Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 15, 2008

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No School Monday -- Presidents Day
Walla Walla Public Schools are closed Monday for Presidents Day. Classes resume Tuesday, February 19. Have a safe and fun three-day weekend.
School Board meeting Tuesday
Tuesday, February 19
7:30 p.m. (regularly scheduled meeting)
364 S. Park St. (District Office)

Meeting open to public

Community members impressed with Wa-Hi senior presentations
Last week more than 200 Walla Walla High School seniors took another step to earning their diplomas by presenting their senior portfolios as part of a new state requirement to graduate. Class of 2008 students presented personal stories, their best high school work, community volunteer experience, and post-high school plans during the 20 minute presentations. More than 120 community members participated on the three to four person reviewing panels to determine if the students met the requirements.

“I certainly enjoyed the experience of serving as an evaluator and am very impressed with the quality of our students,” said Dick Neher, community member and former Walla Walla High School principal. “It is unfortunate that most of the news reported by the media regarding our students is negative and these are the symptoms that seem to formulate the attitudes of the general public. More folks should have the opportunity to see these young folks in action. They are awesome.”

Wa-Hi Assistant Principal Mira Gobel was responsible for organizing the presentations. Fifteen presentation stations were established throughout Wa-Hi. Each panel evaluated six to eight presentations.

“We had 218 students present in two nights and almost all were on time and prepared,” Gobel said. “The community members were thrilled to be part of this and the feedback has been very positive.”

Approximately 150 seniors are scheduled to present during the next round of presentations March 25 and 26.

Garrison students recognized for school successes
Today Garrison Middle School students were honored for their school successes during an Academic Recognition Assembly. A total of 432 students were recognized for making the honor roll for maintaining a 3.0 to 4.0 Grade Point Average.

Also, 92 students out of a total of 628 students who attend Garrison were recognized for having perfect attendance during the first semester of the school year. Six students, all of whom were nominated by their teachers, were recognized for displaying strong character traits that correspond with the “Six Pillars of Character.” The six traits are Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.

Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award nomination announcement
2007-2008 Nomination Announcement
Nominations for the annual Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award are now being accepted. Forms will be sent out to all staff this week. This 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 in education.

Send completed nomination forms to the Communications Department (364 South Park Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362) through Friday, March 28.

Each nomination may be accompanied by no more than three letters of recommendation. Recipients will be recognized at the April 15 school board meeting.Contact Communications Director Mark Higgins for more information, 526-6716.

Latino Club members participate in Science Bowl
Two teams of five students from Walla Walla High School recently participated in the 16th annual Bonneville Power Administration’s Science Bowl in Portland. The annual Science Bowl event is a quiz-style type of question and answer competition that is held on the University of Portland campus, according to Diana Erickson, District Bilingual coordinator and Latino Club advisor.

“The team members are members of Walla Walla Latino Club that are interested in math and science,” Erickson said. “Many of them have participated in science and engineering camps held in the summer.”

There were 64 teams from Washington and Oregon competing in the Saturday event. Erickson’s husband Bill is a volunteer coach. The teams are organized by and sponsored by Explorer Post 311, a Learning for Life Program, which operates as a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America. The trip was made possible by funding grants from Pacific Power and the College Place First Presbyterian Church.

“This is the third year that Walla Walla students have participated in the BPA event,” Erickson said. “Even though we are still a young team, we are answering more questions each year that we go, and we are starting to win matches.”

The Team 1
• Aron Castro
• Chantell Lopéz
• Krystal Bautista
• Jessica Lozano
• Jennifer Lopéz, Team Captain

Team 2
• Azucena Durán
• Yesica Olivos
• Luís Jaimez
• Juliette Olivos
• Irene Ureno, Team Captain

Following the event the students visited the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and viewed the movie “Sea Monsters” in the Omnimax Theater.

Teachers attend Powerful Teaching and Learning workshop
Over 100 teachers and administrators from elementary, middle, and high school attended the Powerful Teaching and Learning on Wednesday, February 13 at Walla Walla High School. Alison Olsendam, CEO and the founder of the PTL, was the presenter. The presentation included research on Washington State educational reform movement and effective teaching strategies.
Teachers learn strategies for helping students struggling with math
Dr. Sandy Atkins made a follow-up visit to Walla Walla Wednesday to provide a math training to elementary and middle school teams. Atkins stressed the importance of identifying conceptual, and not just procedural, holes in students’ thinking so teachers and the district can implement more effective techniques for working with struggling mathematics students.

During the day long workshop teachers examined the purposeful use of concrete, pictorial, and symbolic representations to fill the conceptual gaps in students’ understanding. Each teacher received The Box of Facts kit that contains visual models of strategies for learning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.

“Dr. Atkins developed the concepts of addition, fraction, multiplication, and division,” District Math Director Chris Gardea said. “Seeing how the concepts are introduced and developed through the grades was a highlight of the workshop.”

Wa-Hi basketball teams continue tournament play
• Wa-Hi Girls Basketball vs. Pasco --Friday at Pasco -- 7:30 p.m.
• Wa-Hi Boys Basketball vs. Richland -Friday at Wa-Hi (main gym) -- 7:30 p.m.

“Both teams will play on Saturday—time and place will be decided by how we do Friday and how the rest of the teams in the league do on Friday,” said District Athletic Director Don Wilkins. “One, both or none of our teams could be at home on Saturday.”

These are YVIAA District 5 games and passes and ASB cards are not good for admittance. Prices are $6 (adult) and $4 (student) for single game and $7 (adult) and $5 (student) if it is a double header.

“Both teams have qualified for the Regionals which start next Tuesday (2/19),” Wilkins said. “We don’t know yet who we play or where. If we are #1 or #2 out of District we will play at home—if we are #3 or #4 we will travel to Spokane on Tuesday. All of the Regional games on Friday and Saturday will be at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.”

Camp Fire afterschool program teams with WW Symphony
Camp Fire afterschool program started a new session this Wednesday that features Walla Walla Symphony musicians sharing instruments and music with students. The musicians will visit Camp Fire on Wednesdays over the next two months.

Other sessions that Camp Fire offers include
• Financial Literacy, teaching kids the basics about money, banks, saving, etc.
• Art
• Fitness
• Cooking and Nutrition with Chef Amy and Counselor in Training for our older students.

To learn more about Camp Fire and the programs offered call 525-3180, or email info@wwcampfire.org.

Good turnout for Muffins for Moms event
This morning hundreds of moms went back to school to enjoy some extra time with their children during Muffins for Moms Day. This annual actvity promotes the importance of reading and working hard in school.

Volunteer Gary Ponti visits Pioneer for Junior Achievement
This morning local attorney and longtime community volunteer Gary Ponti visited with students at Pioneer Middle School to discuss immigration and entrepreneurship as part of the Junior Achievement Program. He also shared aspects of his Italian Heritage with students in Brad Ludwig’s class. Ponti says he enjoys working with the students and helping Junior Achievement thrive in Walla Walla.
Wa-Hi wrestler advances to state
Walla Walla High School Junior Trey Haines qualified for the state tournament.

Wa-Hi Individual Placings:
103 lbs: Aaron Nelson, 0-2, DNP
145 lbs: David Marquez, 1-3, 6th place
152 lbs: Trey Haines, 2-1, 2nd Place
215 lbs: James Rogers, 0-2, DNP

“Of the four guys who qualified for regionals this year, three of them are coming back and with the experience they got this year should advance as well,” Coach Clayton Hudiburg said. “It will be fun to take Trey to state and see how he fares, especially since he is only a junior and should have a chance to go again next year.”

2008 Region IV 4A Regional Wrestling Tournament Team Scores
2..MOSES LAKE - 182
3..UNIVERSITY - 153.5
4..MEAD - 137.5
5..FERRIS - 96
6..DAVIS - 65
7..GONZAGA - 62
8..RICHLAND - 49
9..PASCO - 38.5
10..LEWIS&CLARK - 38
11..SHADLE - 36
12..WALLA WALLA - 22
14..WENATCHEE - 11
15..ROGERS - 4

Garrison dads flock to Father-Daughter Valentines Ball
Last Saturday more than 200 fathers and daughters attended Garrison’s annual Father-Daughter Valentine Ball. Professional portraits were available through both Cherished Moments and Brian Gaines Photography. Dads and daughters of all ages enjoyed a variety of games, dancing contests and desserts.

“This popular growing event is sponsored by both Garrison Middle School and the City of Walla Walla Parks and Recreation and is open to all fathers and daughters of the community,” said Event Coordinator Katherine “Beth” Rowlette.

Chamber Singers shine at WSU
The Chamber Singers had a marvelous experience singing at WSU last weekend with remowned composer Eric Whitacre, according to Choral Director Norb Rossi.

“They perfomed one of his pieces with HIM conducting,” Rossi said. “It was truly an amazing performance.”

Deadline to mail in ballots for Replacement Levy Tuesday
Voters have until Tuesday to mail in their ballots for the district’s four-year replacement levy. If you need more information on this measure, visit the district’s website at www.wwps.org.

Replacement Levy Facts
• 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 must be postmarked by midnight February 19

Classroom Close-Up features Wa-Hi Math teacher
This week Walla Walla High School Math Teacher William Calhoun is featured via the district’s Classroom Close-Up series.

A 60 second radio spot highlighting Calhoun 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.