Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 6, 2008

In this Issue:

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Superintendent Rich Carter thanks community for levy support
I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our community for securing local funding for school programs for another four years by approving the February 19 Replacement Levy. The district will put these local dollars to good use helping Walla Walla children get an excellent education.

Walla Walla continues to be recognized at the state level for our strategies to help students be successful in school. We have a dedicated, caring and committed staff focused on student achievement and personalizing education.

In my 34 years in education, I’ve never worked with better staff, parents, students and community members than we have right here in Walla Walla. I’m proud to be superintendent of the Walla Walla Public Schools as this is truly a premiere school district. Thank you again for your support as our Partners in Learning.
Citizens for Schools Co-Chairs honored for service
School board members recognized the volunteer efforts of Citizens for Schools Co-Chairs and sisters Katie Christianson and Jennifer Northam during the March 4 school board meeting.

Board members prepared personal kids themed gift baskets for Christianson and Northam as a special thank you for their efforts educating the community about the importance of the district’s replacement levy. The recent levy approval secures local funding for school programs and staff for another four years.

District staff and administrators also sent in thank you cards and special keepsakes in appreciation of their efforts. Christianson has volunteered to help the Citizens for Schools gather information regarding Walla Walla schools to help the group serve as a sounding board for the community. She hopes to organize additional volunteers to get the effort started.

Yonts named permanent Garrison Principal
Superintendent Rich Carter announced during the March 4 school board meeting he is appointing Interim Garrison Middle School Principal Gina Yonts to the position permanently.

“Gina has demonstrated during the past year she is ready,” Carter said. “I’m confident she is the right person for the job.”

Yonts served four years as Garrison’s Assistant Principal before being named interim principal last March. She also has 12 years experience as an intermediate grade level teacher at Berney Elementary.
Safe Schools grant to fund safety kits
Walla Walla Public Schools recently received a $5000 grant from the Washington State School Safety Center to fund safety kits for Pioneer and Garrison Middle Schools and Lincoln Alternative High School.

The kits will contain first-aid materials, survival radios, water, light sticks and other essential safety supplies. Teachers will have a “Grab and Go Bucket” in their classrooms stocked with safety supplies and critical information to use during emergencies. The “Shelter-in-Place” kits will contain plastic, duct tape and other supplies needed during incidents which compromise air quality and require students and staff to stay inside.

“These kits make it easy for staff and contain supplies that are needed during a crisis,” District Safe Schools Committee Chair Mark Higgins said. “We believe these kits are an essential part of our emergency preparedness. Eventually we would like to see them in every classroom.”

According to Higgins it was a team effort to secure funding from this competitive grant.

“The credit needs to go to Pioneer Middle School Dean of Students Judy Anderson, Garrison Middle School Secretary Karen Sippert and Lincoln Graduation Outreach Coordinator Jason Harrison for pursuing this grant,” Higgins said. “Their hard work was the key to receiving this funding. District Grants Coordinator Judy Gwinn also played a critical role in getting these funds by completing the online grant application. We also need to recognize Pioneer Principal Dana Jones, Garrison Principal Gina Yonts and Lincoln Principal Jim Sporleder for their leadership and support of this project.”

Anderson is in the process of ordering supplies for the kits which are expected to be in classrooms later this spring.

High School WASL testing begins next week
High School Washington Assessment of Student Learning testing begins next week. Meeting WASL state standards is now a graduation requirement. WASL testing schedules for Walla Walla High School and Lincoln Alternative High School are posted on the district website (A to Z area).

Mandatory schedule for high school testing:
• Reading: March 10 & 11
• Writing: March 12 & 13
• Math: April 15 & 16
• Science: April 17 & 18

There is no Delayed Start Wednesdays for Middle and High Schools during WASL testing the following dates:
• Wednesday, March 12
• Wednesday, April 16
• Wednesday, April 23

Wa-Hi Winter Sports conference awards

Trey Haines - 1st Team All Conference - 152 lbs.
David Marquez - 2nd Team All Conference - 145 lbs.
Aaron Nelson - Honorable Mention All Conference - 103 lbs.
James Rogers - Honorable Mention All Conference - 215 lbs.

Girls Basketball:
Jennifer Keyes - 1st Team All Conference
Melissa Eastman - 1st Team All Conference
Natalie Klicker - Honorable Mention All Conference
Shanie Bushman - Honorable Mention All Conference
Shanie Bushman - 1st Team All Conference All Defensive Team
Melissa Eastman - 1st Team All Conference All Defensive Team
Natalie Klicker - 2nd Team All Conference All Defensive Team

Boys Swim:
Zach Tyynismaa - Honorable Mention All Conference - 200 IM

Boys Basketball:
Coach of the Year: John Golden
Gary Winston - 1st Team All Conference
Michael Weisner - Honorable Mention All Conference
Michael Najera - Honorable Mention All Conference
Gary Winston - 2nd Team All Conference All Defensive Team
Michael Weisner - 2nd Team All Conference All Defensive Team
Michael Najera - 2nd Team All Conference All Defensive Team

Retired Educators Association names mini-grant recipients
Walla Walla Columbia County Retired Educators Association recently presented five $100 mini-grants to area educators.
The recipients for the spring mini-grants are:

Linda Zavala, K-2 Teacher at Dixie School
Zavala will use the mini-grant to purchase a small cabinet to organize the classroom books and tapes, and also purchase tapes for her classroom.

Linda Seibold, Library Media Specialist at Sharpstein Elementary
Seibold would like to support literacy by increasing the nonfiction titles in the library for our bilingual students.

Jan Eaton, Teacher at Touchet High School
Eaton will purchase supplies for a student project making quilts. Some of these quilts are given to charity.

Natalie Allen-Tibbling,Teacher at Lincoln Alternative School
Allen-Tibbling plans to use the funds to purchase small individual white boards for use in small group activities in her classroom.

Charlene Maib, Teacher at Pioneer Middle School
Maib will purchase new kitchen items for her Home and Family Life Class.

“The Retirees Association is gratified to assist active school employees with special projects to enrich the lives of their students,” said Mini-Grant Coordinator Linnea Robert-Keatts.

Personnel Report (from 3/4/08 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Certificated) LTC William Bialozor, JROTC Instructor, Wa-Hi

(Classified) Mary Lou Whalen, Food Services Assistant, Blue Ridge
Paula Wostenberg, Food Services Assistant, Lincoln Alternative High School

• Resignations/Retirements
(Certificated) Cheryl Ford, First Grade, Prospect Point, 26 years
Staci Gloyn, Explorers, Pioneer, (hired but did not actually teach)
• Staci was on a leave of absence for the 2007-2008 school year
Gayle See, Physical Education, Wa-Hi, 20 years
• Gayle is resigning .4 FTE and will continue as a .6 FTE PE teacher
Robert VanDonge, Physical Education, Edison, 40 years
Teri Voth, Science, Pioneer, 30 years
• Teri was on a leave of absence for the 2007-2008 school year

(Classified) Jessica Arreola, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Preschool, six months
Jane McKern, Head Secretary, Pioneer Middle School, 30 years
Karen Sippert, Head Secretary, Garrison Middle School, 24 years

Classified Employees Week -- March 10-14
School board members and Superintendent Rich Carter presented Public Schools Employees President Larry McCauley a proclamation of support in recognition of Classified Employees Week -- March 10-14 during Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

Carter said our schools could not operate without the support classified employees provide to help Walla Walla children get a quality education.
Board to study school health center idea
School board members will further study a School Based Health Center concept presented to them during Tuesday night’s meeting by local physician Alison Kirby MD.

Kirby said the district would be eligible to receive a $20,000 grant to further study the idea of bringing a community led health center to Lincoln Alternative High School to better serve youth health care needs.

School Board President Anne Golden said the school board will review information and possibly conduct a public work session later this month to learn more about this concept. Kirby said the grant would fund a feasibility study to conduct a needs analysis. She says statistics indicate teens living in Walla Walla County are some of the most under served when it comes to health care.
Green Park STOP Team keeps playground safe
Green Park Intervention Specialist Barbara Thatcher and students involved in the Students Talk Out Problems or STOP program reported to school board members last night the program is having a positive impact at their school.

The STOP program began in 1993 as a way for students to help other students resolve conflicts. Currently 47 students in grades 4 and 5 are participating in the volunteer program. STOP students must maintain excellent grades, be a role model and wear bright yellow vests during the lunch recess to be easily identified.

If they witness a conflict they have a structured step process, including having the students involved sign an improvement contract, to put a stop to the negative behavior.
Orchestra students expand arts experiences
• Hairspray -- Sunday, February 24: Orchestra Teacher Julia Woods and several students attended the Broadway Across America production of “Hairspray” at the Toyota Center. For most of these students, this event was the first time they had ever seen professional musical theater, according to Woods.

• Terry Durbin Orchestra Workshop -- Saturday, March 1: Students Emily Bell and Samantha Ball, violins, joined Morgan Lenihan, cello, and Jacey Mohrland, double bass, in attending the Terry Durbin Orchestra Workshop at Kennewick High School. Dr. Durbin is a nationally-recognized Suzuki violin instructor and orchestra conductor. Students participated in sectionals and a group orchestra rehearsal.

• Walla Walla Symphony Conductor -- Monday, March 3: Walla Walla Symphony Conductor Yaakov Bergman visited Wa-Hi to work with the Symphony Orchestra on Vivaldi’s “Gloria.” The Orchestra is combining with Norb Rossi’s choirs to present portions of this fantastic work at our concert on March 18 (7:00 P.M. @ Wa-Hi). Maestro Bergman led students in a rehearsal & spoke briefly about the Symphony.

Photos of these events can be found on our website: http://resources.wwps.org/wwhs/jwoods/Photos.htm

Sharpstein Family Math Night makes learning fun
Sharpstein students became teachers for the night, teaching their parents and siblings a wide variety of math games to reinforce math skills. Following math games, families were treated to root beer floats and popcorn.

A great example of families playing together and learning math at the same time. More than 500 root beer floats were served to very enthusiastic mathematicians.

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.

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.

Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award nomination announcement
Nominations for the annual Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Awards 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