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THE CHALKBOARD

Adult School’s Carol Waxman is a ‘Champion for Children’

An edible “cell” created by seventh-grade students at Petaluma Junior High School.

MAUREEN HIGHLAND PHOTO
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 11:52 a.m.

Congratulations to Carol Waxman, principal of the Petaluma City School District’s Adult School program. Ms. Waxman will be honored on Nov. 7 with a 2013 Sonoma County Champions for Children Award. Ms. Waxman will also be joining McDowell Elementary principal Maureen Rudder as a panelist at the upcoming Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) statewide conference on education next month. Both will share experiences in working towards closing the achievement gap for student learning for those entering kindergarten. Our two local educators will discuss and highlight the successes of programs in Petaluma schools through student and family programs.

Students at the Sixth Grade Academy located at Petaluma Junior High recently conducted investigations on mechanical weathering and chemical weathering. Students performed several experiments to study the changes on granite, marble, limestone, chalk, and rock salt, as well as note the differences among the actual processes of the testing procedures. Teacher Mary Reynolds shared that the students really became curious of the process, and presented some great summaries on the lesson. Also happening on the PJHS campus was the seventh grade Cell Projects. Students created various replicas of a cell based on their current curriculum. Some students presented 3-D versions, crafted posters and even baked cakes in the shape of cells, then creatively decorated them with edible items to identify the specific parts of their model.

Teachers continue to train on the latest technology tools available in order to support their students and offer expanded learning opportunities through diversified programs. Last week, Google professionals came to train teachers for the Petaluma City School District on Common Core. The afternoon session took place at Casa Grande High School. Additional training for principals about how technology has a symbiotic relationship with Common Core and how Google Apps for Education (GAFE) supports this newly adopted focus is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

KTV ­— Kenilworth Junior High’s very own TV station — is a student-run operation with support from the school’s dedicated staff. Last year, the campus received grants from Wells Fargo, the San Francisco Giants Giants and the Kenilworth Junior High School PTSA to upgrade the station to become a 21st century media facility. With the help of KJHS teachers Isaac Raya and Laura Bradley, the station managers/students are doing amazing things. Broadcasts are being recorded and placed on Mr. Raya’s YouTube channel at the moment, but soon will move to a school-supported channel. Students in the school’s digital media classes make the slides, videos and write the script for each broadcast. It really is a great set-up, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in the media field while also creating an opportunity to share school and community news with fellow students.

High school homecoming celebrations have concluded for the year with most of the school wide events taking place last week. The traditional parades, football games and dances are always a big focus of the student body for the first part of the school year and serve as a highlight of the fall season for the community at large who share in the spirit of our local schools.

The Wilson Country Fair took place on Saturday. This year’s added attraction was a Car Show. Lots of local businesses supported the event celebrating the Wilson School community. Bubbaques provided fair food for the day and the school sweetened the deal by hosting an apple pie baking contest. The Wilmar Fire Department brought over an engine and CalFire came out to join in the fun. One of the local 4 H groups even set up a small petting zoo. According to principal Eric Hoppes, the kids had a blast doing the scavenger hunt, football throw, face painting and more — all in support of Wilson School.

Spooktacular events seem to be brewing around town at our local campuses as Halloween approaches. From the Spirits, Skeletons & Sweets Celebration at Old Adobe School to the Halloween Ball at La Tercera and the annual St. Vincent Elementary School Halloween Carnival, students will be scaring up some fun the last week before Hallow’s Eve! We recently shared Two Rock Elementary School’s Brown Bag Costume Parade and the history behind the tradition. How does your school celebrate various holidays throughout the school year with students? Let us know.

(Maureen Highland is a Petaluma mother and development manger for the Petaluma Education Foudation.)

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