Walla Walla Public Schools

Week in Review - September 23, 2005

District kicks off Patron Tour program
The district launched its Patron Tour program this week with tours to Sharpstein Elementary and Pioneer Middle School. The goal of the program is to improve two-way communication and encourage a better understanding of the district’s mission, programs, needs, and accomplishments.
Special thanks to the following for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate:

Patron Tour Participants
- Ruth Triebwasser: Children’s Home Society
- Norrie Gregoire: WW Juvenile Justice Center
- Jim Dumont: City of WW Parks and Recreation
- Jim Eyring: Community Bank
- Sean Mountain: Opp & Seibold Construction
- Devan Schwartz: Whitman College
- Teresa Larson: Baker Boyer Bank
- Rev. Doug Barram: Community Faith Leader

Next month participants will tour Edison Elementary and Walla Walla High School -- Thursday, Oct. 20. Contact Communications Director Mark Higgins at 526-6716 or mhiggins@wwps.org if you are interested in participating.

Wa-Hi Varsity Football on KTEL 1490 AM (Wa-Hi vs. Eastmont @ East Wenatchee)
Tune to KTEL 1490 AM for tonight’s Big Nine varsity football match-up -- Wa-Hi vs. Eastmont. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. (away game). Go Big Blue!

Symposium Reunion
District to deliver progress report to Strategic Plan ‘think-group’

Wednesday, September 28
Whitman College - Reid Center
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Last fall more than 100 community members, staff, parents, students and business leaders gathered on the campus of Whitman College to help define what Walla Walla expects of its public schools and what graduates will need to be successful in the 21st Century.

Many of the ideas and concepts shared during the two-day Symposium were used to develop the district’s recently adopted Strategic Plan (http://www.wwps.org/leadership/strategic_plan.htm).
This group and other community leaders will convene September 28 for a progress report from the district.
“This will provide an opportunity to help validate their work and demonstrate how it is being used to improve student achievement,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “We are united as a community to get better.”

National Food Service Employees Week - September 19-23
Superintendent Rich Carter and school board members celebrated the week by acknowledging and thanking Food Service staff during Tuesday’s school board meeting for helping get students ready to learn and their key role in education.

District hires bond counsel to prepare for potential school bond issue
This week school board members hired Koegen-Edwards as the district’s Bond Counsel. Business Manager Aron Rausch explained how bond issues are required to have a legal opionion for tax exempt status and SEC requirements before being authorized to be sold or rated. Roy Koegen has served in this capacity with Walla Walla Public Schools for more than 20 years.

Qwest authorized easement for service hub
In a “good neighbor” gesture, school board members this week approved a 25 year easement -- subject to designated provisos -- for Qwest to place a fiber optics hub at Berney Elementary. The area on the corner of the property will not impact Berney operations and will be built to district safety and appearance specifications.

Personnel Report - Tuesday, September 20
• New Hires
(Certificated) - NONE TO REPORT

(Classified) - Denise Fraire, Bilingual Para-Ed, HeadStart/ECEAP - Blue Ridge
Julie Maib, Para-Educator, Pioneer

• Resignations/Retirements
(Classified) - Alicia Garza, Bilingual Assistant Secretary, Wa-Hi, 1.5 years
Roger Hicks, Bus Driver, Transportation, 2 years

Battelle scientists honor Pioneer’s Herr
Pioneer Middle School Language Arts teacher Cheryl Herr learned first hand hard work pays off. For Herr, it came in the form of a $2,500 check from Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory following a successful educational partnership with one of the nation’s science leaders.

Jeff Estes of Battelle paid tribute to Herr last night for her efforts launching an earth science project at Pioneer Middle School with 6th grade students. The task featured a risk analysis project students completed in conjunction with Scientists from Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Students documented historical flood data, calculated slope figures, studied stream flows, and charted topography during this Earth Science exercise. Estes said Herr demonstrated professionalism and courage for taking a risk with this project.

Herr helped the project grow from involving just her students in its first year to expanding in its second year to include all Pioneer 6th graders. Students also created logos, designed posters and organized a public open house to support the project.
This project was made available through the district’s Leadership Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) partnership with Battelle. The LASER program enhances the district’s science offerings by providing additional funding sources, science materials, professional expertise and avenues for community involvement.

Wa-Hi’s Calhoun tests school board members’ math skills with automated response system
School board members and those in the audience at Tuesday night’s school board meeting had no idea they would have to wipe the dust off their math skills, but that’s what happened as Wa-Hi Math teacher William Calhoun demonstrated how he is using technology to support learning.

Using the automated response system, Calhoun asked school board members and those in the audience to answer math questions to demonstrate how the system helps provide students with instant feedback on their learning.

Using a remote similar to one for a television, users are able to key in their responses and instantly see if they have the correct answer. Calhoun said students are asking to be tested just so they can use the technology. There are currently 8 to 10 systems in the district. They were paid for with grant dollars.

District Health Services Deparment sends out letter to parents about meningococcal
Below is a copy of the letter that went out this week (NOTE: some schools will send the letter out next week or in the near future)

As of July 24, 2005, schools are required to provide meningococcal information beginning with sixth grade entry to students and parents in our community.

Meningococcal disease, commonly known as meningococcal meningitis, strikes up to 3,000 adolescents and adults in the U.S. each year. Adolescents and young adults have an increased rate of contracting meningococcal disease compared to the general population, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all U.S. cases annually. According to one study, as many as one out of every four adolescents infected with the disease may die. Of those who survive, up to 20 percent suffer long-term disabilities, including brain damage, hearing loss, kidney disease and limb amputations.

The Department of Health wants you to be aware of meningococcal meningitis and the availability of a vaccine to protect against the disease. Vaccination can help protect against up to 83 percent of the meningococcal disease cases occurring among adolescents and young adults. Vaccination is not required for school attendance.

We encourage you to learn more about meningococcal meningitis and prevention and speak to your child’s physician about immunization. In addition, we urge you to speak to your children about good hygiene and not sharing personal items that may help transmit the disease.

There is additional information available on the following web sites:

• Washington State Department of Health Immunization Program:
Meningococcal disease information: http://www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/Immunize/meningococcal.htm

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Meningococcal vaccine information: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/vis/vis-mening.pdf
Disease Information: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/meningococcal_g.htm
Fact sheets: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vaccine/mening/mening_fs.pdf

• Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center

• National Meningitis Association

Hurricane Katrina fund-raising update
Elementary schools (Edison, Berney, Sharpstein, Blue Ridge, Green Park and Prospect Point) have raised more than $4,000 for the American Red Cross through their “Coins for Katrina” fund raising campaign. Pioneer Middle School has already raised more than $2,000. Reports from other schools are not available at this time. Fund-raising campaigns will continue through October.

Wa-Hi choirs plan car wash
Wa-Hi choirs will be holding a Car Wash Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the NAPA parking lot on Isaacs (formerly “Penguin Plumbing.”). Please come and support our singers. They are earning money that will go into scholarships for students to buy outfits, pay trip expenses, and other music activities. Thanks for your continued support for our music students.

Local, Regional, National Media

Bellingham Herald
Opinion: District wisely blends good nutrition, good will

Longview Daily News
Woodland schools continue to rake in 'yes' votes

New York Times (free registration required)
Katrina's children find new schools, and fears

Dallas Morning Tribune
Study faults high-stakes testing