Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 18, 2005

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Thanksgiving Holiday Break Schedule
Next week the district will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. All students will be dismissed early on Wednesday -- no late start for middle and high schools that day -- and there is no school Thursday and Friday.

Early dismissal schedules vary slightly from school to school. School hours are listed on the district web site under “Schools/School Listings.” Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday break.

District celebrates American Education Week: November 13-19
During this week’s American Education Week community members took time to thank and recognize educators for their commitment to student learning and for building positive relationships with youth and their families.

With an American Education Week theme of “A Strong America Starts with Great Public Schools,” Walla Walla Public Schools also wanted to raise awareness about the critical need to provide every child with a quality public education.

Thursday the district sponsored its 4th Annual American Education Week Celebration event. The event is closely aligned with Goal 2 of the district’s Strategic Plan and brings in numerous community members to each school to gain a better understanding of the district’s mission, successes, challenges, and needs. Numerous community members went back to school to learn how the schools are working to improve student achievement, tour facilities, interact with students and have school lunch. Thanks so much to all our special guests!

American Education Week Event Guests (this list represents those who signed up to participate. Some, for various reasons, were not able to participate despite signing up. Sorry if we accidentally missed someone. We are so thankful for this tremendous support.)

Linda Thorson
Jeanne Beirne
Arlene Powers
Susan Eggers

Shawna Larsen
Karen Wolf
Jim McCarthy
Joe Mendoza
Brenda Kirk
Kevin Young
Connie Trotter

Andrew Holt
Steve Woolley
Sandy Heimbigner
Terri Coffell
Carolyn Keyes

Teri Barker
Barbara Blood
Shoan Prutsman

Roz Duthie

Dorothy Coffenberry
Neal Swift
Michelle Conner

Christopher Bess
Josh Gonzales
Susan Anfinson
Andy Goss
Alberto Rosales
Lourdes (Lulu) Rosales
Alma Solis

Jerry Cummins
Mike Dedman
Merilyn & Charles Clizer
Toby Gabel
Pat & Karen Carmen
Squire Broel
Rob Rothstrom
Annie Capestany

Robert Aycock
Vi Scott
Roger Bairstow
Mike Hanford
Sue Logsdon
Linda Newcomb
LaRae Martin
Mark Beck

Lori Reid
Cathy Guizar
Holly Howard
Jill Richardson
Jovanna Friends
James Payne
Jeff Hill
Connie Webb

Richard Pankl
Kathy Covey
Corey Hobbs
Mary Kay Anderson
Mary Lou Jenkins
Brenda Saenz
Wave Massey
Neil Wallace
Gretchen Hormel Tompkins

District conducts first Community Forum to discuss 25-Year Facilities Improvement Plan

Last night the district held the first of two community forums scheduled this month to gain input on the district’s conceptual 25 Year Facilities Improvement Plan. Nearly 60 community members were in attendance. Superintendent Rich Carter provided an overview of the plan which proposes taking a long-range approach to meeting district facilities needs.

He talked in depth about potential projects for the first phase which include Edison Elementary, Paine Alternative, Support Services and Walla Walla High School. The proposed plan also allots additional dollars for maintenance at all schools to extend their useful life, technology replacements and upgrades at all schools, and safety and security enhancements at all schools. The plan is based on a flat-rate, consistent taxation concept throughout the 25 year span.

Special thanks to the following for all their support to make this event a success
- Edison PTA President Laura Schueller and Treasurer Albert Schueller for providing refreshments (including cookies which many said ‘were the best.’ Laura also helped provide child care. Edison PTA members also made numerous telephone calls to remind parents and community members to attend.
- Pioneer PTA President Dana Jones for helping provide child care.
- Wa-Hi Social Studies teacher and Crest Club Advisor Michelle Higgins and Crest Club members Lindsay Cole and Ambra Barker for helping provide child care.
- Pat Morrison for helping provide child care.
- District Hispanic Liaison Salvador Hernandez for providing translation services.
- Wa-Hi chemistry/math teacher Bill Calhoun for providing technical support for the electronic survey.
- Edison Custodian Pete Hernandez for setting up the gym.
- Edison Principal Nancy Withycombe for welcoming everyone to her school.

Next Community Forum
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

Prospect Point PTA showcases Reflections Projects
Monday approximately 150 parents, students and family members attended the Reflections 2005 Arts Exhibition and Celebration for Prospect Point Elementary School at Walla Walla Community College.

This event was an opportunity to celebrate Prospect Point students’ creativity. The event featured 134 entries on display from 96 students. Special thanks to PTA Reflections Chair Cheryl Heller for all her hard work organizing the event.

Wa-Hi Crest Club sponsors Breast Cancer Walk
Thursday Wa-Hi Crest Club students held their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in the large gym during periods 2 through 7. Hundreds of student and staff participated in the walk to raise money for local breast cancer support.

Final tallies for this year are not available yet, but last year students and staff walked more than 3,000 miles. Students also created a Memorial Wall to honor breast cancer victims. Crest Club is a senior girls honor club. Social Studies teachers Michelle Higgins and Jillian Huber are the club advisors.

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
• Registration Fee: $10

(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

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.
Final weekend for Wa-Hi Drama Department’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’
Final Show dates: November 18, 19
Curtain times: 7 p.m. for tonight’s show and 2 p.m. for the Saturday matinee)
Location: Wa-Hi Auditorium
Tickets: Students & Senior Citizens - $6 / Adults - $8
Box office is open one hour prior to curtain
Director: Brian Senter / Assistant Director: Carina Stillman

Wa-Hi students get response from former Wa-Hi student who is serving in the Middle East
Walla Walla High School students in Scott Reardon’s Business Education class -- who last month composed personal/business letters to former Wa-Hi student Randy Shingledecker who is leading a platoon of special forces in Kuwait --recently received a response back.

Letters will also be sent to other members of the unit. The project was an in-class assignment for Reardon’s four Computer Applications classes. The following is a link to the page highlighting his response. [http://resources.wwps.org/wwhs/sreardon/images/index.html ]

FFA begins holiday wreath sales
Wa-Hi FFA is beginning its holiday Wreath sales campaign. Wreaths are $16 each. Order forms will be distributed to staff next week. Community members interested in purchasing a wreath should contact Advisors Mike Martin or Arch McHie at 527-3020.
Sharpstein staff to present on Waterford computer learning program at National Conference

Sharpstein Elementary and its staff will be recognized at a Waterford National Conference in March. Principal Laure Quaresma and Title I Manager Kerri Coffman submitted an application for a Best Practice award. Although Sharpstein was not the ultimate recipient of the grant, Quaresma received a letter back from the Waterford team inviting them to tell the Sharpstein story at their Executive Forum.

Excerpt from the Waterford letter...
“I was told last week that your application was not selected as one of the Best Practice winners for the “Best Practice” conference. I requested a copy and looked at the data. You have a fantastic story to tell. The information was very specific and you showed how you applied Best Practices with your Title 1 and Special Education Population.

“When the team reviewed the information in your application they were very impressed with the amount of time students spent on the program and significant gains. We also discussed how you used the DIBELS as a measurement tool to assess student achievement. It is obviously not just the Waterford Program (Note: a computer program to enhance academic skills) that has made an impact on student achievement for your school, but also your strong leadership and commitment to the students. I hope that you continue making progress with your implementation of Waterford and that you can always be assured that we will support you in your implementation.

“As a result of the review of your application, Jason Dance and Janine Collins have requested that I invite you as one of our Waterford Panel Experts at an upcoming Executive Forum. They request that you share your implementation of Waterford with the other participants who will include administrators from the Mountain West District and the Pacific Region. They request that you speak on Thursday, March 16th for about 45 minutes. The general agenda will include other panel speakers from school districts from the Western Region of the United States, round table discussions, a site visit and presentations by Dr. Lynell Burmark. The general strategy of the agenda includes great success stories, high level PDL experts, discussion of key education issues and engaging product presentations. Dr. Lynell Burmark, renowned ASCD author is our keynote speaker. For more information on Dr. Burmark visit her site http://www.tcpd.org/Burmark/Burmark.html.

“Please accept our invitation to participate in the Executive Forum as panel guests. Your plane, hotel and evening activities are paid for. By the way, you will be receiving a banner that I am having made for your school as a token of my appreciation for your commitment and hard work with Waterford. You are an exemplary school in the Pacific Northwest and we want to recognize you!”

Congratulations to the Sharpstein staff and students for all their hard work and good luck during this special presentation!

Staff report students at core of Pioneer’s new schedule
With a focus on meeting the needs of all students, Pioneer Middle School created a new schedule this year with an emphasis on enhancing student learning time, improving school climate and decreasing student discipline issues.

Pioneer Middle School Principal Dana Jones, Assistant Principal Jon Abbott, Literacy Trainer Richelle Palmer, Language Arts/Social Studies teacher Cheryl Herr and Language Arts/Social Studies teacher Shannon DeBeaumont reported to school board members Tuesday night that despite a “rocky start” the new schedule is making a positive impact at Pioneer.

“I’ve seen every type of schedule,” Herr said referring to her 15 years of experience. “This is the one that makes sense.”

All students have a formal, 17 minute advisory period four times a week at the end of the school day. Students have flexible meet times daily with different length periods for different classes based on their academic needs. The schedule also allows all 7th and 8th grade music students daily instruction and all students exposure to a variety of elective classes. According to the report, the schedule also enhances relationships since students have longer blocks of time with teachers. Students will also keep their same advisory teacher throughout their three year experience.

School board meeting dates set
The following schedule for school board meetings was adopted at last night’s meeting (all meetings start at 7:30 p.m.)
• Tuesday, January 17
• Tuesday, February 7
• Tuesday, February 21
• Tuesday, March 7
• Tuesday, March 21
• Tuesday, April 18
• Tuesday, May 2
• Tuesday, May 16
• Tuesday, June 6
• Tuesday, June 20
Wa-Hi FFA marketing team makes “pitch” to board
Wa-Hi’s FFA program once again had a tremendous showing at the recent FFA National Convention in Louisville, KY. Students from the national title winning Marketing Team talked about their experiences to school board members at Tuesday night’s meeting and showcased their award winning marketing presentation and plan.

The marketing plan featured “Walsh’s of Walla Walla Certified Organic Sausages.” The students worked with local entrepreneur Kelly Walsh, who sells his sausages at several local events, to develop a marketing plan to help transition his hobby into a full time business career.

Students studied industry trends, buyer profiles, competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and those of Walsh’s product. This comprehensive plan required students to conduct extensive field surveys throughout Walla Walla, meet with local grocery owners and managers and use their math skills to project potential sales. Students also learned about advertising, public relations and direct sales promotions.

Thanks to advisors Mike Martin and Arch McHie for all their work preparing the students for competition.

FFA National Competition Recap
Congratulations to these outstanding students!

Marketing - 1st Place and winners of a $1,000 scholarship (each)
• 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

Personnel Report (from Tuesday, Nov. 15 school board meeting)

• New Hires
(Certificated) - Keith Michels, Social Studies Teacher, Wa-Hi

(Classified) - NONE TO REPORT

• Resignations/Retirements
(Classified) Lee White, Bus Driver, Transportation, 6 years