Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, Aug. 25

News, tips and resources for Sonoma Valley families.|

SIP with the Supe: Regular opportunities to meet with Sonoma Valley Unified School District Superintendent Socorro Shiels start again Sept. 14. The Zoom gatherings are billed as a time to gather, share ideas and ask questions. Visit the district website for more information.

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

Free tutoring: The online tutoring website Go Peer is offering thousands of hours of free high-quality one-on-one online tutoring as well as (relatively) low cost rates of $20/hour. Learn more at

Sports update: The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and North Coast Section (NCS) leagues have combined the traditional three seasons of sports into two for the 2020-2021 school year, with start dates of Dec. 14, Feb. 22 and March 8 or 15. To view sport specific start dates, visit SVHS coaches will reach out to students with tryout dates, sign-ups, conditioning, etc. If you have any questions, email Athletic Director Mike Boles at

Home art lessons: Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is offering art classes that explore “all of the amazing and interesting facets of who we are and what we have to share with the world” in "Behind the Screen." All 15 Arts@Home Lessons are available at or at

Video tour: In the absence of field trips, Jack London State Historic Park is preparing to build on its distance learning modules by including more video tours for school groups. Already in their library is a 20-minute tour video on Beauty Ranch and Jack London’s sustainable farming efforts. In August, they will film a school tour video for the Wolf House and Museum. All school tours are created with the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards in mind.

Volunteers needed: Redwood Empire Food Bank distributes produce, groceries and pantry items in Sonoma Valley. The food bank needs volunteers immediately to help with distribution. Volunteers must be able to stand for three hours and be able to lift 35 pounds repetitively for up to two hours. To participate or for more information, email

Adventure: Feeling confined and uninspired? There are 30-plus virtual field trips online at

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

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

App challenge: Rep. Mike Thompson is accepting applications for his 2020 Congressional App Challenge, open to all middle- and high school-aged students from his district. Applications are due on Oct.19. You can learn more and submit an application at

Kid-friendly podcasts: There are some fun and educational podcasts that are aimed at children including the Sesame Street podcast, “Cool Facts about Animals,” “Dad and Me Love History,” “But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids” and more.

Congratulations: Tylor Nowell was named to the 2020 Dean's List at Union College. Nowell is a member of the Class of 2021 majoring in political science and anthropology.

Contact Lorna at

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