Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - September 12, 2008

In this Issue:

(Click on article
to read more)

School Board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 16
Tuesday, Sept. 16 - Regularly scheduled meeting
7:30 p.m.
District board room (364 S. Park St.)
Open to public

No school Sept. 18-19 (Learning Improvement Days)

There is no school September 18 and 19. These are state required Learning Improvement Days. District teachers will be participating in various professional development activities during these two days. Classes resume Monday, Sept. 22.

District encouraged by positive response to boundary proposal

This week district Boundary Review Committee chairs Dana Jones and Chris Gardea resumed the discussion on the district boundary study during a public meeting Wednesday evening at Green Park Elementary School. Jones and Gardea shared a new boundary proposal that was developed this summer by the Boundary Review Committee. A series of related recommendations (detailed below) were also presented during the one-hour meeting.

Although attendance was slight, those who came responded positively to the proposal and recommendations. Thirteen people returned input sheets and 12 of the 13 supported the boundary proposal. Twelve of the 13 also thought the district has worked closely with the community during this process.

“I think the district has done a great job listening to parents, particularly those at Green Park Elementary,” said Mari Sanders, Green Park Elementary parent. “We were really concerned about our neighborhood school being preserved -- and I know this is a terribly difficult process -- but we feel like we were heard.”

Boundary Review Committee Recommendations
• Investigate possibility of new home for preschool programs
• Grandfather option for 2009 — 4th and 5th grade students
• Open enrollment priority for 2009 — 1st to 3rd grade students
• Consider revising middle school boundaries

Fall 2008 Public Meetings (remaining)
• Wednesday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m. — Blue Ridge Elementary
• Wednesday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m. — Prospect Point Elementary

Community input and suggestions were used to develop this scenario and these recommendations. You can access this scenario online at www.wwps.org (A to Z section - Boundary Study).

Regional publication features district’s Response to Intervention program
This week reporter Rhonda Barton of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory visited Walla Walla to do a story on the district’s Response to Intervention (RTI) program. Walla Walla Public Schools was recommended by David Tudor of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction special education department. District RTI grant coordinator Maria Garcia served as the district’s liaison to Barton. Garcia assembled an interview panel and organized classroom visits.

“What a great visit,” Barton said. “Maria had everything so well organized and I got to see so many terrific things at the high school. I think it’ll be a really strong story.”

Northwest Education is published by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory and distributed free of charge
to about 10,000 educators and policymakers in our 5-state region (Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana). Each issue focuses on a different topic, and is widely read online (www.nwrel.org/nwedu).

Response to Intervention Overview
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a way of organizing instruction and assessment that has two purposes:
1.) To identify children needing help in reading, math, writing, and prevent the development of serious learning problems; and
2.) To identify children who, even when given extra help, make very limited progress. Research has shown that these children sometimes have a learning disability.

Services and strategies our district provides to ensure all children are learning:

Tier I: The student receives core instruction from their general education teacher at a particular age or grade level.

Tier IIa: The student receives research based interventions used with students whose progress places them at some risk for not meeting instructional goals and whose skill needs are easily grouped with other students of similar needs.

Tier IIb: The student receives individualized research based interventions used with students whose progress places them at high risk for not meeting instructional goals and whose skill needs are so unique as to require individualized instructional approaches.

Progress monitoring will be conducted on all students to identify the effectiveness of the intervention and make adjustments accordingly.

When children continue to have difficulty:
The school will keep you informed of your child’s progress. If you and the school have tried several interventions, and progress continues to be limited, you may be asked to give consent for an evaluation. The purpose of such an evaluation is to determine what your child’s educational needs are, and to consider whether your child may have a learning disability.

A parent may request an evaluation for special education services at any time, including any stage of the RTI process. To request a special education evaluation, contact your building learning specialist or school counselor.

Fall Choral concert date changed
Please note on your calendar the date for the Wa-Hi Fall Choral Concert has been changed from Thursday, October 23 to Wednesday, October 22. This concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Walla Walla High School Performing Arts Auditorium.

Homelink teacher to offer afterschool art class
Vicki Shafer will be offering an Afterschool “JUST CLAY” class for 1st and 2nd grade students each Wednesday for the entire month of October.

Classes begin Oct.1 through Oct. 29 and will meet in the Homelink Art room at Berney School. Cost is $10 per student on a first come, first served basis.

E-mail Shafer at vshafer@wwps.org to reserve your spot.

Wa-Hi vs. Eisenhower Big Nine Football on KTEL 1490 AM tonight
The Walla Walla High School vs. Eisenhower football radio broadcast is on KTEL 1490 AM tonight. Tune in early for pregame show specials. Kick off is at 7:30 p.m.
Wa-Hi choirs plan car wash Saturday
The Wa-Hi Choirs are organizing a car wash Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at NAPA on Isaacs. “Please come and let us give you the royal treatment,” said Choral Director Norb Rossi.

This fund-raiser helps support expenses for choir outfits and trip expenses.