Education Roundup: Driving lessons, bike club, dental help and more, Feb. 18

Driving School: Registration is now open for Teen Safe Driver training courses at Sonoma Raceway's new racing school, the Sears Point Racing Experience. The full-day course for young drivers combines classroom time with driving exercises in a controlled environment, with a focus on emergency braking, accident avoidance and how to control skid situations. Reserve at

Napa to sell school sites: Two Napa Valley grade schools shut their doors this summer and the school district may sell their campuses for millions of dollars to help its budget. The district's smallest-by-enrollment schools permanently closed in June, and Napa school officials said that existing buildings will be removed and the land rezoned for new uses.

Career fair: A College and Career Fair for all local special education families is being held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Sonoma Valley High School in the College & Career Center on campus. The fair has been organized by SVHS student Lily Raaka in conjunction with the school district's Special Education Advisory Council, for which Raaka is the student representative.

College tours: The Boys and Girls Clubs Maxwell Village Club is offering two college tours in March. On March 17, the club will take a van full of students to Cal Maritime and on March 19, they are offering a trip to U.C. Davis. Sign up at the club or by email The trip is free to members but space is limited.

AP diploma: Analy High School and El Molino High School will be the first Sonoma County public schools to offer AP Seminar in the fall of 2020. The AP Capstone Diploma program teaches college-level research skills, as well as collaboration and communication. More than 1,800 schools worldwide offer the program. The class will likely be offered in the evening so as not to conflict students' daily class load and so that students from the two high schools can take the class together. Read more at

The CHP Explorer Program: There is a unique opportunity for young men and women to become an integral part of the California Highway Patrol operations and experience what a career in law enforcement would be like. Successful completion of the Explorer Program can open many doors and present many opportunities for the youth of tomorrow, especially for an Explorer who is planning to make the CHP a career. For questions about the Explorer Program, contact your local CHP area office. For Sonoma, that office is the Golden Gate Office, Napa CHP. Call 253-4906 for more information.

Congratulations: St. Francis Solano School recently held its annual Geography Bee for grades 4 to 8. August Kendall placed third, Sofia Galetto took second, and Frankie Campos achieved first-place ranking. Campos then took the school-champion, state-qualifying, on-line Geography Bee test. He is awaiting the results.

Teen Bike Club: The Safe Routes to School Program and Operation Bicycle (of Teen Services Sonoma) is offering a free after-school Bike Club at Adele Harrison Middle School for students in grades 6 to 8. The Bike Club will meet weekly after school on Feb. 21, 28 and March 6 and 13. Students will practice bike skills, learn bike maintenance, and have fun with friends while learning all about bikes. Students must bring their own bicycle and helmet. Contact Sarah Hadler at or 710-4210 if your student needs to borrow a bike or helmet. Enrollment is limited to 15 students. Students must bring a signed registration form that is available in the Adele office.

Children's Dental Health Awareness Day: Sonoma Valley Community Health Center will host Children's Dental Health Awareness Day on Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. Parents will learn when children should have their first dental visit, ways to prevent early childhood caries, when to expect changes from primary to permanent teeth, proper brushing and flossing techniques and the importance of dental sealants. There will also be kids activities. The event is held in partnership with Cavity Free Sonoma, Pediatric Dental Initiative, Center for Well-Being and Redwood Community Health Coalition. For more information, contact SVCHC at 939-6070 Ext. 112 or email at

UC tuition to rise: The University of California is considering annual tuition increases over five years. UC regents will consider two plans to raise fees at their next meeting. One plan calls for raising tuition and fees for all students by around 2.8 percent for fall 2020. The second plan would raise tuition and fees once for each incoming class but keep those costs flat for six years. Under that plan, the costs for the entering class of 2020-21 would increase over last year by 4.8 percent. The tuition fee of existing students would be frozen at their current levels.

Art contest: The 2020 State-Fish Art Contest is open for entries. The contest is free and open to students in grades K-12. The deadline is March 31. To enter, student artists create an original illustration of their chosen fish from an official fish list. Students in fourth grade and above should also submit a one-page creative writing piece based on the behavior, habitat or conservation needs of their species. Artwork and essays will both be judged and awarded. To learn more and see the 2019 winners, visit

Financial aid: SVHS seniors who have not completed their FAFSA or Dream Act application are invited to attend a second Financial Aid Workshop on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 11 to 1 p.m. in the College & Career Center.

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