Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - August 31, 2007

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School board meeting Tuesday
Tuesday, Sept. 4
- 7:30 p.m.:Regularly scheduled meeting
- Location: District Office (364 S. Park St.)
- Meeting open to public
New parent notification system to improve communications
In an effort to improve communications with parents and staff members, Walla Walla Public Schools has teamed with US NetCom to provide a new instant notification system.

This new service allows each school and the district office to send out telephone calls and e-mail messages to parents and staff in a matter of minutes.

How will the notification system be used?
· School activities/events reminders
· School and district level crisis/emergency information and instructions
· School delays/closures messages
· Safe Schools TipLine reporting
· Attendance calls to parents

Report threats on Safe Schools Tipline
Break the silence and help keep our schools safe. If you hear a threatening rumor, put a stop to it now. We take all threats very seriously. Call TipLine and report it anonymously. No one will know it’s you calling.

TipLine Telephone Number: (509) 526-6789
· Free
· Confidential
· Available 24/7

US NetCom Caller ID Telephone Number: 417-782-1996
The caller ID number that will come across parent/staff telephones during US NetCom Notification messages is 417-782-1996.
· Parents and staff are encouraged to answer these calls for important school information
· Parents/staff can call this number back to retrieve messages they may have missed

For more information on this new notification system, contact Communications Director Mark Higgins at (509) 526-6716 or mhiggins@wwps.org.

Walla Walla Latino Club helps get grounds ready for fair
The Walla Walla High School Latino Club was busy in mid-August helping to get the grounds ready for the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days. Thirty nine club members and friends spent two Saturdays at the fairgrounds sweeping, cleaning, and scraping as a community service event for the Club. Over 200 hours of service were provided.

This is the second year that the Latino Club has worked at the fairgrounds prior to school starting. The Wa-Hi Latino Club also has a display at the fair.

“There are lots of pictures of the club’s activities,” District Bilingual Coordinator Diana Erickson said. “Ten members put in over 51 combined hours setting up the display located on the second floor of the pavilion in the Scouting area (west end of the youth area). They arranged the displays for the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorers Post (Latino Club).”

Erickson also reminded people to look for the Latino Club entry in the fair parade Saturday. The parade starts at 10 a.m.

Prospect Point new playground dedication officially introduces equipment to students
Prospect Point Elementary held an all school assembly Wednesday to dedicate the new playground equipment at the school purchased through a successful parent fundraising campaign.

The Prospect Point Playground Project Committee, chaired by parent and local businesswoman Staci Wanichek, raised nearly $70,000 to replace the school’s aging playground equipment. The dedication was an opportunity for the district to thank the parent group and allow students an opportunity to celebrate the installation of the new playground equipment.

Students also were instructed on how to safely use the equipment and watched hands-on demonstrations to reinforce the need to properly use the playground. Thanks again for all those who supported this worthwhile cause.

Math teachers learn strategies to help students learn
Developing Computational Fluency Training: On Monday’s Learning Improvement Day, there were two math sessions offered on computational fluency by Dr. Sandy Atkins, ORIGO Education.

A total of 137 staff members, 71 in the primary grades and 66 intermediate staff, participated in this professional development opportunity. In these half-day workshops, Atkins showed how computational fluency develops from a deep understanding of number and number sense – not just procedures. She demonstrated the use of important visual aids for developing powerful mental strategies that begin with number facts and broaden as they extend to larger numbers.

The district is planning for two additional sessions with Atkins later this school year to build on teaching strategies introduced Monday.

New Edison conceptual designs online
Architects West continues to make progress on design work for the new Edison Elementary School. This week the district posted a new slideshow of the latest conceptual designs (www.wwps.org -- Edison Construction Project button).

Site plans and drawings from various directions are featured on the slideshow. Although these drawings are subject to change some, they offer a feel for what the new school will look like.

Edison Construction Schedule (tentative -- subject to change):
- Building plans go out to bid: Winter 2008
- District names general contractor: Winter/Spring 2008
- Construction begins: June 2008
- New school opens: August 2009

Representative Walsh joins dedication of new parent resource center
State Representative Maureen Walsh will join the staff and partners of the Washington State-Parent Information and Resource Center (WA-PIRC) to dedicate the program’s second PIRC site September 6 from 1-2 p.m. at Blue Ridge Elementary School.

This event marks the second site dedication for the WA-PIRC program, with the kickoff event having taken place in Pasco on August 8. In addition to Walla Walla and Pasco, WA-PIRC sites are opening in Basin City, Connell, and Othello. The Washington State-Parent Information and Resource Center has been established as part of a $3.9 million grant allocated to Columbia Basin College Foundation by the U.S. Department of Education, with Educational Service District 123 serving as the Lead Agency for this program.

PIRCs in each state throughout the nation will provide training, information, and support to parents, state and local education agencies, and local communities. Representative Walsh currently serves on the Early Learning and Children’s Services committee and maintains improving the quality of early learning programs as one of her top priorities. The WA-PIRC program strives to provide families with resources and information to better prepare their children for school.

“Representative Walsh has a long-standing commitment to young children and their families,” says WA-PIRC Early Childhood Education Trainer Karen Weakley. “We are pleased that she can join us for this event, which will serve to strengthen the links already forged by the Walla Walla Public Schools and their community partners.”

For more information, please call 509-544-5700 or 888-547-8441 or visit www.esd123.org.

Superintendent Carter to deliver State of Education address to Rotary
Event: Walla Walla Rotary Weekly Meeting
Date: Thursday, Sept. 6
Time: 12 noon
Location: Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center (6 West Rose)
Topics: Edison update, staffing changes, Support Services land purchase, WASL update, Technology advances, and more

State SAT scores among best in nation -- Participation levels up in all ethnic groups

OLYMPIA (Released by Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction -- OSPI) – The College Board this week released its annual report on SAT scores for seniors in the class of 2007. For the fifth consecutive year, Washington state averages are the highest in the nation among states in which more than half of the eligible students took the tests.

“College readiness is a key measure of our K-12 education system,” said Terry Bergeson, Washington state superintendent of public instruction. “So I’m again excited and proud to hear that Washington students are among the best in the nation on this widely respected indicator of how well they’re prepared for college.

“The global economy of the 21st century demands that students become lifelong learners who are equipped to solve problems and build dreams no matter what career path they choose after high school. To be the top state in the nation for students demonstrating their readiness to continue their educational journey is a tribute to teachers, administrators, school boards, communities, parents and, above all, these students.”
In 2007, Washington students in public schools averaged 522 in critical reading, 527 in mathematics and 505 in writing. In 2006, averages were 523, 530 and 507, respectively.

Washington’s modest declines were mirrored nationally, where public school students averaged 495 on critical reading (down two points from 2006), 509 in mathematics (down five points) and 488 in writing (down four points). The SAT is composed of three tests: critical reading (previously verbal), mathematics and writing. Students score between 200 and 800 on each test. Participation has increased by 4.7 percent to 30,044 public school students. A total of 1,178,753 public school students across the nation took the SAT, up 5.5 percent from last year.

The ethnic diversity of SAT test-takers also has increased among all major ethnic groups in Washington. About 25 percent of public school students who took the SAT and who reported their ethnicity were non-Caucasian. Nearly 17 percent more black students (1,199 in 2007) in Washington took the tests than did last year.

The SAT is one of two primary college readiness exams evaluated by colleges and universities in their admissions process. Students can take the SAT at any time during their high school career, but results are only counted once in the national report.

About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Dr. Terry Bergeson, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability. For more information, visit the OSPI Web site at http://www.k12.wa.us.

Student work on display at Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days
Fair attendees are encouraged to visit the Educational Building during the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days event Wednesday, August 29 to Sunday, September 2. The building is open during fair hours.

Education Building Highlights:
- District Information Station (calendars, handbooks, sports schedules and more)
- Student artwork
- Technology projects
- FFA displays
- Homelink Virtual Learning program
- Career and Technical Education projects and information

Retired teacher Jim Ebding will again serve as the Fair Education Building superintendent.

KTEL 1490 AM to broadcast tonight’s Wa-Hi football game
Don’t miss an exciting down of Wa-Hi football as the season kicks off tonight against Hermiston at Borleske Stadium. KTEL 1490 AM will continue to serve as the home of Blue Devil radio broadcasts. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. with the radio pre-game beginning at 7:15 p.m.

Andrew Holt will continue as the play-by-play announcer and Wa-Hi Business Education teacher Scott Reardon will serve as the color commentator. Wa-Hi Blue Devil sports schedules are available on the district and Wa-Hi websites, at the district office, all schools and several business locations. Go Big Blue!