Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 7, 2008

In this Issue:

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Boundary committee discusses options
School board members conducted a public work session Tuesday night to discuss the work of the district’s Boundary Review Committee.

This group has been meeting for more than one year with the following charge: increase Edison Elementary enrollment for the new school, maintain neighborhood schools, and balance enrollment in district elementary schools. The committee shared the following recommendations:

Boundary Committee Recommendations
• Adopt the current boundary scenario as presented this fall (view online: www.wwps.org - A to Z: Boundary Study)

• Offer a grandfather option in 2009 for 4th and 5th grade students (they also discussed other grandfather options)

• Revise middle school boundaries to incorporate a “feeder school” model:
- Pioneer Middle School = Edison, Berney, Green Park
- Garrison Middle School = Blue Ridge, Prospect Point Sharpstein

The school board expects to take action at the November 18 school board meeting.

Community leaders asked to weigh in on Skills Center
Business leaders, parents, government officials, higher education representatives and other professionals are among the dozens of Walla Walla citizens who are being surveyed to share their thoughts on a potential Skills Center in Walla Walla.

The surveys are part of a feasibility study the district is conducting to determine if Walla Walla is a good fit to have a branch campus of the Tri-Tech Skills Center (Kennewick).

Earlier this year the district received state funding to conduct this feasibility study, as state elected officials are encouraging local school districts to find more ways to offer students training for employable skills. The district expects to have the study completed this spring.

Corps of Engineers donates computers
The district’s Technology Department is teaming with the Corps of Engineers to provide more technology options for students. The partnership is made possible thanks to the Department of Defense “Computers for Learning Program.”

Surplus computers, including Dell mini-tower workstations and laptops, are being donated. Technology Director Janis Barton said 300 to 500 computers are available, but budget constraints limit her department to accepting only 50. Barton estimates the district will need to invest $250 to $300 per computer to install hard drives, software and other necessary equipment. She said another 50 could be stored and used for parts. She said there is currently not adequate funding in her department to accept more computers. Principals and departments have been extended the opportunity to purchase upgrades for additional donated computers for their schools or programs.

Barton said the computers would be used as follows:

• 35 - Classroom computer replacement
• 10 - Computer checkout program through Library Media Centers
• 5 - Parent checkout program at Blue Ridge Elementary

“This is a good opportunity for our district,” Barton said. “This is good equipment and will improve access to technology.”

District’s Response to Intervention program praised in regional publication
The district’s tiered instructional model Response to Intervention (RTI) was featured in the Fall 2008 issue of Northwest Education, published by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory.

The article “The Wa-High Way” focused on Walla Walla High School’s efforts to find an educational program to meet each student’s specific needs.

Reporter Rhonda Barton said Walla Walla Public Schools was recommended by David Tudor of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction special education department. During Barton’s one day, whirlwind visit to do the story, she met with an interview panel and organized several classroom visits.

Northwest Education is published by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory and distributed free of charge. See the story online at: www.nwrel.org/nwedu.
American Education Week Salute
A message from Superintendent Rich Carter

The 87th annual American Education Week will be celebrated November 16-22. This year’s theme: Great Public Schools — A Basic Right and Our Responsibility, reflects a calling upon America to provide students with quality public schools so that they can grow, prosper, and achieve in the 21st century.

The week spotlights the importance of providing every child in America with a quality public education from kindergarten through college, and the need for everyone to do his or her part in making public schools great. The week-long celebration will spotlight distinguished individuals who are critical in building great public schools for the nation’s 50 million students.

Few other professionals touch as many people’s lives as educators do. When parents in Walla Walla drop their children off for school they know they are in good hands. Our staff members care for our students as if they were their own children.

Teachers work to open students’ minds to ideas, knowledge and dreams. They use research based teaching strategies to improve achievement and collaborate with their peers to understand each child’s specific needs.

Our programs and people continue to influence students long after their school days are only memories. Please join in Celebrating American Education Week - November 16 to 22 by taking time to reach out and thank educators for all they do for Walla Walla children.

Wa-Hi Students and Staff to Attend Big Blue Weekend
More than 300 students and staff from Walla Walla High School will be attending the 2nd Annual Big Blue Weekend November 21-23 at Wildhorse Canyon in Antelope, Oregon. They will spend the weekend in student-led teams, getting a chance to connect with other students and staff members that they wouldn’t normally spend time with. Students and staff will also hear from a guest speaker, participate in large group activities, and experience a weekend full of surprises that promises to be a highlight of the school year.

The Big Blue Weekend is planned and facilitated by the ASB Leadership class, which is made up of elected and appointed student body officers. The purpose of the weekend is to positively impact the climate of Wa-Hi by building relationships between students and staff, breaking down social barriers, and giving students relational skills and experience that they can integrate into their lives.

By the end of the weekend, students who attend will walk away with:
• Lifelong skills in relationship building.
• A group of peers who know and support them.
• At least one staff person who cares about them personally.
• A sense of their value and impact on others.
• New perspective on the kind of person they want to become.
• Greater vision for their life.
• Confidence to step outside of their comfort zone.
• Empowerment to make a positive difference in their school and community.

Fund-raising by the student body leaders and donations from local businesses helps keep the weekend affordable for all students. A special thanks to the following organizations for their generous contributions:
• Mary Garner Esary Trust - $10,000 donation
• Banner Bank - $5,000 donation
• Providence St. Mary Medical Center - $500 donation
• Baker Boyer Bank - $200 donation
• The McGregor Company - $100 donation

For questions or more information about the Big Blue Weekend, please contact Jillian DeBritz at Walla Walla High School (526-8659).

Personnel Report (from 11/4/08 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Classified) Kristen Duede, Intervention Specialist, Berney
Eva Madrigal, Para-Educator, Sharpstein
Cindy Morales, Assistant Secretary, Blue Ridge
Javier Hernandez, Para-Educator, Sharpstein

• Resignations/retirements
(Classified) Diana Cox, Family/Mental Health Coordinator, Blue Ridge Head Start/ECEAP (30 years)
- (effective January 1, 2009)

Free flu shots for children
Thursday, November 20
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Walla Walla County Health Department
314 West Main Street (use Rose Street entrance)
Free to all children ages 6 months through 18 years and Walla Walla County Residents
Pioneer students named to All-State Orchestra
Congratulations to Pioneer Middle School 8th graders Kelsey Gabel and Quinn Anderson for being named to the Washington Music Educator’s Association’s Jr. All-State Orchestra. These outstanding students join nearly 100 eighth-grade students from across the state for a gala concert March 14 at the Highline Performing Arts Center.
Berney plans Bulldog Turkey Trot fitness experience
Date: November 14
Time: 9-10:30 a.m.
Location: Berney Gym

Berney students in grade K-5 will participate in this fun event designed to promote fitness and health. They will have a raffle following the run/walk in the gym.

“We decided to have this event after talking to Blue Ridge Physical Education Specialist Sue Hansen about events and activities that she puts on for her kids at Blue Ridge,” said Berney PE Specialist Michele Cooke. “Fun fitness with teachers and parents will be a great experience for the kids at Berney.”

There will be more than 100 prize giveaways and a grand prize of an enormous frozen turkey for the winning student to take home. Cooke plans on making this an annual event. The Berney PTA donated $700 to support the event.

Area food banks benefit from Wa-Hi Trunk or Treat event
The Walla Walla High School Trunk or Treat Halloween event was a huge success, netting 750 lbs of canned food. The Key Club sponsored event offered families a safe and fun Halloween experience. Students involved in school clubs decorated the trunks of cars and passed out candy to children. Students in the school’s Future Business Leaders of America club also collected old cell phones for recycling purposes. Special thanks to Key Club Advisor Shelley Mann for organizing the event.

Edison students organize flower bulb fund-raiser for Books for Babes program
Edison Elementary second grade students are doing their part to ensure parents of newborns in Walla Walla have books to read by organizing a “bulbs-in-a-can” fund-raiser. Cans cost $3 each. All proceeds support the community service project — Books for Babes.

“We have given away over 2500 bags full of books to families of newborns in the Walla Walla area,” said Edison Teacher Kay Barga. “We are also selling a new batch of note cards. The cards are hand-drawn pictures of the Walla Walla area by our students. These cards come with envelopes and are $3.00 a batch.”

The first batch of bulbs will be delivered November 21. The cards will be ready in mid-December. E-mail Barga to place an order: kbarga@wwps.org.

School Psychologist Week November 10-14
Governor Christine Gregoire has declared November 10-14 School Psychologist Week. Gregoire notes in a state proclamation that school psychologists promote positive educational, social and emotional development of all students.

Special thanks to Walla Walla Public Schools Psychologists:
Emma Northrup - Preschool
Tracy Khan - Berney and Lincoln
Kim Butenhoff - Blue Ridge and Prospect Point
Annie Boyd - Sharpstein and Edison
Heather Strader - Green Park and Walla Walla High Schol
Alicia Quackenbush - Pioneer and Creekside
Peggy Tierney - Garrison and Edison
Pam Amo - Walla Walla High School

What School Psychologists Do?
School psychologists work to find the best solution for each student and situation; they use different strategies to address student needs and to improve school and district-wide support systems. School psychologists work with students individually and in groups. They also develop programs to train teachers and parents about effective teaching and learning strategies, techniques to manage behavior at home and in the classroom, working with students with disabilities, addressing abuse of drugs and other substances, and preventing and managing crises.

In addition, most school psychologists provide the following services.

Collaborate with teachers, parents, and administrators to find effective solutions to learning and behavior problems. Help others understand child development and how it affects learning and behavior.
Strengthen working relationships between teachers, parents, and service providers in the community.

Evaluate eligibility for special services.
Assess academic skills and aptitude for learning.
Determine social-emotional development and mental health status.
Evaluate learning environments.

Provide psychological counseling to help resolve interpersonal or family problems that interfere with school performance.
Work directly with children and their families to help resolve problems in adjustment and learning.
Provide training in social skills and anger management.
Help families and schools manage crises such as death, illness, or community trauma.

Design programs for children at risk of failing at school.
Promote tolerance, understanding, and appreciation of diversity within the school community.
Develop programs to make schools safer and more effective learning environments.
Collaborate with school staff and community agencies to provide services directed at improving psychological and physical health.
Develop partnerships with parents and teachers to promote healthy school environments.

Research and Planning
Evaluate the effectiveness of academic and behavior management programs.
Identify and implement programs and strategies to improve schools.
Use evidence-based research to develop and/or recommend effective interventions.

Wa-Hi athletic teams continue post season play this weekend

Game: Walla Walla High School vs. Southridge
Date: Friday, Nov. 7
Location: Kennewick (Lampson Stadium)
Kick-off: 7:30 p.m.
Radio: KTEL 1490 AM (pre-game begins at 7 p.m.)

Girls Swimming
Date: November 14 & 15
Location: Federal Way Aquatic Center
Swimmers: Tori Jones - 10th Grade and Jessica Hutton - WWVA, 10th Grade

Volleyball Districts
Date: Saturday, November 8
Location: Kamiakin High School
Time: TBD

Classroom Close-Up features Preschool Special Education coordinator

This week Preschool Special Education Coordinator and teacher Kathy Bense is featured as part of the district’s Classroom Close-Up series. A fun, information filled newsletter will be posted on the district website next week — (www.wwps.org). A radio spot featuring Bense is now playing on regional stations.

Walla Walla High School Drama Department presents “The Taming of the Shrew”
Performance Schedule
November 13, 14, 15 (2 shows on the 15th)
November 20, 21, and 22
(Evening performances at 7:00 p.m. & matinees at 2:00 p.m.)

NOTE: Opening night ticket special - Thursday, Nov. 13th - ‘2 for the price of 1’

Tickets: The ticket box office will be open beginning November 3 from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and one hour before curtain on Saturdays. Please stop by or call (509) 526-8613 to reserve your seats.

“The Taming of the Shrew” at a glance:
The battle of the sexes is on! This timeless struggle for power and dignity, penned by William Shakespeare over four hundred years ago, still stands as an enigma. Is it sexist? Does it go big and reach beyond the constraints of its time or is it only a testament to Elizabethan relations and male dominance?

Man wants a wife. Man gets a wife. Kate seems to not be the gentle mouse that ‘everyman’ wants. Instead she is an “Intolerable curse and Shrewd.” Against her wishes Petruchio weds her saying, “Will you nil you, I will marry you!” Take in the spectacle of “Mad Wooing” as it never was.

Area veterans invited to participate in Wa-Hi Veterans Day Assembly
• Event: Veterans Day Assembly

• Date: Monday, November 10

• Time: 9 a.m.

• Location: Wa-Hi Main Gym

• Event Overview: The Walla Walla High School Veterans Day Assembly honors men and women who once served or are currently serving our country in any branch of military service. An invitation is extended to all area and local Walla Walla Veterans to attend this event. Veterans should arrive by 9:00 a.m.; spouses and families are also welcome. There will be a short reception to follow in the Walla Walla High School Commons.