Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 24, 2006

In this Issue:

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Sunday building open houses & tours - Bond 2006
Here is a great opportunity to learn more about the May 16th bond issue at the Bond Open House and Tour day across the district Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Edison Elementary, Paine High School, Wa-Hi and the Support Services building will be open during this time to get a first hand look at why these facilities need help.

Bond 2006 - 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)

Bond Thought of the Week - Time is Money
Each year the district waits to improve facilities, construction costs increase an estimated 10 percent and our dollar buys us less.

Why is the time right to build?
• Interest rates are low

• Construction costs only rise in the future

• Economic development: Walla Walla stands to get millions of new dollars to the community to support our local economy

Election Date: May 16 (bond information online: www.wwps.org)

District sets Open Enrollment and Kindergarten registration dates
Walla Walla Public Schools Open Enrollment and Kindergarten Registration period is Monday, March 20, to Friday, March 31, 2006. Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up open enrollment application forms at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning March 13; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, March 20. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school.

If there’s space available to accommodate some but not all open enrollment requests, then the priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policies are on the district website (www.wwps.org) and manuals are available at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office.

Open Enrollment/Kindergarten Registration Hours
Monday, March 20 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
March 21 – March 31 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street.

Wa-Hi student-athletes excel at state
Congratulations to Wa-Hi Wrestler Jacob Butenhoff for finishing 6th in state at 160 lbs. This is one of the toughest divisions in high school wrestling. Butenhoff took first place at the Region Tournament at Wa-Hi two weeks ago.

Also, congratulations to Wa-Hi swimmer Carl Jones for finishing 1st and 2nd in state in the 200 and 500. His times also qualified him as an All-American in both events.

Wa-Hi student advances to state FBLA competition
Congratulations to Tyler Ferraro for advancing to state in the FBLA competition. Check out http://wwhs.wwps.org for a picture of Tyler Ferraro and his awards.

Tyler won several technology awards and will now take his skills to the state level.

Edison Elementary School fifth graders “Going to College” at Whitman
Whitman College will welcome Edison Elementary School fifth graders to campus today as part of an effort to encourage students from diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds to attend college.

The students will study career choices, explore college options and learn about financial aid before they become Whitman students for a day. “I’m Going to College Day” will begin at 8:30 a.m. Students will attend classes in persuasive writing, chemistry and astronomy taught by professors Bob Withycombe, Allison Calhoun and Andrea Dobson.

The children will eat lunch on campus and hear from Tony Cabasco, dean of admission and financial aid, on the topic of “Show Me the Money,” before returning to Edison in the afternoon. The Northwest Education Loan Association (NELA) works with colleges around the region to sponsor these visitation days in order to introduce college preparation strategies and financial aid programs to students while they are still in grade school.

“Early planning for college increases the options available to students when the time comes that they actually apply for admission,” said Varga Fox, director of financial aid services at Whitman. “We want fifth graders from every socioeconomic and ethnic background to know that an education at Whitman is a very real and affordable possibility.”

“Every child deserves the chance to go to college,” said Karen deVilla, executive director of NELA. “By sponsoring this program, we help children and their parents understand that financial aid programs can make college affordable. The sooner families begin planning and preparing, the better chance they have of making higher education a reality.”

While it is common knowledge that college graduates have higher average incomes and more career options than their peers who don’t attend, this program educates children about the possibilities of obtaining financial aid as well as the advantage of a college education.

Headquartered in Seattle, NELA is a not-for-profit company that assists students and parents in planning for college and understanding financial aid. Through its administration of the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and its guarantee of student loans against default, NELA has helped more than 811,000 students pursue higher education. More information is available at www.nela.net and at www.centerforstudentsuccess.org.

Graduates 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.

2005 Graduates of Distinction
• Dr. George Cole Williams Jr. - Class of 1947
• Gerwyn A. Jones - Class of 1928
• Michael Maiden - Class of 1968

Personnel Report (from 2/21/06 school board meeting)
• New Hires -
(Classified) Angie Escoto, Bilingual Para-Educator, Blue Ridge
Jose Godinez, Bilingual Para-Educator, Garrison

• Resignations/Retirements
(Certificated) Oscar Graybill, Director of Teaching & Learning, Admin. Office, 2 years
• (Oscar resigns the position of Director of Teaching and Learning -- effective June 30)

(Classified) Suzanne Sams, Para-Educator, Edison Elementary, 19 years

• Leave of Absences
(Classified) Susan Pearson, Kindergarten Home Visitor, Berney Elementary, 15 years
• (remainder of the 2005-2006 school year)

Legislative Conference overview
Last week Superintendent Rich Carter and School Board Legislative Representative Anne Golden traveled to Olympia to meet with area elected officials to discuss school related legislation.

They met with Senator Mike Hewitt, and Representatives Bill Grant and Maureen Walsh to discuss this year’s “Hot Topics” information for legislators. They asked for support of Governor Gregoire’s funding request for K-12 education -- specifically for the $38.5 million to help students who have been unsuccessful in one or more subjects of the 10th grade Washington Assessment of Student Learning and $3.4 million for math reform. They also pushed for more assistance to curb escalating fuel and energy costs.

Carter also requested a comprehensive study of K-12 finance, support of legislation to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate WASL achievement through alternative assessment and simple majority for school elections.

School board considers supporting Richland School District WASL position
Tuesday night school board members reflected on the recent presentation from the Richland School district regarding more local control over WASL testing and the possibility of using alternative assessments for grades other than 4, 7 and 10.

Richland School District board members traveled to Walla Walla last month to share information on their district’s efforts to push legislation which would give them authority to use alternative assessments for grades 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9. Currently the state wants to add five WASL tests this spring in those grades.

The Richland School board feels state funding should be focused on teaching and learning, not assessment. The also believe the additional tests would be expensive, not provide useful data, and be difficult to administer.

During last month’s discussion, Richland School board members stressed they support state education standards, but question whether adding more tests is in the best interest of students.

Walla Walla board members said they support having more local control for using alternative assessments and said they would as individuals connect with elected officials to support this effort. Legislation is in session through the second week of March. Status of the Richland School District inspired legislation is still pending.

The Walla Walla Valley Education Association scholarship has $1,000 scholarships for students enrolling full time in a 2 year or four year university, college or community college in any field. Selection will be based on student motivation, leadership qualities, community involvement and scholarship. Applications for these scholarships are available at Paine Campus, Walla Walla High School of the Opportunity Program. The deadline for submission is April 10, 2006.

Walla Walla Valley Education Association scholarships
The Walla Walla Valley Education Association scholarship has $1,000 scholarships for students enrolling full time in a 2 year or four year university, college or community college in any field. Selection will be based on student motivation, leadership qualities, community involvement and scholarship.

Applications for these scholarships are available at Paine Campus, Walla Walla High School of the Opportunity Program. The deadline for submission is April 10, 2006.

Public School Employees of Washington scholarships
The Public School Employees of Washington is offering fifteen $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors or students currently enrolled in undergraduate studies at a university, college, community college, or trade or tech school.

The student needs to be planning on attending full time. They need to be IRS-dependent and have at least one parent or legal guardian who is a dues paying member in good standing of Public School Employees of Washington. Applications are available at WA-HI in the counseling office. The deadline for submission is March 15, 2006.

If you want more information you may call Jeanne Ruecker at WA-HI (526-8663) or email jruecker@wwps.org.

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.

Head Start staff honor volunteer “Grandpa Bob”
Head Start staff honored one of their favorite volunteers, Bob Cripe, Tuesday, as they celebrated his 89th birthday.

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 three and a half years!
Early Learning and Kindergarten Readiness Forum a success
(Walla Walla Public Schools and Walla Walla Community College joint venture)

Wednesday, kindergarten teachers, Early Childhood educators and Walla Walla Public Schools Administrators gathered on the campus of Walla Walla Community College to build a connection between early childhood programming and Kindergarten Readiness. The forum was an excellent opportunity for kindergarten teachers and Early Childhood educators to have round-table discussions about early learning.

This group hopes to build on the success of this forum and strengthen relationships, facilitate a successful transition from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten, and improve communications with families. Special thanks to WWCC Early Childhood Coordinator Melinda Brennan for all her help in organizing this event.

Wa-Hi Drama Department gears up for Spring Musical - Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
March 16, 17, 18, 23 and 24 (Curtain Time: 7 p.m.)
March 18, 25 (2 p.m. Matinee)
Location: Walla Walla High School Auditorium
Cost: Students/Seniors $6, Adults $8 * Reserved Seating
Tickets: Telephone reservations begin March 1. Call 526 – 8613 or visit the auditorium Box Office March 13 – 15 and 20 –22, 5 – 6 p.m. * Box Office opens one hour prior to Curtain

Director: Brian Senter
Assistant Director: Carina Stillman
Musical Director: Ronda Gabbard
Orchestra Director: Andrew Ueckert
Choreographer: Allison Collette

• Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice Book by Linda Woolverton