Saint Raphael School, building a culture of excellence for all their students

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire!”  St. Catherine of Siena

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Imagine the power of hearing such words, from Kindergarten on, in a school that encourages academic excellence for all students.  Since 1889, the Dominican Sisters of Saint Raphael School, provided children with a quality education that enabled those students to be future civic leaders in the local community. Today, with the help of the BASIC Fund, we can provide the power of such a transformative education to families that thought it could only be a dream for their children.

My name is Lydia Collins and I am the Principal of Saint Raphael School in San Rafael, California.  In my 13 years at Saint Raphael School I have seen the demographics of the school change.  With the help of the BASIC Fund, we can invite the new faces of San Rafael to be part of our rich tradition of educating leaders.

Marin County is one of the wealthiest counties in the country.  Ironically, there are also families who live below the poverty level.  We serve a diverse economic and ethnic population and believe that every child deserves academic excellence and the dream of making a difference in this world.  The BASIC Fund empowers our parents by providing a choice in their child’s education. With the financial assistance provided by the BASIC Fund, our families can choose Saint Raphael School and the unique opportunity to be part of our newly implemented Veritas program.

The Veritas vision helps students identify and develop the unique strengths that God has given them so that they can build self-confidence and pursue their highest level of academic success. Veritas is building a culture of excellence at school and at home.   As part of the program, Saint Raphael teachers explicitly teach and cultivate 21st century skills: Innovation, Adaptability, Critical Analysis, Cross-Cultural Communication, and Teamwork. We are seeing phenomenal results.  For example, transfer students in the lowest quartile in reading in third grade were brought to grade level by October, increasing their STAR reading score by 52% in that period.

We see parents stand in awe of their child giving a student council speech in front of the student body.  “I can’t believe that is my daughter,” cried one mother who long ago dreamed of attending Saint Raphael School herself. The BASIC Fund has taken the dreams of the parents and made them a reality for their children.

Saint Raphael School is grateful to the supporters of the BASIC Fund for empowering our children to dream big; to see themselves as excellent students and leaders who will “set the world on fire!” 

Lydia Collins

Principal, Saint Raphael School

Posted on March 16, 2016 .