Reading, writing, running

AMBER WENGER PHOTO Harvest Christian School students enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast a bit early last week.


Earlier this month, students in Mr. D-Z’s class in McKinley’s Accelerated Program were diligently drafting their fictional narratives. They read several of each other’s Book Creator-published works, and added their own reviews and ratings to the back covers. What a creative and constructive instructional program for these young authors.

Grant Elementary School students did not let a little inclement weather stand in their way when it came to the annual Jog-A-Thon event. Decked out in “crazy“ socks and Grant School logo shirts, students took the challenge in stride and came ready to race. The school reports they held another successful event benefiting their campus.

Cinnabar Elementary School students use AR (Accelerated Reader) where words and books read are counted/tallied. Principal/Superintendent Sandy Doyle reports the dedicated readers in Ms. Wurr’s class has exceeded their grade level expectations with the scores posted. As a reward they had a pajama party that Ritzy, Doyle’s loveable dog and fan favorite at Cinnabar, attended. Ritzy even arrived in her fuzzy, warm jammies ready to party with the kids. Such a special treat for them after completing this reading milestone.

Harvest Christian School honored the holiday a week early. Members of the fourth grade joined in a Thanksgiving feast with new Harvest teacher Mrs. Jen Priest while the transitional kindergarten students held their Thanksgiving with Mrs. Conrrique. All the second-graders in Mrs. Karen Gorin’s class performed a Thanksgiving play for parents and special guests, then had a Thanksgiving feast with everyone. Sounds like a fun-filled day of celebrations on the Harvest campus.

Waugh University is a program offered at Corona Creek and Meadow Elementary schools. The program develops activities and field trips for students to introduce them to higher education opportunities. The young students visit local college campuses, attend college-level sporting events and learn about various academic programs. A group of Waugh district students attended the University of California at Berkeley football game as part of the Waugh University. They visited with cheerleaders got high-fives from the players and were able to go on the field before the start of the game. Next up is a field trip to a Cal basketball game in January.

Casa Grande High, working with the team from 10,000 Degrees, hosted the campus’ annual Cash for College Night last Wednesday. “We had the largest turnout in four years of hosting this event with 90 people from 46 families meeting in the library. Participants were given direct support in filling out the FAFSA and Dreamers Application. Our goal was to have them submit the applications and most attendees reached that goal Wednesday night,” shared principal Eric Backman.

More news from Casa Grande includes Ms. Alston and Ms. Jelin taking a group of students on a field trip to participate in a Northbay Construction Corps job fair. The event was sponsored by Sonoma County Office of Education and offered students a unique opportunity to learn more about industry trends and professional needs for those considering this career path.

All are invited to support Petaluma High School’s Future Farmers of America from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Dec. 2. The students, joined by their instructors, will set up shop at the Petaluma Tractor Supply store where they will be selling handmade items crafted by students as part of the FFA program. All proceeds will go to the purchase of toys for families in need this holiday season.

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