Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - August 1, 2008

In this Issue:

(Click on article
to read more)

Safe and civil schools focus of administrator’s summer Leadership Academy
Tuesday and Wednesday district administrators will meet in the board room for their annual summer Leadership Academy. This year’s focus is on safe and civil schools. The group has been reading the book “The Respectful School” by Stephen Wessler as a summer book study.

During Leadership Academy Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs and district risk management consultant Mark Thompson will lead a discussion on the book and how to implement some of the recommendations into district operations. Superintendent Rich Carter says safe and civil schools will continue to be a district focus throughout the school year and beyond.

District administrators will also receive training on a Student Threat Assessment Team model from retired law enforcement officer Martin Speckmaier of Edmonds. This model helps school districts establish building and district level teams to assess threats and to put procedures in place to best manage these situations. The district level team consists of district staff and community experts.

District wall calendars available
Popular district wall calendars are now available to the public at the district’s central office. All staff and students will receive a calendar at the start of the school year. Visit the district website for back to school information (www.wwps.org). The online calendar has open house dates and more. School starts Tuesday, August 26.

State Board of Education approves Superintendent’s Adoption of Revised Math Standards for Grades 9-12
The Washington State Board of Education (SBE) today approved the state superintendent’s adoption of the revised state math standards as recommended by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for students in ninth through twelfth grades, in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II.

“The new standards reflect SBE’s thorough national and international review of best practices, as well as the feedback from educators and the community regarding the level of competency that today’s competitive job climate demands,” said Steve Floyd of Gig Harbor, chair of SBE’s Math Committee.

The new standards will clarify and strengthen high school math graduation requirements, including providing more opportunities for students to take classes in advanced level math and provide high school juniors the option to take a college placement test.

“The approval of the new standards brings us closer than ever to the quality education our students deserve,” said Terry Bergeson, state superintendent. “The new standards dovetail well with the K-8 standards the Board approved in late April. And they show just how well educators can collaborate when it’s for the students. The revisions team deserves tremendous credit for the hard work they did and for the world-class standards that they helped produce.”

The Board’s approval culminates a process that began when the 2007 state Legislature, recognizing the urgent need to improve math achievement in the state, directed SBE and OSPI to review math standards in Washington state’s K-12 schools. That review, undertaken by math consultant Strategic Teaching and an SBE-appointed math advisory panel of education, business and community leaders from across Washington, was completed in August 2007. OSPI then coordinated a standards revision team consisting of state K-12 teachers, school district curriculum experts and higher education mathematicians. OSPI contracted with the Dana Center at the University of Texas to oversee the process.

The proposed changes to the math standards were revised twice before they were presented to the state Legislature by OSPI in the 2008 legislative session.

“We’ve responded to feedback on the competencies our students need for success from a wide variety of sources, by developing standards that are among the best in the nation and the world,” said SBE executive director Edie Harding. “This is another important step toward ensuring that Washington students are well-prepared for any path they choose.”

Following today’s action by SBE, the state superintendent’s office will now prepare curriculum recommendations that best reflect the new math standards, in addition to teacher training. SBE will then review the proposed curricula.