Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 19, 2007

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Edison ballots mail today
Walla Walla voters will receive their mail ballots today to determine whether a new Edison Elementary School is built. The February 6 bond measure would replace the existing 70-year-old Edison Elementary on an expanded current site with a two-story, 63,000 square foot school.

The new Edison would serve approximately 450 students to meet current district elementary capacity issues and long-range community growth projections.

Edison Project benefits:
• Better classrooms (advanced technology, furniture, improved lighting, sound systems to better hear teachers, A/C)
• Needed additional classrooms
• Modern library and technology labs
• Teacher prep rooms and testing areas
• Separate cafeteria and PE spaces
• Added student capacity for future growth
• Improved safety (Hobson Street entrance)

The cost of the project is $19.5 million. The Edison project would increase the local bond rate 20 cents per thousand of assessed valuation. This is an average of $30 per year or $2.50 per month if your house is valued at $150,000. The goal of the bond is to provide Edison Elementary students the best education possible.

Edison bond presentations scheduled next week
• Monday, Jan. 22: Exchange Club (Noon - Elk’s Lodge)
• Tuesday, Jan. 23: Economic Development Committee (Noon - Walla Walla Regional Airport)
• Tuesday, Jan. 23: Walla Walla Valley Lodging Association (2 p.m. - Inn at Blackberry Creek - 1126 Pleasant St.)
• Wednesday, Jan. 24: Chamber of Commerce Synergy Luncheon (Noon - Elk’s Lodge)

These presentations are excellent sources of information on the Edison bond issue. Information is also available on the district’s website at www.wwps.org or by calling the Communications Department at 526-6716.

More study needed on K-12 Common Collaboration schedule
At Tuesday night’s school board meeting Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs made a case for a K-12 Common Collaboration schedule, citing improved professional development for staff, more opportunities for transitional grade level planning, and a less hectic schedule for students and families.

Currently the district offers a split schedule — early release for elementary and late start for secondary students — for teacher collaboration and training. Some families have found this schedule difficult to manage — especially those with children in both elementary and secondary schools. District studies have also found there are challenges associated with a common schedule.

Boggs reminded school board members the district began looking at a Common Collaboration schedule in 2002. She said although the district could not build consensus at the time for a common schedule, it has always been the goal. She said the district needed time to allow teacher collaboration to earn the trust of staff and parents.

School board members have scheduled a public work session Tuesday, February 6 at 6 p.m. to further study advantages and disadvantages of implementing a K-12 Common Collaboration schedule.

The district will share additional information with school board members on what it would take to implement a K-12 Common Collaboration schedule and detail some of the challenges associated with making this change. No decisions have been made as whether the district will move away from the current split schedule.

January is School Board Recognition Month
Your School Board is making a difference for students and the entire community. Thanks for a job well done!
- Anne Golden, President
- Toni Rudnick, Vice President
- Tim Donaldson
- Mary Jo Geidl
- Cindy Meyer

Governor Gregoire’s husband to read to Prospect Point students
Tuesday Governor Christine Gregoire’s husband Mike will visit Prospect Point Elementary School at 10 a.m. to read to Prospect Point third grade students in Becky Rausch’s class.

The state’s “First Gentleman” is attempting to visit an elementary school in each county during the 06-07 school year to encourage students to read at least 20 minutes per day.

The book Mike reads is titled “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka. He will also answer questions and stop by the school library to thank the librarian for supporting literacy efforts.

Computer program helps students learn English
Regional networking among Columbia Basin League (CBL) high school principals helped bring a new program to Walla Walla High School designed to help monolingual students acquire English skills while learning subject content.

Wa-Hi Principal Darcy Weisner earlier this school year was at a CBL principals meeting when he asked what interventions other schools were offering to students with limited English language skills.

Weisner learned Davis High School was using CONEVyT -- a low cost computer-driven language program -- to help these under-represented students. This program is endorsed by OSPI and Governor Christine Gregoire and requires no special software or hardware.

Currently Wa-Hi has approximately 45 students who could greatly benefit from this program according to Assistant Principal Brett Cox who has been assigned to research and bring the program to Wa-Hi. Next semester Wa-Hi plans to implement the program beginning with 20 students selected by the Math Department.

Personnel Report (from 1/16/07 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Classified) Kathryn Austin, Health Clinician, Blue Ridge
John Edson, Bus Driver, Transportation
Jerry Failing, Bus Driver, Transportation
Nathan Ferraro, Para-Educator, Garrison

• Resignations/Retirements
(Certificated) Karen Smeed, Kindergarten teacher, Blue Ridge, 24 years (to retire at end of school year)
Michal Walters, Special Ed. Preschool teacher, Blue Ridge, 6 years

(Classified) Daniella Orozco, Assistant Secretary, Blue Ridge, 5 months
(*Daniella is resigning a portion of her assignment and will continue as a 3-hour a day employee.)

School Board Ongoing Committee Assignments for 2007
Tim Donaldson
• Budget Committee
• WIAA Liaison
• Certificated Negotiations (with Anne Golden)

Mary Jo Geidl
• Head Start Policy Council
• Extracurricular Supervisors Negotiations
• Administrative Negotiations Committee

Anne Golden
• Curriculum Advisory Committee
• Instructional Materials Committee
• Certificated Negotiations (with Tim Donaldson)
• Legislative Representative
• Safe Schools

Cindy Meyer
• Explorer Advisory Committee
• PTA Council
• Classified Negotiations (with Toni Rudnick)
• Technology/Telecommunications

Toni Rudnick
• Calendar Committee
• Career/Technical Education Committee
• Classified Negotiations (with Cindy Meyer)

Local PTA Reflections contest entries advance to state
Walla Walla area schools recently competed in the local level of the nationwide 2006-07 PTA Reflections Art Program with over 680 local students participating. Entries were conducted in the areas of literature, visual arts, photography, music, dance and film/video and was based on the theme, “My Favorite Place...”

Ten area school PTAs sent 10 entries to the PTSA Council level for judging. Award winning entries at the Council level continue on to the Washington State PTA for statewide judging with winners at that level going on to competition at the national level. The theme for the 2007-08 Reflections Art Contest will be “I Can Make a Difference by . . .”

The Walla Walla County PTSA Council recently held the awards ceremony for participants in the 2006-07 Reflections Council level competition. One hundred entries were submitted to the council level for judging; 18 entries were selected to continue competition at the Washington State PTSA level this spring.

The artwork and literature of all PTSA Council-judged entries plus all 680+ of the entries submitted for judging to the local PTA units are currently on display at Carnegie Art Center through January 26, 2007.
Carnegie is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am- 4:30 pm. There is no admission charge.

The 18 winning entries continuing on to the State Reflections Contest, in each category, are as follows (name, school, grade):

Literature Arts:
Reed Bond, 2nd grade, Prospect Point
Kaitlyn Calhoun, 4th grade, Green Park
Belle Taylor, 6th grade, Pioneer
Emma Timm-Ballard, 5th grade, Green Park
Austin Tucker, 11th grade, Wa-Hi
Ashlee Wall, 12th grade, Wa-Hi

Bryan Colombo, 12th grade, Wa-Hi
Avery Cortinas, 2nd grade, Edison

Visual Arts:
Reed Bond, 2nd grade, Prospect Point
Nick Brown, 3rd grade, Sharpstein
Skylar Druffel, 1st grade, Berney
Kaylee Erdman, 1st grade, Sharpstein
Hannah Hampson, 5th grade, Sharpstein
John Hoffman, 2nd grade, Green Park
Gerald Maib, 8th grade, Garrison
Jessie Shives, 5th grade, Berney

Ritu Patel, 1st grade, Green Park

Matt Skorina, 8th grade Garrison