Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - October 20, 2006

In this Issue:

(Click on article
to read more)

Let’s Talk Schools survey results online
“Let’s Talk Schools - We’re Listening” campaign survey results are now available online at: www.wwps.org

Surveys show strong support for Edison
With nearly 1,100 surveys received the past two months via the district’s “Let’s Talk Schools — We’re Listening” campaign, respondents made it clear Edison Elementary was their top priority.

Nearly 90 percent of survey-takers said Edison should be included on the next bond ballot. (see complete list of messages/themes below). School board members read every survey and thanked everyone for their input.

School Board President Mary Jo Geidl asked Superintendent Rich Carter to research costs for replacing Edison Elementary and to have this information available for a public work session, Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 5:30 p.m.

Common Survey Messages/Themes (as interpreted from survey comment sections by school board.)
· Involve community in bond planning and facility decisions
· Limit the issues for the bond (one, maybe two projects on the bond at a time)
· Keep cost low
· Prioritize needs based on long-range facilities plan
· Edison is top priority
· Community seeks comprehensive study of the high school experience.
Study areas should include:
- Remodel vs. replace existing Wa-Hi buildings
- Alternative Education experience (including Paine and Opportunity)
- Second high school
- College Place High School (future potential)
- Athletic facility options

Complete list of survey results will be available on the district’s website later today: www.wwps.org

School construction costs increase
School construction costs have increased approximately 15 percent according to a report from Superintendent Rich Carter at Tuesday night’s school board work session.

Carter said each year it gets more expensive to replace aging schools. Cost per square foot for elementary schools has jumped from $240 per square foot for spring 2007 bids to an estimated $280 to $315 per square foot for projects to be bid in 2008 -- the earliest the district could bid on construction work should community members pass a 2007 bond.

He noted this does not include money for land purchase. Carter said he will bring hard numbers for replacing Edison Elementary at next month’s school board work session. Carter said growth projections for the city and county anticipate slow, but steady upward movement.

Pioneer students send book bags to Mississippi hurricane victims
Today students in Beverly Ziska’s 6th period Home Economics class sent 30 book bags and several quilts to a 4th grade class at Jackson Elementary School in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Pioneer students made the items as part of a class project to help this struggling community. Many of these students are still displaced since Hurricane Katrina. Many are in motels and living in trailers.

Walla Walla High School students produce tv spot for Army/Navy football game
Technology teacher Dennis DeBroeck and his students are making a tv spot to be aired nationally during the Army/Navy football game. Earilier this fall Army representatives contacted DeBroeck’s wife Kathi, also a Wa-Hi teacher, to consider taking on the project.

Four advanced students in the Computer Animation class jumped at the opportunity to use their 3D animation software and Adobe studio skills to produce the commercial featuring a Navy destoyer advancing up Army Corps of Engineers built dam locks only to have a salmon pass the vessel with a “Go Army” message attached.

“Students want to do something important and relevant,” DeBroeck said.

He says the project has motivated his students to do their best.

“Students are staying after school to work on the modeling for the spot,” DeBroeck said.
Although he’s not sure when the spot will air, it’s certain these students won’t soon forget the 2006 Army/Navy game.

Free parent learning series helps students become high level readers
Walla Walla Public Schools is beginning a series of free parent learning opportunities next month focusing on providing parents skills to help their children become high level readers. The six-session series begins in November and continues through February. Limited space is still available.

Parents will learn how to support higher levels of comprehension and specific strategies to help their child as they read various texts – including science, social studies, math and literature.

“Washington state statistics show 40 percent of graduating seniors have to take remedial reading class in college,” Literacy Trainer Richelle Palmer said. “We want kids to be able to go deeper into understanding reading materials and not simply restate facts.”

Class Curriculum (class learning materials are provided at no cost)
- 7 Keys to Comprehension
- Specific strategies to support reading
- Parent discussion groups

Parent Learning Opportunity Schedule
Monday, Nov. 13
Monday, Dec. 4
Monday, Jan. 8
Monday, Jan. 29
Monday, Feb. 12
Monday, Feb. 26

Class time: 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Class location: Garrison Middle School (906 Chase St.)
Childcare: Childcare is available and is free

Sign up by Friday, Nov. 3: Contact Richelle Palmer at (509) 527-3050 or by e-mail at: rpalmer@wwps.org or Marit Nierman at 527-3040 or mnierman@wwps.org to sign up.

Reflections program showcases the importance of arts in education
Students across the district are preparing for the 37th Annual PTA Reflections Program by expressing their artistic talents.

Students in all grade levels may use film/video, dance choreography, musical composition, photography, visual arts and literature to express themselves and grow intellectually. This year’s theme -- “My Favorite Place” -- is wide open for students to use their creativity.

Important Deadlines:
• THEME CONTEST: Students can suggest themes and send them in to the National Theme Search. Entries are due by November 3, 2006 for the 2008-2009 year. Winner receives $100.

• School entry deadlines: usually mid October to Mid November—Check with your School PTA Reflections Chairperson

• Submissions due to County PTA Council by December 5, 2006

• Submissions due to State by January 26, 2007

Information: Contact PTA Reflections chair Theresa Hampson at 522-6603.

Celebrate American Education Week -- Visit school of your choice

Community members invited to go back to school
Thursday, November 16
10 a.m. to Noon
Visit the school of your choice

Join us in celebrating American Education Week!
• Tour the school of your choice
• Learn more about our success stories and challenges
• Interact with students and staff
• Review school improvement efforts
• Experience our future
• And we’ll treat you to lunch!

Please contact Communications Director Mark Higgins at 526-6716 or by e-mail at: mhiggins@wwps.org if you are interested in participating.

Wa-Hi Drama Department presents “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Show dates: November 9, 10, 11 and 16, 17 at 7:00 p.m. and November 18 at 2:00 p.m.
Location: Walla Walla High School Auditorium.

Smokey Joe’s Café features a rich and eclectic collection of 1950’s and 60’s songs written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, who somehow seemed to have written every hit of their era.

These finely crafted tunes represent a wide variety of rock genres from doo-wop to gospel and country Western to rhythm-and-blues. Hits such as “Hound Dog” and “Poison Ivy” are intermixed with less famous numbers in this show which has been often called a revue, but which contains no commentary or dialogue. Instead of the traditional book music, this production presents a story, or mini-play, within each of the songs.

As the show progresses, the energy builds, and the audience can’t help but become part of the music, clapping hands and bouncing knees in remembrance. This is a show that appeals to audience members of all generations!

TRILOGY LEARNING CENTER presents addiction and recovery workshops
“Addiction & Recovery: Exploring the Issues -- Seeking Solutions” (November 1-3)
** Events are free to the public**
- Featuring Recovery Advocate/Author William Cope Moyers & Richard Ries, M.D. UW Professor of Psychiatry & Director of Harborview Addictions Programs

Schedule of Events
November 1
9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
William Cope Moyers -- “The Power of Addiction/The Promise of Recovery”
Walla Walla Community College “Dome”

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
William Cope Moyers -- “SCARFACE—Unmasking the Stigma of Addiction”
Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center (Book signing after talk)

November 2
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Richard Ries, M.D. -- “Alcohol & Marijuana: Gateway Drugs”
Whitman College, Maxey Hall

November 3
12 Noon
Richard Ries, M.D. -- “Alcohol Use & Dependence—Medical Complications”
St. Mary Hospital, Providence Room
No Registration Required
Continuing education credits available on-site. For more information, contact Peggy Gutierrez at (509) 529-6036, x107.

Fall Parent-Teacher Conference Schedule
Berney Elementary
Monday, November 6
- 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 7
- 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8
- 8:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m. (no school day)

Blue Ridge Elementary
Tuesday, November 7
- 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8 (no school day)
- 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Edison Elementary
Tuesday, November 7
- 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8
- 8:00 a.m. – 7:15 p.m.

Garrison Middle School
Tuesday, November 7
- 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8
- 7:00 - 11:00 a.m.
- 12:00 - 4:30 p.m.
- 5:30 -8:30 p.m.

Green Park Elementary
Tuesday, November 7
- 4:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8
- 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. (no school day)

Head Start / ECEAP
Friday, November 3 through Wednesday, November 8
- Regular school hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, November 7
- 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8
- 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Homelink Program (@ Berney – Art Room)
Monday, November 6
- 3 – 7 p.m.

Tuesday, November 7
- 3 – 7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8 (no school day)
- 8 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Opportunity Program
Tuesday, November 7
- Drop in from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8 (no school day)
- 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Paine Alternative
Monday, November 6
- 4 - 8 p.m

Tuesday, November 7
- 4 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8 (no school day)
- 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Pioneer Middle School
Monday, November 6
- Scheduled Conferences: 5:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 7
- Arena conferences: 5:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8 (no school day)
- Scheduled conferences: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Prospect Point
Monday, November 6
- 4:30 - 8:15 p.m.

Tuesday, November 7
- 4:30 - 8:15 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8 (no school day)
- 8:00 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Sharpstein Elementary
Monday November 6
- 3:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday November 7
- 3:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday November 8 (no school day)
- 7:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Walla Walla High School
Monday, November 6
- Drop-in conferences in both gyms: 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8 (no school day)
- Scheduled conferences: 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
- Drop-in conferences in both gyms: 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Personnel Report (from 10/17/06 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Classified) Rocio Gonsalez, Bilingual Para-Educator, Blue Ridge
Cresencia Gutierrez-Duran, Bilingual Para-Educator, Sharpstein

• Leave of Absence
(Classified) Karen Larson, Para-Educator, Wa-Hi (7 years)
• for the 2006-07 school year

Plant Facilities staff continue to live up to motto -- “Quality comes first”
Plant Facilities Department staff members take pride in maintaining school district facilities, according to an annual department report to school board members from Director Lowell Schneider.

Schneider thanked his staff for outstanding craftsmanship and professionalism -- noting the crew is experienced and offers vast skills to the district.

Schneider reviewed summer project accomplishments, which included significant work at all district schools. He said quality service and stringent maintenance is provided for 12 district structures, including 10 schools, a central administration building, and the support services complex.

“Our ‘can do’ attitude keeps our buildings safe, efficient, clean, and operational for Walla Walla youth and our entire community to use,” he said.

Wa-Hi Student Assistance Program helps students facing challenges
Tuesday night Wa-Hi Principal Darcy Weisner presented to school board members on the school’s Student Assistance Program led by Casey Cramer. This program helps provide support and counseling to students who are facing substance abuse issues and other personal challenges.

Weisner said recent Healthy Youth survey results do concern him as students on the campus continue to be at risk for substance abuse. He said Wa-Hi staff, under the direction of Assistant Principal Matt Bona, are working hard to ensure each student has a meaningful relationship with an adult on campus so they have someone they can trust if they need to talk to them about these issues.

FFA tractor team plows state competition again
In recent years students from the 222 schools facing the Walla Walla High School’s Future Farmers of America Tractor Driving Team have basically been competing for second place. With six state titles in the past eight years and three consecutive state trophies in their display case, it’s clear Wa-Hi is the dominant team in the state.

This year competitors didn’t even get a peek at second place as Wa-Hi teams finished first and second in state to continue their reign as the best Tractor Driving program in the state. All five Walla Walla team members tied for first place and received trophies.

Tuesday night advisor Mike Martin introduced the teams to school board members and talked about the team. He said Wa-Hi FFA students out work their competitors and put in the practice time necessary to earn these honors. He said in addition to being superior drivers, Wa-Hi students also score high in the knowledge test which is part of the competition.

Wa-Hi Future Farmers of America Tractor Driving team: Tanner Simmons (10th), Dane Swenson (11th), Blake Hale (12th), Zach Harvey (12th) and Bryce Buckley (10th).