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A Press Democrat Blog

Extra Credit

Daily education news and conversation

Multiple cultures at SR Middle Friday

Chinese acrobats, Hawaiian dancers and mariachis. At least 22 booths of food representing countries and cultures from around the world. That will be the scene Friday at Santa Rosa Middle School. The event, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., caps the school’s 10th annual multicultural week, which has included guest speakers, storytellers, musicians and dancers in a celebration of diversity in general, and at the school in particular. For more information call 528-5281.

Too much in kindergarten?

This article on EdSource about kindergarten truancy contains this paragraph: The sentence in bold made me wonder this: What about dialing back the “heft” of the kindergarten curriculum? Would that preserve childhood a little longer while at the same time not leaving anyone behind? As in, kids wouldn’t be behind if they weren’t starting so early. Kindergarten was once considered by some to be a relatively insignificant grade level – it is still not mandatory in California until age 6.… Read More »

Ascending star

Mireya Arango is headed to Stanford University after a stellar high school career during which she surmounted considerable odds. Arango, a Petaluma High School student who took 13 honors and AP classes (and numerous Sonoma State University classes), was honored by the Petaluma City Schools Board of Education. She appeared with her parents — Antonio and Isaura Arango — and the memory of her brother Cristian, who died in October at the age of 21. “Neither of her parents have… Read More »

Touchdown for low-income students

The Bay Area operations of Summer Search — which include a Petaluma branch — have been awarded $500,000 by the Super Bowl 50 Fund. Summer Search works to close the opportunity gap for low-income students to get them into and through college. The North Bay office last year worked with 127 students from Sonoma County, 54 high school students and 73 in college. The way the program works is two-pronged, said Kait Schroeder, executive director of the North Bay branch.… Read More »

Nail that interview

Two Sonoma County businesswomen have launched a company to provide on-campus training for college students — and recent graduates — in resume writing, job hunting and interviewing skills. It’s called Job Tango. “College is like a bubble and being pushed out of the bubble upon graduation is a shock for a majority of students,” said co-founder Susan Halstead, who was a longtime recruiting executive in Northern and Southern California. Halstead said she and her partner, Lindsay Brown — whose management… Read More »

Yankee Doodle sweetness

The Lincoln School Pageant was held at the Petaluma Elks Lodge, with school children from one of the last remaining one-room schoolhouses in Northern California performing “A Yankee Doodle Dandy Christmas” and presenting American flags to the veterans in the room. Above, Isabelle Brenner presents a flag to Joseph Joe at the Dec. 15 event. It’s been a while since this took place but it’s a sweet enough picture that I couldn’t resist.

Thursday: Free film about changing the cycle of adversity

Santa Rosa City Schools and Upstream Investments will hold a private screening of the Paper Tigers documentary by James Redford Thursday, Jan. 14 at 3:30 p.m. at Santa Rosa High School. Paper Tigers follows six troubled teens over the course of a year at Lincoln High School, an alternative school in rural Walla Walla, WA, that specializes in educating traumatized youth. Principal Jim Sporleder convinced his school that traditional punishments like suspension were only exacerbating the problems of the students.… Read More »

No chickens on MCHS jazz choir

The Maria Carrillo High School Jazz Choir in 2014. The respected Maria Carrillo High School Jazz Choir topped 10 tough competitors and was selected to sing the national anthem at the Dec. 26 Foster Farms Bowl Game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara (UCLA vs. the Nebraska Cornhuskers). Earlier this year the choir was chosen to perform at a San Francisco Giants game AT&T Park on Sept. 11. In April, the choir — which under the direction of Gail Bowers… Read More »

A local photographer impresses Robert Redford

Keith Walski, a Rancho Cotate High School graduate, is one of just 15 student artists worldwide to win a Robert Redford/Milagro Initiative Scholarship for 2015. A photographer, Walski, 18, will be awarded $60,000 to study at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design for four years. “This year’s selection of scholars reflects a wide range of voices working to better understand the world they will inherit,” said Redford in a statement. “This program provides them with an environment for… Read More »