Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 10, 2006

In this Issue:

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YMCA gains option to purchase Support Services land if voters approve proposed bond measure
Sherwood Trust commits to matching funds for YMCA future expansion plans

Any plans for a future YMCA expansion on Park Street will hinge greatly on a newly formed partnership with the district.
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Tuesday night granted the YMCA first right of refusal on the Park Street property currently housing the district’s Support Services operations, should voters approve the proposed May 16 school bond.

“Our Walla Walla School District Board has developed a long-range facility strategy that will significantly improve the teaching environment of our local schools and address educational needs of the 21st Century,” Walla Walla YMCA Board of Directors said in a statement on the recent partnership.

The Sherwood Trust has pledged a matching grant on a future YMCA expansion project on the Park Street property currently owned by the school district. Plans for how the YMCA would develop the Park Street site have not been developed at this time.
“Approval of the bond will enable the School District to relocate its support services operations to the new high school campus,” said Ned Shafer, Walla Walla Family YMCA Executive Director. “Such a move would increase the prospect of the YMCA’s purchase of the two-acre parcel on Park Street for future expansion of its programs and activities. This concept has been supported by a matching grant from the Sherwood Trust that may be applied toward acquiring this land.”

District discusses bond proposal with City of Walla Walla Planning Commission
This week Superintendent Rich Carter, School Board President Mary Jo Geidl, Citizens for Schools Chair Jim Hayner, Business Manager Aron Rausch and Communications Director Mark Higgins went to City Hall to discuss the May 16 bond proposal with the City of Walla Walla Planning Commission.No action was taken during the 30 minute discussion.

Carter stressed the district’s facilities needs were well researched over a long period of time and that the bond would help the city’s economic development efforts by bringing in nearly $34 million in state matching funds to support the $88 million dollars in projects.

Hayner said the community stands to get nearly a dollar-for-dollar match on the projects, as local taypayers will foot $46 million of the $88 million in projects. The proposed bond cost is 99 cents per $1,000 or about $148.50 per year ($12 per month) on homes valued at $150,000. For more information visit: www.wwps.org.

Wa-Hi teacher reflects on why school needs improvement
“I am in a room that is 28’ 6” x 26’2” in which there are 36 desks, two teacher work stations, a filing cabinet, television and overhead.

“The room is so small that I can only set the desks in one configuration. I cannot arrange them for cooperative groups or separate them for testing.

“I can’t use half of my whiteboards because I have student desks in front of them. The room only has three outlets, so there are extension cords trailing around most corners.”

Chris Duncan
Wa-Hi English Teacher

School board approves two year calendar
School board members Tuesday night approved the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school year calendars. Calendar Committee chair Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs thanked WWVEA President Margaret Yount and PSE President Larry McCauley for their leadership throughout the process. She also thanked other members of the committee for their input.

Copies of the calendars are available at all district schools and the district office and will be posted on the district’s website soon. (www.wwps.org -- calendars area).

Bond 2006 • Building open houses & tours
The district will conduct five open house/tours at each of the four projects on the May 16 bond issue (Edison, Wa-Hi, Paine, and Support Services).

Open house/tour schedule:
Sunday, February 26 (1 to 3 p.m. -- each site)
Sunday, March 5 (1 to 3 p.m. -- each site)
Sunday, March 26 (1 to 3 p.m. -- each site)
Sunday, April 23 (1 to 3 p.m. -- each site)
Sunday, April 30 (1 to 3 p.m. -- each site)

Wa-Hi Leadership Camp changes lives
In what had to be one of the most emotionally moving school board meetings in some time, Wa-Hi students explained to school board members Tuesday night how last December’s inaugural Leadership Camp changed their lives for the better.

Students, one after the other, repeated a common message that the camp was their most memorable high school experience and changed their outlook on life and how they treat others.

Students, some moved to tears, said they have more friends now and a better understanding of how other students are feeling. More than 60 students and nine teachers attended the first Winter Leadership Camp at Meadow Wood Springs Camp on Tollgate.

Students played games, conducted skits, reflected on their lives and talked about what they wanted to do in the future. They said the camp experience helped break down stereotypes and prejudices.
Assistant Principal Kirk Jameson provided the leadership to bring the camp concept to Walla Walla after being involved in similar experiences as a teacher in the Mead School District in Spokane.He said students learn who they really are and about forgiveness and understanding.

“It’s the most powerful thing I’ve been involved with in my 14 years in education,” Science teacher Arthur Curry said.

Leadership teacher Lori Finn also helped organize the camp. The next camp is set for March.

Bond “Tidbits” of the Week

Did you know...
Approximately $5 million of the $11.4 million it took to construct Sharpstein Elementary stayed in Walla Walla via jobs, materials, services and special contracts to support the area’s economic development efforts. Research says a dollar changes hands in a community seven times.

The May 16 bond proposal would bring in millions of dollars to the community to support employment and business.

Did you know...
Wa-Hi has 10 portable classrooms.

Did you know…
“I try to reduce the winter cold around the windows by lining the window area with old student posters and projects.”
Marlene Castoldi, Paine Family/Home Life Teacher

Did you know...
“Gretchen Baker teaches a vocational employability class at Wa Hi. The only classroom free the period she teaches on campus was a room upstairs in the commons.

“We have students with disabilities who are not able to climb stairs and the building is not handicap accessible. Because of that, Wa Hi rents a classroom from the church across the street so our students with disabilities can attend class.”
Laura Droke, Special Education Supervisor

Did you know...
“When it comes time to do reading testing for report cards, our primary teachers (grades 1 & 2) have no quiet room to use.

“Usually I end up testing right outside my door where I have to work around the coming and going of others students. It’s not the best ‘test’ environment but all we can count on.

“In a new building, we’d love to have a small room big enough for a small group of maybe 5-7 children where we could do special activities. It could also be used for our report card testing that has to be done with one student at a time!”
Kit Chryst – Edison 1st Grade Teacher

Walla Walla Valley Education Association scholarships available
• The $1,000 Donna Manuel Scholarship is for seniors who plan to become teachers.

• The $1,000 Facing the Challenge Scholarship is for seniors who have succeeded in spite of challenges.

• The $1,000 WWVEA Scholarship which is for seniors who are children of current or retired Walla Walla or College Place school district employees.

Applications are available from the Wa-Hi counseling office, Paine Campus, or the Opportunity Program or call the WWVEA office at 525-7810.

Walla Walla Music Boosters sponsor Magic Show
The Music Boosters group is sponsoring Kevin Wolfe’s Magic and Hypnosis Show Feb. 24 and 25 at the Wa-Hi Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8.50 and all seating is general admission.
The proceeds will go to the Walla Walla Music Boosters and will be used to supplement the music budgets in our schools.

“This is going to be a wonderful show,” District Fine Arts Director Glen Mitchell said. “Families are encouraged to attend. Kevin Wolfe has a great reputation. He’s performed on stages throughout the country as well as numerous TV appearances.”

Tickets will be sold at the door and may be purchased at several ticket outlets. For more information please call 526-5469.

CASHE Conference helps Wa-Hi Latino students experience the college life
Wa-Hi students Michelle Enriquez, Veronica Marin, Jasmin Lopez, and Francisco Garcia reported to school board members Tuesday night on how their experiences at the CASHE (Children of Aztlan Sharing Higher Education) Conference are motivating them to do well in school.

Thirty-nine Wa-Hi students attended the conference at Washington State University to learn more about higher education opportunities. The experience is organized by college students to help Hispanic high school students get exposure to the college lifestyle. Students attended cultural workshops, leadership classes and learned how to apply for college and financial aid.

For Enriquez, the experience has motivated her to pursue a career in bilingual education. She said this conference helped give her the confidence and focus to pursue this career pathway.

Assistant Principal Brandon Jensen explained to school board members many of the students who attended the conference will be first generation college students. He said the college leaders who organized the conference had many of the same struggles Wa-Hi students are facing and relate well with our students.

Wa-Hi Intervention Specialist Javier Hernandez provided leadership in organizing this annual event and adult supervision at the conference.

High school seniors sought for National Youth Science Camp
Two high school seniors from Washington eligible for full scholarship
Washington high school seniors with a keen interest in science are encouraged to apply for the 2006 National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) being held this July in West Virginia. Two students will be chosen for the honor and receive a full scholarship to this once in a lifetime experience. Applications must be returned by February 17, 2006.

The two students selected will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with scientists and other professionals from the academic and corporate worlds. The three-week experience includes lectures and hands-on research projects presented by scientists from across the nation; overnight expeditions into the National Forest; and a visit to Washington, D.C. The selected delegates must not only demonstrate academic achievement in science, but also show potential for thoughtful scientific leadership.

The NYSC experience is offered at no cost to its participants. Contributions to the National Youth Science Foundation allow delegates to participate in this experience. Educational and recreational programming, as well as meals, lodging, and round-trip air passage on scheduled airlines are provided free of charge.

Delegates arrive in Charleston, West Virginia, on Sunday, June 25, and depart on Sunday, July 16, 2006. The science camp is held at Bartow in the eastern mountains of West Virginia, near the Monogahela National Forest.

Application forms are available on the NYSC Web site at www.nysc.org <http://www.nysc.org/> and must be received by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction on Friday, February 17, 2006. Mail directly to:

* Eric Wuersten, NYSC Washington Coordinator, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200

Wa-Hi music students advance to state
Last weekend more than 75 Wa-Hi music students performed at the Columbia Basin Music Educators’ Solo-Ensemble Contest at Garrison Middle School. Each entry performed before an adjudicator and received feedback on their performance along with a rating.

The following students distinguished themselves by winning their division. These winners will travel to Ellensburg to compete at the state Solo-Ensemble contest, April 28-29.

• Annelise Spencer: Soprano Voice
• Sharon Rowley: Mezzo Soprano Voice
• Lindsey Bruner: Mezzo Soprano Voice
• Jerromy Kerby: Baritone Voice
• Kevin Nims: Bass Voice
• Sara Heimbigner: Flute
• Samantha Anderson & Sara Heimbigner: Small Woodwind Ensemble
• Alexander Bernstein: Piano
• Jeremy Ueckert & Eric Wiessner: Small Percussion Ensemble
• Jeremy Ueckert: Snare Drum
• Tom Callister: Multiple Percussion

Alternates are chosen when the nominee cannot compete at state. The following students may have the opportunity to perform at State:
• Sydney Gabbard: Soprano voice 1st Alternate
• Kelsie Davisson: Mezzo Soprano, 1st Alternate
• Natosha Locken: Mezzo Soprano, 1st Alternate
• Jared Johnson: Tenor, 1st Alternate
• Joel Herbert: Tenor, 2nd Alternate
• Stephen Trego: Baritone, 2nd Alternate
• Robert Teal: Bass, 2nd Alternate
• Paxton Gehling: Bassoon, 1st Alternate
• Emily Crouter: Clarinet, 1st Alternate

Choir Director Norbert Rossi expressed gratitude to the many accompanists who made the performances possible. They include: Stephanie St. Clair, Kendra Cosee, Katie Bush, Melissa Craik, Joel Herbert, Emily Brown, Kirsten Rieke, Letitia Dahlin, Katherine Boettcher, Debra Reno, Keiloni Bruner. “The students all did a great job and should be proud of the progress they made,” he said.

Other participating music students include:

VOCAL: Haley Schneidmiller, Eva Reich, Alex Fowler, Tonya French, Oksana German, Malia Millgard-Lewis, Amanda Orcutt, Rachel Rieke, Robert Boettcher, Kait Schmidt, Katherine Dyer, Andi Bughi, Crystal Copeland, Rebecca McConnell, Brad Scott

BAND: Andra Ely, Chris Cresci, Jordan Ely, Marybel Garcia, Maren Rehberg, Gerard Duncan, Kristen Griffith, Natalie Norby

ORCHESTRA: Matt Johnson, Whittney Christianson, Christy Turner, Spring Lonneker, Sarah Jane Koll, Ellen Brigham, Jeff Ladderud, Paul Froese, Yasmeen Colis, Andrew Hall, Sydney Gabbard, Hannah Hamilton, Helen Reich, Kate Stone, Sandie Shields.

Plans set to honor longtime volunteer “Grandpa Bob”
Head Start staff will honor one of their favorite volunteers, Bob Cripe, Tuesday, February 28, as they celebrate his 89th birthday. Head Start students will surprise Grandpa Bob with a cake during the afternoon session.

Grandpa Bob’s personality is made up of many interests. In addition to volunteering in the pre-school program, he has a passion for gardening and life-long learning. His prize winning irises are one of many different types of flowers that he grows.

Staff constantly comment on his incredible memory. They also tell me that he keeps in touch with staff who have retired or moved on. He often shares those letters with our current staff members. Bob usually arrives with newspaper clippings, books, or flowers in hand -- items that he feels are of interest to staff.

Grandpa Bob has been volunteering in our program for over 12 years. This year Bob spends every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon with our children.

Following are some statistics on Grandpa Bob related to his volunteer hours:
02-03: 250 hours In-kind $3,557
03-04: 190 hours In-kind $2,682
04-05: 180 hours In-kind $2,556
05-06: 114 hours and climbing In-kind $1,638

That is a total of 10,433 in-kind hours over the past 3 and a half years!

District suffers minor damage from last week’s wind storm
Wind Storm Damage Report

• Walla Walla High School - Five large trees were blown down, two landed on the Music Building, but little damage to the roof. There were many roof shingles blown off the south side of the Library Building and the south side of the large gym. David Webber, Bill Heiser, and many Wa-Hi custodians pitched in with the clean-up of tree limbs and debris around the campus. Town & Country Tree Service was called in to remove the large trees. Roofing repairs have been made. There were also several panels on the new Green House that were blown off, but repairable. Power was out for most of Saturday morning.

• Prospect Point - Several large limbs were on the ground by the main driveway to the building, but they did not affect traffic.

• Garrison Middle School - OK

• Blue Ridge - OK

• Paine - There were several small limbs down on the 3rd Street side of the building.

• Sharpstein - There were some small branches down by the parking lot.

• Administration Office - There were several limbs down on the Park Street side of the building, near the street area.

• Green Park - There were small limbs down in the playground area.

• Edison - OK

• Berney - There were several small limbs in the parking lot area.

• Pioneer Middle School - There was some roof damage (shingles only) and limbs down in the back parking lot.

Students shine during Pioneer Academic Recognition Night
Last week Pioneer Middle School held its Academic Recognition Night. Pioneer staff honored 320 students in front of an overflowing gym. Fifty-five percent of Pioneer’s student body has a 3.0 G.P.A. or above.

Dr. Kari Tupper, wife of Whitman President George Bridges, was the event’s guest speaker. Tupper is a senior lecturer at the University of Washington and a lecturer at Whitman college.

Personnel Report (from 2/7/06 school board meeting)
• New Hires -
(Classified) Deborah Tolley, Food Service Assistant, Wa-Hi

• Resignations/Retirements
(Certificated) Alice Hollopeter, Speech Language Pathologist, Special Programs, 8 years
• (effective at the end of the 05-06 school year)

(Classified) Sara Avina-Garcia,Bilingual Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Elementary, 5 months
Kem Jones, Bus Driver, Transportation, 2 days
Lisa Pontarolo, Food Service Assistant, Berney Elementary, 5 months
Jenny Wood, Food Service Assistant, Blue Ridge Elementary, 5 months

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 14, 2006.

The Walla Walla Public Schools’ Graduates of Distinction program provides an avenue for recognizing local high school graduates who have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers, and to honor the district 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