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Education in the Spotlight
Education has risen to the forefront in the news. As the mid/late-August school opening dates get closer, it seems the entire world is talking about education, not just families raising children and educators immersed in schooling. Is it the cog in the wheel?

It’s good that a wider range of citizens has been shocked into realizing how important the education sector is to our culture, to a thriving nation.

The spotlight is on: how critical a quality education is to our children’s well-being and futures; how some communities have choice among a variety of top-rated private schools, public charter schools and public schools and some have no choice but failing schools; how important, challenging and rewarding it is to be a teacher; how “one size does not fit all;” how important it is for families to have quality time together and an active voice in their children’s learning; how tremendously our economy is affected by having, or not having, five regular school days; how significant our childcare industry is in supporting working parents; whether distance learning can be as effective as in-person learning; what is taught and how.

The on-going anti-charter school positions of teacher unions and state legislators continues. Recent legislation, while intended to stabilize funding, prevents per/student/funds from following a student who wants to change schools within the public charter and neighborhood systems. As it stands now funds remain with a student's 2019-20 school affiliation.

The catalyst for the spotlight on education is coronavirus. We read sensational headlines, conflicting reports and note different interpretations from the same data. We are frustrated, confused, and dealing with uncertainty when we need to be planning. Districts are asking parents to return commitment forms.
Read your options from the original source. Make lists of questions. Listen to your children. Put it on paper: 1) the ideal choice(s) for your family, 2) a compromise you could accept and 3) the line you will not cross.

If you find you cannot make a decision right now, get outdoors, immerse yourself in nature, involve the children in the arts --music, art, dance, theater-- or water sports. Enjoy the summer!
It's zucchini time!

Slice your surplus zucchini on your mandolin for lengthwise or round (makes even thickness) cuts. Dip them in a tempora batter (egg, flour & half and half, garlic or not, and any spices you like). Fry in your favorite oil (as little as possible). 

Serve with fresh herbs and lemon.

Bon apetit, Parmalee

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Welcome to Violin4Kids !

Fun, affordable Violin and Viola lessons from a world travelled musician, David Laurence Zimbalist. Over 20 years of teaching experience specializing in young beginners ranging to adults. Stress not only on playing but also on Music Theory and Music History as an integral part of lessons.

I aspire to the gentle, patient teaching style of my childhood teacher, Olga Bloom, founder of Bargemusic in Brooklyn. Lessons taught either on the internet or in outdoor, distanced settings. violin4kids.com
Welcome to Little Trends Boutique !

We are two sisters-in-law who love shopping for our littles and wanted to create a site where anyone can shop for littles and support women-owned and small businesses while doing so.

Now is the perfect time to restock on your favorite small shop items, shop for a gift, or buy and support local! We are making room for more inventory! Small businesses do not always restock, so make sure to grab what you want before its gone! Thank you for shopping small and local! We are so grateful that you have stopped by! littletrendsboutique.com
Family Events
Monterey Bay Aquarium Opening Delayed Due to the latest public health order for Monterey County, we are closed. We don’t have a new reopening date yet, but you can sign up for our emails or follow us on social for the latest updates.
All the Farmers Markets!
Just picked, fresh from the farms to you, and often musical entertainment and special, delectable eats for foodies! Details
Writing Homeschooling Goals
July 23 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
We'll talk about how to break down yearly goals into weekly and daily plans.
With veteran Homeschooler, Heddi Craft. Details
Want to live from fear or values? July 14 @ 2:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Bi-weekly teaching on FB Live 2pm Tuesday and Thursday in July. 3rd monthly series after Thought Traps and Emotional Well-being. Details
Triple P 8-week Virtual Group: for families with children 2 – 12 years old - July 16 @ 3pm - 4:30 pm Details
Magical Moonshine Theatre presents The Three Little Pigs
July 18 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Magical Moonshine Theatre presents The Three Little Pigs Three pigs set out to seek their fortunes with a bit of house building. Things don't go as planned in this creative retelling of the traditional story; houses collapse, pigs and wolves play together and audience members help the story along with lots of live music... Details
Magical Moonshine Theatre Presents Puppylocks and the Three Bears July 18 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm - WHAT IF? What if the Three Bears were really Teddy Bears! And What if Goldilocks was not a little girl at all, but a golden, mischievous little dog? That is exactly the case is this very funny retelling of the traditional fairytale.... Details
Lego Building Challenge
July 15 - Join our 8 week summer Lego Building Challenge. Details
Rockin’ Pop-Up with the Geology Gents July 15 @ 3:00 pm - Join the Geology Gents, Gavin and Graham, for weekly conversations about rocks live on Facebook. Details
Join us at The Art Factory for our 12th year of extraordinary art camp! Due to Covid-19, we are running a virtual program this year. Camps are 1 week long and meet for 2 hours per day. Nature journaling art starts next week! Details
Barrel Full of Monkeys Circus Show - July 16 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm - Hilarious and inspiring family entertainment, Slim and Squeaky's show is the perfect cocktail of thrills and skills that will delight audiences of all ages. Details
Minecraft Club at the Discovery Learning Center July 13 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm - The DLC Minecraft Club is a club where we play and build things together in Minecraft, online. Details
More Library Summer Entertainment Our librarians have been busy lining up entertainers for us. Sign up now to reserve your spot, and put it on your calendar. Details
Positive Discipline Community Resources (PDCR) Monday’s and Thursdays 3-4:30pm, Rotating topics for all ages and parents. Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties welcome to join FREE! Details
Tales to Tails goes virtual!
Wednesdays, 10-11am, How will this work? Join us!
Redwood Forest Steam Train, Roaring Camp, Daily 11 am, 12:30pm, 2pm, masks required. Travel over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain as conductors narrate the history of Roaring Camp , the railroad and the forest. Opening June 26 Details
Join SCPL for a weekly Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Fridays, 1-4pm, Details
New Moms Support Group, Wednesdays @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm , Ask questions about your newborn, share your joys and challenges while sheltering in place, and a Mindfulness Meditation exercise at the end to start the afternoon off right! Details
Wacky Water Day – Kits To Go! July 16 & 17 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Pick up your Wacky Water “fun-day” kit for your family and take home or to your favorite park or beach to celebrate “Wacky Water Day - Details
Summer Camps for the children!
Many are open and following safe practices.

Schools have been preparing reopening plans. Here are a few for your consideration. If your school or district is not mentioned, call them!

Gateway  Reopening Plans
Good Shepherd School   Reopening Plans
Mount Madonna   Reopening Plans
Springhill   Reopening Plans
Kirby School Update coming July 24

Santa Cruz County Education  Current Information as of July 15
Pacific  Reopening Plan

For those families wanting or needing to homeschool, visit our Calendar for several homeschooling workshops about choices available.
Why Outdoor Learning?
Mount Madonna School prepares for a fall 2020 return to campus 
There is something magical about learning outdoors , and Mount Madonna School’s (MMS) 375 acres of land includes groves of coastal redwoods and live oaks, mountain meadows, chaparral, and ponds.

The ecological tapestry of biomes, rich with diverse life forms, provides an unmatched outdoor laboratory for our educators to engage students in a broad variety of learning experiences and opportunities, from the art of crafting stories to scientific inquiry and experimentation.

Immersing students in nature and outdoor learning develops the whole student. Outdoor learning fuels the mind and ignites all of the senses. Through exploration and discovery, students naturally problem solve and build confidence. The sights, sounds, and evidence of life stimulates curiosity and creativity in students, and these firsthand experiences strengthen students’ connections and their sense of responsibility to be good stewards of Earth.
Meaningful educational experiences encourage students to solve complex problems, think critically about nuanced problems, and communicate ideas effectively. Many of us read Shakespeare’s Hamlet sitting in rows in a classroom. Now, imagine reading Hamlet in a shady redwood grove surrounded by the sights and sounds of the outdoors. This type of learning experience captures the imagination of students, encourages discussions geared to critical analysis of the text, and facilitates the creative expression of ideas.
MMS is investing in quality education to strengthen the mind, body, and hearts of our students. While many schools are grappling with space limitations, our school community is blessed by small class sizes and generous outdoor acreage. We have dedicated indoor classrooms for each grade, and currently, we are designing and building seven additional outdoor classrooms as well as an outdoor amphitheater . Educators and students will have choice and flexibility in where they learn. Like indoor classrooms, our outdoor classrooms will be furnished and equipped with shade structures, whiteboards, Wi-Fi technology and data projectors.
We are living in a historic moment in time, and Mount Madonna is committed to making a return to in-person, five-days per week school as safe as possible for students, faculty and staff.

Likewise, we are determined to ensure that students thrive in our program, work daily on practicing mindfulness, and develop grit and resiliency.
What Does Outdoor Learning Look Like? Find out >>>>
Support for Parents
School openings across globe suggest ways to keep coronavirus at bay, despite outbreaks
July 7, 2020
Science's COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center.
Early this spring, school gates around the world slammed shut. By early April, an astonishing 1.5 billion young people were staying home as part of broader shutdowns to protect people from the novel coronavirus. Read this article > > >

Are American Schools Creating a ‘Stupefied’ Generation?

In recent months, it has been reported that studying and performing Shakespeare has dramatic effects on the academic performance of young students. In fact, one school in Australia found their exam scores increased more than 40 percentage points after Shakespeare lessons were incorporated into the curriculum.

Because of these dramatic effects, I took notice of a recent article written by high school English teacher Sean Davenport. In the article, Davenport tells how he began requiring his 10th grade students to memorize and recite passages of Shakespeare. The kids balked at it, but struggled ahead.

One day a fellow teacher overheard the Shakespeare recitation efforts of Davenport’s class and the following exchange ensured:

“[T]he teacher stopped and said, ‘Mr. Davenport, you made your kids learn that speech?’

I said, ‘Yeah. Why?’

And he said, ‘I think that’s too hard for them.’

He walked out of the room, and the young lady looked at me and said, ‘What’s he trying to say? Is he trying to say I can’t do this?’ Continue >>>