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THE CHALKBOARD: Waugh schools Tulip Trot into summer

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On your mark, get set, go! The Waugh School District hosted its second annual community Tulip Trot 5K Run/Walk last Saturday. Even the two district school mascots got in on the fun with a friendly race between the costumed Meadow School Hawk and Corona Creek Cougar to rally students the week before the run. The event started at the Meadow School playground with a 5K route throughout the nearby neighborhood plus a shorter 1-mile Tiny Trot for the younger participants.

McNear Elementary School welcomed Patricia Polacco to campus this week. Polacco has authored and illustrated 115 children’s books and is praised for her passionate storytelling during school visits. The assembly at McNear Elementary School included a recount of her family’s stories about immigrating to the United States, sharing of the real Keeping Quilt, and a question-and-answer session. The Keeping Quilt is made from various clothing items from generations of Polacco’s family. Each piece of material holds special memories and meaning that is proudly explained by the author. The special event on Monday also brought Grant Elementary School third-graders to McNear Elementary School to participate in the special guest campus visit.

Grant Elementary School kicked off a busy week, starting with a multi-class student musical performance on campus plus a special field trip to San Francisco for the fourth-grade class, complete with a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. On Wednesday night, the school enjoyed the first-graders’ performance followed by a presentation by the kindergarten class Thursday morning! What a fun-filled week as the campus wraps up the school year.

Go fly a kite! That is what Mrs. Steffen’s TK/kindergarten class at Two Rock Elementary School did recently. Taking advantage of some perfect kite-flying weather, students gathered on the schoolyard and let their colorful kites dance in the sky for all to see. Two Rock School is also preparing for the end of the year with a schoolwide Field Day on June 1. The action-packed lineup of activities includes a bounce house, pie-eating contest, water balloon fun and Kona Ice served with lunch. Earlier this month, the school hosted a Book Fair where students stocked up on summer reading titles.

The McDowell Elementary School Monarchs are taking the stage for a performance of “Gold Dust or Bust” by the fourth-graders. The show is on Thursday at 5:45 p.m. in the school’s multipurpose room. The McDowell community also reports spring has sprung and students are participating in hands-on science activities, including cultivating a native habitat garden. The garden, made possible by support from Daily Acts, Conservation Corps of the North Bay and the school’s PTA group, is attracting local wildlife, especially various birds that students can observe.

Last week, students from various local schools participated in the 2018 Student Showcase of the Watershed Classroom Program. The event was the culmination of the 2017-18 Watershed Classroom, where students shared their knowledge, insights and recommendation for the Petaluma River, Petaluma Watershed and local waterways, according to community member Babs Kavanaugh. The speakers offered their comments from 6-7:30 p.m., followed by manning display tables to interact with attendees and answer questions. The program was hosted at Lucchesi Park’s Community Center. For more information on the Watershed Classroom Program and student presentations shared at the event, contact Stephanie@friendsofthepetalumariver.org or watersehdclassroom.org/showcase. Congratulations to all the students who participated in the showcase!

(With the end of the school year, The Chalkboard will take a summer break. Maureen Highland will be back in October with more news of Petaluma-area schools. Highland is a Petaluma mother and executive director for the Petaluma Educational Foundation. She can be reached at schools@arguscourier.com)