Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hot topic: Marin Prep head of school

This from a reader:
My child is starting at Marin Prep this fall. I just received a letter informing me that the Head of School, Ed Walters, is not returning. He really is the reason why we applied to Marin Prep. I find it very scary that a brand new school can not retain their Head. I put a lot of faith in Marin Prep, with Ed at the helm. Does anyone know why he is leaving? Does anyone share in my fears for my child's future at Marin Prep?

I would really appreciate it if you were to post this as a Hot Topic. You know how scaring enrolling your child in elementary school is, and now to top it off- I have to be afraid of the "unknown".

62 comments:

  1. If you apply for SFUSD at this late point you may be considered "out of district" and get priority placement. It's worth finding out -- ask Parents for Public schools, www.ppssf.org

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  2. We too placed a deposit for a K space for the fall at Marin Prep. Ed was also the reason we picked the school. We are devastated that he will not be there. Like you, we feel very uncertain and nervous about enrolling our daughter there. We were told that he wasn't a "good fit" for the school in certain ways. We were told that he has found a job in his hometown.

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  3. Harvey Milk, just across the way from Marin Prep, may have openings in Open Enrollment, but they will be snapped up. It's a sweet school.

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  4. Run, don't walk to try for those openings at Harvey Milk! And start saving the money you would have spent on tuition for college and retirement!

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  5. My child will be attending Marin Prep next Fall. I also liked Ed Walters, but he was not the only element to this school that I fell in love with.

    The reasons why I decided that this school was perfect for us was the teachers, facility, location, the overall MDP/MDS teaching technique and the awesome administrators.

    However, I am a veteran Marin Day School parent. I have seen the results of a child that attends one of their fantastic preschools.

    To me, Marin Prep is not a completely new school. It is an extension or the next step to my child's education that was started at Marin Day School.

    As with the public schools, you shouldn't decide on a school because of the principal or a single teacher. If and when they leave to pursue something else, you will be disappointed and question your original school choice. Always pick the school not an individual at that school. An individual can leave, a school won't.

    I am completely confident in Marin Prep. My child already refers to Marin Prep as "her school." And she is completely energized for the Fall.

    I visited Harvey Milk. It is a sweet school. Being a MDS family, I just found Marin Prep a better fit for my child.

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  6. we interviewed at Marin Prep but felt that with Ed it was "his way or the highway." I think he left not by his choice. he may have been the best person to start it but not to continue. the teachers seem unbelievably strong, it's an incredible facility, and we thought the parent group was really compelling. there are WAY more great "heads" out there than there are spots and this looks like a great place - I think it'll be fine. Milk is a great school but there is a lot of uncertainty with public. you can always switch out later.

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  7. there is a lot of uncertainty with public

    I don't know about that. The teachers and administrators in my kids' public schools (14 years between them now) have been remarkably consistent and steady through the years. And we've seen a lot of changes around us, big demographic shifts, several waves of budget cuts and restorations (including one previous big wave of cuts). The teachers have always been pros throughout and their confidence and consistency gives me confidence. Over the years the parent community at both my kids' schools has grown and matured in its involvement, but throughout I have relied first and foremost on the quality professional teachers. SFUSD is very lucky to have the pool it does.

    Of course if you love MDS and it fits your kid and you have the $$, that is great. I'm only responding to the comment about uncertainty in public. And yeah, Harvey Milk is a lovely school community in a great location. Any kid would do fine there for kindergarten at the very least.

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  8. Ed left by his choice. We (parents who were considering Marin Prep, and have since gotten in at our waitpool school) found an announcement online posted by his new school that he was starting as headmaster there in the fall.

    We asked him what the succession plan was; he told us he hadn't yet told the MDS/Bright Horizons team (or anyone else as far as we could tell), and asked for time to tell them before we contacted the administration. My sense is that there were some points of conflict between him and his superiors but nonetheless this came as a surprise to everyone.

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  9. The point about not falling in love with any one person at any public or private school is a very important one. People move on. Teachers and principals have lives too. They retire, accept fellowships, have problems with the governing body of the school, have partners who pursue career opportunities outside the Bay Area, decide to enter a more lucrative field, get sick . . . and in private school get fired . . . just like people in any other field.

    The real issue is do you think the school as a whole is the best available place for your child. If the answer is yes, give it a shot. The worst case scenario is that it falls apart and you find another private school or you do an out-of-district transfer to public, which is kinda cool because you have your pick of any place with a seat.

    I'm not saying to totally discount principal leadership. A poor principal can demoralize the whole faculty and cause enormous parent frustration. But the change may be an opportunity for the school to move on to even stronger leadership. If after you've given the new head of school time and find the teachers are demoralized and the program is falling short of your expectations, then it's time to bail.

    Ask anybody on this blog who's moved their kid mid-year after they start at one kindergarten. I can't remember a single parent saying their kid had a significant problem adapting. The kids fuss a little, sure, but they recover quickly. It's more traumatic for the parents.

    It's a lot harder to move your kid after they've been at a school several years and have a lot of strong friendships. We're switching from independent private to parochial for financial reasons this fall, and our 7-year-old is asking how he can get a job and earn money to stay in his current school. After 3 years there, he's completely bonded with his class and teachers. I'm confident he'll be comfortable at the new school if we give it time, but his opinions are a lot stronger now than when he was 4.

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  10. 10:12, why not go public if you're under financial pressure? Your college fund and your retirement fund will thank you, and you'll realize that you were unnecessarily worried into thinking you "had" to pay tuition!

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  11. Harvey Milk, just across the way from Marin Prep, may have openings in Open Enrollment, but they will be snapped up. It's a sweet school.

    May 25, 2010 7:59 PM

    This "sweet" school is rated a 5 on the Ca school rating website

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  12. As someone who went from public schools (k-5) in SF and then did private after I would definitely recommend not to start private and then go to public. I think it will be harder for your child to adjust to a bigger class size, bigger school (difficult socially), and less personal attention academically. I think both public and private are great--I'm not criticizing either. I went from a great public elementary to a great independent, both in SF. It was easier to go from public to private socially because the independent school was so small and at 6th grade there were a group of new kids entering as well. I got to know everyone quickly. The school made an effort to welcome me throughout the first year. Also, since I was older I felt that I really appreciated all that the independent school had to offer me academically. Public schools are great, but they can't compete with the tiny class sizes of private (I had 15 kids in my academic classes) and the amount of attention a child gets. If your child is used to that kind of academic attention, going to public where you really have to be much more focused and independent might be a tough transition. I just think that if you're undecided then think about what I am saying. Kids will be fine no matter what but I do think that dropping out of an independent and going into private

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  13. I don't give a lot of weight to APIs, but I do factor in the similar schools score. Harvey Milk's is a 3. The school may be sweet, but it does not seem to be preparing the kids academically nearly as well as many other schools with similar demographics.

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  14. I'm 10:12, and we're in the wait pool but I would not send our kid to the public school to which he is currently assigned. It's not a bad school based on test scores, it's convenient, and it's got a nicely diverse student body, but I have a very strong impression that principal leadership is poor and the faculty is anxious and demoralized. It depressed me terribly. Our son has loved school so far, but he's been at a small school where the teachers and administrators love him for the crazy kid he is and don't try to put him in a box, and he has an amazing daily schedule of academics, arts and PE that no public school has the resources to equal. The assigned school seems so regimented that I think he'd spend most of his time in the principal's office, and I don't want him around that principal (who I saw in action with a kid having a meltdown and it was not pretty). I'd rather spend $700 a month than have him learn to hate school. He shadowed a day at the parochial school and the administrators and teachers really seemed to enjoy him. His class size will be around the same, about 16 kids. It offers many of the things we love about our current school and some new things, and I love the way the kids and teachers are so engaged with each other. I like the curriculum at the parochial. We would never leave our current school unless we had to, but the parochial is a compromise we and our budget can live with. Retirement will have to wait.

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  15. 10:12,

    So which public school is he assigned to and which ones would you accept?

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  16. I don't want to name our assigned school. I met very nice parents who are working hard there, and I don't want to be some b---h on a blog trashing the school community they're doing so much to support. I would strongly prefer to stay private based on experience in both places, but if I were to go public, I liked Clarendon best, liked Claire Lilienthal reasonably well, and would be OK with Grattan. Long odds at all of those of course.

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  17. original 10:12:

    Only you know your child, and I respect your feeling that he would do well in the parochial. And also that you didn't like the principal at your assigned school. If you are happy with your choice and can afford it, then that is great.

    That said, Clarendon would be your top choice for a quirky kid?? I am also the parent of a quirky kid and I would suggest there are better options than Clarendon, which is a fine school with lots of resources and easy demographics for achievement--but also very large and not what I would call a "sweet" community--

    --which Harvey Milk definitely is, by the way, even if it only rates a 5 on the API or 3 on similar schools. I do take scores seriously, but not everything can be quantified. Harvey Milk has diverse, somewhat challenging demographics. They also model the infamous and persistent (despite lots of interventions) racial achievement gap. Yes, that means they have a significant AA population, just to say it out loud here.

    If you are an educated white, anglo family, your kid will probably test very, very well, and learn a lot too, because the teachers are great. More than that, Harvey Milk has a wonderful community and will teach your child how to be part of a diverse group. Your child will be loved at Harvey Milk, known by name, and appreciated for his/her quirkiness. If you care about social education, know that Harvey Milk provides that, and that your child will do fine academically.

    Another school I would mention that has phenomenal art education, and also PE (despite impressions that public schools don't offer these things) is Jose Ortega, both strands--the GE is easier to get into, of course. Ms. Cuneo, the art teacher, helped develop the phenomenal arts program at Alvarado along with her mother, the sculptor Ruth Asawa. She really gets arts education with kids--it is not arts and crafts, but real art using real art media, with art history tucked in there, and it meets the arts curriculum standards. Check out the slideshow over on the Jose Ortega website. Also--Jose Ortega is a small school with an incredibly warm principal and the children are really enveloped there. The parents are working hard to build it up, but in terms of basics + arts + warmth, it is already there. For free.

    But most parents on this blog will ignore it because it is so easy to go by playground hearsay or to rely only on the numbers. To be entirely clear here, I am not suggesting that ANY school in this district is okay. I would certainly avoid a group of them. But Milk, Ortega, Serra, Webster, Parks JBBP? Your kids really would be fine there. My kids already went through elementary (in a different turnaround school, now quite popular), but if I were doing it now, I'd be sending them to one of these.

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  18. People come into and out of children's lives. Principals move, get other jobs, change careers, sometimes have family situations that cause them to leave. What is most important is the philosophy, curriculum and atmosphere of the school. If you liked it before this guy left- you will probably still like it. My child didn't get into Marin Prep this year and I still don't know why. Look on the bright side. Maybe with a new school leader a good school might even get better.

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  19. I don't discount test scores totally, though if you're going to take them really seriously you should look at the subgroup (how do kids like yours do)?

    But over the years I've been following school issues closely, I have come to believe that the Similar Schools score is 100% BS, except possibly at the very extreme ends. I've seen schools that are very similar to each other demographically, and with similar APIs, so far apart on the Similar Schools score that it makes no sense. I've seen schools bounce up and down year by year irrationally on the Similar Schools score for no apparent reason. I've been schools that were obviously excellent show low Similar Schools scores, also for no apparent reason.

    I'm on the Lakeshore listserve (my kids went there and my husband works there), and this year Lakeshore took a big drop in Similar Schools score while taking a tiny dip in overall API. There was no rhyme or reason for that drop. One parent expressed great concern on the listserve about that drop. Another, who seemed to be very knowledgeable about statistics, took a look at the methodology and firmly debunked its validity.

    Of course I understand the concept and appreciate it, but after years of following it, I think the Similar Schools score is fatally flawed and should be ignored -- not to mention ditched entirely (how much money are we wasting on it that could be going to classrooms?).

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  20. In this age of budget cuts, rather than publishing test scores, I think the district would be better to publish the amount of money raised by parents the previous year. Now THAT'S a good predictor of a school's success!

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  21. This is no longer on the Country Day School website but you can find it in Google cache. If you click through you can also get to Ed Walter's CV:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:xbhGweTPcuMJ:www.thecountrydayschool.com/+country+day+school+west+virginia+Kearneysville&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari

    And, for what it is worth:

    http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/3073684

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  22. 1:40
    I think this the link you meant to post:
    http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/3073684
    And for what its worth, word is he broke contract with Country Day.

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  23. Keep in mind too that the Similar Schools Index is calculating by looking at the population of the whole student body (K-5) rather than the test taking body (2-5.) If you have a significant demographic shift in the lower grades, it can throw off your similar schools rating (making you look way better than you are, or worse, depending on whether your school has shifted towards a lower or higher socioeconomic group.)

    Also, it is comparing data from the previous year, so includes students who aren't even attending the school anymore.

    I would pay more attention to your child's subgroup scores, and the overall API of the school.

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  24. In all these comments & speculations,
    have any current Marin Prep parents chimed in yet, or plan to? All I read here is that either one should not get too close to a principal or teacher; there are public schools to try to get into; and someone trying to dredge up past info, which could be taken out of context. So, again, I ask- have any current Marin Prep parents commented or plan to?

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  25. What do you mean by he "broke contract with Country Day"? Do you mean that he broke his Marin Prep contract to go to Country Day?

    Here's the bottom line.
    1) He was paid *way below* what other San Francisco heads of school are making. In fact, he was paid less than heads of school in other similar-sized cities. And goodness knows San Francisco is expensive. I don't think he had any idea before moving here that all he'd be able to afford would be a small place in Emeryvilled.
    2) He thought he was going to be the founding head of a progressive, bilingual school. Doesn't that sound exciting, especially since some of the risk is mitigated by having a strong corporate parent? Instead, he quickly figured out he was a mere cog in a big corporate wheel. It sounds like it may have been the worst of both worlds (entrepreneurial start-up vs. large corporation).

    Where are they going to find the kind of head of school they need to thrive?

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  26. Bright Horizons will not find a head of school that will thrive.
    They will find a head of school that will toe the corporate line.
    Depsite the claim that Marin Prep is a non profit,the reality is Marin Prep is run by a large for profit company

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  27. Perhaps the most revealing comment that has not been mentioned with regard to Marin Prep and the Ed issue is the fact that promises that were made in the beginning were not kept. He is a good (not great) administrator who is out of touch with the current world of education.


    When you compare the results of other schools,or when you ask questions that clearly are focused on the future, he had no answer.


    Ed has a history and one should take careful note of that history, likewise, if you looked very closely, he chose mostly Anglo, heterosexual families, and primarily girls.



    Now you have a entire group of families (the group) pulling together along with the Bright Horizons business plan and budget, leaving to start a new school with him at the head. This sounds very unethical (hence the history), not something my child would be a part of, I think it is time to look at the history of a known success like Marin Day Schools, who maintains a high reputation in our community, and judge the facts for what they are.


    It is my understanding that those that acquired (stole) the data they needed to start the new school, will not be happy with nontraditional families, single parents, moderately financially able, or minorities attending their "new" school....something people who believe in common justice or the diversity of San Francisco, will be too happy with.

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  28. Wow 3:23.

    Very imaginative post.

    Looks like you're being paid to work on a holiday.

    I doubt you even have a child of school age.

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  29. I ithink there will soon be more information about the new school that is startig with Ed as head. It is my understanding that more than half of the current kindergarten families are leaving to start a new school this fall. I don't know the full story behind this, but do know that as of this fall San Francisco will have another new Independent school. It is going to be interesting to see what happens to Marin Prep and to the new school and how this "plays" into next years process.

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  30. I thought the parents had agreed not to discuss on the blog.

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  31. Jeez, people -- you'll find lots more stability in SFUSD, and tuition-free! Use your common sense and bail on this ridiculous and obviously shaky for-profit operation. And what's with the stifling of free speech, as demonstrated by the parents' agreeing "not to discuss"? Do you want your kids educated in such a repressive climate? Get out while the gettin's good.

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  32. Stability in SFUSD? Hundreds of teachers getting pink-slipped every year with no certainty of being rehired must do a lot for stability. Principals move around. Schools get closed, strands get moved, schools get relocated and new schools and new programs open. Read the comments from the teacher at El Dorado. Funding is mostly in the hands of the crazies in Sacramento rather than the school community itself. All schools go through upheaval, including SFUSD schools.

    My understanding is that Marin Prep is a brand new school this year and some families like it and want it to succeed. I have no opinion about it, but from the innuendo I'm seeing here, it sounds like three things are happening:
    (a) Some families and the head of school are not happy with what the parent company is doing so they're going off to do something else. That's their prerogative.
    (b) Some families remain committed to Marin Prep and want the school to survive a transition to new leadership.
    (c) There's been some consensus among the people directly involved not to talk about it, but some people are talking anyway. The people who fear that publicizing the situation could destabilize the new school are not happy with the people who are talking. It's a PRIVATE school. It does not get taxpayer funding. (And don't say the public has a right to know because Marin Prep is taking kids out of public school. If you open a good public school, people will flock to it--look at DeAvila Chinese Immersion.) If the people directly involved have a consensus not to publicize their existential crisis, that's their business. Of course families who are at or who are considering the school DO have the right to know what's going on, but the rest of the world does not need to know. I don't see that as a "stifling of free speech."

    I've you've been involved in nonprofit leadership, you know that executive director crises are not that uncommon. Most of the time, the necessary transitions are handled quietly to avoid adverse publicity that could undermine the organizational mission.

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  33. SFUSD has a long-established infrastructure -- a bureaucracy, of course. For all the craziness in public education budgeting, that's still a foundation, a framework.

    I wouldn't have said "the public has a right to know" about a private school. But trying to keep your school community silent is still creepy and potentially intimidating. Other types of organizations are not analogous. It's your money, but it looks to me like a dubious consumer decision to write tuition checks to such an operation.

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  34. Marin Prep FacultyJune 1, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    As the founding faculty of Marin Preparatory, we feel inclined to reassure all current and future families that we are committed to being at Marin Preparatory School. We continue to believe wholeheartedly in the vision of the school and have utmost confidence in its future success.
    Sincerely,
    Señorita Jess, Señora Cameron, Señorita Alice

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  35. I am a bit confused from all of these posts. That said, the reason we did not apply and would not consider Marin Prep was the head of the school. If there is a new Head or interim, I would love to know.

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  36. The interim head of Marin Prep is Flora Mugambi-Mutunga. They are currently searching for a replacement.

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  37. We enrolled for the 1st grade a few weeks ago, and just heard today that many of the families in first grade will be leaving with Ed Walters to found a new school.

    Does anyone have any information on this? We're quite panicked, as we move to SF, that we're entering a community on the brink of collapse.

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  38. Is the new school Spanish immersion?

    Is it taking new students?

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  39. Did Flora Mugambi-Mutunga previously work at the Bright Horizons daycare on Second Street?

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  40. In this episode of As Marin Prep turns
    Parents are unhappy with Marin Prep
    Bright Horizons accuses Ed of stealing business plan to start new school
    Anonymous posts speculating on the non traditional make up of the new school
    Bright Horizons posts a number of anonymous posts in support of Marin Prep
    Bright Horizons posts derogatory comments regarding Ed
    Parent group remains silent
    This causes concern with viewers
    Marin prep teachers show support for Bright Horizons
    I met the parent group at an open house and they were very complimentary of the school
    The real question is what happened that caused the parents of the entire kindergarten class to leave the school?

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  41. In this episode of As Marin Prep turns
    A disgruntled parent with a chip on his shoulder anonymously posts to the SF K files.

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  42. This is the best thread on this blog. Where are the shreiking parents? Last time something was posted about their school they went nuts. No wonder they banded together this time in silence.

    I'll take my mediocre public assignment over this nonsense any day!

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  43. Oh, Christ, get a life. Not all parents look at this blog. And I'm starting to lose respect for those that do (including myself!).

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  44. So there is a new school forming? Where?

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  45. Hold on folks. There are quite a few Marin Prep first grade families who are staying at Marin Prep. Not everyone is leaving. Marin Prep is stable and doing fine. Flora worked at the Sherith Israel Campus of Marin Day Schools. Lynn is one of the founders of Marin Day Schools. Bright Horiozns is a respected company with a long range plan and dedication to funding Marin Prep and allowing it to grow with lots of input from the families and teachers. Flora, Lynn and MDS/BH are in this for the long haul. It started out great and it is going to continue to just get even better. Doesn't anyone wonder why all 3 teachers decided not to follow their school head, Ed Walters, but to remain with Marin Prep? Maybe these outraged people ought to talk to the teachers directly to learn the truth.

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  46. It's my understanding that most (75%?) of the current kindergarten families are leaving with Ed. That leaves next year's first grade class with about 3 students.

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  47. Don't you people do anything else on the internet? It is a great tool! You can even find out real information---not gossip. Like that Ed Walters has not been able to keep a head of school job for more than 1 year---this new school will be his 3rd in 3 years! YIKES! Or like how there is a school in West Virginia that thinks he is going to be thier headmaster. Good luck to all these folks who are entrusting him with their children's education.

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  48. Anyone know why the teachers aren't going to the new school?

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  49. Two more anonymous posts by the Marin Prep mole in attempt to torpedo a new startup school.

    It is psycho that Marin Prep is so vindictive that they are trying to hurt the children they taught for a year.

    The familes have a right to leave and start a new shcool. It is amazing that they are taking the high road and not trash talking back at Marin Prep.

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  50. The teachers who aren't following Ed to the new school are not veteran, master teachers.

    The lead teacher was a substitute teacher prior to coming to Marin Prep. The other two are assistant teachers who may be fluent in Spanish, but hardly have a ton of experience.

    BTW, contrary to what is written in the Marin Prep materials, English is the main language spoken in the aftercare program. The Spanish "infusion" component is a very weak tea bag.

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  51. Does anybody know about their transitional K program?

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  52. Some have criticized the current Marin Prep parents for not posting commentary on the recent events at the school. We have hoped to positively close out a school year which – despite some recent road bumps – was a remarkable experience for us and our kids, as has been seen in our prior posts and in personal interactions with us. We are truly thankful to the many people who contributed to this unique experience, most especially the talented teachers, Senorita Jess, Senora Cameron, Senorita Alice, and Senorita Taira, and now former Head of School Ed Walters. Unfortunately the close community that formed over the past year at Marin Prep will not continue in its current form, but we hope that all of its participants – kids and adults alike – can take a piece of it with them as a model in their future journeys.

    As has been reported, some of the current families are leaving Marin Prep and forming a new independent, non-profit school, The Alta Vista School. We have invited Ed Walters to join us. Marin Prep/Marin Day and Bright Horizons have been apprised of our efforts. Despite our differences, we certainly have tried to maintain a professional relationship during this time and commend Marin Prep/Marin Day and Bright Horizons for their recent acts of professionalism with us, including:

    • expressing understanding and respect for our decision to leave
    • recognizing and commending Ed Walters’ accomplishments in developing a vibrant and academically successful school over the past year at Marin Prep
    • affirming their understanding and support of why the families grew to have such a positive relationship with Ed Walters (and the teachers) over the past year
    • complimenting us on our own efforts to form a new school

    We and Marin Day/Bright Horizons have expressed to each other our shared belief that there is enough room in San Francisco for two new schools to offer and build fantastic educational opportunities for students in this city, and we wish each other great success. Most importantly, we know there are good people involved in both of these schools and encourage everyone to check them out for themselves.

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  53. So neither Marin Prep nor Altavista will be Spanish-immersion?

    WHat a missed opportunity.

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  54. For those parents who signed up for Marin Prep- based on a vibrant headmaster who was staying, and a kindergarden class that was essentially (except two) staying, we're wondering where we are left... It seems obvious that the leaving parents and Ed (and maybe Bright Horizons) agreed not to make this new school/massive student exodus public until after interview season was essentially over... saving the school, a little, but making the new sign ups a bit lost- tho' I guess a 4 person 1st grade will get lots of personal attention...
    Will one of the leaving parents please make themselves avaailable to talk to the new parents- via phone or email- to let us know which parts of the relationship became problematic, or about the philosopical or administrative issues, so we can try to make things "different" this second time around for the school? I bet Bright Horizons is a bit shocked, and maybe will reorganize a bit to make sure parents and the new head are happier? No...?
    please email me at hornikbatgmaildotcom thanks...

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  55. Contact info for the new school: http://thesfkfiles.blogspot.com/2010/06/hot-topic-alta-vista-school-opens-its.html

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  56. Our family tends to be oblivious about what is happening outside our little cocoon but a friend, who knew that we liked Marin Prep but decided not to apply for our son because we found the head, Ed Walters to be arrogant and cold, recently mentioned that he is no longer at the school. We were impressed with the Spanish infusion, the artwork, the teachers were amazing, and my son really liked the little dog. We still thought about applying because of the quality and the connection to Marin Day Schools but my husband, being a researcher, checked out Mr. Walters experience and background. All I can say is that we wish he had decided to leave sooner because we have already paid a deposit at another private school.

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  57. If your family would still prefer Marin Prep to the school where you've put down a deposit, you should give them a call. Who knows? They might be willing to work out some arrangement to soften the blow of a lost deposit.

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  58. Maybe your husband should take a look at Bright Horizons
    How many schools have they started?
    What is their for profit fee structure with Marin Prep?
    What is the experience of the current teachers?
    Why did Ed Walters and most of the founding class leave?
    Please let us all know what your husband comes up with
    Thank You

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  59. Has Marin Prep hired a new headmaster? or will Flora's interim title be removed?

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  60. Looks like Ed is over at the new Alta Vista school on Valencia according to their website. And wasn't Gess, the K teacher at Marin Prep? She seems to be at Alta Vista also. Hmmm, something fishy going on.

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  61. Jess is the kindergarten teacher at Marin Prep. Gess is the 1st grade teacher at Alta Vista. Two different people.

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  62. Jess and the other teachers from last year are staying at Marin Prep. That's a different teacher on the Alta Vista website.

    As for a new headmaster, last I heard they were actively interviewing candidates, but are taking all the time they need to find the right person for the job.

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