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A Press Democrat Blog

Extra Credit

Daily education news and conversation

927 years of experience retiring from SRCS

At the close of the current school year, Santa Rosa City Schools will say goodbye to scores of staffers who have spent more than 927 years serving Sonoma County’s largest school district. Some of the longer tenured staffers include Louise Bostrom of the business services department who spent 39 years with the district; Pamela Sorensen, a math and business teacher at Piner High, and Mary Ann Azhderian, a 30-year veteran and teacher at Lincoln Elementary School. Santa Rosa High’s Jake… Read More »

Hillcrest Middle Schoolers claim both elem, Jr. High spelling bee titles

Hillcrest Middle School is the home of the winners of both the elementary and junior high school Sonoma County spelling bees held earlier this week. The county spelling bee includes fourth, fifth and sixth grade spellers in the elementary division and seventh, eighth and ninth graders in the junior high division. Hillcrest Middle in Sebastopol serves grades six, seven and eight. Kira Kelley, a sixth grader at Hillcrest, won the elementary division by spelling oscillate and then scrupulous for the… Read More »

More than one way to volunteer in schools. Read on…

A story outlining a push to dramatically expand the Schools of Hope volunteer program in Sonoma County schools ran in today’s paper (read it here http://bit.ly/OBmgYH). The partnership of United Way of the Wine Country and the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County are hoping to recruit 500 new volunteers to the Schools of Hope program which asks for an hour commitment each week (30 minutes with a student and 30 minutes to account for travel, preparation time). But Schools of… Read More »

Schools of Hope growing rapidly, still looking to expand for ’12-13

At the Santa Rosa School Board meeting Wednesday night, officials recognized the rapidly expanding Schools of Hope program backed by the local United Way and Volunteer Center of Sonoma County. I featured the program 18 months ago (read that here: http://bit.ly/IWnlw0 ) but in the ensuing year and a half it has more than doubled in the number of volunteers spending at least an hour a week in area schools working with a particular student and in the number of… Read More »

Cursive: Are teachers still teaching it?

Is cursive being taught in Sonoma County schools anymore? When do kids learn cursive and what purpose does it serve? Have some schools/districts abandoned the practice? I’m thinking about doing a story on cursive curriculum in Sonoma County. Please contact me with your thoughts and insights on the subject. I can be reached at kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com or 526-8671.

Free whooping cough clinic Saturday

 The Sonoma County Department of Public Health will hold two free whooping cough vaccination clinics for middle and high school students beginning Saturday. Seventh through 12th graders are required to show proof of a pertussis, or whooping cough, vaccination within the first 30 days of the school year or be barred from attending class and school activities, according to a new law that went into affect July 1. Students can opt out of the vaccination but parents must sign a specific… Read More »

Bolman: 180 school days not good enough

Petaluma City Schools is adding three days back to its 2011-12 school calendar after the recently-adopted state budget was less horrible than expected. In the midst of the state budget crisis, lawmakers have temporarily lifted requirements that the school year be a minimum of 180 days.  For the last few years, with the specter of penalty lifted, school districts across Sonoma County and California (Petaluma included) have cut days from their school year in order to save money. But officials… Read More »

Final numbers from walk, roll to school day

Final tallies for International Walk and Roll to School Day in Sonoma County are in. Seventy-three schools participated in the Oct. 6 event, up from 50 last year. More than 10,600 students walked and biked to school on the day, according to Beth Dadko, health information specialist with the county’s Department of Health Services. About 6,000 kids walked and rolled last year. Check out past blog posts for submitted photos from a handful of area schools that participated.

Feel like slammin’? Teen poets wanted

Sonoma County teens are invited to try their hands at a slam this weekend. A teen poetry slam will be held Saturday as part of the Sonoma County Book Festival in Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa. Participants will perform original poetry in three minutes or less. Audience members will choose who advances. “One of the things that takes the poet over the top is the performance itself,” said Juanita Martin, the event organizer. “You are not up there reading.… Read More »