Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 25, 2008

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District sells homes near Edison
Last week the district sold seven homes near Edison Elementary to make way for a new, larger school. The homes are being removed this spring so construction on the new school may begin in June. Architect John Evans was in Walla Walla this week to continue efforts to finalize designs. Bids for a contractor are expect to go public in March.
High School Facilities Task Force reports now online
Co-Chairs Cindy Meyer and John Rowley organized a meeting of the task force Thursday night to continue efforts to find solutions to improve high school facilities to better support student educational needs.

“The task force is looking at different scenarios to find the right balance between student needs and the community,” said Meyer. “We have a dedicated task force with diverse opinions.”

Highlights of the Task Force’s work is now available online at www.wwps.org (A to Z section-- High School Facilities Task Force).

Online Task Force information includes:
Phase One: What is?
- High School Condition Report
- College Place Issues Report
- Deferred Maintenance Report
- Facility Impact on Learning Report
- Safety and Security Report

Phase Two: What should be?
- Quality High Schools Research (coming soon)
- Small Schools Research (coming soon)
- Career and Technical Education Issues (coming soon)
- Alternative Education (coming soon)

Host families needed to support students from Germany
Walla Walla High School will welcome 21 students from its partner school in Reutlingen, Germany from May 8 to June 5. Applications are being accepted for host families. Families with a student at Wa-Hi are preferred, but others will also be considered. Contact Curt Schafer, Wa-Hi German teacher, for an information packet and application form. Cschafer@wwps.org, 527-3020 x 4703.
Walla Walla High School student named Aerospace Scholar
Congratulations to Walla Walla High School Junior Luke Hicks for being selected as a Washington Aerospace Scholar. Hicks demonstrates strong skills in science and mathematics and is currently enrolled in an online program to learn more about space exploration. Hicks is among 225 talented juniors from across the state who have been accepted into the first phase of Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS).

These 225 students are currently participating in Phase One of WAS: distance learning with a NASA-designed curriculum covering the history of space exploration, the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, the Moon, and Mars. From January through May, the Scholars will complete ten lessons – submitting quizzes, math solutions, essays, and graphics concerning these topics every other week. Scholars will independently select a topic of interest for a final project combining an essay with a graphic. Scholars are also competing for a space in one of our four summer residency sessions.

Phase Two of WAS is a six-day summer residency experience for 160 students. Selection is competitive and centers around performance in Phase One of WAS. In each residency session, 40 Scholars are selected to work cooperatively to plan a human mission to Mars with support from professional engineers/scientists, university students, and certificated educators. Each session also includes briefings from aerospace professionals, tours of engineering facilities, and hands-on engineering challenges involving model rocketry, robotics, landing devices, and payload lofting. The daily schedule is quite full, and the students lodge in double rooms at a local hotel under the supervision of certificated teachers. Travel, lodging, and meal expenses are provided to participating students and teachers thanks to the WAS Foundation and our many generous donors.

Wa-Hi English students win national honors
A team of students representing Walla Walla High school has won highest honors in this year’s second WordMasters Challenge, a national competition for high school students requiring close analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry. Participating with 607 high school teams from across the country, the school’s 11th grade team tied for fourth place in the nation among all participating grade-level teams. The meet was held in October. The 11th grade team was made up of students in Casey Monahan’s AP Language and Composition class.

Several of the school’s students won honors for individual achievement as well. Frehsman Katelyn Madsen placed among the 50 highest scoring ninth graders. Juniors Ellen Brigham and Tyler Hurlbert placed among the 46 highest scoring eleventh graders in the entire country. At the same time, freshman Elsie Pettyjohn, Sophomores Annie Erickson and Samuel Alazar, and juniors Tom Callister, Ryan Campeau, Paul Froese, Madison Snider, and Sierra Tinhof all earned honorable mention. Approximately 600,000 students from across the country participated in the meet.

The texts for this WordMasters meet were a a satiric essay by David Brooks (for 9th and 10th graders) and a pair of poems by Philip Booth and Alastair Reid (for 11th and 12th graders). The students will participate in two more meets during the coming months, and medals and certificates will be presented in June to those who achieve and/or improve the most in the course of the year.

Special thanks to Monahan for preparing and advising these students.

Replacement levy on February ballot
• Replaces levy funding nearly 68 percent of voters approved in 2004
• Provides 14 percent of district’s operating budget
• Helps maintain existing programs and activities
• Pays for 30 teachers and 50 support staff members
• Funds all extra-curricular activities
• Ballots mail to homes February 1
• Ballots must be postmarked by midnight February 19

Explorer Program nominations due
Nominations for the 2008-09 Explorer (gifted education) Program are now being accepted at all district elementary and middle schools. The deadline is January 31, 2008. Students may be nominated by their parents, teachers or peers. Program information and nomination forms are available in English and Spanish at district schools and through the following link on the district website: http://www.wwps.org/programs/explorers.htm
District seeks Graduates of Distinction nominations
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.

• Must have graduated from high school in the Walla Walla Public Schools at least 10 years prior to nomination.
• Need not be a current resident of Walla Walla.
• Need not be present to accept the award, but will make a concerted effort to be present or send a representative to accept the award.

Complete an application form (available at the district office, 364 South Park Street and online at www.wwps.org), and return it by April 15, 2008. Inductees will be recognized during a public reception and at the Wa-Hi Academic Recognition evening.

For more information, please contact Kay Schisler at 526-6735.

Classroom Close-Up features Head Start preschool teacher
This week Head Start/ECEAP Preschool Teacher Sandy McCoy is featured via the district’s Classroom Close-Up series.

A 60 second radio spot highlighting McCoy is playing on several stations. A fun, photo-filled newsletter and the radio spot will be posted on the district website (www.wwps.org -- A to Z section) next week.