Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 30, 2009

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School board meetings February 3
Executive Session - 6:45 p.m.
General Meeting - 7:30 p.m.

District Office Board Room -- 364 S. Park St.
General meeting open to public

KAPP/KVEW (ABC) television to showcase Walla Walla Public Schools
A television production team from KAPP/KVEW (ABC) visited the district today to shoot video for a 30 minute program featuring Walla Walla Public Schools. The television program is part of the station’s “School Scene Magazine” series highlighting regional school districts. Prosser School District Superintendent Dr. Ray Tolcacher is the show’s host. The program will feature student and staff interviews showcasing district programs and activities.

The program will be aired on KAPP/KVEW later this spring. Walla Walla Public Schools will also post the School Scene Magazine program on its website and use it for staff recruiting, parent information meetings and community presentations.

Sharpstein Elementary School earns thousand of dollars from Safeway’s 10% Back to Schools fund-raiser
Sharpstein Elementary School has been named one of the top 200 earning groups nationwide in the Safeway 10% “Back to Schools” fund-raising program. Safeway has contributed an additional $1,000 to the school for a grand total of $4,670.26 paid to Sharpstein Elementary through this fund-raising program.

Safeway’s 10% Back to Schools program allowed schools to earn 10% of the total of items purchased by school supporters from participating manufacturers this past summer. Top Safeway manufacturers contributing to Sharpstein Elementary School through the program included Kraft Foods, Clorox, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Sara Lee and Unilever.

The 10% Back to Schools Program is part of the eScrip program which delivers marketing programs that bring retailers, manufacturers and service providers forward in support of education of youth. To date, the eScrip program has generated more than $200 million in merchant contributions to schools and organizations across the country. In 2008, through this program alone, the Safeway family of stores has donated over $2.5 million to non-profit groups across the nation.

Staffing transfers for 2009-2010 school year
Nilda Williams: Transfers from Prospect Point to Edison Elementary - 2nd Grade Bilingual
Luz Phillips: Transfers from Prospect Point to Edison -- 2nd Grade Dual Language
Erin Moreno: Transfers from Prospect Point to Edison -- 3rd Grade Bilingual
Olga Velazquez: Transfers from Blue Ridge to Edison -- Kindergarten Dual Language
Lisa Braddock: Transfers from Berney to Edison -- 1st Grade Dual Language
Judy Peasley: Transfers from District Office to Edison -- 5th Grade
Wa-Hi Conspiracy of Hope Benefit Concerts a success this week
This week Walla Walla High School presented its annual Conspiracy of Hope benefit concerts. Conspiracy of Hope is a student production benefiting both the Dave Meyer Foundation and St. Mary Cancer Special Needs Fund. The concerts featured 11 acts performed by 24 talented Walla Walla High School students. The concerts were hosted by the hilarious duo of Preston Loomer and Martin Sanks.

The St. Mary Cancer Special Needs Fund helps cancer patients in the Walla Walla area by facilitating random acts of kindness and alleviating financial barriers to treatment. Special thanks to ASB Coordinator Jillian DeBritz for organizing the concerts.

“This year’s Conspiracy of Hope was an incredible display of the wide variety of talent in our student body,” DeDritz said. “Almost 500 people attended the two shows that had acts ranging from singing to interpretive dance—more than 30 students participated in acts, as emcees, and on stage crew. Students produced the entire show, from choosing which charities would receive money to holding auditions and running rehearsals. This show was a unique opportunity for students to share their talents for a great cause—it unified the participants, as well as the students that came, around something really positive.”

Reforestation project teams Walla Walla Public Schools with City and Rotary Club to plant trees in our community
Walla Walla Public Schools has teamed with the City of Walla Walla and Rotary Club of Walla Walla to plant trees on school grounds and for families to plant at their residence sidewalk “right of ways.”

Approximately 300 to 400 trees will be available for planting beginning in mid-March thanks to the partnership. The trees will be used for science lessons featuring students planting trees at school or at home. The project will serve as a way for students to learn more about trees in the Walla Walla Valley. School parent nights will also be held to offer give away activities for families to plant trees at their homes near sidewalk “right of ways.” Some of the trees will also be used to improve school campuses.

Special thanks to City of Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Director Jim Dumont and Rotary Club of Walla Walla member Ned Shafer for bringing this project to the school district.

Pioneer 6th grade students work to put a stop to bullying
This week all Pioneer Middle School sixth grade students participated in a safe and civil schools training at the district office led by facilitor Mark Thompson at the district office.
“We’re preparing them to be strong leaders who don’t tolerate unkind behavior,” Principal Dana Jones said. “We tell students everyone is a part of the problem and everyone has to be part of the solution. It’s their school and they can help it be the best school it can be by holding themselves accountable and not tolerating hurtful behaviors.

Students participated in table activities, discussions and worksheet reviews. They also watched the video “Get Real,” which features school-aged children talking openly about the negative impact bullying has on their schools. Students reported out to the rest of the group and asked questions during the 90 minute session. They also defined what is appropriate and not appropriate behavior and what kind of a school they want.

Cadets compete in Madras JROTC match, bring home hardware
The Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devils” Cadet Battalion precision shooting team traveled to Madras, Oregon. last weekend and came home with 2nd place overall, along with individual honors for some team members.

“These kids shoot well anyway but this was pretty special. We almost didn’t get to compete this time because of weather conditions Friday that caused school to be canceled. A team parent picked up this ad hoc team and left very early Saturday morning, and got them there in time to register for the match,” said retired Army Master Sgt. Gerry Taylor, who coaches the Walla Walla precision and sporter rifle teams. He has also served as an advisor-instructor for the Wa-Hi JROTC program for more than 20 years. “We had enough of our team available to enter the match and these kids really stepped up to the plate.”

The precision team that competed brought home 2nd place overall against teams from more than a dozen Northwest schools. Individual shooting honors went to: Cadet 1st Lt. Elliott Holt, a junior: 2nd place in precision team; and to Cadet Corporal Kyle Jameson, a freshman: 2nd place in the sporter team master class.

Wa-Hi cadets compete in drill and shooting meets that include Army, Navy and Marine Corps JROTC programs from the 14 schools in the Cascade Division of the 32-school Northwest Conference.

Walla Walla High School weekend sports schedule
Boys Basketball vs. Eisenhower at Eisenhower - Friday, January 30
- Varsity @ 7:30 PM
- JV @ 5:45 PM
- Soph @ 7:30 PM -- Wilson MS
- Frosh A @ 5:45 PM -- Wilson MS

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

Boys Basketball vs. Hanford at Walla Walla — Saturday, January 31
- Varsity @ 7:30 PM
- JV @ 5:45 PM
- Soph @ 5:45 PM
- Frosh A @ 7:30 PM

Girls vs. Hanford at Hanford — Saturday, January 31
- Varsity @ 7:30 PM
- JV @ 5:45 PM
- Frosh A @ 7:30 PM
- “C” Team @ 5:45 PM

Boys Swimming vs. West Valley at Walla Walla — Saturday, January 31
- Varsity @ 11:00 AM -- Whitman College Harvey Pool

Wrestling Sub-Districts at Pasco — Saturday, January 31
- Varsity @ 9:00 AM

District to apply for state waiver to excuse snow make-up dates
Walla Walla Public Schools is in the process of applying for a state waiver to excuse the four snow make-up days resulting from the recent record winter storms. The State School Board will review the district’s waiver application and make a decision by mid-March.

“We have not made a final decision if or how we would use the waiver, but we want as many options as possible to help us weigh in on this issue,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “By using the waiver, we would not have to change the Walla Walla High School graduation date, compromise summer employment opportunities for students and alter professional development trainings currently scheduled for teachers.”

The district will release information regarding snow make-up dates as soon as a decision is made.

Classroom Close-Up features Head Start/ECEAP preschool teacher
This week Head Start/ECEAP preschool teacher Elisa Weinman-Pogue 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 Weinman-Pogue is now playing on regional stations.

Elementary Explorer students showcase map project
This week fourth grade Explorer (Gifted) Program students in Mary Cortinas’ class finished a mapping and poster making project. They made maps of the United States which included: state and capitol cities names and locations, major rivers, and two topics they researched to place on their map.

In addition to the maps, they each were asked to create a poster about “Why Geography is Important.”

Staff and parents were invited to view these projects in the Main Foyer at Sharpstein today from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dance team sponsors “Kids Camp” Saturday
The WA-HI Dance Team will be putting on a Kids Camp on Saturday, January 31 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the small gym at Walla Walla High School. The cost is $20 per camper and includes a t-shirt and entrance into the boy’s basketball game that night to perform at halftime. The camp is open to kindergarten through 6th graders.

Registration forms will be available at the camp. For more information, contact Coach Abby Muro at amuro@wwps.org or call the Wa-Hi Athletic Department at 527-3020.

Retired educators offer scholarships
The Walla Walla-Columbia Retired School Employees Association has two $1000 scholarships available.

These are the two requirements:
1. The applicant graduated from an accredited high school in Walla Walla or Columbia County.
2. The applicant will student teach between September 2009 and June 2010.

The application is due April 1, 2009.

“Please inform your staff about these scholarships and encourage them to let family, friends, and neighbors know they are available,” said Scholarship Coordinator Mardel Bierwagen.

For more information, contact:
Mardel Bierwagen