The Dixie School District is an elementary district serving the northern San Rafael community of Terra Linda, Marinwood, Lucas Valley and a portion of Contempo Marin. It was founded in 1864, making it one of the oldest school districts in Marin County. Dixie School District includes three elementary schools for transitional kindergarten through 5th grades: Dixie School, Vallecito School and Mary E. Silveira School. Sixth through eighth graders attend Miller Creek Middle School. District enrollment is approximately 2,000. Class sizes in 2014/15 average 22 students in kindergarten through third grade, 25 students in grades four and five, and 26 to 30 in grades six through eight. Dixie School District is within the San Rafael High School District and most Miller Creek graduates attend Terra Linda High School. The Dixie School District office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Larry Lyon Memorial Flagpole
The memory of the late Dr. Larry Lyon, former Dixie School District Superintendent, was honored at a ceremony held at the Old Dixie School House on January 21, 2000. The life and work of Dr. Lyon, who passed away in 1999, were celebrated through the dedication of a new flagpole, raising of new flags, and the unveiling of a memorial plaque. Dr. Lyon's wife, Marin County Superintendent of Schools, Mary Jane Burke, joined members of the Dixie community to commemorate Dr. Lyon's passion for education, commitment to children, and love for the Old Dixie School House.
Board Trustee Melanie Limacher unveiled the memorial plaque bearing these words:
In honor of
Dr. Larry Lyon, Superintendent
Dixie School District
"A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child"
Old Dixie Schoolhouse was built in 1864 and was formally established as the Dixie School District. At that time it was one of the earliest districts to be established in Marin County. Mrs. Josephine Leary Burke was the last teacher at the school, which continued in operation until 1954. Mrs. Burke had been Superintendent, principal, and sole teacher for 14 years and had 26 pupils at that time.
1954 marked the beginning of dramatic growth for the District. With the rapid development of subdivisions and the sharp increase in population, a school building program became imperative. Ten schools were opened between 1955 and 1969; two were junior high schools and the others were for grades K through 6. Enrollment figures climbed steadily to a peak of 4,896 students in 1968/69.
A decline in enrollment started in 1969 and the District reached a low of 1,014 students in 1985/86. This decline necessitated closing and merging schools. As a result, Vallecito and Dixie schools were the only K through 5 schools while Miller Creek Middle School served students in grades 6 through 8.
Enrollment has been increasing steadily since then, and reached 1,905 students during the 1999/2000 school year. With this increase Mary E. Silveira school was opened as a K through 5 school in 1990. Each school has added classrooms to accommodate the increased space needs, and Dixie School expanded its facilities by adding a multi-use room in 1997.
In 1993, Old Dixie Schoolhouse was declared a State Historical Site. Take a minute to tour the new website dedicated to the Dixie SchoolHouse