WASL testing under way throughout the district this week
This week students throughout the entire state, including Walla Walla Public Schools, began the annual Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) testing. Students in grades 3 through 8 as well as all 10th grade students participate in the assessment.
Additionally, in our schools, 20 ninth-grade students chose to take the high school WASL “early” during their freshman year and approximately 225 juniors looked to meet standard on the math portion of the high school test this week. Testing for high school students will wrap up today (Friday, April 20th) while elementary and middle school students will complete testing by the end of next week.
The WASL test is a statewide assessment which measures each student’s mastery of the state’s clearly identified benchmarks, or Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs) and Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs). The assessment asks students to complete multiple choice questions as well as short- and extended-response questions. Score results from the test are available to high school students in early June while elementary and middle school students receive score reports in early September.
Assessments by grade level
3rd: Reading, Math
4th: Reading, Math, Writing
5th: Reading, Math, Science
6th: Reading, Math
7th: Reading, Math, Writing
8th: Reading, Math, Science
High School: Math, Science (Reading and Writing were completed in March)
Edison low bond rates save taxpayer dollars
Tuesday night school board members approved Resolution #2-2007, Award of bond bids to fund the Edison construction project. The district sold bonds to fund the Edison construction project at a fixed interest rate just over four percent, which means Walla Walla taxpayers will pay less than originally projected to fund the project.
This lower than expected interest rate also mean the bonds will be repaid in 11 years — two years earlier than projected during the time of the bond election, according to Business Manager Aron Rausch’s report.
“This is a great reflection on Walla Walla Public Schools and terrific news for our taypayers,” Rausch said.
Funds will be available to the district May 1.
||District names Volunteers of the Year|
In celebration of April’s Volunteer Appreciation Month, Tuesday night Superintendent Rich Carter announced Dr. Howard Blessing, Vanessa Prull, and Jim Russo as the district’s 2007 Art Regier Volunteers of the Year. This award is presented in recognition of all the volunteers in our schools and their important contributions to our students and educational program.
The Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer 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.
Criteria for Selection
Criteria for selection may include the following:
1. Exceptional service or contributions to the children of Walla Walla Public Schools
2. Unusual dedication
3. Demonstration of care, compassion and empathy
Dr. Howard “Howie” Blessing - Dental Health Programs
Nominators - Jennifer Douglas, Terri Gilbert
• Member of the volunteer Dental Health Program for more than 15 years
• Known for his joyful, entertaining and humorous approach to educating students
• Presents 5th grade smokeless tobacco educational program in support of the Great American Smokeout
• Provides sealants, exams and helps promote good oral health for thousands of district students
Vanessa Prull - Chair, Citizens for Schools & President of the Edison PTA
Nominators: Ladema Myers and Nancy Withycombe
• Chair, Citizens for Schools Committee — Key to a successful Edison Bond election
• Leads Edison PTA efforts (current Edison PTA President)
• Active in Edison’s literacy improvement efforts
• Volunteers daily for the school’s designated reading hour
Jim Russo - Chair, School Health Advisory Committee
Nominators: Linda Boggs, Jean Carwile Masteller, Jennifer Douglas, and Julie Jones
• As chair of the School Health Advisory Committee, he has been very active in the development and
implementation of the district’s Nutrition and Physical Fitness Policy and Procedures
• Dedicated to researching and providing important information which helped the district establish improved Nutrition and Fitness standards that are in place today
• Volunteers at Berney with hands-on science projects and other positive learning activities
||Wa-Hi Future Problem Solving team qualifies for International Competition|
The Future Problem Solving team of Emily Pinney, Josh Ness, Katie O’Brien and Maeve McClellan earned 3rd place in the senior division of the FPS State Bowl and will travel to Fort Collins, CO for the International competition May 31 through June 3.
The students will compete against teams from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia and other state winners. Privacy is the topic for the International competition.
Also in the senior division, Wa-Hi earned a 5th place from the team of Kiernan Charnley-Ovens, Emily Hollenbeck, Ksenia Skorohodova and Brian James, and a 7th place from the team of Jeff Ladderud, Janet Hill and Tyler Hurlburt. The team of Emma Burgess, Erica Burmood and Denali Molitor earned 3rd place in the middle division. The FPS state bowl was held in Stanwood on April 12. The teams are coached by John and Gay Buissink.
Garrison Middle School sent five teams to the Future Problem Solving State Level Competition from April 11-13. The students performed very well, according to advisor Beth Clearman. Robert Allen, Annie Ladderud, Kyle Jameson, and Aaron Gogl placed sixth. Garrison also had two sixth grade teams place 8th and 9th in the State. They are: Gustavo Torres, Travis Stinebaugh, Garrett French, Lila Weglin, Teagan Coleman, Tim Caudill, Connor Stone and Robert Miller.
Future Problem Solving is a critical-thinking program that emphasizes writing about futuristic topics and working collaboratively. This year’s state topic was Caring for the Elderly.
Three teams of Future Problem Solvers from Pioneer Middle School earned the honor of attending State Bowl. Teams included a 3-person sixth grade team, Marisol Beck, Calvin Brigham, and Justin Knight. Two seventh/eighth grade teams included Jocelyn Vargas, James Tupper-Bridges, Beth Meyer, Emylee Gobel; and Brittany Higgins, Katelyn Madsen, Dani Hall, and Parker Postlewait.
Garrison students rewarded for honesty through Character Counts program
This week Garrison students earned recognition for being very trustworthy through the school’s Character Counts program. Students Brady Bruton, Alyssa Martinez, Dean Atkinson, Danny Quackenbush, Dustin Bennett, Keltan Fulmar, and Shelby Mountain found money, wallets and other items not belonging to them at school and turned them in to their principal.
“Many of the purses were ‘planted’ throughout the building as a test of character,” said Character Counts Coordinator Chris Blackman.
||Golden elected to governing board of National Schools Boards Association|
Walla Walla School Board President Anne Golden has been elected to the board of directors of the National School Boards Association. Golden was chosen for the position during the NSBA Delegate Assembly, which held its annual business meeting last Friday in San Francisco.
Golden will serve on the 25-member NSBA board as an at-large representative for the association’s Pacific Region, which is made up of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. She was elected to a three-year term and assumed office April 17. Golden succeeds North Thurston School Board member Bill Williams, who has served on the NSBA board since 2003.
The National School Boards Association is a national federation of state school boards associations that represent more than 95,000 school board members who govern the nation’s public schools. NSBA’s governing body is the board of directors, which carries out the policies and positions adopted by the association’s 150-member delegate assembly.
Golden previously served as president of the Washington State School Directors’ Association and a member of the WSSDA Board of Directors. She has chaired numerous association committees and currently serves as chair of the WSSDA Student Achievement Task Force. She also trains school board members in strategic planning and professional development.
Golden has served on the Walla Walla school board since 1987. She has been active in community service through a number of national, state and local organizations, including the American Heart Association, United Way, Camp Fire Boys and Girls, YWCA, the American Red Cross, and the Walla Walla Community College Foundation Board of Governors. She chaired the state Correctional Industries Board of Directors and is a past member of the state Council on Volunteerism and Community Service.
Community involvement helps district develop new Technology Plan
The district recently concluded a year-long effort to develop a new, three year Technology & Learning Plan. (View at: http://resources.wwps.org/)
The process, which included input and involvement from community leaders, school board, staff, parents and others, focused on the integration of technology in the classroom.
“Our goal is to support technology literacy as one of the 21st Century learning outcomes, preparing and empowering our students for success in the global workplace,” Technology Director Janis Barton said.
Special thanks to:
• Jack Morris, ESD 123 IT Coordinator (facilitator)
Punkey Adams, WW County Library Director
Todd Brandenburg, Pocket iNet Owner
Tom McMakin, Doyle Telecom Owner
Jeffrey Rask, Qwest Global Account Manager
Cindy Meyer, School Board Member
Jim Sporleder, Garrison Principal
Dana Jones, Pioneer Principal
Connie Taylor-Randall, Blue Ridge Principal
Dan Johnson, Facilities Support Director
Rick Pummel, Network Engineer
Steve Olsen, Telecommunications
Pat Griffith, Technology Secretary
William Calhoun, WWHS
Mike Gobel, WWHS
Dennis Bennett, Pioneer
Shannon Ahrens, Garrison
Martin Telstad, Green Park
Brad Hobbs, Green Park
Margaret Yount, Blue Ridge
Terri Gilbert, Sharpstein
Linda Seibold, Sharpstein
Jo Anna Gogl, Edison
Margo Piver, Prospect Point
||Community leadership sought for high school study |
Tuesday night School Board President Anne Golden said board members were going to begin contacting potential Task Force members. She asked that names of community leaders (with contact information) to serve as potential members be sent to Marilyn Brown in the Superintendent’s Office. Golden said she hopes to have the Task Force set by mid-May.
The following areas, and others, are expected to be studied by the High School Task Force.
• Replace vs. remodel Wa-Hi
• Second high school option
• College Place High School
• Alternative Education
(Programs & facilities)
• Vocational Tech Center possibilities
• Athletic facility options
Wa-Hi school newspaper “The Journal” earns 1st Place award
The Wa-Hi school newspaper “The Journal” recently received a 1st place ranking in the annual newspaper review and contest of the American Scholastic Press Association for 2006-2007. Each school must submit two issues.
The Journal staff submitted the November and December issues. Points are scored in content coverage, page design, general plan, art, advertising and illustrations, editing, and creativity. Wa-Hi scored 940 out of a possible 1000 points. Wa-Hi also received a 1st place ranking 2002.
“At the start of this year, I asked the students if they wanted to put another plaque of distinction on the wall, and they enthusiastically said yes,” Journal Advisor Gay Buissink said. “This is very exciting for the class. This ranking really validates their work.”
Pioneer Mariachi Group to perform at Berney
The Pioneer Mariachi Group (including the 7th-8th grade orchestra, various 7th grade choral students, & a few others) will be performing at Berney Elementary Friday, May 4 at 2 p.m.
The performance will include De Colores, Las Golandrinas, La Valentina, & La Bamba. Orchestra students have been learning the guitarron & vihuela, both traditional mariachi instruments, in preparation for this performance, according to Orchestra teacher Julia Woods.
||School board members learn from peers at National Conference|
Last week Superintendent Rich Carter accompanied Walla Walla School Board members to San Francisco to attend the National School Board Association’s Annual Conference. The goal of the conference is to empower local school districts with the latest tools and strategies for raising student achievement.
“This is a great opportunity to learn from your peers, share your own successes, and get energized,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “The conference features practical, applicable sessions and workshops. It is also an excellent opportunity to network and share solutions with colleagues from school districts across the nation.”
This year’s speakers included: Former South African President F.W. de Klerk; former U.S. President Bill Clinton; inspirational educators and former students Erin Gruwell & Maria Reyes; and actress, author, and mother Jamie Lee Curtis.
||Wa-Hi JROTC shooting team captain wins overall first place, sets two new Army records at all-services national finals meet in Georgia|
A Walla Walla High School senior was on target and in the bullseye to win the National JROTC Individual Precision Air Rifle Championship last weekend at Fort Benning, Georgia. She just also happened to set two new Army JROTC records along the way.
Cadet Major Amber Criss serves as executive officer (or “Number Two Person” in the leadership structure) of the Wa-Hi Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps “Blue Devils” Cadet Battalion. She’s also the shooting team captain. She competed in the two-day event that brought together the top 66 precision shooters, and more than 60 “sporter” shooters, from Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine JROTC units in the United States and from overseas schools for military families.
Criss won with a final combined total score of 1273.7, edging out the next nearest competitor’s 1273.15, from a Navy JROTC team, winning by a margin of 0.55 points.
“I’m so excited and proud to have done my best,” said Criss. “I’ve been shooting against this same guy for three years and we’ve always been friendly rivals. It was great to compete against so many great shooters from all over and to be able to live up to my coach’s confidence in me!”
This National Finals event for JROTC shooters from all services was hosted by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia. The National Finals were sponsored by the Director of the U.S. Civilian Marksmanship Program, Gary Anderson. He heads up that program from offices in Port Townshend, Ohio. The Western Regional Championships that led to this event at Fort Benning were held in March at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Eastern Regional Championships were held in February at Fort Benning. The two events were qualifying rounds for the National finals.
Amber’s other achievements during the weekend came when she set two new Army JROTC records for precision air rifle. She bested the old record of 192.0 points for the offhand (also called “standing”) position with her score of 195.0 points. She also set a new record of 589.0 for the three-position event, in which shooters fire offhand, kneeling and prone (lying flat), besting the old record of 587.0.
||Wa-Hi to host Regional all-service JROTC competition Saturday|
More than 1,200 uniformed cadets from dozens of Pacific Northwest schools are expected to be on campus Saturday, April 21; event is open to the public at no cost.
The Walla Walla High School JROTC cadet battalion will host the annual regional championships on Saturday, April 21 at the campus here.
More than 1,200 cadets from Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps units will be on hand to compete in the prestigious Northwest Drill & Rifle Championships. Teams from more than 30 schools will go head-to-head in drill and ceremonies, inspections, physical fitness, and marksmanship.
JROTC cadets from all the military services learn military history, precision drill and ceremonial marching, marksmanship and leadership skills. The Wa-Hi “Blue Devil” cadet battalion invites the community to come out and observe this all-day event at the gymnasium.. The competition is open to the public and there is no charge to attend.
||Wa-Hi Drama Department presents “The Crucible”|
• May 3, 4, 5, 10 and 11 (7:00 p.m. curtain time)
• May 12 (2:00 p.m. curtain time)
Location: Walla Walla High School Auditorium
Cost: $6 - Students & senior citizens / $8 adults
Tickets: WWHS Auditorium Box Office open April 23-May 11 / Monday-Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and one hour before curtain time.
About the play...
The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller in 1953, is a haunting illustration of what happens when personal responsibility for evil is denied. Set in 1692 during the Salem Witch Trials, it was meant to reflect upon the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950s and is a sobering look at the problem of guilt by association. It opens with a Puritan town’s conservative minister witnessing a group of young girls participating in forbidden revelry. The minister summons a clergyman who specializes in witchcraft to the town, and he is able to draw out a confession from a young maid who says she has made a pact with the devil. Soon the other girls confess and begin accusing those who cross or disbelieve them, and the town is torn apart by hatred and paranoia. The lengths to which the characters will go to eradicate perceived wickedness from the community will send shivers down your spine. This will be a performance you will not want to miss!
Betty Parris - Desiree Helm
Reverend Samuel Parris - Peter Anderson
Tituba - Preethi Thomas
Abigail Williams - Ryan Campeau
Susanna Wallcott - Jennifer Wickham
Mrs. Ann Putnam - Elizabeth Hicks
Thomas Putnam - Challan Robertson
Mercy Lewis - Sydney Boyd
Mary Warren - Kristin Glaeser
John Proctor - David Ross
Rebecca Nurse - Lindsie Wagner
Giles Corey - Jacob Hafen
Reverend John Hale - Thomas Rowley
Elizabeth Proctor - Anne Marie Jones
Francis Nurse - Stephen Trego
Ezekiel Cheever - Preston Loomer
John Willard Herrick - Andrew Benzel
Judge Hawthorne - Ethan Spence
Deputy-Governor Danforth - Daniel Rose
Sarah Good - Joanne Coleman
Hopkins - Michael Bell
Ann Ward - Lori Goodwin
Ruth Putnam - Taylor Spence
Martha Corey - Kaylee Stack
Director: Brian Senter
Assistant Director: Vivian Glaeser
Producers: Mindy Meyer and Carina Stillman
Costumer: Maribeth Bergstrom
Set Construction: Kevin Loomer
Art Work: Wendi McCloy
||Personnel Report (from 4/18/07 school board meeting)|
• New Hires
(Certificated) Celia Boyd, Preschool Special Education, Blue Ridge (07-08)
Cheryl Peters, Special Education, Wa-Hi (07-08)
(Classified) Russell Kinsfather, Seasonal Grounds worker, Facilities Support
Bonnie Pearson, Health Clinician, Prospect Point
Joe Wilkins, Seasonal Grounds worker, Facilities Support
(Coaching) Nancy Wells, Dance Instructor, Wa-Hi
(Certificated) LTC Gary G. Banks, ROTC Instructor, Wa-Hi (22 years)
Sara Van Donge, Bilingual Second Grade, Sharpstein, 7 years
• Sara will continue as a .5 FTE
Cami Coers, Para-Educator, Wa-Hi (3 years)
• Cami was on leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year
Kristin Gehrett, Para-Educator, Garrison, 1 year
• Kristin taught Science at Pioneer Middle School for the 2006-07 school year
Brian Heim, Para-Educator, Wa-Hi, 1.5 months
Sara McMasters, Health Clinician, Pioneer, 1 year
Mary Palotas, Health Clinician, Green Park, 19 years
Bonnie Roberson, Secretary to the Director of Food Services, 11 years
Barbara Woodland, Health Clinician/Assistant Secretary, Blue Ridge, 11 years
• Barbara was on a leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year
Adriana Ruiz, Family Advocate, Blue Ridge Preschool Program, 7 years
• Adriana was on a leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year
• Leave of Absence
(Certificated) Genie Huntemann, Fifth Grade Teacher, Edison, 8 years
Edison students to perform Three Billy Goats Gruff
Edison third grade students are performing “Three Billy Goats Gruff” to raise money for their community service project, Books for Babes. The performance is Friday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Edison gym.