Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 3, 2006

In this Issue:

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School Board work session scheduled Tuesday
Date: Tuesday, November 7
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Board Room - District Office (364 S. Park Street)

Agenda: School board members will discuss facilities planning issues.
- Review possible election dates and filing deadlines
- Discuss the possibility of placing multiple capital projects on the same ballot
- Provide updated information for an Edison Elementary construction project

**Public meeting


School board meeting Tuesday
Tuesday, November 7
7:30 p.m.
Location: Board Room - District Office (364 S. Park Street)
Open to public
Pioneer evacuates school today following bomb threat
A bomb threat was discovered today at Pioneer Middle School and a decision to evacuate the school was made as a safety precaution. No bomb was discovered and no staff members or students were injured.

City of Walla Walla law enforcement officials made a sweep of the school and found nothing. Classes resumed following the evacuation and school is operating as normal.

“We take school safety and threats against staff and students extremely seriously,” said Assistant Principal Jon Abbott in a letter to be sent home to parents. “Although most likely this was a hoax, we can not afford to make that assumption. We have a zero tolerance for this type of behavior in our school.”

Abbott stressed staff members are trained to handle situations such as these and the district has an excellent relationship with local law enforcement officials. Each district school has an emergency plan to help staff handle situations like these calmly and professionally.

This threat will continue to be investigated by school and law enforcement officials. Pioneer administrators and staff will continue to communicate to students the seriousness of this type of behavior. It is a crime to make a bomb threat.

“Schools are the safest places for your children,” Abbott said. “The research is very clear on this issue. We will continue to communicate with you if new information arises. Please also talk to your children about notifying their teacher or a school official if they hear about bomb threats or other school safety issues.”


Winter weather is near -- Procedures for weather-related school delays and closures

Visit the district website (www.wwps.org) for up-to-the-minute updates

If school is delayed or closed due to poor weather, announcements are made on local radio and TV stations beginning at 6:00 a.m. If no announcement is made by 6:30 a.m., you should assume schools are running on time. If there is a one-hour delay, there will be morning kindergarten, if there is a 2-hour delay, there is no morning kindergarten.

School delay/closure notices will be posted on the school district website (www.wwps.org) by 6:30 a.m. and be updated throughout the day as needed.

If schools are closed once classes are already in session, information will be announced over the local radio stations and posted on the district website. Children who live within walking distance will be released to walk home. If no one is at home, please make alternate arrangements for your child. Buses will meet scheduled city and rural routes as soon as possible.


Wa-Hi FFA teams perform strong at national event
Members of the Walla Walla FFA participated in the 79th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. There were over 55,000 FFA members in attendance with 14 Walla Walla High School FFA students competing in Career Development events over the four-day event.

National Convention Summary
Andi Bughi, Jillian Bughi and Ciera Christensen placed 4th in Marketing. The team developed a Marketing Plan geared towards selling to the tourist market. Team members worked with a local business, conducted consumer surveys, taste tests and met with local wineries and hotels to develop a marketing plan to sell Market Chocolate Covered Cherries to tourists through wineries and hotels. Each of the 3 earned a $400 scholarship for their Final 4 presentation. This is the 9th time Walla Walla has made the Final Four in Marketing.

Competing in Floriculture and receiving a Silver Award were Ashely Davin, Amber Davin, Torri Ebding and Ashley Mason. Skills the students demonstrated were creating a flower arrangement for a friend in the hospital, job interviewing, plant and flower identification, corsage construction as well as taking knowledge test. The purpose of this contest is to prepare students for a career in the Floral Industry.

Taking on the Illahee development was the Issues Team of Anna Forge, Zach Harvey, Jordan Palmer, Aly Buckley, Robin Backus, Yvette Nunez and Kristan Frierichs. The Issues Team received a Bronze Award for their debate pro and con on this complex community topic. The team’s theme was developed around a Town Hall meeting. One team member acted as moderator with three students on the pro side of the debate in favor of the golf course, housing development, destination resort. Three students then took the con side of the topic, questioning the wisdom of this type of development for the Walla Walla Valley. According to Advisor Arch McHie the students did a great job on this complex, controversial topic.

FFA is a national youth organization of 500,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture with 7,242 local chapters in all 50 states. FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.


Wa-Hi Parent Teacher/Conferences highlights new Family and Student Access
During next week’s Walla Walla High School parent/teacher conferences, parents will have an opportunity to receive login and password information along with system training on Family and Student Access while they are waiting to visit with teachers.

Wa-Hi parents are encouraged to visit the school’s website for details on Family and Student Access. Go to (http://wwhs.wwps.org) and click on the link found on the left side titled “Family and Student Access.”

This web-based service allows parents to update their email addresses to receive important school information. Family Access also allows parents online access to their child’s grades and attendance.

Parents will need to have a login and password, which school staff will have printed on cards ready for them to use. Take advantage of this opportunity to be more involved in your child’s education.


Pioneer teacher earns Retirees Association mini-grant
Congratulations to Beverly Ziska, 8th grade Family and Consumer Science teacher at Pioneer Middle School, for being named winner of a $100 mini-grant awarded by the Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association.

Ziska will use the mini-grant to fund shipping expenses to send book bags (filled with school supplies) and lap quilts made by her students to a 4th grade class at Jackson Elementary School in Pascagoula, MS. The Pascagoula students are still feeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

“A second chance for active members of the Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association to win five $100 mini-grants will occur in February 2007 by filling out a mini-grant application in January 2007,” said Mini-Grant Chair person Joyce Oakley.


District middle school students participate in regional honors band concert
Congratulations to students from Pioneer and Garrison Middle Schools for participating in the Columbia Basin Music Educators Honor Band last month. These students were excellent representatives of their schools.

Pioneer students
Katie Landwehr
Tressa Criss
Alix Amo
Mary Lubbers
Ryan Barber
Nick Bushman
Taylor Yancy
Ian Norby.

Garrison students
Nason Babbit
Mallory Livingston
Brittany Colis
Sarah Donaldson
Kristine Liere
Alex Ruzika
Graeme Johnson
Kevin Leier
Jack Crouter


Wa-Hi athletes continue to excel in school
This week the district received notification from WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) that 14 out of 15 of our fall Athletic Teams have received WIAA State awards for academic performance. These awards are based on team GPA’s using the grades from the last grading period which was second semester of last year.

“Congratulations to our athletes for their hard work and accomplishments and to our coaches for setting high standards and holding the student-athletes accountable,” District Athletic Director Don Wilkins said. “Also thanks to all the teachers and staff for their contributions to the academic success of our student-athletes. These teams involve approximately 400 students.”

WIAA gives two team academic awards (1) Distinguished Scholastic Award for teams with a team GPA of 3.0 - 3.49 and (2) Outstanding Scholastic Award for teams with a GPA of 3.5 or better. The following fall teams were recognized:

Distinguished Scholastic Award
• Varsity Girls Swim 3.428
• Frosh “B” Volleyball 3.405
• Varsity Girls Soccer 3.239
• JV Boys Cross Country 3.237
• “C” Team Volleyball 3.202
• Varsity Football 3.185
• Frosh Football 3.163
• Varsity Boys Cross Country 3.150
• JV Girl’s Swim 3.081

Outstanding Scholastic Award
• Varsity Volleyball 3.742
• Varsity Girls Cross Country 3.688
• Frosh “A” Volleyball 3.640
• JV Volleyball 3.639
• JV Girls Soccer 3.562


Garrison teacher named Northwest Professional Rodeo Association Barrelman of the Year Award
Garrison Middle School Science and Social Studies Teacher Jason “JJ” Harrison recently won the Northwest Professional Rodeo Association Barrelman of the Year Award for the second consecutive year.

There are more than 1,200 cowboy and cowgirl members of the NPRA who are eligible to vote for this award. Harrison was the barrelman at more than 50 rodeo performances this year around the Northwest.

“Jason is one of our finest teachers,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “His positive attitude and outgoing personality make him a favorite with our students. His ability to connect with kids and inspire a love for learning makes him one of the district’s shining stars.”


Pioneer PTA begins holiday Coffee & Cashews fund-raiser
Pioneer Middle School PTA annouces its holiday fund-raiser featuring a special roast of Pioneer’s own Middle School Mania coffee, along with fresh, tasty Cashews straight from the roaster.

Cashews and coffee are available from November 3 to November 17 (limited supply). Please place your requests early! This is the only PTA fundraiser this year (50% of funds from your purchase stay with the PTA)
- 1 lb. Fresh Roasted Cashews, Salted = $8.00
- 1 lb. Coffee (Ground, Whole bean, or Decaf) = $10.00 -OR-

Purchase any combination of 2 pounds or more and receive a $.50 discount per pound!

Coffee & Cashew Combo (1 lb. Each) = $17.00
2 lbs. Coffee = $19.00
2 lbs. Cashews = $15.00

Make checks payable to Pioneer Middle School PTSA

Orders will be accepted in the lobby on the last school day of each week (November 3, November 7, and November 17) Filled orders will be available the following Mondays (November 6, November 13, and November 20). We will also have items available during the arena conferences, November 7. Back orders will be filled if possible, no later than December 6.
Orders will be taken until November 17.


Dads flock to Pioneer to have dessert with their children
This week Pioneer Middle School sponsored “Dessert with Dads Day.” The event was a huge success as 150 dads attended between the two lunch periods.

Healthy living promoted at Sharpstein Health Fair
Nearly 400 adults and children attended the 2nd Annual Sharpstein Health Fair last week. Students and parents participated in fun learning activities supported by more than 26 local businesses and agencies.

“On behalf of Sharpstein and the Walla Walla Rural Health Community Partnership, I extend a ‘Thank You’ to all those who participated in Sharpstein’s Health Fair,” said Program Coordinator Christa Guerrero. “We had more than 16 activities designed to engage students and parents in health-related learning.”

The next health fair for the Walla Walla Rural Health Community Partnership will be held at Garrison Middle School on Thursday, December 7. Hours for the fair are 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Wa-Hi Athletes earn Columbia Basin League honors
4A Girls Soccer All Conference Team
First Team Forwards
Shanie Bushman - 11, Walla Walla

First Team Defenders
Marion Conley - 12, Walla Walla

Second Team Midfielders
Melany Muro - 12, Walla Walla

Honorable Mention Midfielders
Kindall Gehrett - 10, Walla Walla

Honorable Mention Defenders
Sara Rosso - 11, Walla Walla

4A Girls Volleyball All Conference Team
First Team Hitters
Sara Todorovich - 12, Walla Walla

Second Team Hitters
Melissa Eastman - 11, Walla Walla

Honorable Mention Hitters
Meghan Nix - 12, Walla Walla


Bughi Farms donates pumpkins to Camp Fire afterschool programs
Special thanks to Bughi Farms for donating nearly 150 pumpkins to Camp Fire Afterschool programs. Wa-Hi FFA students -- under the leadership of advisor Arch McHie -- harvested pumpkins donated by Bughi Farms.

McHie and his son Quinn delivered over 140 of them to Camp Fire USA for distribution to each of its four After School Camps. Students attending Camp Fire Afterschool programs painted the pumkins to help get in the Halloween spirit.

“We are grateful to be able to pass on some fall fun to our kids,” Camp Fire USA Development Director Felicia August said. “We just wanted to thank Wa-Hi FFA, Bughi Farms and Arch and Quinn.”


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!


Wa-Hi Technology class helps former student discover career


One class changed it all - By Herald and News Sports Writer Steve Matthies (October 27, 2006)


Because of a high school class, Devin Paine discovered a career. Because of that teacher, he discovered a college.

Because he switched sports, he discovered a way to enjoy college. Now in his senior year at Oregon Tech, the 21-year-old computer engineering major has become a solid distance runner for coach Ken Coffman’s team.

“Oregon Tech was a good fit, and I could get involved in sports,” Paine says of his decision to matriculate to OIT after graduating from Walla Walla High School in Washington.

It would not have happened had it not been for an occupational education class he took as a sophomore at Walla Walla.
“I got hooked into computers,” he says, and continued to take computer related classes through high school, and then began to think about college. “My teacher told me I should look at Oregon Tech,” Paine says, “and I was looking for a smaller school.”

He wanted to be part of a sports team in college, especially cross country, because he had a good experience with the sport he took up his junior year.

“I played soccer, and then, in my junior year, I went out for cross country,” Paine says, noting that in Washington state, soccer is a spring sport.

He added track and field to his list of activities as a senior.

“I met coach Coffman, and he said he takes whomever,” Paine says.

That, plus OIT’s computer major, led him to Klamath Falls.

“When I first got here, it was hard,” Paine says. “I didn’t know anyone and it took me awhile to get adjusted. Cross country helped me get connected.

“I have enjoyed my classes and enjoyed being involved with a group.” Paine still had struggles.

“I really didn’t know if he would develop into a runner, or not,” Coffman said earlier this fall. “But, he has become a good runner and is the captain of our team.”

Paine also is the lone senior on the cross country roster - men or women.

“Part of it,” Paine says, “is that I matured later than other guys. And, I started running later than most guys in high school.
“But, I’ve been putting in the time. This summer, a bunch of us guys stayed (in Klamath Falls) and ran. Plus, I’ve been lifting weights quite a bit.”

He says that in his freshman season, his top goal was to survive practice.

“Since then, I have put more time into running during the offseason,” Paine says. “For awhile, it was tough. Getting used to the scenery here was hard. At home, in the summer, I ran by wheat fields. Here, there are mountains and rocks. “And,” he says, “it’s harder to run at elevation, but my body is getting used to it.”

Paine says he will take plenty of experiences from his time at OIT.

“What I’ve learned is the ability to have a group and have a common goal and accomplish it,” he says.
“In cross country, it’s to run faster and go to nationals. In computers, it is to get everyone working together and being on the same page.”

And, he would have no problem telling student-athletes to attend OIT.

“I would tell them that it is a good school, it has good engineering medical programs and the cross country experience will be good,” Paine says.


Nearly 2000 regional high school students attend Wa-Hi College Fair
This week nearly 2000 students from 14 regional high schools attended the Wa-Hi College Fair. Representatives from 62 colleges -- which included community colleges, technical schools and universities -- from 15 different states were in attendance.

Students were able to discuss educational programs, application processes, financial aid requirements, meet with admissions representatives, pick up informational materials and ask questions.


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.



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.