Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - December 8, 2006

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School board meeting Tuesday
Tuesday, December 12
7:30 p.m.
Location: Board Room - District Office (364 S. Park Street)
Open to public

2006 Holiday Concert Schedule -- Remaining dates

(Schedule also online at: www.wwps.org)
Dec. 11: Prospect Point Holiday program K-2 12:30 PM 3-5 1:30 PM
Dec. 12 : Prospect Point Holiday program K-2 9:15 AM 3-5 10:15 AM
Dec. 12 : Green Park Holiday program grades 3-5 1:30 PM - Green Park Gym
Dec. 12: Edison programs (grades 1-3) 7:00 PM & (grades 4-5) 7:40 PM - Wa-Hi Aud.
Dec. 13: Wa-Hi Holiday Concert #1 7:00 PM - Wa-Hi Auditorium (Treble Ensemble, Cantabile, Chanson, String Orchestra, Symphonic Band)
Dec. 14: Berney programs (grades K-2) 12:30 PM & (grades 3-5) 1:45 PM Berney Gym
Dec. 14: Edison Kindergarten Program - 6:00 PM - Edison Gym
Dec. 14 : Blue Ridge Preschool Program - 6:00 PM - Blue Ridge Gym
Dec. 14 : Wa-Hi Holiday Concert #2 - 7:00 PM - Wa-Hi Auditorium (Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Symphonic Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band)
Dec. 15: Wa-Hi Choral groups at St. Mary Hospital (noon)
Dec. 15: Sharpstein programs (grades 1-3) 10 AM & (grades K, 4,5) 1:00 PM - Gym
Dec. 15: Blue Ridge programs (grades K-2, 12:15 PM) & (grades 3-5, 1:15 PM) - Gym

Winter Break Schedule
Winter Break: No school Monday, December 18 through Monday, January 1. Classes resume Tuesday, January 2. Have a safe and happy winter break.
Wa-Hi Hispanic students visit WSU to learn more about college experience
Twenty-nine students from Walla Walla High School, along with 275 other students from the state of Washington, attended the 10th Annual C.A.S.H.E. (Children of Aztlán Sharing Higher Education) Youth Conference at Washington State University November 10-12.

The conference, organized by the WSU Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan, (MEChA) club at Washington State University, is completely coordinated by college students.

“This was a great way for these high school students to build relationships and ask questions about college life,” said District Bilingual Coordinator Diana Erickson.

The conference offered workshops about admissions, financial aid, and cultural and teen awareness issues. The students were chaperoned by Javier Hernández, WA-Hi Intervention Specialist, and America Carrión, WA-HI ETS Coordinator. Both organized the trip locally so the students could attend. Erickson and her husband Bill also attended as chaperones.

“The main goal of the conference is to motivate Hispanic students to further their education beyond high school including exposing the students to college campus experiences that current Chicano/a Latino/a students have at Washington State University,” Erickson said.

Pioneer Jazz band to perform next week before Symphony Concert
The Pioneer Jazz Band, under the direction of Music Teacher Bill Gilbert, will be performing in a “lobby concert” Tuesday, December 12 from 6:45 - 7:15, prior to that evening’s Walla Walla Symphony Concert at Cordiner Hall.

Several school district personnel will be performing in the Symphony concert, including:
- Michael Jones, drum set
- Marybeth Norby, percussion
- Lori Parnicky, flute
- Andrew Ueckert, trombone
- Julia Woods, string bass

The guest artist for the concert is Dick Hyman, a renowned jazz pianist. Also this year (in honor of their Centennial Season), the Symphony has donated 50 concert tickets for district students to attend.

“I’d encourage people to come out next Tuesday to hear the Pioneer Jazz Band & the Symphony,” Orchestra Teacher Julia Woods said.

For ticket information, contact the Symphony at 529-8020 or http://www.wwsymphony.com/ Sharon Thompson is the Personnel Manager and our Symphony Liaison.

Wa-Hi students excel in WordMasters language skills competition
A team of students representing Walla Walla High School has won highest honors in this year’s WordMasters Challenge, a national competition for high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry. Participating with 572 high school teams from all across the country, the school’s 11th-grade team tied for eighth place in the nation among all participating grade-level teams in the year’s first meet, held in October. The team was supervised by Casey Monahan.

Several of the school’s students won high honors for individual achievement as well: Juniors Emily Brown and Emily Crouter and senior Christy Turner placed, respectively, among the 35 highest-scoring eleventh graders and the 43 highest-scoring twelfth graders in the nation. In addition, freshman Rebecca Hoppen was among the 120 highest-ranked ninth graders and juniors Shanie Bushman, Amy Bell, and Julia Matschukat among the 154 highest-ranked eleventh graders nationwide. Students earning honorable mention included sophomores Eva Reich, Ellen Brigham, Olivia Newhouse, and Peter Anderson, and senior Tim Litts. More than 55,000 students from across the country participated in the meet. Teachers Lori Dohe, Casey Monahan, Karen Peddicord, Matthew Shaw, and Kim Cassetto supervise the 9th-12th-grade teams.

The premise behind the WordMasters Challenge is that attentive reading and sensitivity to language are among the most important skills students acquire in school. The texts students must analyze for the Challenge can range from short fiction by Eudora Welty or John Steinbeck to poetry as old as Shakespeare’s or as recent as Margaret Atwood’s, and to essays as classic as E. B. White’s or as current as a Newsweek opinion piece by George Will. Though the texts vary widely in voice, subject, tone, and length, they have one thing in common: style. All use language skillfully to convey layers and shades of meaning not always apparent to students on a first or casual reading. Like the questions on the verbal SAT I, the SAT II in English Literature, and the Advanced Placement exams in both English Language and English Literature, the questions posed by the WordMasters Challenge ask students both to recognize the emotional and/or rational logic of a piece of writing and to notice the ways in which a writer’s style shapes and shades his/her meaning. Because the WordMasters Challenge is a classroom activity and not a college-entrance exam, however, it can be a learning experience, not just a high hurdle. After completing a Challenge, classes are encouraged to talk about the texts and the answers to the multiple-choice questions, and are also given additional topics for open-ended discussion and/or written response.

The texts for the first WordMasters meet this year were a poem by C. K. Williams originally published in The New Yorker (for 9th and 10th graders) and a New York Times feature essay by Jeff MacGregor (for 11th and 12th graders). The students will participate in three more meets during the coming months, and medals and certificates will be presented in June to those who achieve and/or improve the most in the course of the year.

Edison bond fact sheets available
Fact sheets for the February 6 Edison Elementary bond are available at the district office and online at: www.wwps.org.

Edison Bond Tidbit -- Will students be temporarily housed at other district schools during construction?
• No, Edison students will stay on their campus and attend school in the existing Edison building during construction. All precautions will be made to ensure staff and students have a safe learning environment.

• The district is proposing purchase of additional land as it becomes available to help maximize site development to enhance program opportunities for students.

• This additional land purchase also allows for students to remain on campus during construction so they won’t have to be relocated to other district schools.