Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 5, 2007

In this Issue:

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 15 -- NO SCHOOL
Classes resume Tuesday, January 16.

School board meeting

Tuesday, January 16
7:30 p.m.
Location: Board Room - District Office (364 S. Park Street)
Open to public
Edison parent to head Citizens for Schools Committee
Edison Elementary parent Vanessa Prull has recently been named chair of the Citizens for Schools Committee to lead efforts to inform the community regarding the February 6 Edison bond proposal. (Visit the district website at www.wwps.org to learn more about the Edison bond proposal.)

The mission of this non-profit, community organization is to ensure Walla Walla Public Schools have the resources and support necessary to provide essential educational programs and activities to Walla Walla children.

Prull and her husband Matthew -- a professor at Whitman College who is currently chair of the Psychology Department -- have two children (Emily - 10, Rachel - 5) who both attend Edison. Emily is also in Explorers. The Prull’s moved to Walla Walla in 1999. Vanessa works at the YWCA as a special events coordinator and development officer. She and her husband both graduated from San Jose State University and attended graduate school at Claremont Graduate University.

“We specifically chose to live in the Edison area because we heard that the staff is so wonderful there - a tip that has proven to be true,!” she said. “There is a wonderful sense of community and comradery at Edison - even my children, who tend towards the shy side, feel empowered and comfortable there. But the facilities do not fully meet the needs of this wonderful community of teachers and learners. I want to give them an environment that encourages and inspires learning, not just houses it.”

Other key members of the Citizens for Schools Committee for the Edison bond proposal are Bill Musick, Jennifer Northam, and Katherine Hogan. Community involvement is always encouraged and sought.

Walla Walla teachers earn national certificates
Congratulations to Walla Walla Public Schools teachers Rob Ahrens (Walla Walla High School), Bill Calhoun (Walla Walla High School), Arthur Curry (Walla Walla High School), Michelle Carpenter (Green Park), Diane Mires (Green Park), Robin Peterson (Green Park), Martin Telstad (Green Park), and Jean Tobin (Green Park) for recently receiving certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Requirements included authoring a detailed professional portfolio, video taping classroom instruction and passing a challenging assessment to test subject knowledge. These teachers earned a 10-year certificate and will receive a $3,500 annual stipend.

Superintendent Coffee Hour -- Berney Elementary
Friday, January 19
• Berney Elementary
8:15 to 9:00 a.m.
This is an excellent opportunity to meet Superintendent Rich Carter and discuss local, state and national educational issues.

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 that participates in the contest. A picture of the winner and his/her 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.

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
What costs are included in the $19.5 million project?
Project cost includes: architect fees, building permits, value engineering, construction management, state sales tax of 8.3%, furniture, equipment, additional land purchase, technology, outdoor play spaces, bond costs, and other miscellaneous fees required by the State of Washington to receive state matching funds.

Is it true the Edison project will cost tax payers less per $1,000 of assessed valuation than the Sharpstein project did?
Yes, the Edison project will increase the local bond rate 20 cents per thousand of assessed valuation -- an average of $2.50 per month on a $150,000 house. The Sharpstein project was 54 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation.

Valuation increases and community growth contributing to a broadening tax base are key factors resulting in the Edison bond proposal being less per thousand of assessed valuation than the Sharpstein project.

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.