Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 11, 2007

In this Issue:

(Click on article
to read more)

(AP) Governor Gregoire signs legislation to improve Math and Science Education
Governor Chris Gregoire Tuesday signed into law a measure that will extend the date to 2013 by which students must meet the state math and science standards for high school graduation. Students must meet the requirements through the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) or an alternative assessment.

Students that do not meet the standard are required to take more math credits. The bill also provides for additional alternative assessments by which students can demonstrate they meet standards. Previously, the requirement would have been to meet math standards by the class of 2008 and science standards by the class of 2010.

“We must improve math and science teaching and learning, but we cannot penalize students when the system has failed them,” said Governor Gregoire. “This bill extends to 2013 the deadline for students to meet the state math and science standards through the WASL or an approved alternative for high school graduation.”

Governor Gregoire vetoed sections 9, 10, 11 and 13 of the bill:
Section 9: Directs End-of-Course assessments to be developed
Section 10: Establishes an ESD Appeals panel
Section 11: Provides ELL students with an exemption from WASL testing
Section 13: Indicates the act preserves public peace, health, & safety & is effective immediately.

Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6023, sponsored by Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell), passed the Senate with 30 votes and passed the House with 56 votes. The bill takes effect July 22, 2007.

School board meeting Tuesday
Regularly scheduled meeting - Tuesday, May 15
7:30 p.m.
District Office (364 S. Park Street)
Open to public

Superintendent Rich Carter salutes teachers
This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. On behalf of the entire school district, I want to thank our teachers for the quality work they are doing to improve academic achievement and helping students build a solid foundation for success.

Teachers are at the heart of all we do in public education. Research is clear that teachers have a tremendous impact on a quality education. We are building great leadership capacity in all of our schools, thanks to our teachers’ willingness to make change for the improvement of student achievement.

This year’s national theme — “Great Teachers Make Great Public Schools” — draws attention to the crucial role teachers play in making sure every child receives a quality public education and conveys the hard work they do each day to make public schools great for every child.

I urge our entire community to join me in recognizing the dedication and professionalism of our teachers by expressing appreciation for a job well done. I am tremendously proud of each and every one of you.
Rich Carter, Superintendent

Sharpstein Garden Committee starts school garden project
Last weekend members of the Sharpstein Garden Committee and work team volunteers began constructing the school’s raised beds garden project. The project is being created to help students learn more about plants, the importance of eating healthy foods, responsibility and school pride. The garden boxes are being constructed out of beautiful redwood material for durability and appearance. Work will continue on the project Saturday as the committee hopes to plant later this month. Students will plant vegetables, flowers and herbs.

Project leader Beth Thiel says she hopes students will be more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables if they have grown them in the school garden. Food grown in the school garden will be incorporated into the school’s food service program.

Next year an Americorps adult will lead a garden-related educational program for students. In addition to helping students tend to the garden, the Americorps staff person will also educate students on plant origin, nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. The Sharpstein Garden Committee has secured volunteer support for garden care and to provide upkeep and maintenance.

Sharpstein Garden Committee
- Beth Thiel, Chair
- Nicole Gryler
- Laure Quaresma
- Jason Parsons

Sharpstein Garden work team:
- Scott and Kelly Caldwell
- Brian Wolcott

Special thanks to the following companies for these generous donations:
Kooskooskie Commons (Fiscal agent for the Sharpstein Garden Committee)
Home Depot (Building materials)
Andy’s Market (Food donation for volunteers)
Subway (Food donation for volunteers)

For donation information, contact Beth Thiel (bethbri@bmi.net).

School board members approve purchase of homes for Edison project
School board members during a special meeting Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. approved the purchase of four homes associated with the expansion of the site for the upcoming Edison Elementary construction project.

School board members also approved the following Personnel Report (05/09/07):
• Employment
Certificated: Kristin Gehrett, Special Education Behavior Classroom, Paine Alternative
Vivian Glaeser, Math, Walla Walla High School
Julie Schisler, Bilingual Second Grade, Sharpstein

• Resignations/retirements
Certificated: Mike Martin, Agriculture, Walla Walla High School, 25 years

Classified: Rolando Tello, Para-Educator, Sharpstein, 5 years
- Rolando was on a leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year

• Leave of Absences
Classified: Karen Watson, Cook, Berney, 8 years
- Leave requested for the remainder of the 2006-07 school year

Tech Fair promotes 21st Century Learning
This week the district’s Technology Department hosted a Tech Fair to show staff how technology can be used in the classroom to support learning.

“The purpose of the fair was to emphasize the need to reform curriculum and instruction to prepare students for the global digital workforce,” Technology Director Janis Barton said. “The Edison staff had the opportunity to learn first-hand from our innovative teachers who use technology daily in their classrooms. Excitement and enthusiasm was generated for providing 21st Century learning environments in the new Edison construction. Thank you to each presenter and participant.”

Demonstrations included the following:
• Student involved conferences using PowerPoint presentations by Terri Gilbert
• Classroom Performance System, Wireless Projection, Tablet PC, Document Cameras by William Calhoun
• Entry Tasks, Electronic Word Walls, Picture books with PowerPoint, GroupWise by Dennis Bennett
• Interactive whiteboards, Tinker Plots by Anthony Barba
• Laptops in the Classroom , Inspiration, Starry Night by Shannon Ahrens
• PowerPoint, Internet Research & Safety, EasyGrade Pro by Martin Telstad
• Explorers Projects: Trooper Times, Creating DVDs, student websites by Beth Clearman

Technical products for use in the demonstrations were provided by Robert Berry from TROXELL Communications and Nichole Rausch from Hitachi. The multimedia equipment included video projectors, document cameras, screens, StarBoard tablets, and classroom audio systems. These products were provided by Hitachi , Avermedia and Front Row.

Wa-Hi athletes honored for academics
Walla Walla High School recently received confirmation from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) that 16 of the school’s 19 spring athletic teams earned academic honors. This spring nearly 400 students are participating in spring sports at WWHS.

Outstanding Academic Award (3.5 and above)
Varsity Softball 3.689
J.V. Girls Tennis 3.675
Varsity Girls Track 3.629
Varsity Boys Tennis 3.594
Varsity Girls Golf 3.539
Varsity Girls Tennis 3.506

Distinguished Academic Award (3.0 to 3.499)
J.V. Boys Golf 3.427
Varsity Boys Golf 3.366
Varsity Baseball 3.352
Frosh Softball 3.338
Frosh Baseball 3.324
J.V. Softball 3.264
J.V. Boys Tennis 3.264
Varsity Boys Track 3.196
J.V. Girls Track 3.187
J.V. Boys Track 3.078

“Congratulations to our athletes and to the coaches who set high standards for them and hold them to the standards,” said District Athletic Director Don Wilkins. “Thanks also to all the staff who teach and support these athletes on a daily basis. This continues to support the fact that students who are in activities and connected to school are more successful.”

Carnegie art show features wind, water and weather
Carnegie Art Center’s annual docent-sponsored family show, this show depicts the wonderful beauty and forces of nature interpreted by nine Northwest artists. Entitled “Wind, Water and Weather,” it features the works of these local artists and photographers: Roy and Joyce Anderson, Mark VanDonge, Carol Cole, Tye Watts, and Anne Hysell.

The show runs through May 25, 2007. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Several elementary classes have already had field trips to the exhibit.

Wa-Hi Crest Club organizes blood drive
This week Wa-Hi’s Crest Club teamed with the American Red Cross to organize a campus blood drive. Flocksw of students and staff participated in the annual event to help replenish area blood bank demands. This year’s goal of 100 units was met according to club advisor Michelle Higgins.

The Crest Club consists of senior girls who maintain high academic standings and are involved in positive school activities.

Wa-Hi Latino Club members volunteer for Balloon Stampede set-up
Nine members of the Walla Walla High School Latino Club spent Saturday morning, May 5, at the fairgrounds as part of the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede set-up crew. These outstanding students put up Stampede banners along Ninth, Orchard, and Tietan Streets.

The crew then painted sign posts for the various events to be held Mother’s Day weekend. The Club is looking forward to attending the “Latino Beat Celebration” which will be held during the Stampede on Sunday, May 13, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. according to club advisor Diana Erickson.

Jennifer Castro, Event Coordinator of the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce stated that “I hope they know how important their role is in their community and that their efforts will set standards for others to follow.”

Edison construction project architect addresses public
Wednesday community members had an opportunity to meet Edison Construction project lead architect John Evans during a community meeting. Evans provided a progress report, discussed the planning process and answered questions.

He is scheduled to come back to Walla Walla for two open houses in the coming weeks. He said first draft conceptual designs will be unveiled at the May 23 open house. Community members are encouraged to attend. Edison Public Open Houses: May 23 and June 6 -- 3:30 to 5 p.m -- Edison Gym.

Elks Lodge honors Garrison and Pioneer students for excellence
Congratulations to the following Garrison and Pioneer Middle School students for recently receiving Elks Students of the Year Awards. These students were selected by their teachers for outstanding scholarship and citizenship at school.

Garrison Middle School recipients:
6th grade: Allison Greene
Parents: Jeffrey & Kim Greene

7th grade: Alexi Storm
Parents: Terry & Amy Storm

8th grade: Jocelyn Thompson
Parent: Katharine Thompson

Pioneer Middle School recipients:
Quinn Anderson - 6th grade
Parents: Mark and Dina Anderson

Tianna Cummings - 7th grade
Parents: Lori and Terry Thomas; Ted and Laura Cummings

Stephanie Wilson - 8th grade
Glenn and Karie Wilson

“We are very proud of these students,” Pioneer Assistant Principal Jon Abbott said. “They are wonderful students and very deserving of this recognition. We very much appreciate our local Elks lodge for sponsoring their student award program.”

Preschool students partner with Veterans nursing home
This week students in the Head Start /ECEAP program visited the Veterans Administration Nursing Home to meet with elderly residents as part of a new partnership program.

Each month students will visit the VA to sing songs and talk with residents. Students will also begin a letter exchange program. Preschool students also made red, white and blue bracelets for their new friends as a way to salute them for their contributions to our country.

Wa-Hi student’s art project takes Judges’ Choice award at state competition
Congratulations to Walla Walla High School Senior Ariel Bermoy for winning the Judges’ Choice Award at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Washington State High School Art Show. Ariel’s artwork will be purchased for $200 and his artwork will become part of the permanent collection at the Old Capitol Building in Olympia.

“He was really surprised and excited about winning this award,” Wa-Hi Art Teacher Julie Wallace said.

Bermoy will be honored with nine other state winners during an awards ceremony May 18 in Olympia. Visit the OSPI website to see all the winners: http://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/Arts/artshow07/winners.aspx

Community invited to End-of-Year celebrations

Wa-Hi Baccalaureate
Sunday, June 3 - Blue Mt. Community Church, 6 p.m.

Wa-Hi Academic Recognition
Wednesday, June 6 - Wa-Hi Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Graduates of Distinction Reception
Wednesday, June 6 - Board Room, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Opportunity Program Senior Celebration Luncheon
Wednesday, June 6 - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (919 S. 2nd)

Paine High School Commencement
Thursday, June 7 - Paine Gym, 6:00 p.m.

Wa-Hi Commencement
Friday, June 8 - Wa-Hi campus, 7:30 p.m.

Pioneer 8th Grade Recognition
Tuesday, June 12 - Wa-Hi Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Garrison 8th Grade Recognition
Wednesday, June 13 - Cordiner Hall, 7:00 p.m.