Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 28, 2006

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May 16 Bond Ballots mail today
Ballots for the May 16 bond issue mail out Friday, April 28 and must be post marked by Tuesday, May 16 to be counted.

All district schools and students stand to benefit from the measure through additional technology, maintenance and safety funding. Edison, Paine, Wa-Hi and Support Services are in line to receive significant improvements.

See more on the Bond 2006 web link at www.wwps.org.

Bond Tours Sunday
Sunday, April 30
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
• Edison Elementary
• Paine Campus
• Walla Walla High School
• Support Services

This is your chance to tour facilities, ask questions and get accurate information on the May 16 bond issue. Ballots mail out Friday, April 28. For more information, contact Communications Director Mark Higgins at 526-6716.

Bond Information online: www.wwps.org

School board meeting Tuesday
Tuesday, May 2
7:30 p.m.
District Office (364 S. Park St.)
Open to public
Studies show quality schools impact student achievement

District of Columbia study
A study of the District of Columbia school system found, after controlling for other variables such as a student’s socioeconomic status, that students’ standardized achievement scores were lower in schools with poor building conditions. Students in school buildings in poor condition had achievement that was 6 percent below schools in fair condition and 11 percent below schools in excellent condition. (Building Conditions, Parental Involvement and Student Achievement in the D.C. Public School System, Maureen M. Edwards, Georgetown University, 1992)

Rural Virginia High Schools

Another study examined the relationship between building condition and student achievement in small, rural Virginia high schools. Student scores on achievement tests, adjusted for socioeconomic status, were found to be as much as 5 percentile points lower in buildings with lower quality ratings. Achievement also appeared to be more directly related to cosmetic factors than to structural ones. Poorer achievement was associated with specific building condition factors such as substandard science facilities, air conditioning, locker conditions, classroom furniture, more graffiti, and noisy external environments. (A Study of the Relationship Between School Building Condition and Student Achievement and Behavior, Carol Cash, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1993)

Large Urban Virginia High Schools
Similarly, a study of large, urban high schools in Virginia also found a relationship between building condition and student achievement. Indeed, the researcher found that student achievement was as much as 11 percentile points lower in substandard buildings as compared to above-standard buildings. (Building Condition and Student Achievement and Behavior, Eric Hines, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1996)

North Dakota High Schools study
A study of North Dakota high schools, a state selected in part because of its relatively homogeneous, rural population, also found a positive relationship between school condition (as measured by principals’ survey responses) and both student achievement and student behavior. (Review of Research on the Relationship Between School Buildings, Student Achievement and Student Behavior, Glen Earthman, Council of Educational Facility Planners, International, 1995)

Georgia Elementary Schools
A recent study of 24 elementary schools in Georgia attributed quality of school design to a 14.2 percent difference in third grade achievement scores and a 9.7 percent difference in fifth grade achievement scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. (Relationship of School Design to Academic Achievement of Elementary School Children, University of Georgia, 2000)

Heating and air conditioning links to learning
Heating and air conditioning systems appeared to be very important, along with special instructional facilities (such as science laboratories or equipment) and color and interior painting, in contributing to student achievement. Proper building maintenance was also found to be related to better attitudes and fewer disciplinary problems in one cited study. (“Facilities,” by Carroll McGuffey, in Improving Educational Standards and Productivity, edited by Herbert Walberg, 1982)

Air Quality impacts educational experience
Research indicates that the quality of air inside public school facilities may significantly affect students’ ability to concentrate. The evidence suggests that youth, especially those under age 10, are more vulnerable than adults to the types of contaminants (asbestos, radon, and formaldehyde) found in some school facilities (Environmentally Related Health Hazards in the Schools, James Andrews and Richard Neuroth, paper presented to Association of School Business Officials International, 1988).

University of Georgia study
A research summary prepared by the University of Georgia in 1999 indicates several studies show that adequate lighting and appropriate color choices play a significant role in the achievement of students, affecting their ability to interpret the written word and their attention span. (Summary by Elizabeth Jago and Ken Tanner, University of Georgia, April 1999, www.coe.uga.edu/sdpl/sdpl.html)

Washington DC and LA Unified Schools studies
In a study of the Washington, D.C. public schools, a committee of experts including engineers, architects, and maintenance staff rated buildings poor, fair, or excellent according to their overall physical condition. Raters evaluated roofs, ceilings and walls, heating and electrical systems, and bathroom facilities. The findings indicated that the physical state of a school was a predictor of student achievement.

Data suggested that as schools move from poor to fair, average achievement scores can be expected to increase by 5.46 points, while improvement from poor to excellent resulted in a 10.9 point increase (Berner, 1993). Likewise, a relationship was found between the degree to which schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District complied with health and safety regulations and student academic performance in these schools, as measured by California’s API indicator of student performance (Buckley, Schneider, & Shang, 2004).

Wa-Hi Crest Club plans annual blood drive
The Walla Walla Crest Club is planning its annual American Red Cross blood drive Thursday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Wa-Hi Small Gym.

“The girls have been working hard at planning the drive and collecting food donations for the canteen, and they’re hoping to recruit over 100 high school donors,” Wa-Hi Social Studies teacher and club advisor Jillian Huber said. “Each unit of blood can save up to three lives!”

All donated blood is given to the local American Red Cross office. Crest Club is an all senior girls club for students with 3.0 or higher G.P.A.s. For more information, contact Huber at 527-3020.

WWCC Theatre Department plans summer acting camp
Walla Walla Community College Theatre Department is offering its second annual Summer Acting Camp August 7 to 12 for students ages 14-19 August 7 to 12. Registration is open and on a first come, first served basis!

A limited number of registrants will be enrolled to keep class sizes small and provide a unique opportunity to work closely with theatre professionals and advanced acting students at WWCC according to to Department Director Paul Wickline.

The camp is a six day intensive exploration of acting through improvisation workshops based on the teachings of Viola Spolin, Paul Sills, and Keith Johnstone. Sessions begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.

Activities of the camp are designed to take actors through improvisation games, activities, and exercises to help them improve their acting skills. Students will have a chance to work on and perform a short skit for an audience at the end of the week.

Interested students may
e-mail Wickline at paul.wickline@wwcc.edu or call him at 509-527-4317.

Wa-Hi student accepted as Scholar for 2006 Youth Leadership Summit
Congratulations to Walla Walla High School sophomore Danielle Weber for being accepted as a Scholar for the 2006 Youth Leadership Summit during the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships Booz Allen Hamilton Annual Conference in Washington D.C. July 22-26.

The goal of the Youth Leadership Summit is to allow students to voice their opinions, concerns, and suggestions pertaining to education through a report to the NCCEP Conference attendees.

Only 30 high school students are selected to be attendees at the Youth Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. These scholars are chosen from GEAR UP programs throughout the United States and its territories.

“Scholars are selected based on their academic achievements, leadership roles, and letters of recommendation,” said Mike Gwinn, Washington State University Gear Up Coordinator at Wa-Hi. “WSU GEAR UP is extremely excited and proud of Dani for being one of only 30 students nation-wide chosen to participate in the Youth Leadership Summit.”

District music director named Music Educator of the Year
Congratulatons to District Music Director Glen Mitchell on being selected as the WMEA/WIAA Music Educator of the Year.

“Your many years of selfless dedication to music education in Walla Walla, the Columbia Basin Region and across our state deserve this recognition,”said Bruce Caldwell, Executive Manager of the Washington Music Educators Association. Thank you for your many years of outstanding work in music education. You have been a model and mentor for many and will be long remembered for your achievements.”

Mitchell’s accomplishments at a glance...
• WMEA/WIAA Music Educator of the Year (April 2006)
• Washington Music Educators Hall of Fame
• Outstanding Young Educator award in Dayton
• Ron Ray Memorial Award in 1991 from the Walla Walla Community Band
• Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association in 1996
• Member of the Washington State Arts Committee to develop Arts WASL
• Served as president of three music districts in the state of Washington
• Church choir director for 3 different churches

Jazz Band Concert rescheduled
The Spring Jazz Band concert featuring the Wa-Hi, Pioneer and Garrison Jazz Bands has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. in the Wa-Hi Auditorium.

“This avoids a conflict with Walla Walla Symphony’s final concert,” Wa-Hi Band Director Andrew Ueckert said. “Join us in supporting these talented musicians for our last concert of the year.”

Wa-Hi spring sports student-athletes honored for academic excellence
Congratulations to Wa-Hi spring sports student-athletes for earning Academic Recognition honors from WIAA . Fourteen out of 18 teams competing this spring received honors.

Teams with a combined team GPA of 3.0 to 3.499 receive the WIAA Distinguished award and teams with a combined team GPA of 3.5 or better receive the WIAA Outstanding award. Following are the teams that received academic recognition:

Outstanding Academic Recognition
• Varsity Girls Tennis: 3.755
• Varsity Softball: 3.68
• Varsity Girls Track: 3.64
• Varsity Girls Golf: 3.61
• JV Girls Tennis: 3.52

Distinguished Academic Recognition
• Varsity Boys Golf: 3.486
• Varsity Boys Tennis: 3.363
• Varsity Baseball: 3.343
• Boys JV Tennis: 3.295
• JV Softball: 3.241
• Frosh Softball: 3.237
• Boys JV Track: 3.153
• Boys Varsity Track: 3.147
• JV Boys Golf: 3.129

“With the accomplishments of our spring teams, that makes a total of 37 teams this year that have received WIAA recognition for their academic performance,” Athletic Director Don Wilkins said. “Congratulations to our athletes and coaches and thanks to all of the staff member who have helped them along the way. It appears that having high expectations and holding students accountable does pay off.”

‘Art About Agriculture’ opening ceremony Sunday at Carnegie Art Center
“Art About Agriculture”
Tour dates: May 2 to June 2
Special Opening Ceremony: Sunday, April 30 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The 2006 Tour celebrates the theme -- Designing from Nature. This theme is based on Thomas Jefferson’s admiration of nature and agriculture.

The 28th annual Docent family exhibit opens Sunday, April 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. with a County Fair theme.There will be many 4-H students demonstrating their program, art activities, and the FFA members will bring their sheep. At 3:30 p.m., the Walla Walla Art Club will present student awards for their art projects.

Area teachers are encouraged to participate with their classes for a one hour guided tour, complete with hands on projects to enhance learning about art and agriculture. To book a tour, call Marilyn Miller at 529-5042 or Mary Towner at 525-3904.

Green Park Elementary celebrates a Century of Class
Green Park Elementary celebrates a ‘Century of Class’ with special Centennial Week activities – May 15-20. Mark your calendar and make plans to salute Green Park’s 100th Birthday.

Centennial Schedule
School Tours
Monday, May15 to Wednesday, May 17
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 18 and Friday, May 19
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 20
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Carnival and Spaghetti Dinner
Thursday, May 18
4 to 8 p.m.

100th Birthday Party
Friday, May 19
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Children’s program begins at 5:00
- Special memory lane Power Point presentation
- Birthday cake and ice cream

“This is a wonderful time to visit and renew old friendships,” Green Park Principal Mike Lambert said. “Green Park has played such an important role in the history of our community and we hope you’ll take time to stop in and help us celebrate a Century of Class.”

For more information, contact Centennial Coordinator Kathy Goodwin at (509) 526-7144 or Green Park Secretary Susan Stroe at (509) 527-3077. Green Park is located at 1105 E. Isaacs Avenue in Walla Walla.

May Staff Spotlight employee -- Edison 3rd Grade Teacher Charleen Kaaen
Years in District: 31

Birth Place: Aberdeen, WA

High School: South Salem High

College: PLU (3 years) -- Bachelor’s Degree / Master’s Degree from NNC

Favorite music artists: Norah Jones and Alan Jackson

Favorite Movie: Schindler’s List

Favorite Book: Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

What do you love most about your job?: The kids! They bring joy into my life. I also love that every day is different and brings new challenges.

Hobbies: Reading, traveling, music (piano & choir), and backpacking

Most memorable life experience: Other than the birth of my three children, my exchange teaching year in Adelaide, South Australia.

Tell us something about yourself that nobody else would know: I’ve always wanted to write children’s books.