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Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, March 20

Vaping: RISK-Sonoma will be leading a free presentation on the dangers of vaping on Thursday, March 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Springs Community Hall with a panel discussion to follow. Contact Leslie Nicholson at 501-7691 for more information.

New website: Sonoma Valley High School has redone its website. Check it out at sonomaschools.org/svhs.

Teen commissioner sought: Applications are being accepted now for Sonoma County’s Junior Commission on Human Rights. Sonoma Valley High School student Jacquelyn Torres currently serves. Learn more and apply at sonomacounty.ca.gov/Human-Rights/Junior-Commissioner-Project/. Junior Commissioners are selected for a term that runs concurrent with the school year. They may be eligible for school credit for their participation. Deadline for applications is Saturday, March 31.

LCAP meetings: The community is being asked for its input about district-wide and school-wide LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Plan) goals at two upcoming meetings. The first is from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 22 at Altimira. The second is from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 at SVHS.

New transitional K: The Sonoma Charter School will offer transitional kindergarten in 2018/2019. If you have a child turning 5 between Sept. 2, 2018 and Jan. 31, 2019, stop by the school office for an application. Space is limited.

Road to Reality: Redwood Credit Union is partnering with SVHS to host the Road to Reality Day for seniors on Friday, March 23. The annual event hopes to prepare the class of 2018 for the many financial decisions they will face in months and years ahead as they embark on the next phase of their lives beyond high school.

Teacher of the year: The Sonoma County Office of Education runs an annual Teacher of the Year program. School sites and districts are encouraged to nominate an outstanding teacher by March 30. The winning teacher receives a $3,000 prize. Visit scoe.org/toy for eligibility details.

Summer school: Margaret Jacobson, currently an Intervention Teacher at Sassarini Elementary and vice principal at Altimira Middle School, will serve as the school district’s elementary summer school principal. Jason Sutter, currently the principal at Prestwood Elementary, will serve as the high school summer school principal.

Preschool openings: Studdert Family Farm preschool is accepting applications now for next year. Children ages 2 to 6 can attend one to four days a week. The cost is $40 to $45/day. Email cindystuddert49@gmail.com or call 815-3098 for a tour.

Student films: There is a great opportunity to see the work of Sonoma Valley High School video arts students during the Sonoma International Film Festival. The student films will screen from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22 at the Sebastiani and on Sunday, March 26 from 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Community Center.

LGBTQ support: Sonoma’s LGBTQ Connection is offering its first LGBTQ training in Spanish at La Luz Center from 1 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28. “Presently Sonoma County has essentially zero LGBTQ Spanish-speaking resources,” says the Connection’s Eliseo Rivas. “Let’s change that, our young people deserve better.”

Wild animal fun: Sonoma State Historical Park on the Plaza is hosting a free “Fireside Chat” in the Barracks courtyard from 7 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 23. The chat focuses on nocturnal animals in our area and state park officials will welcome Lynette Lyon and one of her Lyon Ranch animals. All ages can explore the nocturnal animals of Sonoma through hands-on learning, live-animal encounters, craft making and s’mores. Steady rain cancels.

Paid internship: The Metropolitan Transportation Commission will offer 34 Sonoma County high school students the chance to gain professional experience in transportation planning and related fields through its summer internship program. A list of full- and part-time internship opportunities and the online application instructions are available at jobs.mtc.ca.gov/internships. The deadline to apply is Sunday, March 25, The program runs June 26 to Aug. 31, $15/hour.

Long life: Data from a recent study on aging found that those who babysat lived longer – and it didn’t matter whether it was their own grandkids or someone else’s. Taking care of kids keeps them physically active and helps relieve stress, but overdoing it can cross a line and cancel out those health benefits, the study states. Another benefit is the social interaction that helps keep the brain healthy. Read more at abc7.com/2411739/.

Free classes: Art Escape has announced several free art classes for teens. In Flame-work Glass, teens will learn how to use a gas torch to heat, shape and fuse colored glass. The classes (sign up for 1, 2 or 3) run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 25, March 31, and April 21.

Save the date: Presentation School has an excellent speaker coming on Thursday, April 12. Bay Area writer and educator Ana Homayoun will share wisdom from her book “Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World.”

Send tips and comments to ourschools@sonomanews.com.