Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 3, 2006

In this Issue:

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School board meeting scheduled
Tuesday, February 7
Regular Meeting - 7:30 p.m.
Location: 364 S. Park St.
Meetings are open to the public
Union-Bulletin prints corrections on bond articles
This week the Walla Walla Union Bulletin published a three-day series looking at the major work anticipated at three schools if the proposed bond issue passes. The newspaper published the following corrections due to errors in fact in some of the stories.

CORRECTION: (January 31 issue):
There were errors in Sunday’s Union-Bulletin stories about the Walla Walla School District’s bond issue that need to be corrected. The district has presented seven bond proposals over the last 22 years, not 12 years. It has presented one bond issue over the last 12 years. The election date is May 16, and bond issues require a 60 percent supermajority for approval, not a two-thirds vote. It was the new, larger gym that was built in 1991, not the small gym. The small gym was built in 1963. Science teacher Anne Swant’s first name was misspelled.

CORRECTION (February 1 issue):
Because of a reporting error, a story about Paine Campus on Page A1 of Monday’s Union-Bulletin incorrectly reported that a Facilities Task Force Committee recommended the district invest $500,000 in roof repairs and electrical, heating and ventilation upgrades. The committee recommended Paine be remodeled or replaced.

Citizens for Schools Meeting
Bond Organizational Meeting
- Wednesday, Feb. 8
- Noon to 1 p.m.
- District Board Room

Open to all (staff may only attend as part of their non-work, lunch break)
*Lunch paid for by Citizens for Schools (Jim Hayner, Chair)





Kindergarten students at Prospect Point excel through all day program
This week Prospect Point Principal Rick Nebeker reported 80 percent (60 students) of the kindergarten students (in the English speaking classrooms) scored at the benchmark or grade level standard.

Seventeen percent, or 13 students, scored at the Strategic level and are expected to reach the benchmark level with some extra intervention according to Nebeker. Prospect Point has 2 percent, or 2 students, scoring at the intensive standard. These 2 students will receive continued extra interventions.

“These are the best scores we have seen and believe the full day kindergarten and excellent teachers are the reason we have seen this increase,” Nebeker said.

(NOTE: Kindergarten students in the bilingual classrooms are still testing and results are not available at this time.)

Graduate of Distinction nominations now accepted
Nominations are open for the 2006 Graduates of Distinction Program. All nominations and recommendation forms must be received in the district Curriculum Department by April 15, 2006.

The Walla Walla Public Schools’ Graduates of Distinction program provides an avenue for recognizing high school graduates of Walla Walla Public Schools who have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers, and to honor the Walla Walla Public Schools’ staff members who were the most inspirational in the lives of those individuals.

To be eligible for nomination, an individual must have graduated from high school in the Walla Walla Public Schools at least 10 years prior to nomination. Nominations will be held for five years, and will automatically be included in the selection process during that time.

Call Kay Schisler at 526-6735 for more information.

BIG NINE/GSL - 2006 REGION IV Wrestling Tournament comes to Wa-Hi
In an event Wa-Hi Athletic Director Don Wilkins says only comes to Walla Walla about every 10 years, top wrestlers from the Big Nine and Greater Spokane League will converge on the Wa-Hi campus next week for the 2006 Region IV Wrestling Tournament.

It will involve the eleven Big Nine schools and nine from the GSL. There will be approximately 140 athletes competing, plus coaches, team staff, cheerleaders, officials and tournament staff in attendance.

Date: Friday, February 10, and Saturday, February 11

Site: Walla Walla High School
800 Abbott Road

Friday, February 10
• Session I - 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm (4 mats)

Saturday, February 11
• Session II - 10:00 am (4 mats) - [Semi-finals and consolations]
• Session III - 1:00 pm (4 mats) [Consolations semi-finals]
• Consolation Finals - 2:00 pm (4 mats)
• Finals - 3:30 pm (1 mat) **Finals are scheduled to begin at approximately 3:30 pm and will be wrestled on one mat with introductions prior to the start of competition.

All Day Tickets
• Adults: $7
• Students w/ASB: $5
• Senior Citizens (62+) and children age 5 - 12 student prices
• Children under 5 free

All Tournament Passes
• Adults $13
• Students with ASB cards: $10
• Senior Citizens (62+) and children age 5 - 12 student prices
• Children under 5 free

Early Learning and Kindergarten Readiness Forum scheduled
(Walla Walla Public Schools and Walla Walla Community College joint venture)

When: Wednesday, February 22 - 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Where: Walla Walla Community College Conference Center, Room 185

Who will participate: Kindergarten teachers, Early Childhood educators and Walla Walla Public Schools Administrators

Why meet:
• To build a connection between early childhood programming and Kindergarten Readiness
• To create an opportunity for Kindergarten teachers and Early Childhood educators to have round-table discussions about early learning.

• Linda Boggs will address Kindergarten readiness (standards for kindergarten)
• Early Childhood Educators Picture PowerPoint Presentation
• Kindergarten Picture PowerPoint Presentation
• Round-table discussions between Kindergarten teachers and Early Childhood Teachers

Sharpstein principal named regional Distinguished Principal
Congratulations to Sharpstein Principal Laure Quaresma for being selected by her colleagues as a Washington State Regional Distinguished Principal.

Quaresma was selected based on her contributions to professional growth and development, educational excellence, community relations, and humanitarian activities. Quaresma has helped the school’s dual language program grow and flourish, developed a healthy minds and healthy bodies exercise program for staff and students, and helped Sharpstein gain national recognition for student achievement improvements from using the Waterford software learning program.

“Being honored by peers validates the work that we do towards learning improvement for all children,” Quaresma said. “Asking staff to examine instructional practice and work together to make positive changes is challenging. The Distinguished Principal honor really goes to the Sharpstein staff for stepping out there and making me look good in the process. It should be called the Distinguished Staff Award.”

February Staff Spotlight Employee - Genie Lyn Huntemann
• Job title: Edison 5th grade teacher / WA-Hi Girls soccer coach

• Years in District: Seven

• Birth place: Anchorage, AK

• Education: West Anchorage High School, Whitman College B.A., Vermont College M.F.A in Writing for Children

• Favorite Food: Cheese!

• Favorite Movie: Stealing Home

• Favorite Band: Velvet Underground

• Favorite Book: A Prayer For Owen Meany

• What do you love about your job: Laughing

• Hobbies: Pottery, running, soccer, tennis, cooking and eating, traveling, gardening, reading

• Most Memorable Experience: Graduating last summer in Vermont with a group of 20 amazing writers and people

Something we don’t know about you: I was a prom queen (in an orange dress none the less)

Bond ‘Tidbits’ of the Week...

If the Transportation Department moves to the Wa-Hi CTE building site, will it add to the traffic flow problem the school currently faces?

School bus schedules allow for our buses to be on routes long before school starts and return after classes are in session. The same schedule is repeated in the afternoon. Buses are gone before school gets out and they return after the campus clears.
NOTE: The Wa-Hi proposal also calls for separate parent pick-up and drop-off areas and bus service zones. Parents would use Abbott Road while buses would use Reser Road.

Did you know...
When the aging and outdated blower/fan system kicks on in the Paine gym it is so loud it is difficult to have a conversation with someone who is standing right next to you.

Did you know...
The conceptual plan for the new and improved Edison Elementary on the May 16 bond proposal calls for the addition of a science “living lab” off of Mill Creek. The lab is designed to help bring science to life for Edison students. Science becomes a state Certificate of Academic Achievement requirement via the WASL in 2010.

Did you know...
“Nearly 100 students auditioned or signed on for crew for the Spring Musical Beauty and the Beast. Drama classes at Wa-Hi are overloaded with interested students, and between class work and co-curricular shows, there are approximately 300 kids engaged in the theater arts in a given year.

“This is at a school where its facility lacks even modest dressing rooms for the actors. We dress in the choir and band rooms (which smell like socks for two weeks after a show) and when the choir is rehearsing we have to dress on stage behind the curtains.”
Brian Senter, Wa-Hi Drama teacher & Director

NOTE: The proposed bond plan for the improved Wa-Hi calls for a Drama “Blackbox” with a capacity of up to 300 for drama productions. This space may also be used as a lecture hall. New drama spaces will include dressing rooms and storage areas.

Did you know...
All schools stand to benefit from the proposed May 16 bond issue.
The following additional dollars would be available to enhance:

- Yearly facility improvements: $750,000

- Technology: $1,650,000

- Safety: $550,000

Bond information online: www.wwps.org

Green Park teachers go above and beyond to make new family feel welcome
This week Green Park Principal Mike Lambert reported during the district’s weekly Administrative Council meeting that teachers Jean Tobin and Missy Johnson deserve recognition for their efforts to welcome a new family to Green Park.

This family, with twin fourth grade girls, recently moved to Walla Walla and reside in the Green Park attendance area. Tobin and Johnson volunteered during the winter break to take them on a tour of the school.

They even introduced them to other children who happened to be playing on the playground so they would know someone at the school once classes resumed after the break.

The mother later called Lambert and praised the teachers for this special welcome and said it made their transition to Walla Walla easier. Kudos to Jean Tobin and Missy Johnson for their extra efforts and big hearts.

Gobel reports to Exchange Club on how the school is personalizing the high school experience
This week Wa-Hi Assistant Principal Mira Gobel reported to Exchange Club members on Wa-Hi’s Blue Print for Tomorrow project. Blueprint for Tomorrow is a graduation requirement for Walla Walla High School students that is designed to help them obtain the most from their high school experience as well as better prepare them for success after graduation.

Gobel said the Blueprint for Tomorrow project includes five portfolios (student work, academic history, career, citizenship, and personal portfolio) and a culminating oral presentation which will occur during the student’s senior year. Each portfolio targets specific Exit Outcomes and State Learning Goals.

Gobel also explained how each Wa-Hi student will be assigned to an advisory class. The class advisor will work with students for all four years of their high school experience to help students understand and meet graduation requirements. She said this strategy is designed to help personalize the high school experience and help all students succeed.