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Marin Preschool Academy

Full-immersion Italian Preschool and Kindergarten in Marin County

Address: 1055 Las Ovejas Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94966
Phone: 415-492-2101

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5 Stars
Reviewed by Laura on March 4th, 2009

You don't have to be Italian to fall in love with Girotondo Italian School! Our family feels so fortunate to have stumbled upon it while researching our preschool options last year after we moved from San Francisco to Marin County.

One of the strengths we see in Girotondo, located in San Rafael, is its faculty. We greatly appreciate their warmth and love of children. The preschool's teacher to student ratio of 1:4 allows our daughter to receive the guidance, resources and support to flourish. We also appreciate the strong sense of community and collaboration among the teachers and parents. We all work together to create the best possible experience for our children. Every child is recognized as an individual and truly treasured.

Girotondo is a natural extension of our family, teaching the values and ideals that are important to us. It is the only school we know that 'celebrates' lunch. One of the most invaluable things to us is hearing Tatum say "school is fun!" Since this is her first school experience, we love that the mention of Girotondo elicits such joy and excitement from her. An added bonus is that she is learning a second language. We are still in shock to hear our 2 ½ year old conversing with her friends in Italian, after just 5 months at the school. We believe this unique opportunity to learn Italian at such a young age is one of the greatest gifts that we can give her.

Other advantages of the school include enrollment starting at 2 years old, up to 5 days per week, extended childcare hours (8am-5pm), low teacher to student ratios for all classes, no potty training requirement, lunches that are prepared onsite using fresh and organic ingredients, summer camps, and the monthly pajama nights that allow my husband and I to go out on dates again!

The website www.girotondoschool.org includes an impressive short video that will give you a real flavor for the school. If you are looking for a special and unique experience for you child, we encourage you to check out Girotondo!

5 Stars
Reviewed by Tiziano on June 2nd, 2008

Zeina and I are very happy to be sending our son Leith to Girotondo. Leith loves his teachers and his classmates alike. The pre-school is a great opportunity to further immerse our son in to the italian colture in a smart and fun way. The new Terra Linda location is just what the school needs to expand and reach the near future goals that Rosella has set for the school. We are looking forward to a long term relationship with Girotondo.

5 Stars
Reviewed by Simonetta on May 30th, 2008

I am proud to bring my children to Girotondo. Besides the fact that they love it (which makes me more confident and secure that I have made the right choice), my children are learning about their Italian heritage and most importantly, they are receiving the gift of learning a second language! The teachers are dear, talented, gentle, and caring. I am extremely happy with the structured European environment of the mealtime ritual, rules, hygiene and discipline. The community feel that has been created is very dear to me. Girotondo is NOT just a place where you drop off your kids; it's a place where you also bring your heart.

5 Stars
Reviewed by Liz on May 19th, 2008

Girotondo has been a wonderful experience for my daughter. She loves going to school, and we love the fact that she is learning more about her Italian heritage every day. The gift of a language is so beneficial to a child's development, and with just one parent speaking Italian at home, Girotondo has really helped us keep the Italian spirit alive. The teachers are outstanding, and their passion and enthusiasm show in the environment they create for the children to learn and play.
Bravi Girotondo!

5 Stars
Reviewed by samantha on May 8th, 2008

My son has been at Girotondo for just about six months and I/he couldn't be happier. He speaks more Italian then I could have imagined and he LOVES scoula! At just under 3 yrs I can only imagine how much more he will grow and learn in this wonderful environment. I cannot say enough great things about the school and the community it has brought to us!

5 Stars
Reviewed by Naomi on May 7th, 2008

As an educator myself, I take my son's education very seriously. I could not be more pleased with all aspects of Girotondo. The teachers are high quality, the director is passionate about the school and the community is warm and enthusiastic. Besides which, my son LOVES to go to scuola and he's speaking more Italian every day.

5 Stars
Reviewed by Rosella on May 7th, 2008

Girotondo is a cozy and warm environment with and Italian atmosphere where children can make a smooth transition from home to school. We are quite attracted by their Reggio Emilia philosophy and the teacher-child ratio of 1:4/ 1:6. There is no school in Marin that offers this low ratio! Due to the ratio teachers can really capitalize on children's innate curiosity and self motivation to learn and maintain an environment that respects their individuality and uniqueness. The daily routine with lunch rituals is one of the other aspect that made us to choose our program. Girotondo offers organic snack and lunch and all the children, the little ones and older ones sit at the table at noon like a big Italian family. In addition to their curriculum Girotondo offer after school Art, Music and Drama classes and children love them.
My son is really happy at the school and he has formed friendships with whom he can share his Italian language skills