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San Domenico School

Mission Statement

Community Wall: Thoughts on IntegrityHead of School helping with the creation of Tibetan Buddhist Sand MandalasStudents participating in the Food Drive

Dedicated to being California’s leading independent school, serving Kindergarten through twelfth grade students of all faiths, San Domenico is committed to excellence in education, preparing the next generation of global leaders.

Founded in 1850 by the Dominican Sisters, San Domenico reflects our Dominican Catholic heritage which calls us to uphold the values of study, reflection, service and community.

In the Dominican tradition of Veritas (truth),

We inspire inquiry and provide a strong academic
foundation for lifelong intellectual growth.

We explore and develop the unique gifts of each
individual in mind, heart, body, and spirit.

We celebrate diversity, recognizing God's presence
in ourselves and in all of creation.

We recognize what it means to be human in a global
community and respond with integrity to the needs
and challenges of our time.


San Domenico's Vision

At San Domenico an exceptional education requires not just academic excellence but also meaning and purpose. We provide a character-driven Kindergarten through Grade 12 Independent School education, leading the way in redefining the metrics of achievement and graduating inspired students equipped to create a better world.


Dominican Education

Our diverse community includes many faiths and traditions, united in our Dominican educational philosophy - to inspire our students to develop character and integrity and to apply their academic knowledge to the challenges of the times in order to create a better world.

This philosophy is reflected in the daily life of our community. San Domenico faculty teach in a spirit of open inquiry and critical thinking. Our students tend to our garden, learn interconnectedness through our ecological literacy program, and reflect on their place within the sacred community of nature. They study ethics and create service learning projects to spread social justice, peace, and equality for all people. In every activity they cooperate and collaborate to create a community of respect and belonging.


San Domenico School does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, and national and/or ethnic origin, age, gender or disability in administration of educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.


A Historical Timeline of San Domenico School

A History of San Domenico
Click the above timeline panel to view the full timeline.


Historic Photo of San Domenico School's First Campus1850: Californians were celebrating admission to the Union, and the school’s foundress, Mother Mary Goemaere, came from Paris to Monterey to open the first independent and first Catholic school in California, and to establish a tradition inseparably joined with this state’s history.

1854: the school moved to Benicia, then the capital of the state. During the ensuing thirty years, it became the center of culture and education for California’s young women. When Benicia’s importance as a population center began to decline, after the state capital moved to Sacramento, the sisters determined to move the school to a more central location in the Bay Area.

Students Ringing Bell on San Anselmo Campus1889: the novitiate and boarding school were transferred to San Rafael. Despite extreme poverty during the first few years, the sisters kept up the high standards and traditions and enhanced the school's already distinguished reputation.

1965: the school moved to its present location in Sleepy Hollow, San Anselmo.

1973: San Domenico School begins a Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten program.

1985: the Alice Dupas Brown Library, serving all grade levels, is completed.

1994: our Sustainability project is inaugurated and became an important part of campus life.

2001: the School built the state-of-the-art Sister M. Maurice Powers Science and Technology Center.

2003: the Tamara A. Valley Athletic Center, featuring a 10,000 square foot gymnasium and workout room, and the Hall of the Arts, featuring a fine art gallery space, seven practice studios, and the Bettye Poetz Ferguson Hall, opened.

San Domenico School is a leader in 1-to-1 integrated iPad learning2004: the Carol Franc Buck Hall of the Arts was completed, including a fine art gallery space and housing our Music Conservatory and Virtuoso Program.

2005: our sustainable Garden of Hope expanded to include an outdoor kitchen and facilities for the care of poultry.

2009: 2,358 solar panels were installed on-site in partnership with Recurrent Energy—the largest solar installation in a Marin school.

2011: San Domenico introduced a 1-to-1 iPad program in grades 6-12—the first in Marin County to do so. SD is recognized as an Apple Distinguished School in 2012.

2014: the administration and board of directors, with the approval of the Dominican sisters, commit to extending coeducation through to the high school.

2015: the first ever coed Upper School freshmen class launches with 33 boys and 44 girls. 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students welcome the trailblazers with open arms, the results exceed everyone's expectations, and lead many to ask, "Why didn't we do this sooner?"

2015 also marks the beginning of our anniversary year: San Domenico's 50th year at the San Anselmo campus, and 165 years of Dominican Spirit as California's first independent school.

2016: inaugural Freshmen Boys Basketball team finishes the season 9 - 2.

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