County of Marin - News Releases - School Waivers

For Immediate Release
September 03, 2020

15 Marin Schools Cleared to Open September 8

With COVID-19 figures improving, waiver applications approved

San Rafael, CA – With local COVID-19 case data improving, some schools in Marin County will be allowed to shift from online learning to in-person classroom learning as early as September 8.

Two female students sit at desks in a classroom, where the desks are spaced more than 6 feet apart and the students are wearing masks. All schools in Marin have been closed to classroom teaching since March when the pandemic’s worldwide effect on public health was growing apparent.
The Marin County Public Health Officer has approved waiver applications for 15 schools, allowing them to reopen for in-person education for kids in transitional kindergarten (TK) through sixth grade. The schools will be required to comply with their school site-specific protection plan that was submitted as part of the waiver application.

The schools are (with grades affected in parentheses):

  • All Children Academics (K-5), San Rafael
  • Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy (K-6), Marin City
  • Caulbridge School (K-6), San Rafael
  • Chronos Academy (K-6), San Anselmo
  • Laguna Elementary (K-6), Chileno Valley, West Marin
  • Lincoln Elementary (K-6), Hicks Valley, West Marin
  • Lycee Francais (K-6), Sausalito
  • Marin Waldorf (K-6), San Rafael
  • Mt. Tamalpais School (K-1), Mill Valley
  • New Village School (K-6), Sausalito
  • Northbridge Academy (2-6), Mill Valley
  • San Domenico School (K-6), San Anselmo
  • St. Anselm School, San Anselmo
  • Terra Marin (1-6), Mill Valley
  • Terra Micro Marin (K-6), Mill Valley

Eleven other local schools have submitted waiver applications and will be notified next about a possible opening date.

While Marin County is included in Tier 1 (purple status) of the state’s reopening plan, steady progress has been made locally and cases per 100,000 and positivity rates are declining. Marin is on the verge of moving to Tier 2, a less-restrictive red status, based on the latest coronavirus statistics. The County will be notified on September 4 if it has qualified for Tier 2.

If the county shifts to Tier 2 of COVID-19 reopening, on September 22 all schools – from kindergarten through higher education – will be permitted switch back to in-classroom learning without a waiver. Schools that did not apply for waivers are only eligible to reopen campuses after a county has been off Tier 1 status for 14 days, and all need to submit a school site specific protection plan for Marin County Public Health review.

“The progress we’ve made is making it possible to consider school reopenings,” said Dr Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer. “We’re at a critical juncture, and our ability to get kids back into school is up to all of us. It’s not time to relax our protective measures.”

All schools in Marin have been closed to classroom teaching since March when the pandemic’s worldwide effect on public health was growing apparent.

“In addition, the Special Education and Alternative Education programs provided by the Marin County Office of Education, which operated in-person during the spring and summer, will also be welcoming students back to their classrooms on September 8,” said County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke. “This is the beginning of an eventual return to in-person school and is a tribute to the hard work of so many in our community over the past five months.”

Schools that are not authorized to reopen yet, including TK-6 schools that have not received a waiver, may provide structured, in-person supervision and services to students under the state’s Guidance for Small Cohorts/Groups of Children and Youths.

On June 18, Marin County Public Health and Marin County Office of Education issued “A Public Health Guided Return to Site-Based Classroom Instruction.” The document provided guidelines to help facilitate and return to site-based classroom instruction and applies to all Marin educational institutions, including public, private, independent, and parochial schools from TK-12.

The guidelines also include protocols for COVID-19 related scenarios and enforcing health and safety practices of hand washing, physical distancing, appropriate face coverings, and health screenings. Marin’s guidelines follow recommendations for safe school reopenings issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, and the California Department of Education.

Marin County Public Health has more guidance and resources related to COVID-19 and education available online.


Dr. Matthew Willis
Public Health Officer
Health and Human Services

3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 473-4163
Email: Dr. Matthew Willis
Marin HHS website