PictureScenes from Terra Marin School and TK Mandarin. Courtesy images.

When Wendy Xa and her team opened the new K-8 Terra Marin School and the Terra Mandarin Preschool, a Reggio Emilia-inspired Mandarin immersion preschool and transitional kindergarten, respectively, within the former Ring Mountain Day School space on Lomita Drive a year ago, there was the appropriate amount of trepidation that comes with launching a brand new school.

But by all accounts, one year on, Xa’s vision Is coming Into fruition, as enrollment has grown from 16 to 60 students in that time and the school’s enrichment program has expanded dramatically, now including a robust music program including orchestra, digital composition, Rock Band, violin and private lessons in many different instruments, as well as a new Spanish program to complement the existing Mandarin programs.

“It’s really all coming together,” Xa says. 

The school has recruited some top-notch musical talent to its teaching roster, including Edith Szendrey, who has performed with the Marin Symphony, Berkeley Symphony and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, as well acclaimed artists like Barbra Streisand and Diana Krall. Terra Marin’s music director Ryan Hickey is the co-founder of City Lights Music Together and the founder of all star band program at Blue Bear School of Music.

They school hired a cadre of teachers at the outset for both schools from around the Bay Area and, in the case of the Mandarin-immersion program, around the world from places like Singapore. Xa and her administrators held rigorous, three-week training sessions from a neuroscience foundation to get the team up to speed on the latest research and learnings in their field.

“I feel extremely blessed to be in the company of such accomplished educators,” says Xa, a former vice president at Goldman Sachs and a mother of two who founded the Mandarin immersion Presidio Knolls School in San Francisco in 2008 as a preschool before expanding it to a K-8 program. “We are an extremely close knit team working with one another to create the best experience possible for our students.”

Xa and her team continue to host open houses for children and their parents, and the next one is set for Sunday, Oct. 20 (9am for the Mandarin Preschool & TK and 11am for the K-8 program).

The 411: Terra Marin School and the Terra Mandarin Preschool host an open house on Sunday, Oct. 20 (9am for the Mandarin Preschool & TK and 11am for the K-8 program). 70 Lomita Drive. Free. Open houses will follow on Nov. 3 and December 8 – same times and place. MORE INFO.

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