Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 29, 2008

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Parent Conferences schedule online (No school Thursday or Friday)
Next week parents are conferencing with teachers at all district schools to communicate student academic progress. Conference schedules are available at all district schools and on the Walla Walla Public Schools website (www.wwps.org — A to Z area). There is no school for students next Thursday or Friday.
School Board meeting Tuesday
- Tuesday, March 4
- 7:30 p.m. (regularly scheduled meeting)
- 364 S. Park St. (District Office)
- Meeting open to public

High School Facilities Task Force studies Vocational Skills Center
Thursday night members of the High School Facilities Task Force met at the Walla Walla High School library to continue a comprehensive study on improving high school facilities.

This week the discussions centered around pursuing state funding for a feasibility study on developing a regional Vocational Skills Center as part of the Walla Walla school district. Superintendent Rich Carter reported a Skills Center could serve students throughout the region, relieve overcrowding issues at Walla Walla High School and offer students enrolled in alternative education programs more opportunities for vocational training.

Carter also reported a Walla Walla Skills Center could possibly operate as a satellite campus to Tri-Tech in Kennewick. He is meeting with officials at Tri-Tech in the coming weeks to learn more about their successful program.

Carter also stated there is a push by state lawmakers in Olympia to pay for regional Skills Centers and have provided some districts, including Moses Lake, 90 percent of the funding to build the facility.

“This is very preliminary and we have made no decisions regarding developing a Skills Center in Walla Walla,” Carter said. “We think we owe it to our community, staff and students to further look into this issue, that is why we are applying for state funding to complete a feasibility study. This state funded study would shed more light on this issue and help us determine if it would be a good fit in Walla Walla.”

The Task Force will further discuss a Walla Walla Skills Center at its next meeting. The group also looked at options for renovating Walla Walla High School and reviewed costs to build a 44,000 square foot school to serve Alternative Education programs.

“We are still gathering a lot of information,” Co-Chair Cindy Meyer said. “It’s an exciting process but there are a lot of issues we still need to study. We also need to develop a plan for sharing the information with staff and community to get their input. Task Force members have made it clear staff and community involvement in the planning process is essential to realizing any of these projects.”

The High School Facilities Task Force is scheduled to meet again Thursday, March 27 to continue discussions and studies. Additional information on the work of the High School Facilities Task Force is located on the district’s website — www.wwps.org (A to Z area).

Open enrollment & kindergarten registration dates set
Walla Walla Public Schools Open Enrollment and Kindergarten Registration period is Monday, March 17 to Friday, March 28, 2008.

Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up open enrollment application forms at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning March 10, however forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, March 17. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school.

If there’s space available to accommodate some but not all open enrollment requests, then the priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available for public viewing at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office. School Board policies are also online at: www.wwps.org.

Open Enrollment/Kindergarten Registration Hours:
Monday, March 17 - 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, March 18 - Friday, March 28 - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all Walla Walla Public Schools, the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street and online at www.wwps.org. For additional information, contact any district elementary school or contact Elizabeth Adkins (WWPS Curriculum Department) at (509) 526-6734 or
by e-mail at: badkins@wwps.org.

Community experts help Pioneer students stay healthy
Tuesday night was a carnival of fun at Pioneer as students and their families and more than 25 community vendors celebrated student health and safety and family fun. Pioneer’s Family Health Night “Kickin’ it into Gear at Pioneer” emphasized this year’s school theme of student safety with a variety of booths.

Community agencies provided information booths and activities that emphasize safety in bicycling and skateboarding, nutrition and healthy exercise (Yoga demonstrations), and family activities (making a wallet out of duct tape). A nutritious taco bar was provided for families, and PTSA provided a special booth to garner volunteers for the 8th grade party and next year’s PTSA activities.

Kim Doepker, assistant principal who, along with the rest of the Pioneer administrative team, coordinated the event, said “We have such a supportive community. We had so much fun! It’s always such a great feeling when people come together for healthy choices. Everyone was excited to be here.”

Army Corps of Engineers Bridge Building Contest promotes math and science
This week the Army Corps of Engineers visited Walla Walla High School and Lincoln Alternative High School to test the strength of the student built paper bridges as part of the annual Bridge Building Contest. Wa-Hi students in John Herr’s classes and Lincoln students in Erik Gordon’s classes used their drawing, math and science skills for the project.

Approximately 90 Wa-Hi students and nearly 100 Lincoln students participated in the contest using their drawing, math and science skills to design and construct their bridges from cardstock paper and glue.

“The contest helps students look at engineering as a possible career, using drawing, math and science knowledge to design and construct their bridges,” Herr said. “This is the second year we have participated in Engineer’s Week activities, sponsored by the Corps. Last year, we built and tested Trebuchets.”

Special thanks to Army Corps of Engineers Bob Hollenbeck for organizing the contest and volunteer visits to the schools.

Walla Walla branch of American Association of University Women announce scholarship opportunities
Applications are now being accepted for the AAUW Educational Scholarships, established to provide assistance to women who have completed at minimum one year of college (30 semester or 45 quarter credits) and have a desire to complete their undergraduate or post-graduate education. Please note that there must be a break of at least one year at some time during the college education process.

Applications will be accepted from women who meet the following requirements:
1) They must be able to provide transcripts from at least one year of college, followed by an interruption (time lapse) in education.
2) They must submit two letters of recommendation from someone familiar with their educational background and goals.
3) They must be residents of Walla Walla County, Columbia County, or the city of Milton-Freewater.

The scholarship committee is seeking women who demonstrate a desire to continue their education by completing or adding to their degree. While past academic performance will be considered, of equal importance is the person’s clearly demonstrated community involvement and enthusiasm for future community commitment. The individual financial need of the applicants will be considered in making the awards. The scholarship funds will be directed to the college of the recipient’s choice to be used as needed for educational expenses.

The application can be accessed at the AAUW website : http://www.aauw-wallawalla.org/
or call Alice at 509-522-5428 (amacd@charter.net) or Linda 541-938-2471 (moats@valint.net) for more information

Completed applications must be received by April 11, 2008. Send completed applications to Alice MacDonald, AAUW Scholarship Committee, 1429 Taumarson Rd., Walla Walla, WA 99362. Final candidates may be required to participate in a personal interview with the scholarship committee. The recipient of the award will be notified by the first week of May and introduced at the AAUW annual dinner meeting on May 8th. Please note that the scholarship is only awarded once per recipient.

Deadline approaching for Balloon Stampede design coloring contest
“Going Wild in Walla Walla” is the theme for the 2008 Walla Walla Balloon Stampede, and the hunt is on for suitable T-shirt designs. The Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce has issued the call for the commencement of the annual coloring contest in grades K through 5.

Elementary school students have been invited to submit their best art work for consideration. The winning artist will receive $25 in cash, free T-shirts, a class party at school, VIP status at the Stampede kick off party on March 14, and much more!

Entry forms were distributed at Walla Walla and College Place schools and are also available on line at www.balloonstampede.com.

The deadline for returning your child’s artwork is Monday, March 3. Art may be given to your child’s teacher or delivered directly to the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce at 29 E. Sumach.

For more information contact the Chamber of Commerce at 525-0850.

WSU Gear Up organizes post high school planning event
WSU GEAR UP and the Walla Walla High School Career Center are teaming to help seniors who have not made decisions about what to do after high school. The planning event will be held March 5 from 4:30 to 8 p.m in conjunction with Spring Conferences.

“Agencies who have options for seniors who haven’t applied or made plans for after they graduate have been invited,” said Pat Hanford, Wa-Hi Career Center Specialist. “In attendance will be colleges with rolling deadlines, WWCC, technical schools, service organizations, military recruiters and many local employers. About 40 have agreed to attend so it should be a great opportunity with a lot of good information for students.”

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 are available at the district office and area schools. 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.

Walla Walla High School hosts college planning night
Event: Invitational & College Bound Night
Location: Walla Walla High School - Commons Building
Date: Thursday, March 13
Time: 5:00-8:30 p.m.

Families are invited to enjoy a free dinner provided by El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant and learn about High School & College Planning, Requirements, and Expectations.

The keynote speaker is P. Van Buskirk, author of Winning the College Admission Game. Each family will receive a free College Planning Workbook.

Event Sessions:
Middle School Students
- Walla Walla High School Club Booths & Activities
- High School Planning, Graduation Requirements & Student Panels

High School Students
- “Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be”
- College Representatives & Admissions/Scholarship Information

Middle & High School Parents
- Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Representative
- Scholarship Opportunities & Procedures
- “We’re Talking… They’re Not Listening” - Student motivation strategies

Classroom Close-Up features Blue Ridge teacher
This week Blue Ridge Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Jessica McDaniels is featured via the district’s Classroom Close-Up weekly series.

A 60 second radio spot highlighting McDaniels 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.