Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - December 15, 2006

In this Issue:

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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.
Elementary Explorer teacher honored
Elementary Explorers teacher Kate Venneri was recently recognized by OSPI for reviewing K-12 Mathematics Diagnostic-Intervention Programs earlier this school year.

Superintendent Rich Carter said Venneri has developed a reputation around the state as a leader in math instruction and assessment.
Panther Pride -- Green Park rewards excellence
Panther Pride is alive and well at Green Park Elementary as nearly 30 percent of the students are actively participating in this program that rewards students for making good choices.

Principal Mike Lambert and several Panther Pride students explained why it’s important to listen, follow directions, be responsible and kind to others.

Students must apply for the program and have adults who work with them sign off that they demonstrate these qualities. Lambert says the program improves the entire school.
Geidl recognized for service as board president
Tuesday night Superintendent Rich Carter recognized Mary Jo Geidl for her year of service as school board president. Carter said Geidl’s 30 years as an educator brought great credibility to the school board and district.

He thanked Geidl for leading this fall’s “Listening Campaign” and helping shape the Edison bond proposal. She also worked tirelessly on the May bond. Geidl’s tenure included the implementation of all day kindergarten, a K-5 reading adoption, and hiring of a new Wa-Hi principal and two assistants.

Carter presented Geidl with a personal gift of quilting items and numerous red pins -- per her 30 years as an English teacher.

Pioneer supports new Creekside Alternative school
Middle School students who need an alternative education program now attend Creekside Middle School on the campus of Pioneer. Last year the program was at Paine Campus.

In a report to the school board, Pioneer Principal Dana Jones and Creekside teacher Barbara McRae said the program is better suited on a middle school campus. Currently 21 students are enrolled. The self-contained program is housed in a portable and offers more individualized instruction and character building opportunites.

Valley Herald sponsors “My Favorite Teacher Contest”
Valley Herald newspaper is sponsoring the “My Favorite Teacher Contest” to recognize teachers in the area and their students.

The “My Favorite Teacher Contest” is open to all students K-12. Since students in K-2 have not developed writing skills, a hand-drawn picture of their favorite teacher can be submitted instead of an essay. Students in grades 3-12 should write an essay, not more than 250 words, explaining who their favorite teacher is and why he/she is their favorite.

A winner will be chosen from each grade from every school who participates in the contest. A picture of the winner and their favorite teacher will be taken and published in the April 2007 Progress Edition.
Deadline for entries is Friday, January 12. Please email entries to: valleyherald@qwest.net or mail to: Valley Herald, PO Box 664, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Sharee Wright or Melanie Hall at the Valley Herald (541) 938-6688.

Early Release vs. Late Start Survey results online
Results of this fall’s “Early Release vs. Late Start” common collaboration schedule survey results are now posted on the district’s website at: www.wwps.org. This survey was prompted following concerns from some parents and staff the current split schedule -- late start for secondary and early release for elementary -- was not working. Those with concerns said the schedule is especially difficult for families with children in both elementary and secondary schools.

Earlier this month district administrators reviewed the survey results and discussed the issue in detail. They have agreed to further dialogue this issue after the winter break. Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs has led this effort to poll parents and staff. She says feedback has resulted in a clear message: collaboration time for teachers is important. She said now the challenge is finding a systemwide, common approach to offering this valuable learning time for teachers. Boggs said she hopes a plan can be developed soon, as our stakeholders deserve a timely decision.

Here are a few comments from teachers and some of the things they have accomplished during collaboration time:

“We have made grade level goals, received training on mathematics vs arithmetic, examined specific population data in math and reading, coordinated efforts in reading instruction, and assisted one another in planning and implementing aspects of the Harcourt resources, to name several of our accomplishments.”

“We collaborated by grade level teams on our new reading series, looked at student data to determine how best to serve student needs, assessed writing tests, looked at WASL assessment data to help determine our needs professionally.”

“We were able map out new language arts curriculum.”

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

Edison Bond Frequently Asked Questions

How much will the Edison bond cost me?
The Edison bond will increase the projected bond rate 20 cents per thousand of assessed valuation. This breaks down to an average of $2.50 per month on a $150,000 house.

Will Edison students be relocated 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 a safe learning environment.

Why does the Edison project cost more this time than it did on the May bond proposal?
This proposal will finish the entire school at once to meet current elementary capacity issues and growing district enrollment projections. Finishing just the first floor was proposed on the May bond. The completion of the second floor will provide approximately 50 percent more classroom space.


Learn more about the Edison Elementary bond proposal at the Edison Bond Facts area on the district’s website -- www.wwps.org. School tours are available by calling 527-3072.

US Army Corps of Engineers to salute Wa-Hi technology students
On Monday, Wa-Hi students from Dennis DeBroeck’s Technology Production class will be recognized by US Army Corps of Engineers representatives for their efforts producing a 30 second TV spot that was aired by CBS during the nationally televised Army/Navy football game earlier this month.

DeBroeck said the students’ creativity, passion and work ethic shone during this project. The spot can be seen at: http://wwhs.wwps.org/

Below are more details on this project.

Army/Navy Game Video Fact Sheet
How did the project get started?
A representative from the US Army Corps of Engineers approached Wa-Hi with a script and concept. Wa-Hi students in Dennis DeBroeck’s Technology Production class then went to work on the project.

What was the ship in the commercial modeled after? The “Blue Devil Destroyer”

How much time did it take to created the 30 second TV commerical? About 24 hours of actual build time.

Production Team:
Video Editor – Alicia Elder
3D Computer Animation (Team Leader)- Alberto Chavez
3D Computer Animation (Component Team)- Clinton Sana and Jake Reller
Model Concept – David Stadnik
Voice over – Jessee Rodrick, Micah Thoms, Zach Wheeler, Luke Nelson
Music Track – Composed by Jeremy Ueckert

Interesting Facts:
- Created by Wa-Hi Technology Production Students - Dennis DeBroeck - Instructor
- 4 weeks (1 hour per day) from concept to completion.
- Over 50,927 polygons in the ship alone.
- Dam – 648 polygons
- Sign – 2914 polygons
- Water – 25 polygons
- Other Objects - 1265 polygons
- 900 total frames
- Spot 29.29 seconds in length.
- Script and storyline was by Samantha Hayden CPT, EN, US Army Corps of Engineers.
- The music track was composed by a Walla Walla High School student Jeremy Ueckert
- The entire spot was animated and compiled by Walla Walla High School Students.
- Animation software is Lightwave V9 Modeler and Layout.
- Video editing was done in Adobe Premier Studio.
- The destroyer was modeled after the actual “BLUE DEVIL DESTROYER.”

Personnel Report (from 12/12/06 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Classified) Brooke Bouchey, Intervention Specialist, Paine Alternative
Kimberly Conde, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School
Chris Young, Custodian, Walla Walla High School

• Resignations/Retirements
(Classified) David Black, Para-Educator, Garrison, 3 months
Kathleen Juris, Para-Educator, Paine, 17 years
Jeanette Wright, Secretary, Plant Facilities, 28 years (Jeanette will retire April 13, 2007)

• Leave of Absence
(Classified) Irene Randow, Para-Educator, Prospect Point, 8.5 years (January-May 2007 to fulfill student teaching requirements)

District PSE staff donate to local charities
Recently Public School Employees donated $150 to Hospice, Salvation Army, Christian Aid, the Senior Center and Helpline. The funds were donated to help the less fortunate during the holiday season.

Garrison Health Fair draws 350 adults
Last week Garrison Middle School hosted approximately 350 adults and students at this event featuring a variety of healthy activities. From exercise and fitness to a healthful meal which included meatless taco bar, fresh smoothie bar
and cider press, participants had numerous opportunities to learn keys to a healthy lifestyle.

Health assessments were performed by Walla Walla Community College Nursing Students as well as St. Mary Medical Center personnel in search of candidates for a free course in Lifestyle Management. This course is offered as part of a Rural Health Grant. More than 30 candidates are signed up for classes offered in the winter months beginning Tuesday, January 9. There will be a Spanish class and an English class offered to the Garrison and surrounding communities.

Parents also participated in assessments of the school nutrition and fitness policies, providing data for a research project coordinated by the University of Washington Center for Public Nutrition.

The next school health fair will be at Pioneer Middle School the week of April 9, 2007. A community-wide health fair will be held at Walla Walla Community College on Saturday, March 10 from 1-5 p.m.

Elementary Explorer Gifted Education Program nominations open
Nominations are now open for the 2007-2008 Explorer (Gifted Education) Program at the elementary school level. Nomination forms are available in school offices and on the district website (under both the District A-Z and Support Programs links on the left side of the home page).

The deadline for nominations is Friday, January 19, 2007. Further testing will take place from February through May, and students will be notified of results during the first week of June.

If you would like more information on the program, contact your school learning specialist or the elementary Explorer teachers at 526-1706.