Dropping out of college: Washington Post reporter Valerie Strauss says it is easier to get into college these days than to stay in. “Inadequate preparation, unrealistic expectations and other issues that college freshmen don’t anticipate can become important obstacles to happiness and success,” she writes. Currently about one-third of undergraduates transfer and an even bigger percentage drop out for financial and other reasons. Students who actively engage in campus life are happiest with their college experience, least likely to transfer and more likely to graduate, say experts. Other advice: don’t expect everything to be perfect; make an effort to know your professors and teaching assistants; don’t expect college to be the best years of your life; keep an open mind about your major; branch out socially and don’t deal with situations alone. The article includes a lot more great advice at: washingtonpost.com.

Super search: The community is invited to an open forum about the Sonoma Valley School District’s search for a new permanent superintendent. The meeting is at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. in the Altimira Middle School multi-purpose room. If you can’t make it, forward your comments to bbanning@leadershipassociates.org. An online survey on this topic is at sonomaschools.org.

Cardinal reopens: More than three months after the fires, Cardinal Newman High School has reopened its doors for classes. Cardinal teachers and students returned to 22 new portables that have been delivered to campus.

Co-ed T-ball: Registration is open now for co-ed T-ball for ages 3.5 to 6 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley. The season runs April 11 to mid-June. The cost is $120 and you can sign-up online at bgcsonoma.org/tball.

Alumni: Altimira Middle School is celebrating its 50th year with an inaugural annual alumni basketball game on March 2 in its gym. Tickets go on sale on Feb. 1. Email Leslie Nicholson at lnicholson@sonomaschools.org for more information. All proceeds support Altimira athletics.

Baby care: The next Mother and Baby Series offered at the Birthplace at Sonoma Valley Hospital starts soon. The class provides new mothers with a broad overview on what to expect in the first weeks and months after birth. Four weekly sessions will be held on Mondays beginning Feb. 5 from 10:30 am to noon. $80. To register or for more information, call 935-5084.

Bump student exhibit: Woodland Star Charter School is hosting an art reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3 at Bump Wine Cellars on Broadway. The exhibit is entitled “Rising from the Ashes: One Square Foot.” Guests can bid on the art to support the school’s upcoming “Raiders of the Lost Auction” fundraiser on March 24. The exhibit runs Feb. 2 to 28.

Comp stats: Justin-Siena Mock Trial team competed against top teams in the state last week and placed 14th in California. Dante Cavaz and Catherine Flaherty were among several Justin students who received Outstanding Competitor Awards, and the other Sonoma students on the successful team are Taylor Stiffler, Connor Havlek and Anna Zheng.

Email news and story ideas to ourschools@sonomanews.com.