Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 23, 2007

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It’s official - Edison Bond approved
Design planning begins
This week Walla Walla Public Schools received official certification documents from the Walla Walla County Auditor stating the February 6 Edison Bond proposal passed with just over a 61 percent approval mark. During Tuesday night’s school board meeting, Business Manager Aron Rausch said planning steps to build the 63,000 square foot school set to open the in fall of 2009 have already begun.

In what Rausch described as hectic, but exciting, times he unveiled a four-page document detailing a seven month schedule to get the project design process underway.

Last week Rausch met with John Evans of Architects West in what he referred to as the first project meeting. Evans and his firm designed the award winning Sharpstein Elementary modernization seven years ago. Rausch said he feels comfortable working with Architects West since a relationship has already been established through the Sharpstein project. He also said area sub-contractors have praised the district’s choice, noting the firm’s exceptional record for communications and attention to detail.

Planning highlights to look for in the coming weeks:
• Meet with home owners (get appraisals on 8 homes)
• Organize neighborhood meetings
• Conduct monthly planning meetings
• Develop design standards for 21st Century classrooms
• Work with financial advisor (Seattle NW Securities)
• Meet with Edison staff
• Hire construction manager (Roen & Associates)
• Competitive bond sale
• Apply for state matching funds
• Edison construction project page on district’s website

Collaboration schedule to remain split
Challenges of common schedule outweigh benefits
In a unanimous decision Tuesday night, school board members voted to keep the district’s Wednesday collaboration schedule the same.

After months of study which included parent and staff surveys, discussions with outside district officials and numerous planning meetings, Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs said last night final reports reveal there are more challenges to creating a K-12 common collaboration schedule than benefits.

Boggs said most of the challenges revolve around student safety, supervision, learning trends, and student program demands. As a result of these findings, the district will continue offering a split schedule on Wednesdays -- early release for elementary and late start for secondary students -- for teacher collaboration and training. Boggs stressed teacher collaboration remains a high priority and is positively impacting learning.
“We recognize this split schedule presents challenges for some families, but when you look at what’s best for students the split schedule best meets their needs,” Boggs said.

Boggs reminded school board members that all schools have options for parents which vary from open gym to study sessions if they need to keep their children in school during collaboration time.

“All principals are committed to working with parents’ individual needs if our current options don’t work,” Boggs said.

Wa-Hi girls varsity basketball team academic champs
Ten of Walla Walla High School’s 13 winter season teams earned Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) recognition for their academic success.
The WIAA gives two awards based on accumulative team GPA. The WIAA Distinguished Academic Award is given to teams with a GPA of 3.0 to 3.49 and the WIAA Outstanding Academic Award is given to teams with a GPA of 3.5 or better.
The Girls’ Varsity Basketball team was given special recognition—with a team GPA of 3.774. They were the State Academic Champions with the highest team GPA of any 4A team in the state. Congratulations to Coach Jack Mehn and the girls on the varsity team.

The following teams received WIAA recognition:
Outstanding Academic Award
• Varsity Girls’ Basketball 3.774
• Frosh A Girls’ Basketball 3.589
• JV Boys’ Basketball 3.553
• Frosh A Boys’ Basketball 3.517
• Boys’ Swimming 3.510

Distinguished Academic Award
• Frosh B Girls’ Basketball 3.355
• Varsity Boys’ Basketball 3.48
• Soph Girls’ Basketball 3.265
• JV Girls’ Basketball 3.243
• Varsity Wrestling 3.242

Members of our Wa-Hi Varsity Girls Basketball Academic State Championship team are: Abbey Reardon, Corrine Holbrook, Shanie Bushman, Jill McDaniels, Natalie Klicker, Madison Baxter, Anna Forge, Alicia Baker, Melissa Eastman, Melissa Rivard, Alice Crosby and Jennifer Keyes. The team will receive its State Recognition plaque March 3 in Tacoma at the State Championship game.

“Congratulations to our athletes and coaches for setting and reaching high expectations in the classroom,” District Athletic Director Don Wilkins said.

Lady Blue Devils face Pasco today
The Wa-Hi Girls’ Basketball team plays its second Regional Tournament game today at 4:00 p.m. vs. Pasco at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. Tickets are $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for students.

If Wa-Hi defeats Pasco, the team will be back at the Toyota Center for another game at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. Radio coverage is on KTEL 1490 AM.

Graduates of Distinction nominations sought
Walla Walla Public Schools graduates who have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers will be formally recognized this spring through the Graduates of Distinction program.

Nominations for inductees to this special program are now being accepted. Application forms are available at the district office, 364 South Park Street, and under District A-Z on the district website.

They must be completed and returned by April 15, 2007. Inductees will be recognized during a public reception and at the Wa-Hi Academic Recognition evening.

Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award nomination announcement
2006-2007 Nomination Announcement
Nominations for the annual Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award are now being accepted. Forms will be sent out to all staff this week.
This award was instituted in 1991 as a memorial to “Grandpa Art” Regier. Regier, a retiree who devoted years of service to elementary schools in Walla Walla, epitomized the spirit of volunteerism in education.
Send completed nomination forms to the Communications Department (364 South Park Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362) through Friday, March 30.
Each nomination may be accompanied by no more than three letters of recommendation.
Recipients will be recognized at the April 18 school board meeting.Contact Communications Director Mark Higgins for more information, 526-6716.

Applications are now being accepted for the AAUW Educational Scholarships
Applications are now being accepted for the AAUW Educational Scholarships. This scholarship program was established to provide assistance to women who have completed at minimum one year of college (30 semester or 45 quarter credits) and have a desire to complete their undergraduate or post-graduate education. Please note that there must be a break of at least one year at some time during the college education process.

Applications will be accepted from women who meet the following requirements:
1) They must be able to provide transcripts from at least one year of college, followed by an interruption (time lapse) in education.
2) They must submit two letters of recommendation from someone familiar with their educational background and goals.
3) They must be residents of Walla Walla County, Columbia County, or the city of Milton-Freewater.

The scholarship committee is seeking women who demonstrate a desire to continue their education by completing or adding to their degree. While past academic performance will be considered, of equal importance is the person’s clearly demonstrated community involvement and enthusiasm for future community commitment. The individual financial need of the applicants will be considered in making the awards. The scholarship funds will be directed to the college of the recipient’s choice to be used as needed for educational expenses.

The application can be accessed at the AAUW website : http://www.aauw-wallawalla.org/
or call Alice at 509-522-5428 (amacd@charter.net) or Linda 541-938-2471 (moats@valint.net) for more information

Completed applications must be received by April 6, 2007. Send completed applications to Alice MacDonald, AAUW Scholarship Committee, 1429 Taumarson Rd., Walla Walla, WA 99362. Final candidates may be required to participate in a personal interview with the scholarship committee. The recipient of the award will be notified by the first week of May and introduced at the AAUW annual dinner meeting on May 8th. Please note that the scholarship is only awarded once per recipient.

Personnel Report (from 2/20/07 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Classified) Karen Hindman, Para-Educator, Opportunity
Brian Heim, Para-Educator, Wa-Hi
Nancy Taylor, Substitute Coordinator/Receptionist, District Office

• Resignations/Retirements
(Certificated) Sue Friese, Music Teacher, Garrison (30 years)
Kari Jones, Fifth-Grade Teacher, Sharpstein (5 years)
• Kari was on a leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year
Adam Withycombe, Explorers Program Teacher, Pioneer (4 years)
• Adam was on a leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year
Jenny Withycombe, Fifth-Grade Teacher, Prospect Point (4 years)
• Jenny was on a leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year
*NOTE: Certificated resignations are effective at the end of the 2006-07 school year.

(Classified) Carolyn Dietzman, Health Clinician, Prospect Point (3 years - total of 23 years in the district.) * Effective April 9, 2007

“Fitness Fever” Health Fair coming to Walla Walla Community College
Date: March 10
Time: 1-5 p.m.
Location: Walla Walla Community College’s Dietrich Dome
Theme: Fitness Fever. The concept is that each booth and participating agency/business will link themselves to fitness in Walla Walla and provide an idea for 1 minute change that visitors can make to improve their individual fitness level.

Be Seen! Businesses/agencies representing all aspects of health are encouraged to attend.
Booth Registration deadline: Tuesday, February 27

Health Fair Goals
1. Engage Community in activity(ies) that promotes exercise
• Provide hands on opportunities
• Get people talking

2. Connect people and local resources
• Vendors and local agency participation

3. Demonstrate array of choices accessible locally
• Focus on things that are possible here in Walla Walla
• Encourage relationships and socializing as it relates to fitness
and program success

4. Demonstrate link between fitness and the community resources
• Gang task forces-example.

5. Inspire community to make a change to improve their health.

Event Contact: Christa Guerrero, Program Coordinator, Walla Walla Rural Health Community Partnership
Walla Walla Community College
500 Tausick Way
Walla Walla, WA 99362
E-mail: christina.guerrero@wwcc.edu
(509) 529-1113
(541) 861-9868

Open enrollment & kindergarten registration dates set
Walla Walla Public Schools Open Enrollment and Kindergarten Registration period is Monday, March 19 to Friday March 30, 2007.

Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up open enrollment application forms at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning March 12, however forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, March 19. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school.

If there’s space available to accommodate some but not all open enrollment requests, then the priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office. Board policies are also online at: www.wwps.org.

Open Enrollment/Kindergarten Registration Hours
Monday, March 19 - 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
March 20 – March 30 - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street. For additional information, call Linda Boggs in the Curriculum Department: 526-6734.

'Walla Walla Kids Read' features national best selling authors
The Spring of 2007 will bring the first annual Walla Walla Kids Read program to local area schools. Created by local author Patrick Carman and organized under the umbrella of the district PTA, the program is designed to provide a chance for all Walla Walla area children grades one through six to hear a nationally known author presentation, participate in activities, and focus our young readers on the same award winning material.

This year the visiting authors are Walter Wick and Rodman Philbrick. All area students grade one through six are invited to this FREE program located at Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College Campus. Learn more at: www.wallawallakidsread.com

Blue Session 1: Walter Wick Grades: 1-3
Schools: Green Park, Edison, Prospect Point, Davis (College Place)
Time: Arrive at Cordiner Hall at 9 a.m, presentation begins promptly at 9:15am. Students and teachers welcome. Presentation will last approximately 45 minutes, ending at 10 a.m.

Red Session 1: Rodman Philbrick Grades: 4-6
Schools: Green Park, Edison, Prospect Point, Meadow Brook (College Place), Pioneer (6th grade only)
Time: Arrive at Cordiner Hall at 1 p.m., presentation begins promptly at 1:15 p.m. Students and teachers welcome. Presentation will last approximately 45 minutes, ending at 2 p.m.

Blue Session 2: Walter Wick Grades: 1-3
Schools: Berney, Edison, Blue Ridge, Sharpstein
Time: Arrive at Cordiner Hall at 9 a.m., presentation begins promptly at 9:15a.m. Students and teachers welcome. Presentation will last approximately 45 minutes, ending at 10 a.m.

Red Session 2: Rodman Philbrick Grades: 4-6
Schools: Berney, Edison, Blue Ridge, Sharpstein, Garrison (6th grade only)
Time: Arrive at Cordiner Hall at 1:00 p.m., presentation begins promptly at 1:15 p.m. Students and teachers welcome. Presentation will last approximately 45 minutes, ending at 2:00 p.m.

7 to 9 p.m.
Sharpstein Elementary School (410 Howard St. - 527-3098)

Schedule of Events:
7 to 8 p.m.
- Walter Wick and Rodman Philbrick will autograph books. Come early - first come, first serve - the authors will only sign for one hour.
- View student essays and I Spy entries on display.

8 to 8:45 p.m.
- A moderated discussion with Walter Wick and Rodman Philbrick! Bring your questions for a lively and engaging conversation with two great authors.


Penguin expert named keynote speaker for Great Explorations in Science and Math
Local volunteers are planning for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) “Great Explorations in Science and Math” event Saturday, March 24 at Whitman College for girls in grades 5 to 8.

Longtime event coordinator and former school board member Jeanne Beirne has again volunteereed to help organize the event.

Beirne said this year’s event will feature Elizabeth Skewgar as the keynote speaker. Skewgar -- a doctoral candidate in biology at the University of Washington -- is an expert on penguins. More than 250 girls and 50 volunteers are expected to participate.

Event highlights
• 20 hands-on workshops
• Panel discussion (getting girls excited about math and science)
• Use of Whitman College classrooms and labs
• Keynote Speaker - Elizabeth Skewgar (penguin expert)
• 250 participants and 50 local volunteers

Event Facts
Date: Saturday, March 24
Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Whitman College
Registration: Forms will be sent home with girls (grades 5-8) and available at district schools.

Head Start/ECEAP meets to help transition students to Kindergarten
Last evening parents of students entering kindergarten in the school year 2007-08 met at the Blue Ridge Elementary library to learn more about registering for kindergarten.

Parents received an overview of the kindergarten program, learned how to register, and gathered information about Spanish-instructed classrooms. Currently there are 120 students scheduled to enroll in kindergarten next fall.

Spring Parent-Teacher Conference Schedule
NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS - Thursday, March 8 and Friday, March 9

Tuesday, March 6 - 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7 - 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 8 - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Blue Ridge Elementary
Wednesday, March 7 - 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 8 - 8:00 a.m. to Noon; 1:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Blue Ridge Preschool will have no classes for the entire week. Conferences will be:
Monday & Tuesday, March 5 & 6 - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday & Thursday, March 7 & 8 - 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 6 - 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7 - 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 8 - 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Green Park
Wednesday, March 7 - 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 8 - 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Prospect Point
Monday, March 5 - 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7 - 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 8 - 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Tuesday, March 6 - 3:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7 - 2:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 8 - 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Garrison Middle School
Tuesday, March 6 - 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7 - 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 8 - 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
* 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. /staff development activities

Pioneer Middle School
Tuesday, March 6 - 5:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7 - 5:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 8 - 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – mini retreat - 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Paine Alternative School
Tuesday, March 6 - 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7 - 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 8 - 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Opportunity Center
Opportunity parents come in during their student’s appointments

Walla Walla High School
Monday, March 5 - 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (drop-in)
Wednesday, March 7 - 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (drop in)
Thursday, March 8 - 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (scheduled conferences)

Homelink Program @ Berney
Friday, March 2 - 8:00 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.
Monday, March 5 - 2:30 p.m. to 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 6 - 2:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.

Wa-Hi JROTC cadets attract media attention
The members of the Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet battalion have been in the public eye quite a lot recently, catching the interest of print and broadcast media outlets for their successes and accomplishments.

On Wednesday, several cadets and one of their advisors traveled to Kennewick for early morning live on-air interviews at KVEW-42-ABC television and KONA-610-AM radio. They were talking to the media about JROTC programs and activities, including drill meets and shooting matches.

JROTC program director Lt. Col. Gary Banks escorted Cadet Lt. Col. Darci White (cadet battalion commander and captain of the drill teams), Cadet Major Amber Criss (cadet battalion executive officer and captain of the shooting teams), and Cadet 1st Lt. Sheila Hein (cadet commander of Bravo Company and public affairs representative) for the visits. The first stop featured Criss during a segment of KVEW’s “Good Morning Northwest” with anchor Kevin Uretsky. The group also went to KONA and visited with morning show anchor Michael McDonnal and news director Dennis Shannon.

Adding to the media attention, the cadets and JROTC advisor Master Sgt. Gerry Taylor hosted a visit by Andy Porter of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin on Thursday afternoon for interviews and photos to be used with an upcoming story in the community newspaper.

To wrap up their week, the JROTC will host television reporter Patrick Noland from KNDU-25-NBC today. He’ll be developing a story for broadcast, talking about the successes of the Wa-Hi cadets’ drill and rifle competitions, as well as their upcoming trips to Colorado Springs, Colo., for a qualifying shooting match to advance to national finals, and so that Criss can compete in the Junior Olympics.