Survey: Sonoma Valley parents are invited to give feedback on the school district parent survey. The survey will close at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 31. Topics include satisfaction, technology and communication. Visit surveymonkey.com/r/K8BXBBX
Academy news: Sonoma Valley High School’s engineering, design and technology academy has been named a semi-finalist in the 30th annual Jack London Award for Educational Innovation. The award memorializes London by recognizing and encouraging innovative, educational programs. The public awards presentation is May 10, at Sonoma State University at 5 p.m
Free tutoring: Teen Services Sonoma invites youth ages 13 to 18 for free math tutoring (algebra to calculus), physics, and chemistry on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. at 17440 Sonoma Highway. In other Teen Services news, the center is having a painting party and officials are looking for volunteers to help paint the walls in bright new colors on Saturday, March 18, starting at 2 p.m. Finally, Teen Services five-week Spring Ready to Work course will begin on March 30. Students, ages 14 to 25 get assistance preparing a resume, practicing interview techniques and securing summer jobs. For more information on any of these events, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-939-1452
Lemony Snicket: Meet Daniel Handler the creator of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books written under his Lemony Snicket pen name. Handler, a longtime fan of Charles Schulz, will talk about his admiration for “Peanuts” and other topics at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Tickets are free with Museum admission and available on a first come, first serve basis starting at 10 a.m.
Gifted testing: A Gifted and Talented Education committee has been focused on how the Sonoma Valley Unified School District identifies GATE students and it has resulted in the decision to test all second and third grade students for GATE in the spring. The testing results will be shared with teachers and parents, and will be used with other measures to identify students for GATE. More information is on the SVUSD website.
New district app: Have you checked out the new official Sonoma Valley USD app? It provides a personalized window into what is happening at the district and schools. Search for SVUSD in the app store.
Twice exceptional: There is an intriguing new book out called “The Power of Different – The Link Between Disorder and Genius.” Author Gail Saltz examines the gifts of the atypical mind. If you have a child who seems different, it might be a good (and comforting) read.
AP classes: California now ranks fifth in the nation in the percentage of public and private graduates who scored at least a 3 out of 5 on an AP exam during high school (28.5 percent). More than 42 percent of the state’s public high school students took at least one test, a number that has risen each year. tinyurl.com/jemj328
Good Doyle news: Santa Rosa’s Exchange Bank recently increased its dividend that funds the Doyle Scholarship at Santa Rosa Junior College. Just over half of the bank’s cash dividend goes toward scholarships.
Suicide tool: Facebook is launching new tools to help people who may be thinking of suicide, and for friends and family who want to help. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 to 29 year olds. When someone is thinking of suicide or hurting themselves, Facebook already has tools that let friends reach out directly or report a post but the company has redesigned its suicide prevention tools and integrated them into live video. People can now chat directly with someone from organizations like Crisis Text Line, Lifeline and the National Eating Disorder Association. The site is also testing ways to use artificial intelligence to find patterns in posts that have been reported for suicide and make it easier to identify similar posts.