Synergy Times

History Project: Columbus Trail

This trimester, our history project was the Columbus Trial. We put Christopher Columbus as well as the other groups and people involved on trial. Our history teacher, Dominic Alteri, was the judge. He split us into table groups of five people, with a mix of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders and each student played an important role.
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A Renovation Story

How do you squeeze more space out of a small school? Very delicately.  That’s what Synergy’s Buildings and Grounds Task Force discovered three years ago when it started looking into maximizing the learning spaces in a 120 year old building. It has been nearly 25 years since Synergy bought and first renovated 1387 Valencia Street, and we have grown so much since then!
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Eighth Grade Service Learning

In February, Synergy’s eighth-grade class traveled to Puerto Rico for a week of service-learning with Global Works. This class trip was our first class trip out of California since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Our trip was an experience that we will never forget. As a class, we looked forward to our 8th grade trip for years, and it exceeded all of our expectations.
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Covid – Detecting Dogs Visit Synergy School

Synergy School students and staff had the exciting opportunity in February to participate in research that may benefit schools all around the state of California.  On February 14th and 28th, medical alert dogs Scarlett and Rizzo, their handlers from Early Alert Canines, and researchers from the California Department of Public Health visited Synergy School as part of a pre-pilot project to investigate if medical detection dogs trained to detect the scent of COVID-19 infections can be used to effectively screen students in a school setting.
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Social Emotional Learning Across the Grades

In a recent morning meeting, students in 8th grade took part in a simple activity. The prompt was to explain the work the adults in their family do—in the home, in the community, or at a paid job. Students were a little reluctant to jump in (it was 8.50 am), so I told them about my grandfather who worked as a milkman, a bus driver, and a bartender. As kids began to share, we learned about family members working in hospitals, businesses, and the arts—about journalists, therapists, teachers. We learned about community organizers and lawyers, caretakers, and homemakers. By the end of our twenty-minute conversation, the room felt a little different. Despite the masks, we could all see each other a little more clearly.
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Storyteller Diane Ferlatte Visits Synergy

Lively tunes and rhythmic clapping and tapping set the tone as students settled in for a morning of stories from award-winning storyteller Diane Ferlatte on Thursday, Sept 15. As students found seats, Ferlatte used gesture, eye contact and expression to connect — inviting everyone to join in her movements and presence. Accompanied by musician Erik Pearson on banjo and guitar, Ferlatte shared stories in the African and African American traditions.
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Diwali Traditions

Diwali is a festival of lights celebrated around the world by the South Asian diaspora. It is a religious holiday for Hindu,Jain, Sikh, and Buddhist people, and Diwali festivities can include anyone who wants to join in. This year I asked my maternal grandparents what they did to celebrate Diwali in Kolkata, which is a large city in the eastern part of India.
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