‘Maker Movement’ makes its way into Napa Valley schools

School can be more than sitting stationary in a desk while listening to a lecture or reading a textbook – to the folks at NapaLearns, a local non-profit, it’s about innovation. It’s about getting kids interested in not only computers, but engineering and design as well.

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Young filmmaker takes ‘leap of faith’

With the Academy Awards in the spotlight this week, it seemed timely to talk to a graduate of Napa’s New Technology High, Kyle Andrews, who is on his way to becoming a filmmaker as he finishes his senior year at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

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Network Effect: Why School Networks Are the Future of Education

Dan Leeser enjoys the creative work of designing his own projects. In the fall, his students at Franklin Cougar New Tech in El Paso created graphic novels that combined Greek myths with Asian culture–an interesting thought experiment that encouraged students to consider the role of myth in society in the past and the present. Interesting […]

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Film Festival announces student competition

The Napa Valley Film Festival, NapaLearns and the Napa County Office of Education are launching the 2017 Napa County Student Short Film Competition for high school students who live or study in Napa County.

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Calistoga High School’s Tiny House project reaping big rewards

Dressed up with sparkly lights, a fake chimney and a teacher dressed as Santa Claus, the Tiny House made its debut to the public at the Lighted Tractor Parade with the students who are building it riding inside and waving to their neighbors and friends.

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Number of college courses taught in high schools increasing statewide

Freshman students at Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy in Los Angeles Unified review a lesson before final exams. This spring, juniors and seniors at Redlands Unified School District in San Bernardino County will take community college courses at their high schools, including engineering, sociology, business administration and music appreciation.

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Napa Junction Elementary named New Tech ‘demonstration site’

Napa Junction Elementary School can now officially show off its 21st century curriculum, having been named a “national demonstration site” by the New Technology Network.

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Napa County Office of Education wins statewide honor

The Napa County Office of Education has been chosen as one of 56 recipients of the state’s leading educational honor, the Golden Bell Award.

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Annual Immigration Challenge at St. Helena’s Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School

Eighth graders at St. Helena Robert Louis Stevenson School have been busy these last two months with a massive project oriented around immigration and the challenges faced by immigrants around the world.

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American Canyon students get electoral education

The 2016 election has been an eye-opening experience for seniors at American Canyon High School who delved into electoral politics for a project focused on local and statewide campaigns. Students explored everything from the candidates running for City Council to California ballot measures as part of a semester-long assignment in government teacher Tom Solberg’s classes.

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The Need to Validate Vocational Interests

At a recent conference, I listened to a university president boast about a program she had developed in partnership with several local high schools. She told the story of one teenager who lived in a rural area and worked full time on his family’s farm in addition to attending high school.

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School Spotlight: Napa Junction Elementary School

In its third year as a New Tech School, Napa Junction Magnet School (NJMS) has been committed to developing a community of learners through its STEM-based, Project-Based Learning (PBL) program. The mission of the school is “to foster social and emotional growth, 21st century skill development, and academic progress within a STEM-focused curriculum.”

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The Startup Classroom

A few days ago I taught a Professional Development session for PBL teachers in the Napa Valley Unified School District.  The topic: The Startup Classroom: How to Rock Your Classroom Like a True CEO.

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