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About Coleman

Coleman Elementary School is a neighborhood school with a tradition of family support and involvement. The school balances a strong focus on academic achievement with a school environment that supports individualized attention for each child, a commitment to the arts, and active PTA support.

Coleman enjoys a diverse student population.  To support its students and families, Coleman offers child care, an after-school tutorial, enrichment classes and a full range of family support services. It is the school's goal to empower students with the academic and intellectual skills necessary for success.

The positive school culture, along with the brand new facility, make Coleman an outstanding school of choice for many San Rafael children and their families.


In Fall of 2005 Coleman School was the first entirely new public school to be built in Marin County in many decades.  In Fall of 2006, Bahia Vista became the newest.

Prior to that in San Rafael, the last new public schools were constructed in the mid 1960’s:

1966 Bahia Vista Elementary

1961 Laurel Dell Elementary

1965 Miller Creek Middle

1960 Terra Linda High

1964 Glenwood Elementary

The William T. Coleman School has a long history in the Dominican neighborhood. The original Coleman School opened in 1910 at the corner of Grand Avenue and Linden Lane. The second Coleman School opened in 1941 at 150 Rafael Drive. The new Coleman School is located on the same site as the most recent previous school, but the building has been re-sited so that its entrance is at 800 Belle Avenue. The school is named for William Tell Coleman, one of San Rafael’s most influential, founding citizens.

New Facility opened - Fall of 2005

The design of the new Coleman School is the result of input from many people who met with the architects including teachers and other staff members, parents, and neighbors. The new school is built according to a well-planned layout designed with the flexibility to accommodate a variety of both traditional and innovative programs with specific spaces tailored for music, art, science, technology and the library collection. In addition:

  • Covered walkways and lighting provide safe and protected pathways for students.
  • Classrooms are arranged around the library, which serves as a focal point on the campus.
  • A separate kindergarten building, with its own playground and parking area, is accessible from the street.
  • A new enrichment center building and soccer field are included.
  • Modern safe construction materials are being used
  • Up-to-date plumbing and electrical systems meet the most current, rigorous building regulations.

This brand new, high-end facility provides a highly effective learning environment that promotes quality education for future generations of San Rafael children.

The cost of the new Coleman School was approximately $13,100,059. $12,143,720 came from bond money ($8,954,690 from the 1999 bond and $3,189,030 from the 2002 bond).

The remaining $956,339 came from SB-50 and other funds.

In addition, the Coleman PTA raised funds to cover the costs of special features that were outside the construction budget. These include the broad overhang outside the multipurpose building, the checkerboard pattern floor in the multipurpose room and the lobby, the architectural details on the front of the building (cornices and setback of arched breezeway) and all the trees currently in place. These enhancements bring the total cost of the new school to approximately $14 million.