C-SPAN StudentCam 2014 Third Prize Winner – Protect the Electives

StudentCam is C-SPAN Television Network’s annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and our nation.

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Rep. Mike Thompson visits students at AmCan Middle School

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, visited with eighth-grade students in Ms. Jo Ann Clark’s U.S. history class at American Canyon Middle School. As a part of their project based learning unit called a “Message to Congress,” students actively researched and prepared documentary films about a current issue that is important to them.

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Napa County Provides Literacy Tool Free To Preschools

The Napa County Office of Education is providing an English and Spanish literacy tool to preschoolers and their schools and families at no charge. In partnership with NapaLearns, a coalition of business and education leaders focused on creating 21st century learning environments in their local schools, the district is providing access to Footsteps2Brilliance Academic Language Program for Students, a […]

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Napa Junction Elementary now a magnet school

Napa Junction Elementary School has become the newest magnet school in Napa Valley Unified School District, the first in American Canyon, and is offering students a special curriculum emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It is the first district school to include engineering in its program.

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LIFE IS DRAMA Silverado sixth-graders write their own stories

Silverado Middle School drama students have a habit of redefining what people think sixth-graders can do. In the past, their Shakespeare performances have garnered praise from theater buffs while their student-written plays have generated approval from educators.

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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Reports California Sees Significant Drops in Student Suspensions and Expulsions

SACRAMENTO—The number of students being suspended or expelled in California declined sharply during the last school year as more schools and districts put into place measures designed to keep young people in the classroom and learning, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

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Napa Valley College, NVUSD consider bond issues for voters

Both Napa Valley College and the Napa Valley Unified School District are attempting to gauge voters’ interests in the possibility of new bond measures. Napa Valley College President Ron Kraft is in the process of hiring a pollster to conduct public surveys and provide feedback to the college.

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RLS Middle School goes high-tech

RLS Middle School has caught the technology bug. Five months after the district started a pilot program giving each fifth-, sixth- and ninth-grader a laptop-like Google Chromebook, RLS is offering the gadgets to its seventh- and eighth-graders.

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Registration Open for Project WET for Napa-Area Teachers

The registration deadline is Jan. 24 for Project WET for the Napa Valley, an upcoming free workshop open to all Grade K-12 teachers in Napa County.

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An Inside View of the Google Summit at Napa New Tech High

I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the Napa Valley Google Summit at our very own New Technology High School last week! NTHS is a project based learning (PBL) school in the New Tech Network that fully integrates Google Apps. It was amazing to feel the energy of over 400 people, all passionate about technology in education! […]

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Students Owning Their Learning: A Tale of 2 Schools

Here’s how to increase student learning: Increase student ownership of that learning: “… the most successful students are those who feel real ‘ownership’ of their education. In all the best performing school systems … ‘students feel they personally can make a difference in their own outcomes and that education will make a difference for their future.’” […]

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Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL

The term “project learning” derives from the work of John Dewey and dates back to William Kilpatrick, who first used the term in 1918. At BIE, we see project-based learning as a broad category which, as long as there is an extended “project” at the heart of it, could take several forms…

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The benefits of tablets in early childhood education

It’s unfortunate that the AP headline “Tablets a hit with kids, but experts worry” (Dec. 25) may have alarmed parents, causing them to avoid the many positive benefits that can accrue to preschool children using iPads.

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New School Model

“It’s a renaissance in education,” says Napa Valley Unified School District Superintendent Patrick Sweeney of the new model being practiced in classrooms throughout the county. “It’s amazing: Teachers are excited; they’re seeing the excitement in their students; and they’re all learning new things.”

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More (any) local computer coding lessons welcome

The more we like something, the more likely it is that we’ll want to learn more about it. Yet despite Napa school hallways overflowing with gadget-crazed students glued to the latest and greatest digital screens, very few of them are interested in the technology that makes those screens zip, zag and sing.

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