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

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Study supports school-based health center at Lincoln
Developing a privately funded school-based Health Center at Lincoln Alternative High School makes sense according to a study being conducted by the Walla Walla County Health Department. A 31 member task force consisting of community members and school personnel have been meeting since May to study the issue. Parent, student and community survey results indicate access to health care services is needed and that a school-based health center would be widely used by students. The study also includes visiting other school-based health centers and talking with health care professionals.

Study coordinator Holly Howard says Pendleton has two school-based health centers and Walla Walla is ready for its own.

“It’s a good fit for Walla Walla because there is a huge demand for students having access to health care,” Howard said. “Youth tend to fall through the cracks when it comes to health care.”

Howard says the next step is to pursue funding sources for the center. She said the Task Force is in the process of applying for a state grant and seeking out other funding options.

High School Facilities Task Force urges public discussion on recommendations
Tuesday evening School Board members conducted a public work session to study the recently completed report from the High School Facilities Task Force. Chairs Cindy Meyer and John Rowley reviewed the steps and research process the task force took last school year before ultimately coming up with specific conclusions and recommendations. The entire report is available online at www.wwps.org (A to Z section -- High School Facilities Task Force).

Members of the High School Facilities Task Force encouraged the district to have a candid discussion with the community about its vast high school facilities needs. Task Force member Ruth Ladderud says good communication is the only way to get results.

“The community has lots of questions,” Ladderud said. “If they understand what we have gone through and researched, then I think they’ll better understand the conclusions we have come to and where the community needs to go to support it to make things happen for Walla Walla children.”

The district, with the support of Task Force members, plans to meet with the Walla Walla Union Bulletin Editorial board, hold public and small group discussions, conduct surveys and present information to community groups as the next step in this process.

High School Task Force Members
Cindy Meyer, Co-Chair
John Rowley, Co-Chair
Darcy Weisner
Scott Krivoshein
Lawson Knight
Jim McCarthy
Mike Pettyjohn
Jim Hayner
Cindy Widmer
Clint Gabbard
Mindy Meyer
Jim Sporleder
Max Carrera
Rob Ahrens
Nanqi You
John Butenhoff
Dave Warkentin
Ruth Russo
Ruth Ladderud
Carina Stillman
Everett Knudson
James Payne
Dick Cook
Jim Sanders
Jody Schneidmiller
Linda Newcomb
LaDessa Smelcer

District receives grant to improve intervention strategies
Walla Walla Public Schools continues to be recognized has a state leader in helping struggling students improve their academic skills, as demonstrated by being one of six districts in the state to be awarded a three-year, federally funded grant.

“The grant is intended to be a “personnel development” grant to improve and increase our use of Response to Intervention (RTI) strategies and frameworks, an outgrowth of the three-tier instructional model,” Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs said. “Response to Intervention, or RTI, is simply the process of using data to decide if our students are responding to the interventions we have put in place, and intensifying or changing the interventions when our students fail to respond adequately.”

According to Boggs, key components of effective use of RTI are:
• universal screening
• progress monitoring
• diagnostic assessment
• effective intervention programs for reading, writing, mathematics, and behavior.

“Effective implementation of RTI will ultimately improve student achievement, reduce the number of students identified as having disabilities, and allow those with disabilities to be identified much earlier so that intensive interventions can reduce the impact of those disabilities,” Bogg said.

Grant resources will be used to support expanded understanding, skills and processes to make sure that our teams are effectively meeting the needs of all of our students.

“By the time the life of the grant expires, we hope to have supported all building teams in Walla Walla, Pre-K through 12, to develop the ability to more efficiently and meaningfully respond when children struggle,” Boggs said.

School Psychologist Maria Garcia will serve as the grant coordinator. She will be working with district principals and building level teams to evaluate what components are already in place and to develop action plans tailored to meet specific school needs.

PERSONNEL REPORT (From the School Board Meeting July 22, 2008)

Mary Ann “Missy” Newcom, Speech Language Pathologist, Special Programs
Kellie Humbert, ESL Teacher, Prospect Point Elementary
Karan Jamieson, Resource Room Teacher, Walla Walla High School
Keith Michels, Social Studies Teacher, Walla Walla High School

Rosa Coronado, Graduation Intervention Specialist, Lincoln Alternative High School
Carol Gallinat, Para-Educator, Prospect Point Elementary
Yaneth Hernandez, Assistant Secretary, Blue Ridge Elementary
Jennifer Knight, Para-Educator, Prospect Point Elementary
Tracy Longmire, Para-Educator, Prospect Point Elementary
Annette Matlock, Assistant Secretary, Berney Elementary
Yajaira Page, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Elementary
Melanie Richards, Bus Assistant, Transportation Department
Kyle Sullivan-Jones, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School
Timothy Wauchek, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School


Classified: Amber Broel, Para-Educator, Pioneer Middle School, 2 years
Elida Flippo, Food Service Assistant, Prospect Point Elementary, 6 years
Colter Mohney, Bus Mechanic, Transportation Department, 2 years

Certificated: Rob Ahrens, Science Teacher, Walla Walla High School, 10 years
(Rob is requesting a .6 FTE leave of absence to serve as a Science Coach.)

Maria Garcia, School Psychologist, Special Programs Department, 12 years
( Maria will serve as Response to Intervention Grant Coordinator during this leave of absence.)

Lani Kiefel, Special Education Teacher, Pioneer Middle School, 11 years
( Lani will serve as a Math Teacher during this leave of absence.)

Walla Walla Homelink Virtual School information meeting scheduled
Walla Walla Homelink Virtual School Information Meeting
Walla Walla Public Schools Board Room
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
6:30-8 p.m.
364 South Park Street

Come join us for a “Day in the Life of a K¹² Student” on Tuesday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. This interactive information packed session will focus on how you can use the K¹² curriculum to provide a quality education for your child.

There will be demonstrations of online lessons, access to the Online School as well as samples of paper based curriculum to examine. Come speak to parents who have actually used the K¹² curriculum with their students in grades K-8.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, July 29 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Walla Walla Public Schools Board Room, 364 S. Park St.

Attend our information session for a demonstration of the K¹² curriculum and to get answers to all of your questions about online courses, the Walla Walla Homelink Virtual School Program, and meet with members of our school community.

Why Walla Walla Homelink Virtual School Program?
- Families receive a $1200 student learning fund to off set costs for materials, enrichment classes and K¹² classes
- Students have access to Homelink campus classes: Art, Science, PE and Writing
- Local assistance from certificated teachers and local support from other home schooling families

Contact Information:
Walla Walla, WA

Learn more about Homelink and our Virtual School Program by visiting www.wwps.org (under Support Programs) or www.k12.com to learn more about K¹².