Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 16, 2009

In this Issue:

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Holiday Monday - No School
- No school: Monday, Jan. 19
- Classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 20
School board meeting Tuesday, January 20
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 20
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: District Board Room (364 S. Park St.)
Open to public
Leadership Walla Walla spends day in district
This week 20 local business people learned more about area schools as a part of Leadership Walla Walla Education Day. Program Director Sandi Madsen says the experience is powerful.

“We pick different facets of the community to focus on through the Leadership Walla Walla program,” Madsen said. “Education is such a priority for Walla Walla. It’s a very important issue for us, it seemed like a no brainer to spend at least one entire day on the issue.”

Leadership Walla Walla Agenda at a glance
- Welcome & Introductions: Dr. Linda Boggs, Walla Walla Public Schools Assistant Superintendent

- Higher Education in our Valley: Tony Cabasco, Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid - Whitman College; Dr. John McVay, President - Walla Walla University; Dr. Karin Hilgersom, Ex. Vice President of Instruction - Walla Walla Community College

- Education Alternatives in the Walla Walla Valley: Tim Payne, Superintendent College Place School District. John Deming, Principal - Walla Walla Valley Academy. Lynn Kuntz, Assistant Principal - Walla Walla Catholic Schools

- High School graduation requirements: Walla Walla High School Principal Darcy Weisner and Associate Principal Mira Gobel

- Virtual Schools/Virtual Learning: Walla Walla High School Principal Darcy Weisner and Berney Elementary Principal David Talley

- Walla Walla High School campus tour

- Walla Walla Public Schools Budget Review: WWPS Chief Financial Officer Pat Johnston and Fiscal Manager Judy Gwinn

- Debriefing -- “What did you experience?” - Dr. Linda Boggs and Sandi Madsen, Leadership Walla Walla Director

Fog keeps Peasley from talking money with legislators
Mentor Teacher Director Judy Peasley received a special invitation from the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) to meet with legislators to discuss how state budget cuts could impact the district’s new teacher induction program. Unfortunately, fog in the Walla Walla valley kept her from traveling to Olympia. Peasley said she will find another avenue to get her message to elected officials.

“It’s critical that the legislators continue to support this type of program, so our new teachers have the help they need and our classrooms are as strong as they can be,” Peasley said. “It requires funding to support the manpower needed for this program. We not only provide resources and materials to our new teachers, but we also offer invaluable mentoring that comes with a real life person.”

CSTP is an independent, nonprofit organization that supports student achievement through its focus on improving the quality of teaching. CSTP commissions research and builds capacity for using data to inform policy discussions and decision making; provides teachers with opportunities to develop leadership skills and contribute to policy decisions; and engages the public in dialogue centered on powerful learning for all students. Visit CSTP online at: http://www.cstp-wa.org/

Explorer Program nominations now accepted
Explorer Program Nominations are now being accepted for the 2009-2010 school year. Information on the program for gifted and talented students is available in both English and Spanish on the district web site under the Support Programs/Explorers link. http://www.wwps.org/programs/explorers.htm

Information sheets, along with parent nomination forms, have been sent to schools. They are available in English and Spanish. Contact your child’s teacher for more information. He or she will be able to help you decide if your child is a good candidate for this rigorous education program.

The deadline for nominations is January 30, 2009. Testing will take place in a centralized location during the week of March 16-20, 2009.

Wa-Hi sports weekend schedule
Boys vs. Richland at Richland — Friday, January 16
- Varsity @ 7:30 PM
- JV @ 5:45 PM
- Soph @ 5:45 PM
- Frosh A @ 7:30 PM
- Frosh B @ 7:30 PM @ Carmichael MS

Girls vs. Richland at Walla Walla — Friday, January 16
- Varsity @ 7:30 PM
- JV @ 5:45 PM
- Frosh A @ 7:30 PM
- “C” Team @ 5:45 PM

Boys vs. West Valley at Yakima Sun Dome — Monday, January 19
- Varsity @ 5:00 PM

Girls vs. West Valley at Yakima Sun Dome — Monday, January 19
- Varsity @ 3:30 PM

Lady Blue Devil Basketball Mini-Clinic Saturday
For girls in grades 4 - 8
Saturday, January 17

Clinic Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Clinic Cost: $15

Wa-Hi Girls Basketball coaching staff and players will create a fun and exciting atmosphere through hands on instruction of both individual and team skills.

Bring the following to be ready to play:
• Gym shoes
• Comfortable clothes
• Water bottle (optional)

For more information please contact Jack Mehn at 509-527-3020 or at jmehn@wwps.org

High school seniors, parents invited to “College Bowl Sunday”
Financial aid experts from local colleges to help with FAFSA forms

Whitman College and Walla Walla Community College (WWCC) are hosting “College Bowl Sunday” on Sunday, Jan. 25. This event will make computers and financial aid professionals available to local high school seniors and their parents to help complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the form that is required for all financial
assistance for higher education.

Financial aid officers and other academic professionals from all three local colleges will be on hand from 2 to 4 p.m. in Conference Room 185 at WWCC. Questions can be directed to Varga Fox, director of financial at Whitman, fox@whitman.edu; Marilyn Ponti, assistant director of financial aid at Whitman, pontimk@whitman.edu; and Terri Johnson, director of financial aid at WWCC, Terri.johnson@wwcc.edu.

Students and parents are encouraged to attend this event together, because household finance information is a key part of completing the form. In addition to financial records, (recent tax forms and/or paystubs, etc.) the student needs to bring his or her social security number and driver’s license (if the student has one). If families do not have all the paperwork together, they are encouraged to attend the event and get the process started.

This event is one of 20 that will be conducted around the state in January and February. For more information about the state-wide program, go to http://www.collegegoalsundaywa.org/

CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156 / parishlj@whitman.edu

Public needed to review senior presentations
Members of the community are invited to volunteer and serve on review panels as Seniors from the class of 2009 present their Culminating Project.

“Students have decided to tell their stories via their accomplishments in music, visual arts, academics, athletics, community involvements and/or challenges they had to overcome,” Walla Walla High School Associate Principal Mira Gobel said. “We believe that this event will be a celebration of our collective efforts and will provide each senior a moment to reflect on the past, present, and the future.”

To sign up or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mira Gobel @ 526-8661 or mkgobel@wwps.org.

Classroom Close-Up features Pioneer Middle School science teacher
This week Pioneer Middle School Science Teacher Kim Lawbaugh 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 Lawbaugh is now playing on regional stations.

Youth Exchange and Study “YES” Program students awarded trip to Florida
The three Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES) students at Walla Walla High School have been awarded an all-expense-paid opportunity to attend the youth conference, Better Understanding for a Better World. The event is in February in Orlando, Florida. The event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and hosted by American Field Services (AFS).

Foreign exchange students from Walla Walla High School Adams Issaka, Irma Sefrinta and Sarah Badwy, along with Shandra Irillis from Prescott High School, will be attending. Retired Walla Walla Public Schools teacher Linnea Keatts is traveling with the students and will serve as their chaperone.

These students recently presented numerous presentations in the Walla Walla community during International Education Week in November. Nationally they placed third in the International Education Week Contest.

YES is an innovative high school exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This public diplomacy initiative builds bridges of international understanding, especially between Americans and people in countries with significant Muslim populations.

FFA Agriculture Issues team takes first place
Congratulations to the Walla Walla High School FFA Agriculture Issues Team for placing first out of seven teams at the District 6 Ag Issues Competition Wednesday , January 14 at Tekoa High School. The team will now represent Walla Walla at the State FFA Convention next May at WSU. The topic for this year is ‘Should the Wallula Energy Resource Center come to Walla Walla?’

Team members are:

- Natalie Norby
- Natalie Crum
- McKenzie Sirmon
- Audrey Smith
- Emily Larreau
- Levi Swenson

“They have been working on this presentation since September and a lot of extra hours of work paid off on a our first step to the state title,” Advisor Arch McHie said.

McHie said the Ag Issues Team presentation is 15 minutes with 7 minutes built in for questions. McHie encourages service groups to take advantage of this excellent program. To schedule a presentation, contact McHie at: amchie@wwps.org.

Wal-Mart donates school supplies to Prospect Point
Jamie Kennedy, manager of Wal-Mart, made a very generous donation of school supplies to Prospect Point yesterday. The paper, glue, pencils, binders, and folders filled an entire cart, and was estimated to be worth $1,500.

“At one time, our PTA was looking into coordinating the purchase of school supplies, but the idea never got off the ground because of the initial start-up costs,” Prospect Point Principal Chris Gardea said. “We will be working on a plan to get these items out so that families aren’t as heavily impacted by the cost of school supplies.”
T-shirt give away at Blue Devil boys basketball game next Saturday
Free t-shirts will be given away to Walla Walla High School students attending the Blue Devil boys basketball home game Saturday, Jan. 24 vs. Eastmont. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

These spirit shirts were made available at no cost to the school district thanks to generous sponsorships from Valley Vision, Pepsi of Walla Walla, McDonald Zaring Insurance, T Walla Walla by Original Design and Big Blue Boosters. The bright blue t-shirts display the school’s logo and state -- “The best things in life are Blue and White”

“In an effort to add to our student support at the home basketball games, we are excited about the opportunity to give away t-shirts to Wa-Hi students who attend our games,” said Wa-Hi Head Basketball Coach John Golden. “Our fan support is so important and we appreciate what they provide for us. We couldn’t have done it without the support of Pepsi, Valley Vision, McDonald-Zaring Insurance, and Big Blue Boosters.”