Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 4, 2005

In this Issue:

(Click on article
to read more)

Parent/Teacher conferences next week

Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs reported to school board members Tuesday night staff are working hard to prepare for next week’s Parent/Teacher conferences.

She said these are busy days for district teachers.
“Our teachers are anxious to share information with families,” Boggs said. “These are high stress times for teachers. It takes a tremendous amount of work and energy to be prepared.”

Fall Conference student schedule
• Early release (elementary only) - Friday, Nov. 4
• No school (all students) - November 9, 10 & 11 (Veterans Day)

Wa-Hi Latino Club to remind parents about conferences

Saturday members of the Wa-Hi Latino Club students will call 475 Hispanic parents to encourage them to attend conferences. The Latino Club has also volunteered to provide child care at the district’s Nov. 29 Facilities Community Forum. Thanks to club advisor Jesse Briones for working with these outstanding students.

Election Day
Please remember to vote Tuesday, November 8. If you vote by mail -- don’t forget to mail in your ballots.

School board votes to keep Big Nine all 4A

When Big Nine principals and athletic directors gather to vote later this month or in early December on whether to make the conference a combined 3A/4A league, they’ll get a clear message from the Walla Walla School board -- thanks, but no thanks.

School board members, per recommendation of Athletic Director Don Wilkins and Principal Brian Pendleton, voted unanimously Tuesday night to keep the Big Nine Conference an all 4A league.

The push to combine the league with both 3A and 4A schools came after the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association last April passed an amendment to change school classifications which are based on enrollment. The amendment attempts to create more equity by having schools with similar enrollment counts competing against each other.

Wilkins and Pendleton said a combined 3A/4A league would compromise the Big Nine conference and penalize the larger schools who would have to compete against lesser competition. Wilkins also said statements that a 3A/4A league would cut costs and travel time were inaccurate. The vote is expected in the coming weeks.

Alexander Bernstein presents a benefit concert on behalf of Hurricane Katrina victims

Walla Walla College Fine Arts Auditorium
7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 6, 2005
• Solo piano works by Bach, Haydn, Chopin, Copland, and Jazz selections.
• Donation of choice - 100% of proceeds to hurricane victims.

Early release for elementary students Friday

Today district elementary teachers will be finalizing report cards in preparation of next week’s conferences. Elementary students will be released early today to support this effort. Please see your school early release time for exact release times.

Wa-Hi Art Club Presents Kids’ Art Day for Grades K - 3

What: Draw, collage, and create a 2006 Calendar that gives thanks every month of the year!
When: Saturday, November 19, 2005
Time: 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
Where: The Commons at Walla Walla High School
• Pre-Registration Required by Thursday, Nov. 17th.
• Registration Fee: $10

Mail or bring to: Walla Walla High School, Attn: Art Club
800 Abbott Rd., Walla Walla, WA 99362
(Make check payable to Wa-Hi.)
Parents are welcome to stay with their children. Any questions? Call Julie Wallace at 527-3020 Ext. 4667 or email at jwallace@wwps.org

District lowers flags to honor Parks

Wednesday district flags were at half-staff per presidential proclamation in memory of civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

Fort Walla Walla Museum celebrates Green Park birthday

Fort Walla Walla Museum celebrates Green Park Elementary School’s 100th birthday with a special exhibit on the history of Green Park School. The exhibit features early pictures of the school and various highlights.

The Museum is remaining open through December 4 (closed on Thanksgiving Day) this fall which allows more time for people to see this exhibit as well as the rest of the Museum. Museum hours will change on November 1 to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free school tours continue to be available this fall.

Students shine during Fall Jazz Concert
This week was the annual Fall Jazz Concert featuring the Jazz Bands of Wa-Hi, Garrison and Pioneer. Students performed everything from swing classics like Duke Ellington’s “In A Mellow Tone” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts” to great ballads like “Over The Rainbow” and “It Might As Well Be Spring.” Numerous new composers were also featured as well covering lots of styles like rock, funk, hip hop and latin jazz.

Wa-Hi students named Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month

Yasmeen Colis and Gerard Duncan, Jr. of Walla Walla High School were named the Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month recipients for the month of October. These high school seniors were honored for outstanding achievement and represented their school at a special luncheon last month.

This year’s Youth of the Month/Year Essay Theme:
Youth and Exchange - “Today’s Youth—Building A Stronger America Through Community Service.” These students will also be eligible to compete for Youth of the Year Awards and special $1,000 college scholarships.

“Exchange Club of Walla Walla recognizes that the young people of our nation represent America’s greatest treasure,” Exchange Club President Mark Higgins said. “These students symbolize the outstanding educational opportunities available at Walla Walla High School.”

District plans American Education celebration - Thursday, November 17
Thursday, November 17
10 a.m. to 12 noon
• Visit the school of your choice (tour schools, visit classrooms, learn school improvement goals, meet students)
• We’ll even treat you to lunch!

Last year nearly 100 community members participated. Please contact Communications Director Mark Higgins at 526-6716 or by e-mail at: mhiggins@wwps.org if you know of people who are interested in participating.

Roberta Abraham music scholarships announced

The Walla Walla Public Schools Music Department gives scholarships annually in honor of Roberta Abraham, former district music supervisor. Each scholarship provides up to $160 to help worthy students take private music lessons.This year we are proud to present 10 students in Band, Choir and Orchestra at the middle and high schools with the Roberta Abraham Scholarship.

The recipients include:
Kally Rapp: Pioneer - Percussion
Andra Ely: Wa-Hi - Flute
Jordan Ely: Wa-Hi - Percussion
Natalie Norby: Wa-Hi - Flute
Jeremy Ueckert: Wa-Hi - Percussion
Morgan Filan: Wa-Hi - Soprano Voice
Tonya French: Wa-Hi - Soprano Voice
Stephanie Juergensen: Wa-Hi - Soprano Voice
Jonathan Barnes: Garrison - Violin
Spring Lonneker: Wa-Hi - Violin

District schedules Facilities Community Forums to discuss 25-Year Facilities Improvement Plan
Thursday, November 17
Edison Elementary School (1315 E. Alder)
6:15 p.m. (Social - treats)
6:30 p.m. (Program begins)
8:00 p.m. (Program ends - Reflection & treats)
***Child care will be provided (Wa-Hi teacher Michelle Higgins & Wa-Hi students)

Tuesday, November 29
Walla Walla High School Commons (800 Abbott Road)
6:15 p.m. (Social - treats)
6:30 p.m. (Program begins)
8:00 p.m. (Program ends - Reflection & treats)
***Child care will be provided by the Wa-Hi Latino Club (Jesse Briones advisor)

- Review district’s conceptual 25-Year Facilities Improvement Plan
- Discuss potential projects: Edison Elementary, Wa-Hi, Paine Campus, Support Services
- Offer feedback on district’s facilities needs; provide input on projects and strategies
- Q & A session with Architect John Evans and Superintendent Rich Carter

School board schedules special work session to discuss facilities

School board members have scheduled a special work session Tuesday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the district’s 25-Year Facilities Improvement Plan and possible bond resolution. Staff and community members are encouraged to attend.

Garrison Night School Conversational Spanish Class Scheduled
Garrison Night School, an adult education program in partnership with Walla Walla Community College and the Walla Walla Public Schools, is scheduled to begin registrations: Monday, Nov. 14 and Tuesday, Nov. 15. Classes begin Wednesday, Nov. 16 and end March 1.

The mission of Garrison Night School is to promote the education of Hispanic parents by connecting them to the school community, preparing them for a General Education Diploma and facilitating their enrollment in college, thus raising the educational level and standard of living of the family.

Classes are held at Garrison Middle School (906 Chase St.) in Walla Walla. Classes this year include General Education Diploma (GED) preparation and four levels of English as a Second Language (ESL). Traffic Safety is offered from 5 to 6 p.m. Spanish for native English speakers will be taught to beginners on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. A class for beginners who have higher skills will be taught from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

A $25 registration fee is required which covers all classes taken. Scholarships are available as is child care.

For additional information regarding the Garrison Night School, contact Program Coordinator Esteban Florian at (509) 527-3040 or by e-mail at eflorian@wwps.org.

Instructional Coaching Academy creates new learnings for district participants

Eight teachers presently serving as Instructional Coaches and 12 other teachers from throughout the district spent two days learning nine different roles an instructional coach can serve in successful schools. Nationally renowned author and consultant Joellen Killion from the National Staff Development Council opened the training by stating,

“There are three consistent characteristics of successful schools in the United States. They are common assessments, data driven decisions, and instructional coaches,” said Killion.

Killion and the National Staff Development Council return in early February for another two-day session with the same group of coaches and teachers.

Oscar Graybill, Director of Teaching and Learning, points out, “Research supports that the quality of student education depends tremendously on the quality of teaching. Whether our Instructional Coaches provide colleagues with resources, help them with collecting and analyzing student data, or assist them with designing instruction or curriculum, Instructional Coaches help improve student achievement.”

District teachers attend regional International Reading Association session

District educators Terri Gilbert (Sharpstein), Georgie Germain (Edison), Grace Ogoshi-Maher (Garrison), Karen Sinclair-Okerlund (Garrison), Linda Seibold (Sharpstein), Barbara Rutzer (Prospect Point) and Richelle Palmer (Pioneer) traveled to the Tri-Cities last Saturday to participate in WORD - International Reading Association.

Activities and programs give members a chance to learn and receive support, to network with other professionals, to socialize, and to participate in community literacy projects. “If reading has an important place in your classroom and life, WORD is for you,” said Palmer who presented at the session. “Well known educators are brought to our local organization each year to help us keep abreast of the latest in children’s literature.”

Wa-Drama Department Presents - The Importance of Being Earnest

Show dates: November 10,11,12,17 & 18
Curtain times: 7 p.m. (except Saturday, Nov. 18 show - 2 p.m. matinee)
Location: Wa-Hi Auditorium
Tickets: Students & Senior Citizens - $6 / Adults - $8
Box office now open for telephone reservations - 526-8613 or visit box office Nov. 7-9 & 14-16 from 5 to 6 p.m.
Box office also open one hour prior to curtain
Director: Brian Senter / Assistant Director: Carina Stillman

Wa-Hi FFA marketing team takes national title

Congratulations to the Wa-Hi Marketing Team for taking first place at the recent national competition in Louisville, KY. Wa-Hi’s Agricultural Issues team finished 5th while the Floral Team finished 12th. Thanks to advisors Mike Martin and Arch McHie for all their work preparing the students for competition. Alsos thanks to Wa-Hi staff members Linda Schaub and Kristina Duncan for their help fine tuning WA-HI students prior to the event.

Marketing - 1st Place and winners of a $1,000 scholarship
• Anna Forge
• Zach Harvey
• Sam Puller

Agriculture Issues - 5th Place Finish
• Andrea Bughi
• Ciera Christenson
• Anthony Cannone
• Cassi Hunter
• Ashely Mason
• Kael Puller
• Darling Walk

Floral Team - 12th Place Finish
• Breann Eggers - Top 25 contestant
• Sarah Keown
• Tovah Kingman
• Marissa Ruzicka

Superintendent Coffee Hour at Garrison, Friday, Nov. 4
Superintendent Rich Carter met with Garrison parents today for his monthly Coffee Hour visit. Dr. Carter started this program to enhance two-way communication and discuss school issues and programs.
Personnel Report (from November 1 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Certificated) - NONE TO REPORT

(Classified) - Armida Contreras, Bilingual Asst. Secretary, Wa-Hi

• Resignations/Retirements - NONE TO REPORT

• Leave of Absence
Mindy Meyer, English Teacher, Wa-Hi, 14 years
(Mindy is requesting a leave from her .6 FTE teaching position January 1 - June 30, 2006 to take advantage of the opportunity to be the Project Manager for CSTP’s New Teacher Retention project.)

• Out of State Travel - NONE TO REPORT