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A Press Democrat Blog

Extra Credit

Daily education news and conversation

Casa Grande’s United Anglers holds fundraiser

Casa Grande High School’s United Anglers group will be holding a fundraiser Nov. 1. The Anglers have been active at Casa Grande for 32 years, learning about and raising Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout that are then released to the wild. They also clean up streams and repair habitat for these fish in Petaluma creeks, partnering with groups like the Buck Institute and the Tiburon Salmon Institute. Now, students are focusing on a new species of fish, the endangered Coho… Read More »

Bicycle workshops teach families how to ride

Kids and their parents can learn to ride bicycles at a Family Bicycling Workshop on Saturday, Oct. 18 held by the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition. The workshop is designed to teach families how to ride with safety and confidence. They will practice riding through a series of drills and maneuvers before going on a 1-2 mile neighborhood bicycle ride. There, families will get real-world experience riding with traffic. Children and their parents must participate together and bring working bicycles and… Read More »

Sonoma County kids craft cardboard creations

About 300 Sonoma County kids and their parents descended on the county fairgrounds Saturday  to craft whimsical creations out of old boxes in an event called the Cardboard Challenge. During the challenge, one child wandered around the fairground’s hall of flowers in his creation, a robotic-looking cardboard body with a pumpkin-shaped head. Others made arcade-style games, such as an air hockey table. The event was organized by the Sonoma County Office of Education. It’s part of an international movement to… Read More »

Piner High School hosts STEM Cafe

Piner High School on Thursday night is holding its monthly science lecture series open to the community. This time, Sonoma State Chemistry Professor Steve Farmer will present about fluorescence. The series, named after the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, is called STEM Cafe and takes place in Piner’s new, state-of-the art planetarium and science center called SPARQ. The school tested out the lecture series last fall and found it so popular they decided to continue on a regular basis… Read More »

Biella Elementary celebrates a quarter-century of education

Albert F. Biella Elementary School on Friday celebrated its 25th year of teaching. Students and teachers, past and present, as well as parents, showed up for the event. Former principals  Wally Trujillo, Winnie Hogoboom and Aracely Romo-Flores also joined current principal Aida Diaz for a special presentation. “It’s a wonderful school with a great staff and wonderful families,” said Michaele Morales, whose children attended Biella when it first opened and who now works at the school. Trujillo, the school’s first principal,… Read More »

Santa Rosa teens hold conference on climate change

How can kids create a recycling program at their school? How can they spread the word about climate change through social media? Or get their peers to ride bikes instead of drive cars to school? These were among the topics teens spoke to their peers about recently at the second Green Teen Gathering at Montgomery High School. A youth advisory board to the Climate Protection Campaign, composed of local high schoolers, organized the event,  which drew about 50 students from around the… Read More »

Santa Rosa City Schools holds district showcase

An event to showcase all the schools in the Santa Rosa City Schools District drew about 400 parents and students Saturday. They came to check out  more than 70 booths featuring different schools and educational programs and learn more about their educational options, said  district Director of Career Pathways Debi Batini. The event came  toward the end of the district’s open enrollment period, which lasts until Oct. 15. All the district’s schools had booths at the event, which also featured  technical and specialty programs such… Read More »

Montgomery High graduate featured speaker at statewide science conference

A recent Montgomery High School graduate, Laura Gouillon, was a featured speaker  Monday afternoon at a statewide symposium on science, math, engineering and technology. The STEM Symposium, in its second year, is focused on improving science and math education in California Schools. Held in San Diego this year, it features speakers like State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, television science personality Bill Nye, and Jamie Hyneman of the television show Mythbusters. Gouillon, a freshman in computer engineering and computer science at the University of… Read More »

Rancho Cotate holds a drought-friendly Ice Bucket Challenge

Riffing on the popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Rancho Cotate High School this month plunged some of its top officials into a dunk tank to raise money for the degenerative disease ALS. After students spent about two weeks raising more than $600, six staff members were plunged into the icy water: Principal Amie Carter,  Assistant Principals Melissa Quinn, Henri Sarlatte, Josh Wilson and Angela Scardina, and Associated Student Body Advisor Jessica Holman. The dunk tank was brought in to save water because… Read More »

Petaluma Junior High students wear mismatched socks to take stand against bullying

A number of students at Petaluma Junior High School wore mismatched shoes and socks to school this week – on purpose. They donned the unmatched shoes, as well as blue shirts, in support of a 26-year-old Delaware man who was recently the victim of alleged bullying and beatings by teenagers. The mentally disabled victim was known for wearing such clothing. Petaluma Junior High School seventh-grader Hana Seals said she learned about what had happened on social media and knew she wanted to do… Read More »