passionate about servicing sites and creating a collaborative climate," said Superintendent Watenpaugh. "Doug is a great fit for San Rafael City Schools and we're thrilled to have him join the team."

Mr. Marquand has been involved in the world of school finance for 20 years, and has been recognized throughout his career for his leadership, comprehensive technical knowledge, collaboration and communication skills, follow-through and dedication to the work and to all stakeholders. A native of Marin County, he most recently was the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services with the Placer Union High School District for nine years. Previously, he was with the North Sacramento Elementary School District for 11 years, where he held positions of Chief of Business and Operations and Director of Child Nutrition and Transportation. 

"I have a passion for San Rafael City School's mission and vision, and I look forward to returning to Marin," said Marquand. "I am eager to use my talents and expertise to contribute to the fiscal solvency of the District, as well as to maximize the community's generous support of Measures A and B in providing safe and healthy 21st century learning environments so all our children have opportunities to be successful in college, career and life."

Mr. Marquand earned his Bachelor's degree in business administration, finance from San Francisco State University. He is a Certified Chief Business Official by the California Association of School Business Officials. His wife of over 30 years is also from Marin County. They both look forward to making Marin their home again, where they will be close to their families and also have the opportunity to enjoy all the outdoor activities the area offers. 

He is working closely with Interim Chief Business Official, Terri Ryland, as well as District administrators and Business Services staff to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Background Information
At its Aug. 8 meeting, the Board formally received a petition from Ipso School proposing to open an independent charter school in the San Rafael High School District. Their petition calls for opening a charter high school in San Rafael to ninth grade students in the fall of 2017, and adding a grade level until they reach full 9-12 grade enrollment of approximately 528 students. Ipso School's co-founders, Erin Ashley and Katy Foster, most recently were educators in the Tamalpais Union High School District. Click here to access their petition, which is available in section IX.5 of the agenda. 

The Board's formal receipt of the petition initiated the petition review process. At the Aug. 8 meeting, District legal counsel shared overview information on the review process with the Board. As part of the process, within 30 days of receipt, a public hearing is held to assess support among teachers, employees and parents and within 60 days, the Board must approve, conditionally approve or deny the petition. Click here to view the presentation on the review process, which includes information on components of any petition, grounds for denial and potential outcomes. 

Public Hearing
As part of the formal review process, at its meeting on August 22, 2016, the Board of Education held a public hearing on the Ipso School charter petition. The Ipso School co-founders gave a brief presentation at the beginning of the hearing. Click here to download their presentation.  

Following the presentation, the Board opened up the hearing for public comments. Over 40 people, including teachers, staff, parents, alumni, students and community members, provided comments. 

Next Steps
The District is currently reviewing and analyzing the petition, its proposed operation and how it meets the statutory criteria. The District's review, along with information shared at the public hearing, will help the District develop a recommendation to the Board. This recommendation is scheduled to be shared at the September 26, 2016 Board meeting. The final Board action on the charter petition is also scheduled for the Sept. 26 meeting. The meeting is open to the public.



1.  What is a charter school?

A charter school is a public school that provides instruction in any combination of grades K-12. Parents, teachers, or community members may initiate a charter petition, which is typically presented to and approved by a local school district governing board. Specific goals and operating procedures for a charter school are detailed in a charter petition, and, if the petition is granted, in an agreement between the charter authorizing entity and the charter developer. A charter school is exempted from many of the statutes and regulations that apply to school districts. Students enroll in charter schools on a voluntary basis, subject to space availability and, if demand exceeds the number of spaces available, through a lottery process.


2.  Are charter schools part of the public school system?

Yes. Charter schools are under the jurisdiction of the Public School System and are publicly funded, as specified in California Education Code (EC) Section 47615.  However, charter schools are commonly operated as or by non-profit corporations. Ipso Schools is a California nonprofit corporation, formed in November 2015.


3.  Who is eligible to submit a charter petition?

Anyone may develop, circulate, and submit a petition to establish a charter school. EC Section 47605(a) requires charter developers to collect signatures to indicate support for the petition. For a new charter school that is not a conversion of an existing public school, charter developers must obtain the signatures of either 50 percent of the teachers that the school estimates will be employed at the school in its first year of operation or 50 percent of the parents of pupils that the school estimates will enroll in the school in its first year of operation. The petition must contain a prominent statement that a signature means that the person signing is meaningfully interested in teaching in, or in having his or her child(ren) attend the school.


4.  Who submitted a charter petition in San Rafael?

On August 8, 2017, the San Rafael City Schools Board of Education formally received a petition from Ipso Schools proposing to open an independent charter school in the San Rafael High School District. Their petition calls for opening a charter high school in San Rafael to ninth grade students in the fall of 2017, and adding a grade level each year until they reach full 9-12 grade enrollment of approximately 528 students. Ipso Schools' co-founders, Erin Ashley and Katy Foster, most recently were educators in the Tamalpais Union High School District. Click here to access their petition, which is available in section IX.5 of the agenda. 


5.  On what grounds can a local governing board deny approval of a charter petition?

EC Section 47605(b) specifies that a local educational agency shall not deny the approval of a charter petition unless it makes written factual findings, specific to the particular petition, that:

  1. The charter school presents an unsound educational program.
  2. The petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the petition.
  3. The petition does not contain the required number of signatures.
  4. The petition does not contain an affirmation of each of the conditions described in EC Section 47605(d).
  5. The petition does not contain reasonably comprehensive descriptions of all of the 15 required elements of the petition.
  6. The petition does not contain a declaration of whether or not the charter school shall be deemed the exclusive public employer of the employees of the charter school for purposes of the Educational Employment Relations Act.


6.  Who may approve a charter school petition?

Under EC Section 47605(b) the local school district governing board may approve charter schools, with a few exceptions, to operate within its boundaries. In the case of the Ipso Schools, it is the SRCS Board of Education that has been requested to approve the petition. 

EC sections 47605(j) and 47605.6 allow a petitioner to seek approval of a charter petition from a county board of education if the petition has been denied by a local school district governing board within the county, or in circumstances where a charter petitioner seeks to open a “countywide benefit charter.” In the case of the Ipso Schools, it is the Marin County Office of Education that may approve the petition if the SRCS Board of Education denies it.

EC Section 47605.8 allows a petitioner to request the State Board of Education approve a charter petition if the petition has been previously denied by a local school district governing board and a county board of education.

The entity that approves a charter petition is required to oversee the charter school.


7.  What is the timeline for approval of a charter petition?

EC Section 47605(b) specifies that a local governing board must hold a public hearing for a proposed charter within 30 days of receipt of the completed petition, and, within 60 days from receipt of the petition, either grantor deny the charter.  Some entities grant charters conditional on the petitioner meeting certain requirements after approval, but that form of approval is not outlined in the law.


The timeline for the Ipso Schools petition is as follows:

  • August 8, 2016 Board Meeting: The Board formally received the Ipso Schools petition
  • August 22, 2016 Board Meeting: The Board held a public hearing on the petition
  • September 26, 2016 Board Meeting: The Board is scheduled to take action to grant or deny the petition.

Please note that neither action nor discussion of the petition is scheduled to be on the agenda at the September 12, 2016 meeting, but public comment is welcome. All Board meetings are open to the public.


8.  What are the required elements of a charter petition?

Each charter petition must contain reasonably comprehensive descriptions of each of 15 required elements. The 15 elements, as specified in EC Section 47605(b)(5)(A-P), are:

  1. A description of the educational program of the school. If the proposed charter school will serve high school pupils, a description of how the charter school will inform parents about the transferability of courses to other public high schools and the eligibility of courses to meet college entrance requirements must be included in the charter petition.
  2. The measurable pupil outcomes identified for use by the school.
  3. The method by which pupil progress in meeting those pupil outcomes is to be measured.
  4. The schools governance structure, including parental involvement.
  5. The qualifications to be met by individuals employed by the school.
  6. Procedures to ensure health and safety of pupils and staff.
  7. The means by which the school will achieve racial and ethnic balance among its pupils, reflective of the general population residing in the district.
  8. Admission requirements, if applicable.
  9. The manner in which annual financial audits will be conducted, and the manner in which audit exceptions and deficiencies will be resolved.
  10. The procedures by which pupils may be suspended or expelled.
  11. Provisions for employee coverage under the State Teachers Retirement System, the Public Employees Retirement System, or federal social security.
  12. The public school alternatives for pupils residing within the district who choose not to attend charter schools.
  13. A description of the rights of any employee of the school district upon leaving the employment of the school district to work in a charter school, and of any rights of return to the school district after employment at a charter school.
  14. A dispute resolution process.
  15. The procedures to be used if the charter school closes.

9.  What are the next steps for SRCS?

The District is currently reviewing and analyzing the petition, its proposed operation and whether it meets the statutory criteria. The District's review, along with information shared at the public hearing and all public comment on the matter, will help the District develop a recommendation to the Board. This recommendation is scheduled to be shared at the September 26, 2016 Board meeting. The final Board action on the charter petition is also scheduled for the Sept. 26 meeting. All Board meetings are open to the public.


10.  Can the community provide input?

Yes, community input matters and is welcomed. All Board of Education meetings are open to the public. Click here for upcoming meeting dates.



The California Department of Education, Dannis Woliver Kelley, Attorneys at Law, presentation to the SRCS Board of Education, 8/8/16

Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 277 in 2015, which changes immunization requirements for children entering school. These new immunization requirements are currently in effect for the 2016-17 school year.  As we prepare for our students' return to school, it is important to make sure that your child’s medical records are complete and up to date.   

Students with incomplete or missing immunization records CANNOT register for classes and CANNOT attend ANY classes until records are complete. Please read the current requirements below.

Immunization Requirements as of January 1, 2016:

  • All students grade K-12 must have proof of the following immunizations in order to meet California State Law Immunization Requirements: polio, DPT, TDAP (pertussis), hepatitis B, MMR and varicella.
  • Parents or guardians of students in any school will no longer be allowed to submit a personal/religious beliefs exemption to a currently-required vaccine (SB277).
  • For medical exemptions, a parent or guardian must submit a written statement from a licensed Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) stating the circumstances. See the SB277 FAQ section on medical exemptions for more information.
  • The District has an obligation to provide students eligible for special education with a free and appropriate public education regardless of their vaccination status. 
  • If a child is in the middle of receiving his/her immunizations, a written statement of the next appointment must be provided for the student folder. 

To learn more about immunizations, please visit

San Rafael City Schools is getting ready to launch a new electronic flyer tool called “Peachjar” to enhance our communication with families! 

This “green” initiative will save our schools tons of paper and significantly reduce copy costs and will ease the burden for our staff! 

To view school and District-approved eflyers, you will simply click the Peachjar button on the homepage of you school’s website. You will also be emailed flyers weekly. 

PeachJar eFlyers
No action is required on your part. You will receive a welcome email from our service provider (Peachjar) that includes a username and password. This is provided to give you the opportunity to manage your account and flyer delivery preferences. You do not need to login to receive or view school eflyers. 

To ensure smooth delivery of this communication, we suggest you add to your email contacts. When you receive your first eflyer, be sure to click “always display images.” 

This system is used exclusively for distribution of school and District-approved flyers. Your email address will not be shared or used for any other purpose. 

Thank you for supporting our efforts to ensure families are well informed about school programs, activities and events. Please note that some schools many continue to distribute some flyers in print, or have copies available in the front office. 



Las Escuelas de la Ciudad de San Rafael se están preparando para lanzar una nueva herramienta de volantes electrónicos llamada "Peachjar" para mejorar nuestra comunicación con las familias. 

Esta iniciativa "verde" ahorrará a nuestras escuelas toneladas de papel, reducirá significativamente los costos de copiado y aliviará la carga para nuestro personal.

Para ver los volantes electrónicos (eflyers) aprobados por la escuela y el Distrito, simplemente haga clic en el botón Peachjar en la página principal del sitio web de la escuela. También se le enviarán volantes por correo electrónico semanalmente.

peachjar eflyers

No se requiere ninguna acción de su parte. Usted recibirá un correo electrónico de bienvenida por parte de nuestro proveedor de servicios (Peachjar) que incluye un nombre de usuario y contraseña. Esto se proporciona para darle la oportunidad de manejar su cuenta y preferencias de entrega. No es necesario iniciar sesión para recibir o ver eflyers escolares.

Para garantizar una entrega fácil de esta comunicación, sugerimos que añada a sus contactos de correo electrónico. Cuando reciba su primer eflyer, asegúrese de hacer clic en "always display images” (Siempre mostrar imágenes).
Este sistema se utiliza exclusivamente para la distribución de volantes aprobados por la escuela y el Distrito. Su dirección de correo electrónico no será compartida ni utilizada para ningún otro propósito.

Gracias por apoyar nuestros esfuerzos para asegurar que las familias están bien informadas acerca de los programas, actividades y eventos escolares. Tenga en cuenta que algunas escuelas pueden seguir distribuyendo volantes impresos, o tener copias disponibles en la oficina principal.

Mayra PerezDr. Mayra Perez was named Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice for San Rafael City Schools. She will join the district on July 1, 2016.

This position oversees the district’s instructional and teaching program, with a goal of ensuring equitable and high academic outcomes for all students, and enhancing systems and structures to support the instructional needs of school sites. She will work with Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh, Ed.D. to develop district policies and framework that advance and prioritize the work of the district’s strategic plan.

Dr. Perez comes to SRCS from San Gabriel Unified School District, where she’s held a variety of positions over the last 16 years, most recently as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. In her education career she’s been a Title I specialist, teacher, assistant principal, principal and program administrator.

“I am excited about being a member of the San Rafael City Schools team,” said Dr. Perez. “It is an honor and privilege to join such a student centered organization. I am grateful for the warm welcome and this new opportunity.”

One of the major SRCS initiatives she will oversee is aligning the instructional program with the district’s support services to ensure that all elements work together to support access and student achievement.

“We’re excited about the oversight and coordination that Dr. Perez will bring to San Rafael City Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Watenpaugh. “Her experience has well-prepared her to quickly be a contributing member of our leadership team in ensuring our students can succeed and that our team of educators has the tools and processes to be successful.”

Dr. Perez earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Master’s degree in educational administration and her doctor of education from the University of Southern California. She is bilingual/biliterate in English and Spanish.

board membersSan Rafael City Schools Board of Education members Rachel Kertz and Maika Llorens Gulati joined their fellow trustees in completing the California School Board Association’s Masters in Governance program. 

The Masters in Governance program is a nine-course program focused on the effective management and role of school board trustees. The program equips board members and superintendents with the knowledge and skills necessary to build and support an effective governance structure. Trustees Kertz and Llorens Gulati agree the program offers a unique opportunity to join other trustees from across California to share best practices and discuss current issues and trends. 

Congratulations to both on completing their Masters in Governance!

On Thursday, May 21, San Rafael City Schools teachers, educators, leaders and programs were honored at the annual Golden Bell Awards Ceremony at Dominican University for their outstanding achievement. The Golden Bell Awards celebrate public education in Marin County by bringing our community together to recognize outstanding certificated teachers, excellent student programs, as well as present awards to an exemplary educator, classified employee, teacher and trustee.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the event.

Among those honored were:


Trustee of the Year

Greg Knell

Greg Knell, elected to the SRCS Board of Education in 2003, was selected as a 2015 Trustee of the Year. This year, two trustees received the award; a trustee from the Lagunitas School District also received the honor.


Student Programs
Peaceful Eagles and Youth Leaders
Glenwood Elementary and Coleman Elementary
Provides leadership opportunities for participants who support a safe environment for all students on the playground. Click to learn more.
San Pedro LEAP After School Program
San Pedro Elementary
Provides at-risk students with high-quality after school opportunities including enrichment, sports, academic intervention and homework assistance. Click to learn more.
Banyan Humanities Academy
San Rafael High School
Promotes academic engagement, deeper learning and an effective transition to high school by emphasizing community and project-based learning. Click to learn more.
Marin School of Environmental Leadership
Terra Linda High School
Project-based, environmentally-focused program which engages students and creates community leaders of tomorrow. Click to learn more.
Golden Bell Teachers
Tara Pauley
Bahia Vista Elementary School
Katie O'Donnell
Coleman Elementary School
Jennifer Diaz-Zamora
Davidson Middle School

Elizabeth Foehr

Glenwood Elementary School

Caitlin Halla

Laurel Dell Elementary School

Ericka Benassini

San Pedro Elementary School

Karrie Coulter

Short Elementary School

Cindy Leroux

Sun Valley Elementary School

Alexa Sakellriou

Venetia Valley School

Alexis Morgan

Madrone High School

Deborah Pogorzelski

San Rafael High School

Lauren Inman

Terra Linda High School

First School in Bay Area to Follow Example of US Soccer’s Abby Wambach and Major League Lacrosse By Putting Head Impact Monitors on Athletes

San Rafael High School announced a significant step in safety by outfitting their athletes with Triax Technologies Smart Impact Monitors (SIM™).  The Bulldogs Girl’s Varsity and JV soccer teams and Boys’ Varsity and JV lacrosse teams used the SIM devices throughout the spring 2015 season to track and assess head impacts during practices, and the school intends to continue use of the Triax SIM into the fall sports season.  These are the same devices used by top female soccer player, Abby Wambach, and Major League Lacrosse to help identify significant hits and adjust technique to avoid injury.  

“Using head impact monitors allow us to see what we may not have been able detect during the course of watching a game,” said Tim Galli, San Rafael High School Athletic Director.  “The reality is you don’t always have obvious symptoms with a significant hit, and there are times that a dangerous impact could go unnoticed from the sidelines.  With the SIM, we had data to quantify impacts during play which will helped us to identify if an athlete should be evaluated.”

Studies have shown that most players do not report concussive symptoms experienced during competitions, let alone sub-concussive hits.  At the same time, researchers agree that repetitive sub-concussive hits can be as dangerous as concussive hits and should be taken seriously.  Having the ability to quantify impacts can be the first sign of a potential health risk. 

“As new data continues to emerge showing potential long-term effects of head impacts, we knew that we needed to take steps to help us make good decisions about player safety,” continued Galli. “The Triax technology supports our athletic staff who are always on the lookout to help prevent potential injuries, and each player’s data will help them to play smarter  – both in games and at practice.”

Triax SIM™ devices are worn in comfortable, unobtrusive headbands or skullcaps to record head impacts and transmit data in real time from the field to a smart phone or tablet on the sideline.  This cutting-edge technology can track and store individual head impacts measuring the G-force of direct hits and jarring through linear and rotational measures, giving both real-time data and reveal player trends.  This monitoring allows coaches, trainers and parents to identify when a player has experienced a significant head impact, or a series of repetitive “sub-concussive” hits, that might require altering technique or removal from play for assessment. 

The first device of its kind to be Hit Count® certified in all sports categories as defined by the Sports Legacy Institute, Triax SIM™ devices are currently being used by more than 18 research institutions around the country as part of various studies to better understand sports concussions and the impact of sub-concussive hits.  As part of San Rafael’s ongoing commitment to player safety, the school is currently looking to expand the program.

“Athletes are always going to push themselves to be their best, it doesn’t matter if they are in a youth league, competing on the high school varsity, or representing their country,” said Chad Hollingsworth, Co-founder of Triax Technologies.  “San Rafael’s athletes are no different and we are excited to be part of their team.”

Future ReadyA team of leaders from San Rafael City Schools (SRCS) was in Mountain View on May 4-5 to participate in the eighth of 13 Future Ready Regional Summits. The Future Ready Summits are a critical step toward realizing the goals of the ConnectED Initiative announced by President Obama in 2013 to connect 99 percent of students to high-speed Internet and empower teachers with the technology they need to transform teaching and learning.  

The SRCS team of four included Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh, Assistant Superintendent Harriet MacLean, and San Rafael Teacher’s Association President Katie O’Donnell, who attended the two-day summit, with Director of Strategic Initiatives Dan Zaich joining the team on Tuesday. The four-person team is among 1,800 educators who will attend one of the Future Ready Summits.

Knowing the guideline that superintendents are required to attend as part of the team, Dr. Watenpaugh made the difficult decision to attend in lieu of the LCAP Community Workshop. 

“We considered not attending because of the LCAP Community Workshop that was scheduled for Monday, May 4, but we quickly realized that all we were learning at the Future Ready Summit was directly connected to our LCAP; we didn’t want to miss this Future Ready opportunity to gather knowledge and information that could guide our technology initiatives in San Rafael,” said Superintendent Watenpaugh.

The Future Ready team met teachers, site principals and district leaders who are successfully integrating technology into all content areas by developing a digital learning plan that aligns with instructional best practices.  They were encouraged by those teachers in our district that are taking ever greater steps to integrate digital learning tools into their classrooms, but they left with an understanding and a realistic vision of what is possible in our schools – using technology to empower teachers, engage students, and effectively provide all students with access to the tools and the expertise to be prepared for the future.  

SRTA President Katie O’Donnell commented, “We had direct access to teachers and school leaders whose experience and expertise will help us develop a revised technology and digital literacy plan. I have the names and contact information from teachers and school districts across the country that I will call as questions and new challenges emerge. It is realistic for us to make sure that teachers receive the right training and the right tools to bring digital resources and technology into every K-12 classroom.” 

Assistant Superintendent Harriet MacLean identified, “In just two days we engaged in a series of workshops that have provided expert support to help us create and build our district’s technology and digital learning plan.  It’s not a ‘new’ plan; it’s an integrated part of our Common Core Implementation Plan and our Local Control Accountability Plans. But, now, after attending the Future Ready Summit, we have access to resources that have been implemented and are working in other districts. We have connections with teachers and leaders in other districts who can be an invaluable resource as we move forward.”

“Superintendents provide critical leadership to ensure that every child in their district benefits from what we know matters and what we know works for kids,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The Future Ready Regional Summits will be a forum where local leaders can share knowledge with their peers, engage leaders from outside their region and better equip themselves with skills and tools necessary to provide students with what they need to be successful in life.”

Superintendent Watenpaugh has signed the Future Ready District Pledge, identifying SRCS’ commitment to developing our staff and technological capacity that is needed to transform teaching and personalize learning using digital tools. As of this date, 1500 districts across the country have signed the pledge. For more information, including resources for students, parents and educators, visit Information about the summits is also available through the Twitter feed for Future Ready: #FutureReady.

San Rafael High School (SRHS) and the SRHS Alumni Association are pleased to announce the 2015 Hall of Honor inductees: Robert Muster, Marie Goff-Tuttle and Robert Carrasco. These individuals will be honored for their outstanding dedication and commitment to San Rafael High School at an Induction Ceremony on Thursday, May 7 at 5:00 p.m. in the Hayes Theater at SRHS. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony. San Rafael alumni, students, teachers, community members and friends are invited to attend this special annual event.

To be inducted into the Hall of Honor, individuals must be nominated and must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Have had a positive impact on students
  • Improved the quality of San Rafael High School
  • Contributed time and energy to the betterment of San Rafael High School
  • Are a positive reflection on San Rafael High School
  • Made a valuable contribution to society

We are please to share that our inductees meet these criteria points and we are excited to welcome them as the Hall of Honor’s newest members!

More information about the inductees:

Robert Carrasco
Spanish Teacher and Friend, SRHS Years of Service: 1961-1990

Senor Robert Carrasco was a Spanish teacher at San Rafael High for 29 years. He is an example of an educator who gave to his students well beyond the classroom. He served as the Foreign Language Department Chair, and was an active leader and proponent for student involvement on campus and beyond.  Robert was always the consummate professional and a strong advocate for kids, doing whatever it took to for all of his students to be successful.

Robert ensured that learning the Spanish language included a strong understanding of the culture and Spanish-speaking people. As one student said, “His love for languages and the arts had a great influence on me and how I would raise my own family.” In addition to his work with students in the classroom, he founded the Los Picaros Spanish Club designed to give students the opportunity to experience Mexican and Spanish culture through field trips and guest speakers. His commitment to students extended to sponsoring a homecoming float and his club making tamales during the holidays. He also worked closely with students and their families by sponsoring trips for other school-wide venues and attending many student performances and activities. Furthermore, he led fundraising efforts at SRHS for earthquake relief in Central America.

Robert grew up in San Francisco. He met his wife, Kathy, when she too was a teacher at San Rafael High School, and they look forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year. 
Marie Goff-Tuttle
Teacher of French and Mentor, SRHS Years of Service: 1971 – 1999

Mme. Marie Goff-Tuttle, a French teacher at San Rafael High for 28 years, made learning French a core part of her students’ development as global citizens. Her commitment to students was at the core of all she did, and her legacy is respected to this day.

Marie’s modeling and pursuit of excellence both within and out of the classroom made a lasting impact on students who left SRHS with a commitment to public service, a command of the French language, and a respect and understanding of what it meant to take responsibility for making the world a better place. As one student stated, “Ever have a teacher whose lessons span well beyond the classroom walls?  Mme. Goff-Tuttle was one of those for me…she not only helped me decipher the language of French, but often the language of life.” 

As a native of France, it was equally important to Marie that her students have an appreciation and understanding of the French people and culture. She spearheaded annual fundraising programs to ensure her students had the opportunity to travel to countries where French was spoken and is credited as founder and advisor of the Québec-France Exchange Club. She was an advisor to the French Club and the founder and advisor to the Haitian Club and the Haitian Dance Club. Additionally, she was the founder and counselor of the French immersion camp in the Valley of the Moon, which occurred once a year for SRHS French scholars and students of other area high schools. She has received many recognitions and awards, including the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Program; San Rafael Rotary Club Outstanding Teacher Award; California Foreign Language Teacher Association (CFLTA) National Textbook Award; American Association of Teachers of French Outstanding Teacher Award; and Ordre des Palmes Académiques, Chevalier, which was awarded by the French Ministry of Education.

Marie Goff-Tuttle’s commitment to family is also to be admired as she has managed to and continues to this day, play a key role in raising her grandchildren.  She is not only an outstanding educator, but a legacy at SRHS and beyond. 

Robert Muster
Physical Education Teacher and Football Coach, SRHS Years of Service: 1958 – 1989 

Coach Bob Muster coached varsity football at San Rafael High School for 30 years, starting in 1958 and finishing with his retirement in 1989. No other football coach in the history of San Rafael High School has ever come close to that length of time. While his length of tenure with the school is admirable, it is his achievements with students on and off the field that are greatly commendable. His teams compiled a record of 155 wins, 116 loses, 14 ties and seven MCAL titles during his 30-year period.

Coach Muster is to be credited with launching many young men down the path to top football colleges and universities and then later onto the National Football League (NFL).  Many of these fine athletes are in debt to the coaching and mentorship of Bob, as are generations of boys in their families.

He was so well-known and admired in the football community that the San Jose Mercury News stated in a 2007 article: “Local fans, players' families, opposing coaches and cheerleaders got so used to seeing the familiar sight of Muster calmly strolling the sidelines in his trademark maroon sports coat that when he decided to call it a career in 1988, it was a bit of a shock.” The same article also included commentary from a former player, Quarterback Roger Sweeney: “’He's like a father to me,’ Sweeney said. ‘He's helped me not only as a football player, but as a person because he's just a real inspiration. I love him.’”

In addition to coaching football, Muster had stints coaching freshmen baseball, varsity track and varsity basketball. Coach Muster was also a teacher at San Rafael High School. He taught physical education, health education and adaptive education. 

Coach Muster and his wife of 55 years, Loretta, lived and raised four boys in Novato. 

At its March 9, 2015 meeting, the San Rafael City Schools (SRCS) Board of Education welcomed its newest trustee. Maika Llorens Gulati was administered the Oath of Office by Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh, Ed.D. at the beginning of the meeting; she then was seated at the Board table. Trustee Llorens Gulati was selected as the provisional trustee to fill Paul M. Cohen’s Board seat for the remainder of his term, which expires in November 2015. 

“Maika brings countless qualities to the Board,” said Superintendent Watenpaugh. “She is respected and well-known in the SRCS community because of her tireless efforts to build close working relationships with students, parents, teachers, staff and community members, which have led to strong community and business partnerships. Additionally, as a new trustee, she will build on her already deep perspective of the District and our schools.”

Trustee Llorens Gulati and her husband Ashwin Gulati have resided in San Rafael for more than 16 years. They have two children, Kiara and Marcos, who are currently students at Davidson Middle School. Her work experience includes over 18 years of marketing and communications for Fortune 500, midsize and entrepreneurial companies in both the technology and service sectors. She is currently the executive director for HeadsUp, the San Rafael Public Education Foundation.

“I am honored and excited to join the SRCS Board of Education to serve our community of learners,” Ms. Llorens Gulati said. “Through my new role, I hope to acquire a deeper understanding of the workings of the District and help guide the District to a new level. As a Latina, I bring a diverse perspective and a voice for the Hispanic community. As a team player with other Board members, I can outreach and engage all of our constituents: students, parents, teachers and community members. Most importantly, by working together with the Board, I hope to ensure that all children receive what they need in order to thrive and achieve their maximum potential.”

Ms. Llorens Gulati’s became deeply involved with the San Rafael City Schools community when in 2009, during a sabbatical year, she volunteered as the fundraising chair for the Sun Valley Elementary School PTO. Then in 2010, she was hired as the executive director for HeadsUp. She also is a Board member for SchoolsRule, a member of Main Promise, Voces de Marin planning committee and a member of the San Rafael Chamber Education Committee. Previously, Ms. Llorens Gulati was a Board member for the San Rafael Downtown Improvement District, the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce and part of the committee for Measures A & B campaign in 2013. She also served as a member of the Purchasing and Recycling Team for the City of San Rafael Green Ribbon initiative. Ms. Llorens Gulati received her B.S. in Marketing and Business Administration from ESIC in Madrid, Spain and she is fluent in Spanish and English.

En su reunión del 09 de marzo 2015, la Mesa Directiva de Educación de la Ciudad de San Rafael (SRCS) dio la bienvenida a su nueva integrante. La Sra. Maika Llorens Gulati tomó el juramento al cargo del Superintendente Dr. Michael Watenpaugh, al inicio de la reunión; luego ella se sentó a la mesa de la Mesa Directiva. La Sra. Llorens Gulati fue seleccionada como síndico provisional para llenar la vacante a la Mesa Directiva dejada por Paul M. Cohen por el resto de su mandato, que expira en noviembre de 2015.

"Maika trae innumerables cualidades al Directorio", dijo el Superintendente Watenpaugh. "Ella es respetada y bien conocida en la comunidad SRCS por sus incansables esfuerzos para crear estrechas relaciones de trabajo con los estudiantes, padres, maestros, personal y la comunidad, que han resultado en sólidas asociaciones comunitarias y empresariales. Además, como nueva administradora, ella continuará sumando a su ya profunda perspectiva del distrito y nuestras escuelas".

La Sra. Llorens Gulati y su esposo Ashwin Gulati han residido en San Rafael por más de 16 años. Tienen dos hijos, Kiara y Marcos, que son actualmente estudiantes de la Escuela Intermedia Davidson. Su experiencia laboral incluye más de 18 años de marketing y comunicaciones de nuevas empresas medianas de nuevas tecnologías en los sectores de tecnología y servicios de Fortune 500. Actualmente es la directora ejecutiva de HeadsUp, la Fundación de San Rafael para la Educación Pública.

"Me siento honrada y emocionada de integrar la Mesa Directiva de Educación para servir a nuestra comunidad de estudiantes", dijo Llorens Gulati. "A través de mi nuevo cargo, espero adquirir una comprensión más profunda del funcionamiento del Distrito y ayudar a guiar al Distrito a un nuevo nivel. Como latina, les traigo una perspectiva diversa y una voz para la comunidad hispana. Como una parte del equipo con otros integrantes de la Mesa Directiva puedo alcanzar e involucrar a todos nuestros constituyentes: estudiantes, padres, maestros y miembros de la comunidad. Lo más importante, mediante el trabajo conjunto con la Mesa Directiva, espero asegurar que todos los niños reciban lo que necesitan para prosperar y alcanzar su máximo potencial".

La Sra. Llorens Gulati se involucró profundamente con la comunidad de Escuelas de la Ciudad de San Rafael, cuando en 2009, durante un año sabático, se ofreció como presidenta de recaudación de fondos para la PTO de la Escuela Primaria Sun Valley. Luego, en 2010, fue contratada como directora ejecutiva de HeadsUp. Ella es también integrante de la Mesa Directiva de SchoolsRule, de Main Promise, y del comité de planificación Voces de Marin, y miembro del Comité de Educación de la Cámara de San Rafael. Anteriormente, la Sra. Llorens Gulati fue miembro de la Mesa Directiva de Mejoras de la Ciudad de San Rafael, de la Cámara de Comercio de San Rafael y parte del comité de Medidas A & B campaña en 2013. También se desempeñó como miembro del equipo Compras y Reciclaje de la iniciativa Green Ribbon para la Ciudad de San Rafael. Sra. Llorens Gulati recibió su B.S. en Administración de Marketing y Negocios de ESIC en Madrid, España y habla con fluidez en español e inglés.

Provisional Appointment Process in Place to Fill Seat

The application window is now closed.

Click here to view the application in English. The deadline to submit is Thursday, Feb. 26 at 4:30 p.m.

San Rafael City Schools has announced that Paul M. Cohen has resigned his position as a trustee of the Board of Education for personal and professional reasons, effective January 27, 2015.  At its Feb. 9 meeting, the Board approved a provisional appointment process to fill the position. The Board will interview interested applicants and appoint a new trustee for the open seat within 60 days of receipt of the letter of resignation by the Marin County Office of Education. The individual appointed will finish Cohen’s term, which expires in November 2015.

Interested persons who live within the boundaries of the areas served by the San Rafael City Schools (elementary and high school districts) and who are registered voters are eligible to apply for the one existing vacancy. Applications will be available to qualified applicants at the Superintendent’s Office at 310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael at 9 a.m. and online at on Thursday, February 12, 2015.

Applications must be received by the Office of the Superintendent no later than 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 26, 2015. Applications can be mailed or hand delivered to Michael Watenpaugh, Ed.D., Superintendent, 310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, CA 94903. Applications can also be submitted electronically to Submitted applications, including all attachments, are public record and may be available to the public on the SRCS website.

At a special open session Board meeting scheduled for Monday, March 2, 2015 at 4 p.m., the four current trustees will interview candidates who submit completed applications. At the close of interviews, the trustees will deliberate and select the successful candidate. Inquiries from qualified citizens can be made by calling 415-492-3233 or emailing Important dates are summarized in the table below.

San Rafael City Schools Board of Education
Provisional Appointment Process
Applications Available Thursday, February 12, 2015, 9 a.m. Application available at 310 Nova Albion Way and online at
Application Deadline Thursday, February 26, 2015, 4:30 p.m. Application submitted to 310 Nova Albion Way
Special Board Meeting for Interviews  Monday, March 2, 2015, 4 p.m. Interviews will take place at 310 Nova Albion Way

Cohen served on the SRCS Board of Education for more than seven years. In his letter of resignation, he shared that he made his decision after careful consideration for personal and professional reasons, not out of any disagreement with or lack of support for the current Board and Superintendent. He also commented that as a member of the San Rafael community, he would continue to advocate for and support the District's efforts to lift student achievement for every student, every day. During his tenure with the SRCS Board, Cohen served as the Board President twice and the Vice President twice. He previously served for 16 years on the San Rafael City Council. He is a parent of two San Rafael students who have graduated. 

On behalf of the community, the Board of Education and Superintendent Watenpaugh thank and acknowledge Cohen for his significant contributions to SRCS, his leadership as Board President through difficult fiscal situations during the state budget crisis and for going above and beyond in his public service of almost 24 years to the San Rafael community.

Proceso de nombramiento provisional para llenar una vacante

La solicitud ya está disponible. Haga clic aquí para la solicitud en español. El plazo para presentarla es el jueves, 26 de febrero, a las 4:30 pm.

El Distrito Escolar de la Ciudad de San Rafael ha anunciado que el Sr. Paul M. Cohen ha renunciado a su cargo como miembro del consejo de la Mesa Directiva de Educación por razones personales y profesionales, a partir del 27 de enero de 2015. En su reunión del 09 de febrero, el Directorio aprobó el proceso de nombramiento provisional para ocupar la vacante. El Consejo entrevistará a los candidatos interesados y nombrará a un nuevo miembro para la vacante dentro de los 60 días de la recepción de la carta de renuncia en la Oficina de Educación del Condado de Marin. El individuo designado terminará el plazo del Sr. Cohen, que expira en noviembre de 2015.

Las personas interesadas que viven dentro de los límites de las áreas atendidas por las escuelas de la ciudad de San Rafael (distritos escolares de primaria y secundaria) y que están registrados como votantes son elegibles para presentar su solicitud a la vacante existente. Las solicitudes estarán disponibles a los solicitantes calificados en la Oficina del Superintendente, 310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, a partir de las 9 de la mañana y en línea en el día jueves 12 de febrero de 2015.

Las solicitudes deben ser recibidas en la Oficina del Superintendente no más tarde de las 4:30 pm del 26 de febrero de 2015. Las solicitudes pueden ser enviadas por correo o entregadas en persona al Dr. Michael Watenpaugh, Superintendente, 310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, CA 94903. Las solicitudes también pueden ser enviadas electrónicamente a Las solicitudes presentadas, incluyendo todos sus anexos, son de dominio público y está disponible para el público en el sitio web de SRCS.

En una sesión pública especial de la reunión de Directorio programada para el lunes, 02 de marzo 2015, a las 4 de la tarde, los cuatro administradores actuales entrevistarán a los candidatos que presenten solicitudes completadas. Al término de las entrevistas, los miembros deliberarán y seleccionarán al candidato. Las consultas de los ciudadanos calificados pueden hacerse llamando al 415-492-3233 o enviando un correo electrónico a Las fechas importantes se resumen en la siguiente tabla.

Mesa Directiva de Educación de las Escuelas de la Ciudad de San Rafael
Proceso de Nombramiento Provisional
Solicitud disponible Martes 12 de febrero, 2015, 9 a.m. Solicitudes disponibles en 310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, y en línea en
Plazo para presentar la solicitud Jueves 26 de febrero, 2015, 4:30 p.m. Presentar las solicitudes en 310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael
Reunión especial de Directorio para las entrevistas Lunes, 2 de marzo, 2015, 
4 p.m.    
Las entrevistas se llevarán a cabo en 310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael


Cohen sirvió en la Mesa Directiva de SRCS durante más de siete años. En su carta de renuncia, compartió que él tomó su decisión después de una cuidadosa consideración por razones personales y profesionales, no por algún desacuerdo con o por falta de apoyo del actual Directorio o el Superintendente. Asimismo, comentó que como miembro de la comunidad de San Rafael, él continuará promoviendo y apoyando los esfuerzos del Distrito para elevar el éxito de todos los estudiantes, cada día. Durante su paso por la Mesa Directiva de SRCS, Cohen sirvió dos veces como presidente de la Mesa y dos veces como Vice Presidente. Anteriormente se desempeñó durante 16 años en el Ayuntamiento de San Rafael. Él es padre de dos estudiantes de San Rafael que se han graduado.

En nombre de la comunidad, la Mesa Directiva de Educación y el Superintendente Dr. Watenpaugh, agradecemos y reconocemos al Sr. Cohen por sus contribuciones significativas a SRCS, su liderazgo como Presidente de la Mesa a través de situaciones fiscales difíciles durante la crisis presupuestaria del estado y por ir más allá del deber en su servicio público de casi 24 años a la comunidad de San Rafael


The following is a piece from Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools.

Marin County Superintendent of Schools

In a famous Supreme Court case in 1919 (Schneck v. United States), Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr. said that “the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater and causing panic.” He went on to point out that such an action would endanger others and therefore to limit free speech would be appropriate.
Today, in California, we are facing a situation where the freedom of parents to choose not to immunize their children with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine puts the children of other parents at risk of serious illness including high fever, runny nose, pneumonia, swelling of the brain and in 2 of every 1,000 cases, death. Statewide, there are 91 cases of measles in 2015, with two confirmed cases in Marin County. Some parents, relying upon research of the 1990’s alleging a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, have chosen not to protect their children through immunization. (It should be noted that the research has been discredited by the scientific community.)  
While parents may have the statutory right of refusal, they do not have the ethical right to expose others to their children’s lack of protection. In other words, having the right to do something does not mean it is always the right thing to do. Fifty years ago, children suffered from measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), smallpox, chickenpox, polio, typhoid, diphtheria, tuberculosis, scarlet fever and tetanus, to name a few childhood diseases. Today, most of these diseases have been virtually eliminated, due to the development of vaccines. Would any of us as parents or grandparents want to return to the “good old days?” Would any of us want to be responsible for the illness or death of our own child or the child of other parents because we refused to take advantage of available, proven, very low risk preventive measures?  As noted in the New York Times on Sunday, February 1, 2015, “Measles can kill. Before vaccines for it became widespread in 1963, millions of Americans were infected annually and 400 to 500 died each year."  
While the motives of those parents refusing to allow their children an MMR vaccine are no doubt based on their belief that their actions are the right thing to do, the greater good of the community demands that we take action to prevent any further spread of the measles in Marin County. Children (especially those less than 12-15 months old) and others in our community with compromised immune systems are at highest risk. Therefore, when so directed by the Marin County Public Health Officer, if your child is unvaccinated or cannot provide laboratory confirmation of immunity and there is a case of measles in their school, they will be excluded from attending school for 21 days to protect themselves and to limit further spread of the disease.
I want to be clear that I fully support the direction of our Public Health Officer. I also urge parents to carefully review the current research and, if your child or children are unvaccinated or under vaccinated, to take steps to protect your children immediately. You may have the right not to do so, but just as there is no right to “falsely cry fire in a crowded theater,” there is no right to endanger other peoples’ children. PLEASE GET YOUR CHILDREN VACCINATED!

El siguiente es un mensaje de Mary Jane Burke, Superintendente de Escuelas del Condado de Marin.

Superintendente Escolar del Condado de Marin

En un famoso caso de la Corte Suprema en 1919 (Schneck v. Estados Unidos), el juez Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., dijo que "la protección más estricta de la libertad de expresión no protegería a un hombre de gritar fuego falsamente en un teatro lleno de gente y causar pánico." Luego pasó a señalar que tal acción pondría en peligro a los demás y, por tanto, limitar la libertad de expresión sería apropiado.

Hoy en día, en California, nos enfrentamos a una situación en la que la libertad de los padres a elegir no vacunar a sus hijos con la triple vírica (sarampión, paperas, rubéola) pone a los hijos de otros padres en riesgo de contraer enfermedades graves incluyendo fiebre elevada, secreción nasal, neumonía, inflamación del cerebro y en 2 de cada 1.000 casos, la muerte. A nivel estatal, hay 91 casos de sarampión en el 2015, con dos casos confirmados en el condado de Marin. Algunos padres, confiando en la investigación de la década de 1990 alegando una conexión entre la vacuna triple vírica y el autismo, han optado por no proteger a sus hijos a través de la inmunización. (Cabe señalar que la investigación ha sido desacreditada por la comunidad científica.)

Mientras que los padres pueden tener el derecho legal a la negativa, no tienen el derecho ético de exponer a otros a la falta de protección de sus hijos. En otras palabras, tener el derecho a hacer algo no significa que sea siempre lo que hay que hacer. Hace cincuenta años, los niños sufrían de sarampión, paperas, tos ferina, viruela, varicela, poliomielitis, fiebre tifoidea, difteria, tuberculosis, fiebre escarlata y tétanos, por nombrar algunas enfermedades de la infancia. Hoy en día, la mayoría de estas enfermedades han sido prácticamente eliminadas, debido al desarrollo de vacunas. ¿Alguno de nosotros como padres o abuelos quieren volver a los "buenos viejos tiempos?" ¿Acaso alguno de nosotros quiere ser responsable de la enfermedad o la muerte de nuestro propio hijo o el hijo de otros padres porque nos negamos a aprovechar lo disponible, las medidas de prevención comprobadas, de muy bajo riesgo? Como se señaló en el New York Times el domingo, 01 de febrero 2015, "El sarampión puede matar. Antes de que la vacuna se generalizara en el 1963, millones de estadounidenses se infectaban anualmente y 400 a 500 morían cada año".

Si bien los motivos de esos padres a negarse a permitir a sus hijos recibir la vacuna MMR son sin duda basados en su creencia de que sus acciones son lo que hay que hacer, el mayor bien de la comunidad demanda que tomemos medidas para evitar la propagación del sarampión en el condado de Marin. Los niños (especialmente los menores de 12 a 15 meses de edad) y otros en nuestra comunidad con sistemas inmunes comprometidos están en mayor riesgo. Por lo tanto, cuando como lo indicó el Oficial de Salud Pública de Marin, si su hijo no está vacunado o no puede proporcionar la confirmación de inmunidad de laboratorio y hay un caso de sarampión en su escuela, él será excluido de asistir a la escuela durante 21 días para protegerse a sí mismo y para limitar la propagación de la enfermedad.
Quiero ser clara que apoyo totalmente la dirección de nuestro Oficial de Salud Pública. También insto a los padres a revisar cuidadosamente la investigación actual y, si su hijo o sus hijos no están vacunados o están insuficientemente vacunados, tome medidas de inmediato para proteger a sus hijos. Usted puede tener el derecho de no hacerlo, pero al igual que no existe un derecho a "gritar fuego falsamente en un teatro lleno de gente," no hay derecho a poner en peligro a los niños de otras personas. ¡POR FAVOR VACUNE A SUS HIJOS!