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Trips to remember


Cinnabar School’s third-graders are looking forward to summer vacation and reflecting on the past school year, according to teacher Lucienne Wurr. “We have been on many wonderful field trips, and are grateful for the help of other organizations who have made the trips possible,” she said. “LandPaths and Friends of the Petaluma River worked together to take the students on the Petaluma River in canoes. For most students it was their first experience, and for all it was a memorable one. We spent the day at Steamer Landing, and when not on the river students painted, had quiet time in sit spots, and played games.” On another day excursion for students, the class toured the Ellis Creek water recycling facility and saw how local wastewater is cleaned and then used for irrigating city parks, golf courses and vineyards. A final field trip for the year was to Sonoma State University to see the ballet Coppélia. All of Cinnabar School’s first- through eighth-grade students attended. It was the first time most students had seen a full-length ballet, and reports were they loved it. After the performance, the group ate lunch at SSU and took a tour of the college campus. Third-grade student Oliver wrote, “I like that you don’t have to learn in a classroom all the time; you can learn outside and experience it.”

Math Olympics competition update from Harvest Christian School: Out of the 36 participants in the Math Olympics, a competition for third- through eighth-graders, 20 Harvest Christian students placed in the top five of the region for their grades. Three students won first place and each of those three students won special ribbons for perfect or nearly perfect scores. Great job, Harvest Lions.

First-graders at Harvest Christian School recently participated in a field trip to the local Sonoma Coastal Eques Training Center at Two Rock. On Friday, students headed to the rural destination and experienced lessons in horseback riding, feeding and caring for horses as well as spent time at archery course. It was an exciting adventure, and provided students with hands-on understanding of equine care.

St. Vincent de Paul’s Elementary School’s “Team DaVinci” celebrated the end of the school’s Green Week, a school-wide rally featuring their annual Solar Car Races. Students enrolled in this after-school STEAM Enrichment Program have fun all year, first learning about computer animation and programming with the “Alice” programming tool. In the second trimester, they experiment building robotics and using Raspberry Pi, followed in the last trimester with activities utilizing 3D printers for the advanced students to create parts for the solar cars. The group held two qualifying races to establish the final six competitors. One student, Kieran, had a solar panel that had broken in trials.

Ms. Alton’s fifth-grade class at McKinley Elementary and Mrs. Johnson’s fifth-grade class at Wilson School have been writing letters back and forth all year as pen pals. The teachers decided to plan a special day for these young students to meet in person and spend the day socializing and participating in games and other fun activities. Both classes arrived last week at Luchessi Park, where they enjoyed lunch delivered by Petaluma City School District’s food service director Ray Digiaimo. The students exchanged their final letters in person. After lunch, they played together on the slides and swings, started a soccer game and played Wiffleball. “It was a great way for these kids to make friends with kids from their own town, but they would perhaps never meet,” says Wilson School principal Eric Hoppes. The idea of the pen pal program and play day came when Alton and Johnson taught summer school together last year. Johnson said, “It was awesome to see the students interact and a great teaching moment for all.”

Great work this school year. Happy summer to all!

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