Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 2, 2007

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Parent Conferences -- No School next Thursday and Friday

Next week parents, teachers and students conference to track academic progress. Check with your child’s school for a schedule. There is no school next Thursday and Friday.
School board meeting and work session Tuesday
Tuesday, Nov. 6
364 S. Park St.
Work Session: 7 p.m. (discuss replacement levy rates and election date options)
Regularly scheduled meeting: 7:30 p.m.
Meetings open to public
Pioneer students perform in All-Star band
Last Saturday Pioneer Middle School students Talbot Callister and Andrew Hoffman played in the Washington Music Educators Association All-State East Honor Band. The students auditioned last spring and were chosen from the best middle school band students east of the Cascades to participate in the day-long event.

Under the direction of Dr. Alan Gemberling from the University of Idaho, students rehearsed starting at 9:00 am on Saturday and performed a concert at 4:30 p.m. later that day.

“Both Talbot and Andrew said it was a long day, but they learned a lot and had a good time,” Pioneer Band Teacher Bill Gilbert said.

Garrison Dance team performs at WSU football game

The Garrison Middle School Dance Team joined more than 250 cheerleaders and dance team members from all over the state in the annual Half Time Extravaganza during the WSU football game against UCLA. Garrison was one of just a few Middle School squads on the field. This is the fourth year Garrison has participated in the event.

“The girls did a fantastic job representing their school,” said Garrison Dance Coach Beth Rowlette.

Wa-Hi Volleyball supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month by Coach Jillian De Britz
“It all started when one of our captains saw an idea in a magazine about using a team to raise money for breast cancer. Knowing that one of her teammates’ mom is battling with breast cancer, Taryn Cummings started the ball rolling. This was driven by our girls and their parents which made it even more powerful.

“October was breast cancer awareness month, so we decided to make our October 9th volleyball match against Richland “Breast Cancer Awareness Night.” Parents organized the sale of pink t-shirts that had a white ribbon and “We Believe” on the back. The girls made signs to advertise, warmed up in the pink shirts, organized parents to collect donations at the door, and sold more pink shirts to benefit the Holbrook family.

“The response was overwhelming, both from the school district and the community. The stands were packed with several generations of people wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness. In fact, the Richland volleyball team that we beat that night took the idea back to their school and had the same shirts made—it was on the news recently and shows the far-reaching impact these girls have made.

“I am so proud of our girls, and especially our captains, for orchestrating this event. It really shows their huge hearts, and their desire to use their influence to make a positive impact on the world. We have been humbled and overwhelmed by the response of people who have been affected by breast cancer, and we now plan on making this an annual event. Lori Thomas has even decided to place one more t-shirt order ($12 each) this year, since the response has been so overwhelming. The Holbrooks’ response has been so gracious—we’ve all learned a ton as we journey with them. If you have any questions about ordering a t-shirt, please e-mail Lori Thomas at lthomas@wwps.org.”

Garrison Night School Conversational Spanish Class scheduled
Registration has begun for Garrison Night School Conversational Spanish class. The fee for the Spanish class is $246.90 and is offered for 3 credits through Walla Walla Community College. Classes begin Monday, November 26, 2007, and end Thursday, February 28, 2008. Spanish for native English speakers will be taught on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. Register now at Walla Walla Community College or at Garrison Middle School Monday, Nov. 19, and Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Garrison Night School is an adult education program offered in a partnership between Walla Walla Community College and the Walla Walla Public Schools. Classes are held at Garrison Middle School (906 Chase St.) in Walla Walla. Additional classes offered this year include General Education Diploma (GED) preparation, four levels of English as a Second Language (ESL), and a Job Psychology class. Traffic Safety is offered from 5 to 6 p.m. as well as Citizenship and “How to Start Your Own Business in Washington State.”

A $25 registration fee which covers all classes taken is required for the GED, ESL, citizenship, traffic safety, job psychology and how to start a business in Washington classes. Some scholarships are available as is free child care.

The mission of Garrison Night School is to promote the education of Hispanic parents by connecting them to the school community, preparing them for a General Education Diploma and facilitating their enrollment in college, thus raising the educational level and standard of living of the family.

For additional information regarding the Garrison Night School, contact Program Coordinator Esteban Florian at (509) 527-3040 or by e-mail at eflorian@wwps.org.

Program Location – Garrison Night School is located at 906 Chase Street.

Kelly Hutcherson Benefit scheduled
A soup and bread meal and silent auction is being organized to benefit parent Kelly Hutcherson and her family as they deal with her illness. Hutcherson has a 9th grade student at Wa-Hi and a 7th grade student at Pioneer Middle School.

“These boys are great kids and the teachers love them!” said Pioneer Para-educator Kelli Jo Smith who is helping organize the benefit. Kelly also has a son that is 26 years old and disabled. There will be many items to bid on including fishing and hunting trips. Funds raised will enable the Hutcherson’s to spend a family vacation in Hawaii.

To donate auction items contact Terri Hanson at 525-2482 or Kelli Jo Smith at 522-6813.

When: Saturday, November 10
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Blue Mountain Community Church (928 Sturm Ave. -- Walla Walla)
Cost: $5 per person or $20 per family

Wa-Hi Blue News editor needed
An editor is needed for the Walla Walla High School ‘Blue News’ Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) newsletter. This is a valuable communications tool for the staff and parents. For more information on this position, please contact Danielle Swan-Froese at swandr@whitman.edu.

Community bank employees educate Wa-Hi students on credit
Wednesday several employees of Community Bank spent the day presenting the American Bankers Association educational program “GetSmartAboutCredit” to multiple classes at Walla Walla High School. The program seeks to educate youth on how credit works and how it should be handled so they can make informed decisions and avoid the pitfalls that could jeopardize their financial futures.

They were assisted by Pat Hanford, Karen Dazell and Laura Finn. The Community Bank employees who gave their time were Anne Raffetto, AVP Human Resources, AJ Tanrasky; SVP Chief Credit Officer, Jim Eyring; VP Regional Credit Administrator, and Rose Worth; Branch Manager.

“We enjoyed our time and felt that it was productive as we spoke to 2-3 classes at a time,” said Walla Branch Manager Rose Worth. “The staff at WaHi was very helpful and supportive. We hope to make it an annual event!”

Wa-Hi teacher receives WSU ‘Educators of Excellence’ award
Congratulations to Walla Walla High School English teacher Casey Monahan for receiving a Washington State University Educators of Excellence award recently. Monahan was nominated by former student Ashlee Wall. The award honors the hard work and dedication of high school educators in preparing Washington’s high school students for their higher education experience.

Here is what Ashlee Wall said about Monahan in the award program:

“Mrs. Monahan loves her subject and demonstrates great enthusiasm in teaching. Her insightful critiques and thorough class preparation helped me earn a 5 on the AP English Exam. Moreover, Mrs. Monahan cared for me as a student and writer. She is an educator of excellence and a true friend.”

Classroom Close-Up features Pioneer’s Rilke Klingsporn
This week we will visit Pioneer Middle School Teacher Rilke Klingsporn’s math class via the Classroom Close-Up feature series.

Learn what subjects are being studied and the learning objectives. You will also hear about the strategies being used to enhance achievement and how technology is linked to classroom lessons. Look for her fun, photo-filled newsletter and 60 second radio spot to be posted the following week on the district’s website (A to Z area - Classroom Close-Up). The radio spot is being played on numerous stations in our area.

We’ll take next week off since there is no school Thursday and Friday. The following week we’ll travel to Sharpstein Elementary and learn more about Jackie Martinez and the dual language program.

Simple Majority Fact Sheet (ballots must be postmarked by midnight Tuesday, Nov. 6)
EHJR 4204 on ballot November 6

Questions & Answers – EHJR 4204

How does Washington’s current school levy system work? Currently, local school levies must receive both a 60% supermajority approval and meet the 40% validation requirement to pass.

What would EHJR 4204 change? EHJR 4204 would amend the Washington State Constitution and provide that a simple majority of voters (50% + 1) could authorize local school district levies. The amendment also removes the 40% election validation requirement for levy elections. It does NOT apply to school bond elections. EHJR 4204 will be on the November 6 ballot.

What do school levies pay for? Local levies support ongoing school needs. Our levy pays for approximately 14 percent of the District’s operating budget. In Walla Walla, the M&O levy helps to support education programs and school operations such as:
• approximately 30 additional teachers
• approximately 50 additional non-certificated staff
• school safety staff
• elementary music specialists
• health clinicians
• library-media specialists
• elementary physical education specialists
• school supplies
• building maintenance
• technology
• athletics
• transportation for school activities

What happens if school levies don’t pass? Some school levies have failed because they do not meet the supermajority requirement. Levy failures can result in budget cuts, which require program cuts, teacher and staff layoffs, and other disruptions to the educational process.

Elections cost money. If school districts need to run a subsequent election for the same levy, it will take money away from educational programs. It cost our district approximately $40,000 to run the most recent levy election.

Do all types of levies require a supermajority to pass? No, they do not. Regular tax levies do not require supermajority approval. Public hospital districts, metropolitan park districts, and other taxing jurisdictions can pass levies to operate hospitals, parks, and other facilities with a simple majority vote. School districts are held to the supermajority standard to pass a local levy.

Wa-Hi Drama Department fall play opens next week
This fall students involved in Walla Walla High School’s THEATRE ARTS PROGRAM are working on two plays, “Courtship” and “1918” in Horton Foote’s Orphans’ Home Cycle, a nine play epic.

Show dates:
November 8, 9, 10 (7 p.m.)
November 15, 16 (7 p.m.)
November 17 (2 p.m.)

Horton Foote has been called “The Supreme Musician” of American playwrights, along with Tennessee Williams. The plays take place in small town, turn of the century Texas, and are loosely based on Foote’s own family. Never vulgar, but plumbing the depths of human experience through humor and tragedy, themes that flow throughout the piece are love, forgiveness, honor and sorrow. At its center is a love story and an exploration of the intricacies of family life. Tickets are $8 adults and $6 for seniors & students.

Please call the ticket office at 526-8613 for reserved seating.