Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - December 2, 2005

In this Issue:

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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 Middle School ‘Resurrection of the Trooper’ Ceremony
Local artist to dedicate art work in the name of deceased Garrison teacher Ann Weatherill

Garrison Middle School is planning an all school assembly Friday, December 9, from 9 to 9:45 a.m. to honor local artist Jeffrey Hill for donating his Garrison Trooper artwork to the school. This massive art piece of a Garrison Trooper riding his horse will be mounted near the school’s entrance as a memorial to former teacher Ann Weatherill who died tragically in 2004 from a bicycling accident.

The assembly will also be opportunity for Hill to pay tribute to former Garrison Art Teacher Dale Steindorf for being his inspirational role model as a student and lifelong mentor. Hill designed and created the original Trooper when he was in Steindorf’s art class as a student at Garrison Middle School and has now restored it to better than new condition.

Hill will also present a painting of his Garrison Trooper art piece to Weatherill’s husband Charles Potts. At the conclusion of the assembly students will gather to view the art work as they return to class.

Event date: Friday, December 9
Event time: 9:00 to 9:45 a.m.
Event description: All School Assembly

Superintendent Rich Carter meets with area early childhood educators
This week Superintendent Rich Carter met with Melinda Brennan, Walla Walla Community College Early Childhood & Educational Support Coordinator and several area early childhood program educators to discuss ways to coordinate efforts and maximize resources in our valley. As a result of this meeting, a forum is being planned for later this winter to bring district educators and early childhood agency support professionals together.

The group hopes to enhance relationships, improve communication and have a better understanding of what all entities are doing to support learning to maximize resources and services. More details on this forum will be coming soon.

Thanks to “The Kids’ Place” Director Kathy Hiatt-McConnell for inviting Superintendent Rich Carter and Communications Director Mark Higgins to the meeting.

Retired educators announce grant recipients
Two Walla Walla School District employees recently became the recipients of the Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association autumn mini-grants of $100 each.

The winners were:
Barbara Doherty, Garrison Middle School special education teacher, has plans to purchase replacement copies of popular Accelerated Reader books written at the levels of her IEP students. The wear and tear on these popular books has depleted her Accelerated Reader library.

Nancy Withycombe, Edison Elementary principal, will use the mini-grant money to buy books, assemble materials, make tapes, and to publish student stories written by Edison second grade students. All of these will be included in a gift bag to be given to parents of newborns at St. Mary and Walla Walla General Hospitals in order to foster literacy at the beginning of each newborn’s life.

A second chance for active members of the Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association to win two or more $100.00 mini-grants will occur in February 2006 by filling out a mini-grant application which will be sent to them in January 2006.

Special thanks to Mini-Grants Chair Joyce Oakley for her efforts organizing this program.

Walla Walla High School music students earn All-State Honors
Under the direction of Walla Walla High School Band Director Andrew Ueckert and Choral Director Norb Rossi, eight Wa-Hi students have been selected to participate in the Washington Music Educators All-State bands and choirs.

The All-State Conference will be held in February over Presidents Day weekend in Yakima. During the conference, there will be rehearsals of the All-State Treble Choir, Symphonic Choir, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band. Students selected to participate in these groups must pass a rigorous audition.

Students from Wa-Hi who were selected for this honor include:
Samantha Anderson …..Concert Band, flute
Jeremy Ueckert ………..Wind Ensemble, percussion
Alexander Bernstein….. Pianist in the Jazz Band

Rachel Bagley…………soprano 2 in the Treble Choir
Sydney Gabbard……… soprano 1 in the Symphonic Choir
Oksana German………. Alto 1 in the Symphonic Choir
Sharon Rowley……….. Alto 1 in the Treble Choir
Annelise Spencer………Alto 2 in the Symphonic Choir

“Mr. Ueckert and Mr. Rossi are very proud of these students,” District Music Director Glen Mitchell said. “They will be excellent representatives of our school and community at the Washington All-State Music Educators’ Conference in February.”

Superintendent’s Coffee Hour at Green Park to be rescheduled
This month’s Superintendent's Coffee Hour at Green Park Elementary -- originally scheduled for Friday, Dec. 9 -- will be rescheduled at a date to be determined. Scheduling conflicts prompted the cancellation.

Wa-Hi staff and students plan for inaugural Leadership Camp
Last week, 14 students and six teachers attended the Mead High School Fall Leadership Camp in order to be trained as counselors for the first WA-Hi Leadership Camp - Dec. 9-11. The Wa-Hi Leadership Camp will be held at Meadow Wood Springs on Tollgate. Cost is $60 per student.

Camp is open to all Wa-Hi students. Students will learn about themselves, how to communicate, work in teams, and make life long friends.

Our goal for this camp is to help students break down barriers, make lasting relationships, and to help make WA-Hi a smaller community. For more information, contact Lori Finn @ 526-8650 or Kirk Jameson @ 526-8636.

Wa-Hi Technology students repair donated computers to give to students in need
Students in Wa-Hi’s Computer Technology program are seeking private donations for Pentium class III or IV computers to fix up and give to students who do not have computers. If you have any that you would like to donate please contact Computer Technology teacher Dennis DeBroeck at 526-8686.

“If you have an old operating system, there is a need for them also,” DeBroeck said. “These must be personal donations and not district computers. Some have even donated new parts which are always helpful and appreciated. Thank you for anything you can do. Please, no computers older that Pentium III. We don’t need printers or old monitors at this time.”

Suggestions for additional equipment needed:
• Newer 17" monitors
• Newer Keyboards
• Newer Mice
• Windows 98 SE
• Windows ME
• Windows XP Home
• Windows XP Pro
• Microsoft Office
• CD Burners or Drives (48X or newer)
• Hard Drives >10 gigs
(Reminder: These must be personal donations and not school equipment)

Whitman College student visits with Wa-Hi students on her experiences on the Island of Madagascar
Eva Kersey, a Whitman College Senior, presented to Michelle Higgins’ 3rd Period class of Juniors on Wednesday, November 30. She spoke about her study abroad experience on the island of Madagascar during the Spring of 2005.

She gave them a brief history of this island nation, which is slightly smaller than the state of Texas. It is the third largest island in the world after Greenland. She shared pictures of the unique wildlife on the island, including lemurs, spiders, chameleons and civets.

She also showed students pictures of her host family and spoke about the culture. Interesting details included eating approximately one pound of rice per day—a staple in the diet of the people of Madagascar, and experiencing the variety of climate changes in Madagascar.

District conducts second Community Forum to discuss 25-Year Facilities Improvement Plan
Tuesday night the district held its second of two community forums scheduled to gain input on the district’s conceptual 25 Year Facilities Improvement Plan. 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 replacement of 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
- Wa-Hi PTA President Vicky McClellan for providing refreshments
- Wa-Hi’s Administrative Team for hosting the event
- Wa-Hi Latino Club for providing child care. Wa-Hi Spanish Teacher and Latino Club Advisor Jesse Briones and Social Studies teacher Michelle Higgins supervised the child care activity.
- District Hispanic Liaison Salvador Hernandez for providing translation services.
- Wa-Hi chemistry/math teacher Bill Calhoun for providing technical support for the electronic survey.

Science educators participate in Wa-Hi Science WASL Institute by Wa-Hi Science Chair Rob Ahrens

“Walla Walla Public Schools has made major gains on the Science WASL as compared to other schools around the state. Today (Thursday, Dec. 1 at the Wa-Hi Science WASL Institute) we are continuing our focus on improvement as detailed below:
- Sharing WASL results with secondary teachers (approximately 25 educators from Wa-Hi, Pioneer, Garrison and Paine)
- Developing powerful classroom assessments
- Teachers took a “best practices” classroom assessment
- Analyzed their results
- Scored “anchor” papers
- Learned to develop their own classroom assessments based on proven effective learning strategies
- Teachers were asked to complete two powerful assessment before the upcoming Science WASL
- Teachers also analyzed released item data and looked for relative strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum.

Wa-Hi Instructional Coach Anne Swant also helped lead the Science WASL Institute.”

Winter weather is here! School Closure Announcements
During winter months, parents and community members are encouraged to visit the district website (www.wwps.org) for up-to-the-minute information regarding school closures or delays. Also tune to local radio and television stations for school closure updates.

Assume school will operate on time if you have not heard about a delay or closure by 6:30 a.m. Messages posted on the district website and calls to local media outlets from the school district are ONLY made if there are delays or closures.

How do I get school closure information?
• Online - www.wwps.org
• Tune to local radio stations
• Check local TV reports

2005 Holiday Concert Series (remaining concerts on schedule)

Dec. 4 - Community “Feast of Carols” (Green Park / Sharpstein, Wa-Hi Concert Choir and Chamber Singers) / 7:00 PM, Cordiner Hall

Dec. 8 - Pioneer Holiday Concert #2 / 7:00 PM, Wa-Hi Auditorium
7th & 8th gr. Orchestra, 7th gr. Band & Choir, Boys’ Choir, P3, Jazz Band

Dec. 8 - Sharpstein 5th Grade Choir Tour to Odd Fellows & Wheatland Village / AM

Dec. 9 - Green Park pre-school-2nd grade Holiday program / 10:30 AM

Dec. 9-10 - Wa-Hi Choral Groups travel to the Portland Grotto

Dec. 12 - Prospect Point Holiday program (grades K-2) 12:30 PM / (grades) 3-5 / 1:30 PM

Dec. 12 - Pioneer Holiday Concert #3 / 7:00 PM, Wa-Hi Auditorium
8th Grade Band & Choir, Boys’ Choir, P3 & Jazz Band

Dec. 13 - Prospect Point Holiday program (grades K-2) 9:15 AM / (grades 3-5) / 10:15 AM

Dec. 13 - Green Park Holiday program (grades 3-5) / 1:30 PM

Dec. 13 - Garrison Holiday Concert / 7:00 PM, Garrison Gym

Dec. 13 - Edison Holiday program (grades 1-3) / 7:00 PM (grades 4-5) / 7:40 PM Wa-Hi Aud.

Dec. 13 - Prospect Point Choir Tour Odd Fellows, Garrison Creek Lodge
(11 AM & 12:30 PM, Park Plaza, 1 PM)

Dec. 14 - Wa-Hi Holiday Concert #1 / 7:00 PM, Wa-Hi Auditorium (Adults $2, Students $1, Families $5)
(Chansons, String Orchestra, Cantabile, Symphonic Band, Treble Ensemble)

Dec. 15 - Garrison 7th-8th Choir Tour (Odd Fellows, Garrison Creek and Wheatland Village)

Dec. 15 - Sharpstein Holiday program (grades 1, 2 and 3) / 1:00 PM

Dec. 15 - Edison Kindergarten Program / 7:00 PM

Dec. 15 - Berney Holiday programs (grades K-2) / 12:30 PM / (grades 3-5) / 1:45 PM

Dec. 15 - Wa-Hi Holiday Concert #2 / 7:00 PM / Wa-Hi Auditorium (Adults $2, Students $1, Families $5)
(Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Singers, Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Jazz Band)

Dec. 16 - Sharpstein Holiday program (grades K, 4 and 5) / 1:00 PM

Dec. 16 - Blue Ridge Elementary School Holiday program (grades K-2) / 12:30 PM

Dec. 16 - Blue Ridge Elementary School Holiday program (grades 3-5) / 1:15 PM