'Sister-to-Sister Summit' at Orinda Intermediate School

To combat the "mean girls" spirit in some teenage girls, the American Association of University Women is sponsoring the 10th "Sister-to-Sister Summit" on March 7 at Orinda Intermediate School.

Middle school can be a difficult time for girls, with cliques, verbal and behavioral bullying, meanness and exclusion, experts say.

"At (the association) we believe that girls need to have a safe and non-judgmental place to express their doubts, hopes and fear," says Mary Holzheimer, a family therapist who has been volunteering with the group for six years. "We provide them with a place where they will hear they are not alone and can build or reinforce their friendships and support group."

It has been demonstrated that girls who are connected and who form deep friendships rooted in common positive experiences develop a stronger self-image and become more successful in all avenues of life, according to event sponsors.

The summit is managed by high school girls who have been trained over a six-month period by American Association of University Women mentors. The older girls learn to listen, empathize, direct group discussion and offer advice.

To register, go online to www.omlaauw.org

— Elisabeth Nardi

Highway Patrol to hold session for new drivers

The California Highway Patrol and Acalanes Parent Education present a class Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. designed to reduce the number of teenage injuries and deaths from car wrecks.

Parents and new drivers participate in the class together and learn about the dangers young drivers face, restrictions on drivers under 18, defensive driving and strategies for parents to reduce the likelihood their children will be in a car accident.

Space for the class, to be held at Acalanes High School, is limited. To sign up, visit www.acalanes.k12.ca.us/adulted/html/pehighschool.htm or send an e-mail to lgsendme@sbcglobal.net with "Drive Smart" in the subject line. The e-mail should include student and parent names and the child's high school's name.

— Paul Thissen

MEF awards mini-grants to teachers

The Moraga Education Foundation has given 11 grants totaling $17,295.50 to Camoplindo High School teachers for projects in the sciences, visual and performing arts, physical education, special education and social studies departments.

The money will be available for the next school year.

— Paul Thissen

Parent event on understanding boys

On Feb. 5, the Seven Hills School in Walnut Creek will host a lecture with guest speaker Dr. William Pollack on "Understanding and Interacting with Boys of All Ages."

An internationally recognized authority on boys and men, Pollack is founder and director of the "Real Boys" educational programs. He has served on the U.S. presidential initiative The National Campaign Against Youth Violence, and is a consultant to The United States Secret Service, including its collaborative Safe Schools Initiative with the U.S. Department of Education.

At the lecture, Pollack will give tips on how to guide boys successfully through the many challenges they face.

This is the third of four workshops in Seven Hills' Parent Education Series.

Admission is $15 per person, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Educators are admitted free of charge. To register or buy tickets online go to www.sevenhillsschool.org.

— Elisabeth Nardi

Parent event on kids' technology use

Social Worker Jason Brand will speak about parenting in a digital world and how to handle concerns about Internet and cell phone usage.

The free event will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School.

The session will include tips on social isolation, lack of physical activity, setting limits on cell phone and Internet use and cyberbullying.

Participants can register at the event or online at adulted.acalanes.k12.ca.us/onlinereg/. For more information, contact Vera Babor at vbabor@acalanes.k12.ca.us.

— Paul Thissen

Kindergarten registration to open

The Lafayette School District will enroll new kindergarteners in January and February. Parents should go to their local school at the following times:

  • Lafayette Elementary: Jan. 27 or 28 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2:30 p.m.

  • Burton Valley Elementary: Jan. 27 or 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m.

  • Happy Valley Elementary: Jan. 27 or 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m.

  • Springhill Elementary: Feb. 3 or Feb. 4 from 9 to 11 a.m.

    Parents must bring proof of residence, the child's birth certificate, emergency contact information and the child's immunization record.

    Proof of residence requires all of the following:

  • A passport, California drivers' license with vehicle registration, California ID or military ID.

  • A rental or lease agreement with the parent's and student's names, manager's or owner's name and phone number and written verification of current status, or a current renter's insurance policy; a current property tax bill or current homeowner's insurance policy; or an escrow document showing the closing date scheduled within 30 days of enrolling.

  • Current state or federal tax returns with W-2 or 1099 attached, current payroll/check stub with name and address, or current correspondence from a government agency.

    — Paul Thissen

    Open enrollment in Acalanes district

    Students in the Acalanes high school district who wish to transfer from the school of their residence to another within the district may apply until Feb. 27 to transfer.

    Acalanes, Campolindo and Miramonte high schools will accept transfers from within the district on a space-available basis.

    For more information visit www.acalanes.k12.ca.us.

    — Paul Thissen

    Orinda kindergarten registration open

    Orinda Union School District kindergarten registration for the 2009-2010 school year will begin in February.

    Parents registering children entering public school in August should attend registrations on Feb. 2 through Feb. 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at each of the four elementary schools.

    Registrants should have age, residency and immunization verification, as well as completed student information and health forms. A completed home language survey is also required for registration.

    Parents who need help in determining which school their child should attend can check the OUSD Web site at www.orindaschools.org., under "Attendance Area," or call the district office at 925-258-6214.

    — Aaron Morrison

    Rummage sale at Las Lomas

    The Las Lomas Rummage Sale is coming and organizers are trying to collect as much stuff as possible for the ninth annual school sale.

    From old televisions to computers, mismatched dishes to old furniture, Las Lomas wants it all. Collection of gently-used items will begin at Las Lomas after the winter break. If you have a large item of value that you can't store until January, contact Mary Jean Besecker at besecker4@aol.com. The rummage sale will be held March 14, with proceeds going to the school's Class of 2011.

    — Elisabeth Nardi

    To submit an item for School Notes, reach Paul Thissen at 925-943-8163 or pthissen@bayareanewsgroup.com.