About MSA


Who We Are


Marin School of the Arts at Novato High, is a specialized performing, visual arts and design program. MSA offers students, who are passionate about the arts, the benefits of a traditional high school with strong academics combined with college-level arts training.

The current programs at MSA include: Cinematic Arts, Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music (Jazz Bands, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, String Orchestra, Rock Bands, Chamber Music and AP Music Theory), Theatre (Theatre Arts and Musical Theatre), Fine Arts (Painting & Drawing, Digital Arts, Photography, Sculpture & Ceramics), Vocal Music (Concert Choir Advanced, Treble Choir, Treble Choir Advanced, Jazz Choir Advanced, Jazz Choir) and Product Design. New for 2016-17, MSA Digital Arts is the process of building an animation program under the guidance of new Digital Arts teacher Howard Gersh, utilizing top of the line animation software.

Opportunities to develop new skills, such as project-based learning in Product Design and animation, are part of what sets Marin School of the Arts apart from other programs.

The Daily MSA Experience

MSA students participate in two MSA program class periods each day as part of their Novato High School curriculum; their remaining four to five daily class periods include academic classes and athletics (as desired and/or required).
Novato High School offers a rich curriculum including honors and advanced placement courses. Languages including French, Spanish and a college-level Mandarin class are available on campus, as well as the opportunity to attend college or online classes, as scheduling permits, to fulfill all their academic requirements.

Student Demographics

With over 510 students attending MSA during the 2016-17 school year, MSA is a thriving community within the Novato High School campus. Thirty percent of MSA students come from outside of Novato, commuting from all over Marin and Sonoma counties. A handful of students also commute from the East Bay. MSA endeavors to assist families with student carpool arrangements by facilitating area-based MSA contact information at the beginning of each school year.
MSA students represent a third of the overall Novato High School student body and blend seamlessly with their NHS counterparts. MSA and NHS students attend all academic classes together and support each other. MSA students are able to participate in sports, clubs and leadership events as their schedules permit. The support among students is apparent—many students who are a part of MSA support their peers by attending sporting events, dances and club events. Similarly, MSA performances and events are well attended by all NHS students.


MSA Student Population

Based on 2016-17 MSA enrollment of 514 students.

• 148 Freshmen

• 134 Sophomores

• 125 Juniors

• 107 Seniors