Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 11, 2008

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School Board meeting Tuesday
Tuesday, April 15
7:30 p.m.
District Office (364 S. Park Street)
Meeting open to public
Initiative 728 Public Forum scheduled
Tuesday, April 15
7:00 p.m.
District Office Blue Mountain Room (364 S. Park St.)

Walla Walla Public Schools seeks public input in the development of an operational plan for year seven of funding made available through the passage of Initiative 728. Community members are invited to attend an I-728 Public Forum, Tuesday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the district office Blue Mountain Room (364 S. Park St.). Those attending are asked to have their input and ideas in writing so the district may contact them for future reference. Those unable to attend are encouraged to write their input and ideas and send them to Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs in the district office by Monday, April 14 (lboggs@wwps.org).

Boggs will provide an overview of the parameters of the initiative, review this year’s spending plan and lead a discussion for next year’s spending plan.

Initiative 728 was approved by Washington State voters in November 2000 to provide school districts local control of additional funding to support efforts to achieve mastery of the essential learnings for all students. For more information, please call Linda Boggs at (509) 526-6734.

City Arbor Day event helps Prospect Point students learn more about trees
Wednesday Prospect Point Elementary second grade students helped plant three trees at Mountain View Cemetery as part of an Arbor Day activity organized by the City of Walla Walla. Students also planted red oak seedlings to take home and grow as part of the education component of the event. Christie Page of the Parks, Recreation and Urban Forestry Advisory board discussed with students how trees help our world. Mayor Dan Johnson served as the event master of ceremonies.

Volunteers help install new Prospect Point Kindergarten playground
Today volunteer teams from local businesses will help with installation of the new Kindergarten playground at Prospect Point Elementary.

Installation of the Kindergarten playground is the final phase of the Prospect Point Playground Project. In all, the Prospect Point Playground Committee raised over $73,000 due to generous donations from local businesses, individuals, grants, and personalized brick sales.
The businesses participating in the build on April 11th, include: Coldwell Banker, St. Mary’s Medical Center, America West Bank, Home Depot, American Lawn & Landscape, Hafen Construction, Walla Walla Builders Supply, Koncrete Industries, and Narum Construction.

Two innovative designs for the Kindergarten playground were developed from input by the Kindergarten teachers, and their students voted on the final selection. The new equipment will feature multiple climbing structures, slides, swings, monkey bars and other balancing elements. Six benches are also scheduled for installation, and an independent slide (located on the third playground) will be replaced.

An integral part of the fund-raising efforts was the sale of personalized, engraved bricks. The bricks will be placed April 26th around the Prospect Point bell, which is located directly in front of the school. Kevin Smith Construction is donating its time and expertise for the installation.

The Main playground (Phase One) was constructed in August 2007 and replaced the existing 40-year-old playground equipment. Food and refreshments for the build are being provided by Heplers Big Cheese Pizza, Starbucks, and Safeway.

Survey to help High School Facilities Task Force members narrow focus
Thursday evening members of the High School Facilities Task Force will meet to continue work on developing recommendations to improve district high school facilities. Chairs Cindy Meyer and John Rowley will poll task force members on a number of subjects to help them rank priorities and expectations.

The survey results will help the Task Force finalize a report and recommendations for the school board to consider in the future. The group was formed last summer and has been meeting monthly throughout the school year.

Edison students sell note cards for Books for Babes program
Edison Elementary second grade students in Kay Barga’s class are selling landmarks of Walla Walla note cards for $3 for a pack of eight.

All proceeds support the Books for Babes project which puts a bag of books in the hands of families of newborns in the Walla Walla area. Thus far more than 2200 bags have been donated. E-mail Barga at kbarga@wwps.org to place an order.

Spring Break perfect timing for Technology upgrades
“Thanks goes to the entire Technology & Telecommunications team for their dedication and hard work during Spring Break!” By Janis Barton, Technology Director.

A. Telecommunications Upgrades:
Our district PBX phone system had not been upgraded in ten years and had reached the end of support life. Steve Olsen, worked with five different Qwest technicians and engineers from the Spokane office with assistance from Rick Pummel, district network engineer. Cory Fish built the new server to facilitate a successful update of equipment and operating software which supports Administration Offices, Sharpstein, Blue Ridge, Prospect Point, WWHS and Lincoln Alternative HS.

B. Technology Upgrades:
Rick Pummel with assistance from ESD 123 technicians provided Internet filter and server upgrades for all sites in the district. This work keeps our network equipment and services up-to-date, efficient and dependable.

C. Prospect Point Computer Upgrades:
Shane Jacobson, project lead, and Carlos Caicedo with help from Cory Fish, Martin Telstad, Conor Fish, Jeff Frey, and Brad Freeman were able to install 71 new computers. In that process 68 other computers were repurposed for additional student use and mini-labs. The computer lab and library workstations were completely updated for student research and online testing. These purchases were made possible through blended funding from district technology and Erate program dollars.

BE at the BEE – the Spelling Bee at the Balloon Stampede
The first annual Altrusa Spelling Bee for elementary school students will be held Saturday, May 10, 2008, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., during the Balloon Stampede. Third, fourth, and fifth graders will demonstrate their spelling skills in the Pavilion Rotunda at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds. Judges for the event will be provided by the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, and Ronald McDonald will be there with fun and games for everyone.

April 25 is the deadline for students to submit applications. Students may turn in completed applications to their teachers or school office or mail to them to Altrusa, 1492 Havstad Drive, Walla Walla, WA 99362.

A list of spelling words by grade level, event rules and applications are available on the Chamber of Commerce website at www.balloonstampede.com.

Please thank the Queen Bee Sponsors for making the Spelling Bee possible for our community. They include one anonymous donor, Lamb-Weston, The Union Bulletin, Swire Coca Cola, McDonalds, Columbia REA, Doyle Electric, and Baker Boyer Bank.

The Spelling Bee is organized by Altrusa, a service organization that works toward meeting the needs of the community, with a primary focus on literacy and leadership. The newest Altrusa project is the Spelling Bee. Other projects are the Walla Walla Children’s Museum, Starbuck’s Holiday Reading Room, YWCA Holiday Donations, Summer Reading Skills Lab, Fall Backpacks & School Supplies, Literacy Grants for School Teachers, and College Scholarships. For more information, email Sandi Blackaby at sblackaby@charter.net.

Wa-Hi FFA Floral Team advances to national competition
The Wa-Hi FFA Floral Team won the Washington State FFA Floral Contest last Friday at Spokane Community College.

Team Accomplishments
Test - 1st
Problem Solving - 1st
Team Activity - 4th
Practicums - 4th
Plant ID - 5th

Individual Accomplishments
Alexandra Melling - 1st
Amy Bell - 2nd
Lorrayne Pinza - 9th
Susie Dandrea - 13th
Kelsie DeBroeck - 20th

There were 16 teams and 75 contestants. This group will now represent Washington at the National FFA Convention next October in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Elementary students to learn more about animals during Farm Days
The Wa-Hi Veterinary Assistance classes are putting on Farm Days for elementary students April 17 and 18 in the school’s Big Red Barn.

“Our goal for this year’s Farm Day is to share our knowledge of animals and agriculture to enhance agricultural literacy in our schools and community,” Agriculture Education Teacher Lindsey Butcher said. “We hope to accomplish this goal by providing students with an opportunity to see, touch and learn about animals through games and activities.”

Wa-Hi students are planning the following activities:
• Are You Smarter Than A High School Student?
• Animal coloring books with fun facts in English and Spanish
• Matching Card Game with animal pictures and sounds
• Educational Posters

Animals such as miniature horses, dogs, lambs, ducks, bunnies, goats and sheep will be on campus for students to interact with during the Farm Days activities. Contact Butcher at Wa-Hi for additional information.

Classroom Close-Up features Pioneer teacher
This week Pioneer Eighth Grade Teacher Brad Ludwig is featured on the district’s Classroom Close-Up weekly series.

A 60 second radio spot highlighting Ludwig 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.