Mark Day School
39 Trellis Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903

The Mark Day School Literacies

Critical thinking, cultural competency, the ability to meet challenges and navigate differences, stewardship of our environment: We believe these are necessary to thrive, as students and as global citizens.

Throughout our program, foundational skills and competencies in traditional disciplines are interwoven with four cross-disciplinary "literacies": cross-cultural literacy; ecological literacy; media and information literacy; and social, emotional, and ethical literacy. Teachers integrate them in their own ways, and students often take the lead on an issue they feel passionate about, such as carpooling or energy use on campus.

  • A 1st grade project about worms in our garden offers observable lessons in sustainability, and the class makes a book together that becomes part of our library collection.
  • Visits to and from our partner organizations—from right here in Marin or from another country—offer all students a chance to learn from another's perspective and experience.
  • The study of ancient civilizations in 6th grade history leads to examining perceptions and stereotypes about the Middle East today.
  • The 8th grade participates in Media Literacy Week in the spring. Student teams choose topics to explore and look at how that topic is represented in the media, in the process creating a video, print, or audio project to express their findings and their educated opinion.

From these experiences and many more, Mark Day School students learn to draw connections between their learning and the world beyond our walls.

The Four Cross-Disciplinary Literacies

Cross-Cultural Literacy

Through our formalized partnerships, as well as via individual classroom-to-classroom connections, our reciprocal relationships afford our students unique opportunities.

Media & Information Literacy

As we prepare students for the 21st century in which they live, the ability to understand and shape the information landscape, and to act responsibly as an online citizen are indispensible skills.

Social & Emotional Literacy (SEL)

Our program, developed by our school counselor, teachers, and administrators draws on a variety of resources to help children develop both as individuals and as members of the community.

Ecological Literacy

The goal of our environmental education program is to develop environmentally literate students who understand the environment in total—both its natural and human-made aspects.