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Advanced learners, six state California, foreign films, virtual field trips, human rights, Be A Man, College App Map

<b>Additional Science Fair news</b> – Last week, I reported on the news of three Sonoma students being chosen to compete at the California State Science Fair – Eliza Neeley from Altimira Middle School, Nicole Hanson from St. Francis Solano School and Alexandra Garber from Presentation School (all eighth-graders). This week, I heard which local students have been invited to the Bay Area Regional Science Fair and they are Quinn Jensen from Adele Harrison (seventh grade); Alison Perkins from St. Francis (seventh grade); and Lauren Flaherty (seventh grade), Mikaela Zeiter (seventh grade) and Natalie Gulrajani (eighth grade) from Presentation School.

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<b>Have you ever said to your son, “Be a man!?”</b> Jennifer Newsome’s newest project is a documentary film called “The Mask You Live In,” which explores how we are failing our boys every time we urge them to “be a man.” Why is she so worried? “Compared to girls, research shows that boys in the U.S. are more likely to be diagnosed with a behavior disorder, prescribed stimulant medications, fail out of school, binge drink, commit a violent crime, and/or take their own lives.” Source: <a href="therepresentationproject.org/films/the-mask-you-live-in/">therepresentationproject.org/films/the-mask-you-live-in/</a>.

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<b>I didn’t pay much attention to venture capitalist Tim Draper’s plan to split California into six states until I read an article that explained the negative impact it would have on the UC and CSU systems.</b> He would spread the colleges among the states (with the new northern-most state of Jefferson without a major research university). But his plan breaks apart one of the most powerful university systems in the world. The initiative is likely to appear on your ballet in November … but even if it passes, both the state Legislature and Congress would also need to approve the highly controversial plan.

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<b>I love the idea of virtual field trips. </b>Flowery Elementary School’s third-grade students recently connected via webcam with the California Academy of Science. They watched penguins being fed live and had the opportunity to ask scientists questions. According to Flowery third-grade teacher Matt Pope, it tied in perfectly with their current classroom unit on the physical and behavioral adaption of animals. eSchools News offers up a list of the 10 best virtual field trips here: <a href="http://tinyurl.com/d7fjmzy">http://tinyurl.com/d7fjmzy</a>. On the list are an arctic adventure, Le Louvre museum, New York’s Museum of Natural History and the White House.

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<b>The Sonoma Valley school board and the administration at the high school are hard at work updating Sonoma Valley High’s policy on granting (or not granting) credit for courses taken beyond the high school walls (online and at the junior college in particular).</b> This is a controversial topic as schools grapple with whether to grant credit for courses taken elsewhere, that are currently offered on campus. Anyone interested in this topic should plan to attend the Tuesday, April 8, meeting of the school board (6:30 p.m. at the Community Meeting Room). As a bonus, you might hear some more news about a potential pool going in at the high school.

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