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Education Roundup: Scholarships, honoring Brandon, testing and more

Testing: Some limited standardized testing is beginning at Sonoma Valley schools this month. On Wednesday, May 5, all Sonoma Valley High School students in grades 9-12 will take the STAR English test and all students in grades 9-11 will take the STAR mathematics portion as well. Testing will be done remotely and all students will work at their own pace.

Low cost bikes: Operation Bicycle is bursting at the seams and currently selling road bikes, mountain bikes, child and youth bikes and cruisers. All bikes are in great working order and have been repaired by a certified bike mechanic. Every purchase helps fund program needs like helmets, lights, locks, tools, parts and other supplies, as well as bikes for teens and other folks in-need in the community. Operation Bicycle is open Tuesday to Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. It’s in Fetters Hot Springs at 207 Nino Marco Square (right off Sonoma Highway).

Fundraiser: Friends of Brandon Barmore, the former SVHS student who died on a community service trip to Nicaragua, have set up a GoFundMe to purchase a memorial bench along Fryer Creek behind Barmore’s home where he used to play in the creek. gofundme.com/f/brandon-barmore-memorial-bench.

Summer school: Summer school for high school students will begin on Friday, June 11 and end on Friday, July 9. As of right now, the plan is for in-person instruction on the SVHS campus. Students can retake classes they have failed or take an “original credit” geometry or chemistry class. Summer school for students in grades K-8 is by teacher recommendation only. Contact your student’s teacher for more information. High school summer school questions should be directed to thernandez@sonomaschools.org or call 933-4002.

Baby bust: California’s birth rate dropped dramatically in the first two months of 2021 versus the first two months of 2020. It was the largest drop since the 1960s. Some people predicted with the pandemic that there might be a baby boom, but the opposite has happened. Read more at sfchronicle.com.

High school scholarships: PG&E is taking applications now for its Better Together STEM Scholarship Program. A total of $250,000 will be awarded to students pursuing a degree in the STEM disciplines. The program will award 20 scholarships of $10,000 each and 20 scholarships of $2,500 each, based on academic achievement, demonstrated participation and leadership in school and community activities, and financial need. Interested applicants can learn more and apply at pge.com.

Middle school scholarships: The Presentation School Diversity Committee is accepting applications now for its upper school Pathways Scholarship for the 2021-2022 school year. The scholarship promotes diversity and inclusion in the school by offering full tuition for two incoming sixth grade students from culturally diverse backgrounds. Applications due May 31. Learn more at presentationschool.com/community/pathways-scholars. For questions, email diversity@presentationschool.com.

Cannabis information: Impact Sonoma is hosting an information session on Marijuana/Cannabis and Your Teen at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12. The presentation includes forms of use, potency, vaping, impacts on adolescent brain development, brain functioning, mental health and life outcomes and strategies for prevention conversations at home at various developmental stages. The presenters are Drs. Sarah Cunningham and Richard Von Feldt from Panaptic.com. Learn more at facebook.com/ImpactSonomaCounty.

BGC update: The Sonoma Valley Maxwell Clubhouse is currently serving only specific students identified by the district as staying in a full distance-learning environment. Come summer, however, BGCSV will be open to all Sonoma Valley kids, with some camp capacity limitations.

Spring workshop: Sonoma Valley Regional Park is offering a Nature Investigators program from 1:30 to 5 p.m. starting on May 5. Kids ages 7-11 are invited to join a three-week science, literacy and art program designed to connect them to a local park. Each session will focus on a central theme. Learn through hands-on nature exploration, observation, measurement, journal exercises, craft projects and team-building games. Kids may participate in more than one session at the same location since themes change each month. Learn more at parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov.

Acting classes: Registration is open now for a new Shakespeare Acting Camp for teens 12-17 hosted by Sonoma Arts Live from July 26 to Aug. 6. Register at sonomaartslive.org/auditions.

Tri-tip fundraiser: Last call for the SVHS BBQ Dinner Fundraiser for Future Farmers of America from 5 to 7 p.m. on May 7. Place orders at facebook.com/SonomaFFA. A $50 ticket will feed a family of 4.

Contact Lorna at lorna.sheridan@sonomanews.com.

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