Heading back to school
SASSARINI SECOND-GRADE TEACHER Vicki Monga gets her classroom ready Thursday for the coming school year. Monga, who has taught at Sassarini for 22-plus years, is looking at a class of 30 students this year after the school board eliminated class-size reduction at the second grade. Last year, Monga had 17 students. School starts Wednesday, Aug. 15.
Most of the schools in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District start classes this Wednesday, Aug. 15, including El Verano, Sassarini, Prestwood, Flowery, Dunbar, Altimira, Adele Harrison, Creekside High School and Sonoma Valley High School.
Sonoma Charter School and Woodland Star Charter School – both district schools – will start classes on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
El Verano Elementary School is hosting a welcome back barbecue for Mustang families on Aug. 24. Staff members Kevin Coates, Sivani Lloyd, Patty Griffith and Chris Hunt retired at the end of the 2011-12 school year, but there is no word yet on their replacements.
Sassarini Elementary School invites students, parents and community members to help out this year by donating box-tops and used ink cartridges, or by shopping with e-scrip and Lucky SHARES programs. Students in past years have given back to the community by writing adoption ads for Pets Lifeline.
Prestwood Elementary School will be posting the student-teacher class listings on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. Its parents-only back-to-school night is Sept. 6 from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m.
Flowery Elementary School, often praised for its highly successful dual-immersion program, may be home to some future performers. In the 2011-12 school year, Flowery put on a stellar talent show, along with a rock concert at the Barking Dog Cafe. Keep an eye out for other performances by these talented kids.
Dunbar Elementary School is looking to develop multi-age teams this year, meaning that kindergarten and first-grade teachers will collaborate, as will second- and third-grade teachers, and so on. By the time students graduate from Dunbar, they hopefully will have reached intended goals for reading and literacy and have learned how to integrate art and science into language arts and social studies classes.
Sonoma Charter School invites parents, staff and students to participate in Beautification Day, during which they can help clean up the campus and make the school sparkle. The first Charter Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) meeting is Aug. 29, and all members of the charter school community are welcome.
Woodland Star Charter School, a Waldorf-based learning environment, is hosting its back to school night on Sept. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. Parents will first hear a curricular overview talk in the Main Hall followed by individual class meetings.
St. Francis Solano School begins on Wednesday, Aug. 22, but the school is hosting a buddy picnic on Thursday, Aug. 16 at 5:30 p.m. Interested parents and students can still apply or request more information for the 2012-13 school year.
Presentation School begins on Thursday, Aug. 23, with minimum days scheduled the first two days, Aug. 23 and 24. Unlike most Valley schools, Presentation has co-ed middle school sports teams, including a co-ed rock climbing team.
Altimira Middle School is hosting rush on Monday, Aug. 13, from 3 to 7 p.m.. School photos for the upcoming year will be taken at rush this year rather than within the first week of school as usual.
Adele Harrison Middle School offers a continuation of Flowery’s dual-immersion program for their bilingual students attending a dual-immersion elementary school. The school’s Mexican Independence Day celebration will take place Sept. 14 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Creekside High School, an alternative high school located adjacent to SVHS, focuses on smaller environments and different learning styles. The Odyssey computerized learning program, a rigorous academic program that allows students to take classes online, was introduced last year and will likely continue.
Rush for Sonoma Valley High School continues today, Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the library and pavilion on campus. Several staff members, including vice principal Kathy Summers, retired at the end of the 2011-12 school year, meaning that SVHS will likely welcome new staff members this year. The Career Pathways program, which allows students to focus on a very specific industry, such as engineering, will be implemented this year.
The school district has eight furlough days during the 2012-13 school year, the first of which is on Friday, Aug. 31.
More information about all the SVUSD schools is available at svusdca.org or on the individual school’s webpage. Check out the Our Schools page in the Index-Tribune for information about what Valley schools are up to, as well as helpful hints and engaging features on all things school-related.