Give peace a chance, at school.
The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center will hold its "Creating a Peaceful School Conference" Feb. 1, and teachers can sign up now to attend.
In its third year, the conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Seven Hills School in Walnut Creek. The keynote speaker will be Victor Rios, an associate professor of sociology from UC Santa Barbara, who is a motivational speaker and author of "Poverty, Gangs and a Ph.D" and "Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys." Rios has been featured on PBS and participated in a TED (nonprofit Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talk.
The conference will also include topics such as fostering safety, teaching compassion through mindfulness, discussions on race and teaching acceptance through art and music. Those set to present include Laura Delehunt, a Contra Costa County deputy district attorney; Berkeley High School Gay Student Alliance Supervisor Deborah Godner; and Holly Fulton with The Tracing Center on "Histories and Legacies of Slavery."
Registration is $45, which includes morning refreshments and a catered lunch.
The Walnut Creek School District will offer a Transitional Kindergarten program for students during the 2014-2015 school year. Children with a birth date of Sept. 2 through Dec. 2, 2009 are eligible to enroll in this program. For transitional kindergarten registration information contact the district office at 925-944-6850.
Parkmead Active Learning School (PALS), a public alternative elementary school program of the Walnut Creek School District, is seeking new families.
Families interested in learning more about PALS can come to an informational meeting from 7 to 9 p.m., Jan. 9 and from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 14.
The PALS program focuses on teachers and parents working together to foster children's innate desire to learn.
"A multi-age classroom format fosters the sharing of ideas and skills, and promotes the development of respectful social relationships," according to a program flier. "Each child is encouraged to learn at his or her own pace in a supportive environment that invites exploration and experimentation."
An informational meeting must be attended before applying to PALS. Applications will be distributed only at the conclusion of the meetings. The informational meetings will be held in the multipurpose room at Parkmead School, located at 1920 Magnolia Way in Walnut Creek. Meetings last about two hours. Both parents are encouraged to attend, but please do not bring children. PALS is tuition-free, and Walnut Creek School District residents do have enrollment priority.
Applications will be accepted by mail postmarked beginning Jan. 21. The deadline for postmarked mail when applying is Jan. 31. In the event there are more applications than openings, admission will be determined by lottery.
For more information e-mail Kevin Wong or Loraine Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org