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Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, Aug. 11

Welcome ’back’ to school: The first day of school across the Sonoma Valley school district is Monday, Aug. 17. All local schools will begin the year online/remote.

College guidelines: Gov. Gavin Newsom released guidance for reopening colleges and universities on Friday. The guidance prohibits indoor lectures and dining for schools in counties that have spent three consecutive days on the monitoring list. It also sets restrictions on allowing visitors to access campus and recommends faculty and staff work remotely whenever possible. Students and staff are required to wear masks but testing is not mandated. Read more at pressdemocrat.com/article/news/california-releases-guidance-for-reopening-universities/.

Required: For the first time, the University of California system is making a flu shot mandatory for all college faculty, staff and students this year.

Antibody testing: Sonoma County is currently offering free antibody testing available to Sonoma Valley teachers and school staff until Aug. 14. To make an appointment, call 565-4667.

College tours: If your students want to learn more about the college experience from current college students, CampusReel provides videos from current students that give a more authentic look inside the campus than glossy marketing materials. campusreel.org.

Best college info: Comparing colleges by looking at their Common Data Set is the best way to see key stats that rarely appear on a university website. Google Common Data Set and the name of the college. The information includes for up-to-date admissions information, financial aid data and more.

Resources: The Gifted Homeschooler's Forum at ghflearners.org has some great resources.

Home fun: Kiwi Crate offers monthly science kits and STEM boxes for hands-on science ages 3-16. Each crate explores a new concept in science, technology or engineering in a new way. kiwico.com/monthly-science-kits-for-kids.

Adventure: Feeling confined and uninspired? There are 30-plus virtual field trips online at theeducatorsspinonit.com/virtual-field-trips-for-kids.

Resources: The Child-Parent Institute (CPI) has resources available for parents aimed to help them navigate the pandemic with their children. Resources include free parenting classes, a parent support line, and no cost psychological first aid at calparents.org.

Presenter: At the Sonoma County Office of Education DISRUPT 2020 professional development program for teachers last week, SVHS science engineering teacher Tom Edwards created a short video describing techniques for teachers that they could use for demonstrating scientific concepts using things or materials that students would have at home. His video is part of an online resource library that Anna Babarinde, curriculum coordinator for science at SCOE, is developing for teachers in the county to use for distance learning.

SRJC improvements: The SRJC Petaluma campus will have a different look when classes resume in person, including a new welcome center, a courtyard cafe and a science quad.

Contact Lorna at lorna.sheridan@sonomanews.com.

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