The Reed Union School District is located on the Tiburon Peninsula twenty minutes from San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge. It serves approximately 1,515 elementary school children Kindergarten through eighth grade in the cities of Belvedere, Tiburon and a portion of Corte Madera. The District has three schools: Reed School for grades K-2, Bel Aire for grades 3-5, and Del Mar School for grades 6-8.
The Reed District opened its first school in 1887 in the area that is now Belveron. The original Reed District was annexed by the Belvedere District in 1921. The district extended to U.S. Highway 101 until the thirties when the Strawberry Area was annexed to the Mill Valley District because Strawberry seemed to be remote from Belvedere. The Tiburon District operated independently from its pre-nineteen hundred beginning's until it unionized with the Belvedere District to form the current Reed Union School District November 1,1949. There were 137 students at that time.
The number of classrooms increased from the original five in 1950 to 41 in 1960. The Tiburon School was rebuilt in 1955 with four classrooms. The Belvedere School was increased in size in 1955 from two to four classrooms. Reed School, built in stages, was completed in 1954, with 13 classrooms, a multi-purpose room, library, and offices. Bel Aire School (K-6), finished in 1960, included 20 classrooms plus other special purpose facilities.
During the 1950's, every bond, state aid, and tax rate referenda was approved by the citizens of the Reed District. This support permitted a steady increase in educational services and facilities in keeping with the growing demands of the community. The District staff included 43 teachers, a full-time librarian, music director, nurse, part-time speech therapist, and part-time psychologist. The facilities were adequate with reasonable class loads; indoor and outdoor recreation areas and space for community activities; departmentalized seventh and eighth grades; adequate stock of texts and supplementary books and educational materials; modem audio-visual equipment; extensive bus transportation; summer school program and a comprehensive testing program.
In 1962, the Board established a committee to study the feasibility and desirability of the organization of a school district that would be comprised of the Reed Union School District and such additional areas as may be required for proper operation from both the economic and educational points of view.
As early as 1963, community committees had recommended that small class size (no more than 25 students per class) was a district priority. Another priority was the attention to individual abilities.
By 1976, the District had increased to 81 classrooms plus several special use rooms, in five schools and also a District Office and warehouse. Del Mar School was developed in two stages in 1964 and 1968; Granada School opened in 1964 in east Corte Madera and was completed in 1968; and Reedland Woods was opened in 1970. Due to a decrease in population, Tiburon School was closed in 1973 and Reedland Woods in 1976. Three years of planning went into preparing the Granada Educational Plan which governed the operation of the Granada School. The two overriding purposes of the plan were to individualize the instructional process, as much as possible, and to provide building, personnel, learning and evaluation arrangements, which would encourage and cultivate increased teacher competencies. The plan recommended that children should no longer be housed in groups of thirty with a single teacher for all of their instruction. Instead, they should be organized in groups of a hundred or more under the combined guidance of several teachers. The Granada plant provided for instruction that could take place in a space which could be used for whole group instruction under the direction of a single teacher, or for several groups, with many teachers functioning at the same time. Four separate schoolhouses (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta) were planned, each to accommodate families of about 100-120 students guided by four certificated teachers; two student teachers, one half-time team aide, and part-time adult resource personnel. The curriculum included direct and systematic instruction in reading, writing, grammar, mathematics, science, history, geography and foreign language. In addition, art, music, and physical education were offered. During this varied history, the District grew from a semi-rural, largely summer home and railroad community to a suburban town.
1980 to Present
In the late 70's, the Board considered closing Reed School due to the continuing drop in enrollment. The District's 800 students were then housed in three K-6 schools (Reed, Bel Aire and Granada) and one junior high school (Del Mar). This lead to a year long district wide study and a reconfiguration of the schools for the 1978 school year: Reed and Granada K-3, Bel Aire 4-6, and Del Mar 6-8. This supported teacher collaboration and the Board's goal of bringing students of like ages from throughout the district together for the older grades. In the early 80's, increases in enrollment and a desire to implement a middle school program lead to a second reconfiguration: Reed and Granada K-2, Bel Aire 3-5, and Del Mar 6-8. Granada was closed a few years later. In the early 90's enrollment increased leading to a capital improvement plan for the enlargement of all three schools.
Technology is a major force District-wide and at each site. A technology task force was formed to write a Technology Master Plan which was approved by the Board in the spring of 1997. The District networking project would be completed by January 1, 1999, linking all of the schools and the District Office to each other and the worldwide web.
Reed Union School District has a strong tradition of community involvement and participation in the education of its children. Parents are viewed as partners in the educational and decision-making process.
The Foundation for Reed Schools is a nonprofit community group dedicated to enhancing the educational programs in the District. The Foundation provides funding to support District programs, including technology, purchase of computers, physical education, Spanish, art, and performing arts.
In addition, the Parent-Teacher Association provides funding for school assemblies, field trips, library books and special events for students.