Measure F, the “Support for Community Schools Initiative” asks voters for permission to allow The Branson School to seek approval from the Ross Town Council to incrementally add up to 100 students to the school. This growth would occur over a 4-year period, adding no more than 25 students per year.
The measure itself doesn’t approve any enrollment increase; rather, it allows Branson to apply for such an increase in the future subject to the Town’s rigorous planning process.
Measure F, the “Support for Community Schools Initiative” will appear on the March 3, 2020 ballot for registered voters in the Town of Ross.
The law governing Branson’s enrollment cap requires that any increase in enrollment above 320 students go to Ross voters via a ballot measure and, only if approved, allow for Branson to go before the Town Council for consideration. This law has been on the books since 1978, but 40 years later, the needs of the school and the community have changed.
While other independent schools have grown their enrollment over the years, Branson’s inability to do so has jeopardized its long-term financial sustainability in Ross. In order to remain a premier independent secondary school serving Ross, its Marin neighbors, and the Bay Area, Branson must change and innovate like its peer schools. A phased enrollment increase is a critical first step.
A phased increase in its enrollment will allow Branson to:
Attract and retain the highest caliber teachers by offering competitive salaries and benefits;
Maintain tuition levels that are comparable to other peer schools;
Increase financial aid;
Create a more diverse community;
Continue to offer a wide variety of well-rounded programs and curriculum while also adding innovative coursework;
Operate more efficiently (certain classes and programs are well under capacity because of the enrollment cap).
A YES vote on Measure F will help secure Branson's future in the Town of Ross. If approved by voters, Measure F will provide Branson the opportunity to embark upon the Town's public planning process in the same manner that all other independent schools in Marin go through to seek enrollment increases.
Branson is a town asset, educating thousands of Ross residents in the last century. Measure F will initiate the process to ensure that Branson remains a top-tier independent high school with high quality teachers and programs.
Growing Branson's enrollment allows more students the opportunity to receive a Branson education, including from the Town of Ross.
Residents are drawn to Ross for its high-quality schools like the Ross School and Branson.
Any enrollment increase would have a net-neutral impact on the quality-of-life of Ross residents.
No. Seeking voter approval on Measure F is the first step in a long process. Measure F, if passed, merely permits Branson to seek approval from the Ross Town Council through a robust public process. Should the Town Council approve any increase in enrollment size, Branson would phase in no more than 25 students a year over a period of four years.
No. Branson is committed to managing traffic flows to and from the school and has worked with reputable local traffic engineers to develop strategies to keep traffic at current levels even with a student body increase. Those strategies will include:
Off-campus drop-off and pick-up locations
NO additional parking will be added to campus
The school’s traffic management plan will be subject to review by Town planning officials prior to any increase in enrollment.
Branson has an extensive traffic management program that limits the number of cars coming to and from campus each day through carpooling, buses from San Francisco, shuttles from the East Bay, and our external parking location at St. Anselms parking lot.
Branson conducts regular traffic monitoring to ensure traffic flows do not have an adverse impact on the surrounding neighborhood.
Branson’s enrollment has been capped at 320 students since 1978.
During this time, many peer schools in the area have grown, but Branson has not.
There are no plans at this time for any new development at the school campus. Branson is awaiting the outcome of the March 3, 2020 election and a decision on the size of the student body before embarking on an extensive Master Planning process that may outline any potential campus improvements in the future.
Branson has facilities that are under-utilized and could be reconfigured to accommodate more students.