Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - August 18, 2006

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School board meeting
Tuesday, August 22
364 S. Park Street (Board Room)
7:30 p.m.
Open to Public

School board schedules work session to discuss facilities needs
Members of the community are invited to a public work session Tuesday, August 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the district office as school board members discuss the district’s 25-Year Facilities Improvement Plan, district facilities needs, and a potential future bond issue.

All interested members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend and participate in the work session discussion.

School Board Public Work Session
Topic: Facilities needs
364 S. Park Street (Board Room)
Tuesday, August 22
6:30 p.m.
Open to Public

Back to school basics
- School offices open for business Monday, August 21
- School starts Wednesday, August 30 (NO DELAYED START OR EARLY RELEASE -- FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!)
- School hours online (www.wwps.org)

Parent Resource area now online
Walla Walla Public Schools website (www.wwps.org) now features a Parent Resource area online. Boundary maps, PTA information, school supplies, test results, school menus and more are featured in this section.

Parents are encouraged to contact Communications Director Mark Higgins if they would like to see other information featured in this section.

New Staff Orientation this week
An orientation for new staff kicked off this week as the district helps them get settled in to their new positions. Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan, Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs and Title One/Mentor Teacher Coordinator Judy Peasley have taken the lead in organizing the orientation.

Staff will review procedures and protocols, get briefed on the district’s vision and mission, conduct team building activities, learn expectations for lesson design, student relations and more. New teachers will also be paired with veteran mentors to help them have a successful experience.

Wa-Hi Cheerleaders plan car wash
• What: Wa-Hi Cheerleaders Car Wash
• Date: Sunday, August 20
• Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Location: Magic Touch Car Wash (1907 E. Isaacs Ave.)
• Donations: Help pay for uniforms and other cheerleading expenses
• Information: Contact Coach Cathy Rasley @ 522-2909
District Administrators meet for summer Leadership Academy
This week district administrators participated in a two-day Leadership Academy. The work shop was designed to help district leaders prepare for the new school year and conduct team building activities. Administrators reviewed Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) scores, discussed district web development efforts, reviewed student discipline procedures, staff evaluation process and how to better support students and staff.

Superintendent Rich Carter also led a book review discussion on “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman. Carter assigned this project earlier in the summer to help district administrators gain greater insight on how the world is changing and to reinforce that educators will need to make adjustments to help prepare students to be competitive on a global stage. Administrators will continue to discuss this book and its stories and insights throughout the school year.

District works with Blue Mountain Action Council to develop student-business mentoring program
This summer Alternative Programs Principal Jeff Weeks and former Paine teacher Andy Maheras, who will teach in the behavior development program at Garrison Middle School this year, worked with Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) leaders Steve Moss and Kathy Covey to develop a Student-Business Mentoring Program.

The program is designed to support Paine’s 301 and 401 level students who participate in job shadows and learning internships. Weeks recently received information that the school’s grant application has been awarded through a Community Services Block Grant through BMAC to fund a .75 FTE person. This staff member will work with Paine students to develop pre-employment skill development, vocational exploration, career awareness, post-secondary education needs, student assessments, community mentoring, internships, and employment.

“We are excited about further developing our partnerships with BMAC and forming community partnerships to better serve our students now and in the future,” Weeks said. “It is our hope to provide our students further opportunities to see how the skills they learn at school are applied in the world of work. The benefits of this grant will allow us to lay the foundation to continue to improve opportunities and accessibility to the workplace for our students to learn how to compete in an increasingly flat world.”

Students get second chance at WASL
August 7-10 approximately 140 high school students took their first retakes on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning in an effort to meet standards which are now mandatory for graduation. WASL retakes by the numbers:
- 35 reading
- 70 math
- 35 writing

“I am confident that we will see positive strides in our students’ progress as measured by this August WASL testing,” District Assessment Director Ron Higgins said. “I look forward to sharing our students’ results when they arrive in October.”

In preparation of the August WASL retakes, the district offered the first-ever 5-week Summer WASL Institute in reading, writing, and math. Twenty Walla Walla School District students participated in math, six in reading, and seven in writing during the three hour-per-day sessions.

The Summer WASL Institute came to fruition with the support and cooperation of Dr. Judy Reault of ESD 123, who helped to orchestrate the hiring and training of the teachers for the institute. The Summer WASL Institute specifically focused on assisting students from the class of 2008 whose Spring 2006 WASL scores were characterized as “near misses” and thus slightly below meeting standard. Specifically designed units were developed this spring by OSPI and our Summer WASL Institute teachers -- Casey Monahan, Kim Cassetto, Dawn Jepson, and Kathy Keatts -- participated in a week-long training on use of these teaching modules.

“We anticipate much of the module components to be integrated into our current reading, writing, and math curricula so that all students will benefit from them,” Higgins said.

School Hours (2006-2007)
Now available online:

No School Days (2006-2007)
Learning Improvement Day - Sept. 1
Labor Day - Sept. 4
Fall Professional Day - Oct. 13
Fall Conferences - Nov. 8 & 9
Veterans Day - Nov. 10
Thanksgiving Break - Nov. 23 & 24
Winter Break - Dec. 18 - Jan. 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Jan. 15
Presidents Day - Feb. 19
Spring Conferences - March 8 & 9
Spring Vacation - April 2-6
Memorial Day - May 28