Liberty Elementary School – Petaluma, CA

Award Year 2017

Exemplary High Performing Schools

Liberty Elementary School

170 Liberty School Road
Petaluma, CA, 94952-1074

(707) 795-4380

Mr. Christopher Rafanelli, Principal at time of Nomination

Charter School

Liberty Elementary School District

School Website


Student Demographics

  • White: 80%
  • Hispanic: 18%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Asian: 1%
  • ELL: 11%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 9%


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Liberty School...serving our community since 1857

Liberty School...serving our community since 1857


Liberty School is nestled in the rural ranching area of Petaluma, forty miles north of San Francisco. A community with deep roots, its rolling hills still scattered with ranches and farms, it also looks to the future with a technology-based business sector that is flourishing. Founded in 1857, Liberty School is among the oldest schools in Sonoma County and California. As Liberty passed its sesquicentennial it remains the hub of the entire community, where families meet neighbors and build relationships, requiring little urging to get involved in the life of their school. The students are a reflection of the community around us. While a recent influx from the technology sector has added to our ranks, the vast majority of Liberty students come from our local ranches and from families engaged in the trades and small businesses.

The vision of Liberty School is expressed in our mission statement, "Each student will be successful in school and will reach his or her highest potential as one individual in a community of learners." Our mission statement emphasizes both academic skills and character development, as research and practice have shown both to be vital in the development of the whole child. This statement is a living document used when setting goals, implementing standards, and assessing progress.

The high level of parent involvement adds the essential finishing touch to our successful program at Liberty; the whole community joins the hardworking and dedicated staff to ensure our children are safe, fulfilled, and prepared for the future.