The History of the Novato Charter School
The impetus for the Novato Charter School began with a small group of founding parents who were actively involved in the Novato public school system. In researching alternative programs, the group learned of Senator Gary Hart’s charter school legislation (SB1448). This bill, passed in 1992, was intended to encourage parents, educators, and members of the community to try innovative approaches to education in order to find ways of improving student learning. This legislation allowed for the initial development of 100 charter schools in California.
In February of 1994, an expanded group of founding parents began meeting to explore the possibilities of a common vision for educational reform. Once they discovered a solid common ground of founding a school within the NUSD boundaries working out of the Core Principles of Public Waldorf Education, they began the process of a charter petition. On May 23, 1995 the petition for the Novato Charter School received unanimous support from the NUSD Board of Trustees. The petition and conditions were then sent to the State Board of Education for approval. On July 19, 1995, final approval was received and Novato Charter School became California’s 89th charter school.
In August of 1996, the school officially opened with two kindergarten classes and one class per grade through the fifth grade. An additional grade was added each year until the school included two kindergartens and one class per grade level through the eighth grade.