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Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, Feb. 6

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Sad teens: Too much smartphone use makes teens unhappy, according to a new study from San Diego State University, which pulled data from over one million eighth, 10th and 12th graders in the U.S. Teens who spent more time on social media, gaming, texting and video-chatting on their phones were not as happy as those who played sports, went outside and interacted with real human beings. In general, teenagers’ life satisfaction, self-esteem and happiness plummeted after 2012. Read the full article at tinyurl.com/y7wpashw

Long adolescence: Scientists now think that adolescence now lasts from the ages of 10 to 24, although it used to be thought to end at 19. Markers include education being continued for longer, later marriages and delayed parenthood. Should laws be changed accordingly? Puberty is starting earlier – girls are getting their period as early as 10 instead of around 14. Study author Susan Sawyer writes: “Although many adult legal privileges start at age 18 years, the adoption of adult roles and responsibilities generally occurs later.” This change should cause youth support services to extend until age 25. Read the full BBC article at bbc.com/news/health-42732442.

New athletic league: Sonoma Valley High School now competes in the Vine Valley Athletic League. The new league – with Petaluma, Casa Grande, Napa, Vintage, American Canyon and Justin-Siena – will debut as part of the North Coast Section with the fall 2018-2019 season. The VVAL brings together schools that are currently in five different leagues. Petaluma and Sonoma Valley are in the Sonoma County League, Casa Grande is in the North Bay League, Napa and Vintage are in the Monticello Empire League, American Canyon is in the Solano County Athletic Conference and Justin-Siena is in the Marin County Athletic League.

Girls on the Run: Registration for any remaining open spots in the upcoming Girls on the Run season at the Boys & Girls Clubs will reopen for 10 days starting Feb. 8. The season, for girls in grades 4 to 6, begins next week. Register online at gotrsonomacounty.org.

Attention students: A search firm is coming to SVHS to gather student input on the hiring of the District’s new superintendent. Show up at the library on Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 3 to 3:30 p.m. to share your thoughts.

Parents night out: Students in the SVHS AVID program are offering a “Valentine Hoopla” parents night out from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9 at SVHS. For $20 cash, they will amuse your child in grades K-5 and offer a pizza dinner. Advance reservations are required. Email trivara@sonomaschools.org.

Volunteers needed: Sonoma Valley High School is looking for volunteers to help senior students edit their Senior Project Research Papers. Volunteers are needed through Feb. 23. Sessions are 40 minutes in length, weekdays (except Wednesday) from 11:45 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. Volunteers will be trained by SVHS teacher Janet Hansen. Contact Sallie Kyle-Moore at Sallie@svgreatschools.org to sign up.

Internship: Interested in the environment and working outdoors? The Sonoma Ecology Center is taking applications now for its spring “EnviroLeaders” program. Work Wednesday afternoon and Saturday mornings on environmental projects and get paid for it. Applications are due Monday, Feb. 12, apply at sonomaecologycenter.org/enviroleaders/.

Kenwood news: The Kenwood School Association’s annual Chili Cookoff will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16 at the Kenwood Depot. To enter a chili, to attend or to volunteer, visit kenwoodschoolassociation.com.

Get involved: SVUSD is currently seeking interested district employees, parents, students, and community members to serve on the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Committee for the 2017-2018 school year. Information and online at sonomaschools.org/domain/635. Applications are also available at school sites or at 17850 Railroad Ave. in Sonoma. Applications are requested as soon as possible.

Mentors needed: The next information system for the Mentoring Alliance will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, at Ramekins at 450 W. Spain St. Learn more at sonomamentoring.org.

Parents of eighth graders: Parents of eighth graders in area public schools should be receiving letters with teacher recommendations for ninth grade courses. At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, there will be a SVHS Parent Information Night for incoming freshman.

Gifted info: Children who are advanced academically often have temperamental traits that can challenge parents and teachers. “Parenting Advanced Learners” is a six-session series of discussion-based classes that provides parents with a comprehensive overview and concrete strategies for nurturing these children. Morning and evening series begin in mid-February. To register, go to calparents.org or call CPI at 585-6108 ext. 1240.

Send news, tips and story ideas to ourschools@sonomanews.com.