Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - August 8, 2008

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School starts Tuesday, August 26
Back to school information is available online at www.wwps.org or by calling the Communications Department at 526-6716. The first day of school is Tuesday, August 26.
Safe and civil schools focus of summer Administrator Leadership training
During their annual summer Leadership Academy, district administrators spent two days discussing strategies for making Walla Walla schools safer and more civil. The meetings were held Tuesday and Wednesday at the district office. Tuesday district Risk Management Consultant and Bullying Prevention Specialist Mark Thompson presented information on how to make schools safer and more civil following recommendations from “The Respectful School” by Stephen Wessler.

The district’s Safe Schools model is as follows:
• Prevention
• Management
• Recovery

Core Values
Every child has the right to be physically and emotionally safe at school. Children cannot learn and cannot grow to their fullest potential when they fear for their safety. It is possible to create schools and classrooms where a climate of safety and respect enables all children to thrive and succeed.

Administrative Support
Administrators must create anti-harassment policies that are clear and fair. Policies include:
• Discrimination & Sexual Harassment
• Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment
• Hazing
• Retaliation

Teacher Intervention
Teachers and staff must also speak up by responding immediately, consistently, and firmly when students engage in harassing conduct or use degrading language or slurs. Walla Walla teachers have been receiving this training for many years.

Peer-to-Peer Leadership
Providing students who are viewed as leaders and role models by their peers with the knowledge, empathy, and skills to speak up for respect is an essential component of any comprehensive strategy to change school climate and to reduce harassment and violence.

Wednesday district administrators learned more about developing a districtwide Student Safety Assessment Team to help analyze threats in the district. Former Edmonds police officer and threat assessment expert Martin Speckmaier (http://www.school-safety-intervention.org) presented to administrators on this issue.

Assistant Personnel Director Liz Campeau will serve as the district level team leader for this program. 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.

New staff orientation next week
Next week new employees will be officially welcomed to the district during new staff orientation activities. District Induction Program Coordinator Judy Peasley is organizing the week long orientation. Thus far 32 teachers and 22 classified employees have been hired to begin the new school year. The district still has a few remaining openings to fill.
New school bus routes to save fuel and improve service
This summer the Transportation Department, under the leadership of Director Steve Olson, completed a districtwide restructuring of school bus routes to improve efficiencies. The new routes are designed to save fuel and cut student riding and waiting times. New routes will be posted on the district website by mid-August.

County Health Department offers free immunizations
Free immunizations are being offered for all Walla Walla County children ages four to 18 years Thursday, August 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Walla Walla County Health Department (314 W. Main St. – Rose Street entrance).

“We hope this free clinic will reduce the barriers for parents and guardians who want to immunize their children,” District Health Services Director Jennifer Douglas said. “This year there are new state immunization requirements for kindergartners and new requirements as of last year for sixth grade students. Families can meet all these new requirements with this one, no cost visit.”

For more information contact Walla Walla County Health Educator Susann Bassham at 524-2664 or Walla Walla Public Schools Health Services Director Jennifer Douglas at (509) 526-8507.

Edison Construction Project Update
Thanks Walla Walla for your support!

• Project is on schedule
• Project is on budget

New School scheduled to open Fall 2009
Estimated Enrollment: 400-450 (Grades K-5)

Project Benefits
• State-of-the-art technology
• Better classrooms
• Improved safety
•Controlled learning environment (AC/Heating)

Project General Contractor: Chervenell Construction

Project Architect: Architects West

Boundary Review Update
Working closely with parents, staff and students to develop the best boundary adjustment plan for our community

Boundary Review Goals
• Listen and work with the community to develop plan
• Increase Edison Elementary enrollment for new school
• Maintain neighborhood schools
• Balance enrollment in district elementary schools

New Boundaries
New Boundaries take effect Fall 2009

Boundary Review Committee Next Steps:
• Reconvene committee and study input
• Use input to make revisions to current proposals
• Conduct public meetings (Fall 2008)

Fall 2008 Public Meetings
• Wednesday, Sept. 10 - 7 p.m. - Green Park
• Wednesday, Oct. 1 - 7 p.m. - Blue Ridge
• Wednesday, Oct. 29 - 7 p.m. - Prospect Point

Boundary Committee Members
Chris Gardea Co-Chair
Dana Jones, Co-Chair
Roger Bairstow
Dondi Cortinas
Anne Golden
Kurt Hoffman
Mike Lambert
Katrina Manning
Tim McCarty
Steve Olson
Donna Painter
James Payne
Laure Quaresma
Julie Sievertson
Peter Swant
Staci Wanichek
Nancy Withycombe

Wa-Hi Drama students participate in Camp Shakespeare
This summer several students active in the Walla Walla High School Drama Department attended “Camp Shakespeare” on the campus of Walla Walla Community College.

“The camp was filled to a capacity of 25 young actors with half of them new to Wa-Hi’s drama department,” said Wa-Hi Drama Department Publicity Coordinator Denise Marr.

The faculty included; Brian Senter, director of Wa-Hi’s Drama department; Kevin Loomer, head of WWCC’s Performing Arts Center; Paul Stetler, guest artist and member of Seattle Shakespeare Company.

The Shakespeare workshop was a four-day intensive exploration. Students stretched their writing, listening, speaking and performing skills through a variety of games, acting sessions, vocal work, verse writing and acting exercises.

“We also tapped into the more physical realm of slapstick and stage combat and discovered how it too contributes to the work,” Marr said. “All the campers worked hard during the workshop, met some new friends with similar interests in theater and had a lot of laughs!”

Back to school prep starts with protecting your child from disease

Make sure their immunizations are current

OLYMPIA - As summer winds down, back to school time is just around the corner for Washington children. One of the best ways to prepare them for the coming year is to make sure their immunizations are up-to-date.
Childhood vaccinations are among the most effective ways to protect children against serious and preventable illnesses, some of which have no cure or treatment. Parents should use the next several weeks to ensure their kids have all the immunizations they need to begin school, schedule a yearly health checkup for children, and have them get any immunizations that are due.

“Parents want their children to be safe when they send them off to school, and fully immunizing them is a good start,” said State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes, a pediatrician. “Immunization protects children and the people around them, including their classmates.”

There have been outbreaks of measles, chickenpox, and whooping cough in our state this year.

“Recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in Washington means it’s more important than ever for kids to be fully immunized before they head back to school,” said Dr. Hayes. “The best way to protect them is to immunize them against these diseases.”

Several immunizations are required before children can attend school and child care. This year, students entering sixth and seventh grade must get the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. This booster shot protects older kids against whooping cough (pertussis). Young children receive a vaccine that prevents the same diseases, but protection starts to wear-off in the early teen years, so Tdap is important for preteens.

Kids starting first, second, and sixth grades must get the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine or document that they’ve had the disease. Kindergarteners need two doses of the vaccine. Parent-reported history of chickenpox is not an acceptable alternative for kids entering kindergarten.

Although exemptions are allowed for medical, religious, or personal reasons, the best disease protection is to make sure children have all recommended immunizations. Children who are not fully immunized may be excluded from attending school, preschool, or child care if a disease outbreak occurs.

Health care providers can use the CHILD Profile Immunization Registry to help parents complete the necessary school entry paperwork by printing it directly from the registry. Parents should request their child’s shot records a month before school and use their regular health care providers for all childhood vaccinations when possible.

For help finding a health care provider or an immunization clinic, call your local health agency (www.doh.wa.gov/LHJMap/LHJMap.htm) or the WithinReach (www.withinreachwa.org) Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.
Required vaccine information (http://www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/Immunize/schools/vaccine.htm) is available online. The CHILD Profile Immunization Registry (www.childprofile.org) has information on the immunization registry program.