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PHS shares its language skills


The Spanish III students from Jennifer Moreno’s class at Petaluma High School wrote children’s stories in Spanish and published them. Wilson Wildcats’ English Language Learners from kindergarten through third grade trekked over to the westside high school campus and met with the aspiring authors in the campus library so they could participate in author reading sessions. The high school students conversed in Spanish with the younger native Spanish speakers as well as read their stories aloud in groups. Both sets of students enjoyed the learning experience.

Two Rock Elementary School students virtually met their pen pals attending school in Maine this week. Through the use of classroom technology provided by a Petaluma Educational Foundation Impact Grant, local second-grade students were able to see and communicate with students who were in their classroom in Maine. The exchange was exciting for all the students who were able to put a face to a name and share information and stories with each other in real time.

“Code Blue” finale! Student “physicians” in Mr. D-Z’s class at McKinley Elementary presented their Grand Rounds findings at the school’s Open House event last week. Each “medical clinic” received an emergency room patient who they had to diagnose, treat for an immediate condition, and offer a long-term solution for better health. These ingenious doctors also designed medical breakthroughs — a creative antidote, idea, device or other kind of cure for a given ailment. Students presented to a packed room of families, and did an incredible job demonstrating the lessons learned during this creative instructional process.

Valley Vista Vikings enjoyed an exciting week long Spirit Week Celebration planned by the school’s Student Council. This group is made of two to three students in fourth- through six-grade classrooms at Valley Vista Elementary. The student representatives lead the weekly assembly, coordinate fundraising projects as well as support large, school-wide events through their creativity and leadership according to principal Catina Hagen. The students work with Mrs. Ackman, fourth-grade teacher, and Mrs. Wilson, third-grade teacher. Spirit week included Crazy Hair Day on Monday, followed by Mismatched Shoe Day and Flash Back/Future Day along with other creative themes where students could show their school spirit before the academic year wraps up June 2.

Checkmate! Three skilled chess players from McNear Elementary School took on other qualified competitors at the Napa Chess Tournament this past weekend and brought home three first-place titles! Congratulations to Grant Henry, Grant Sanders and Aidan Fusco on this exciting accomplishment.

Each year, the Petaluma Kiwanis Club presents scholarship awards to high school seniors attending Casa Grande High School who are active in the campus-based Key Club. “Key Club attracts high school students who wish to serve their community and campus through volunteer work and development of leadership skills. Awards are based on club participation, community and campus service and a short essay outlining their scholastic achievements and goals,” shares Kiwanis member Francesca Smith. Kiwanis presented awards this year to Sara Ohman, Tia Bentivegna and Sarah Beck. The recipients served their campus and community as coaches and mentors. They truly embrace their role as volunteers, according to Smith, who also noted all the young ladies are National Honor Society members. A total of $3,000 was awarded through this program at Casa Grande High this year.

(Maureen Highland is a Petaluma mother and executive director for the Petaluma Educational Foundation. She can be reached at schools@arguscourier.com)