Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 20, 2009

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District to make-up two of the four snow days
Move allows Wa-Hi graduation date to remain unchanged

School board members Tuesday night unanimously voted to make-up two of the four days missed this winter as a result of the area’s record storms. Governor Gregoire declared a State of Emergency in December allowing district’s to apply for fully funded waivers to excuse missed days as a result of the severe winter storms.

Walla Walla Public Schools received state waivers to excuse three of the four days, but the school board voted to use only two. The district will extend the school year by one day. The school year will now end Friday, June 12 at noon (early dismissal schedule). The district will also make-up a second missed day in March. Students will attend school Thursday March 5 and Friday, March 6 becomes a full conference day.

The school board’s action allows Walla Walla High School’s graduation date to remain Friday, June 5 and does not impact student summer programs and teacher professional development opportunities currently scheduled in June.

“This decision marks a compromise,,” said Superintendent Rich Carter. “We feel strongly students need to be in school, but we also realize extending the school year into the third week of June impacts end of year ceremonies and summer programs. This schedule allows us to make up some of the missed time without jeopardizing important school activities.”

Despite waiving two days, the district continues to exceed the state required 1,000-hour minimum for instructional hours.

Walla Walla High School principal tells personal story of his struggles as a youth during Sweet Hearts Luncheon
Hundreds of caring community members were having a difficult time holding back their tears Wednesday afternoon as Walla Walla High School Principal Darcy Weisner told his life story during his keynote message at the Children’s Home Society Sweet Heart Luncheon at the Marcus Whitman Hotel.

Weisner, now in his third year as principal at Walla Walla High School, talked about his difficult home life during his childhood and his battle with risky behavior and depression as a youth. Weisner, a standout athlete at Western Washington University where he lettered in three varsity sports, said he would have never made it to college if it were not for teachers and coaches who took a personal interest in him. Weisner has also been a successful high school basketball coach, including winning two state titles while at Brewster and taking Shadle Park High School to state competitions.Weisner said you never know when the moment comes that you impact a person’s life. It can come at any time and when you least expect it. He said you can never give up on a child.

Weisner stressed the importance of personal connections and building relationships. He’s a true family man. He and his wife Holly had five of there own children when they decided to adopt young two boys. He said he wanted these boys to have a personal connection with someone who loved them. He said he didn’t want them to go through life feeling alone. Weisner also thanked program emcee and Walla Walla High School graduate Dave Mastin for taking a personal interest in his eldest son by offering him a position on the Walla Walla University basketball team. He said his son would not have a college degree if it were not for the relationship Mastin developed with his son Brett.

Weisner’s message of hope and belief in others set the tone for the luncheon which is organized to raise awareness and funds for programs to support children in the Walla Walla Valley. Dozens of people went up to Weisner following his speech and thanked him for his life’s passion of helping children find success and inspiration.

Wa-Hi Future Business Leaders of America students win at regional competition
Members of the Walla Walla High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter recently competed in the Southeast Regional Winter Conference at the Yakima Convention Center and won 11 events and brought home 28 different awards.

“The Blue Devil contingent turned in one of their best performances in recent memory,” said FBLA Advisor Scott Reardon.

The competition included approximately 210 students from 11 schools, competing in 43 different events. FBLA is a national professional service organization promoting business and leadership skills for its members.

The following students placed in at least one event, and are eligible for the state conference to be held April 9-11 in Spokane ([team] indicates team event, parenthesis indicate order of finish):

Marcus Agidius, Business Math (2), Business Communications (1)
Franzi Becker, Global Business [team] (2)
Brianna Coffland, Word Processing II (1), Business Ethics [team] (5), Global Business [team] (2)
LynLee Cooper, Business Law (2), Help Desk (1)
Katlyn Corn, Word Processing II (4), Business Law (1)
Renee Eggart, Personal Finance (1), Business Law (4)
Amanda Hamilton, Marketing (3), Emerging Business Issues [team] (1), Global Business [team] (1)
Miyuki Ikuyo, Economics (1), Global Business [team] (1)
Jazmin Llanes-Macias, Word Processing I (3)
Marissa Mabley, Global Business [team] (1)
Justin Mathews, Desktop Publishing [team] (1)
Lizbette Morin, Business Calculations (3), Economics (3)
Natalie Norby, Job Interview (5), Client Service (3)
Shelby Osborn, Business Ethics (5), Emerging Business Issues [team] (1), Global Business [team] (2)
Michelle Reardon, Business Ethics [team] (3), Desktop Publishing (team) (1), Impromptu Speaking [team] (3)
Melissa Santana, Word Processing I (2)
ClaudiaVargas, Business Calculations (2)
Allen Yu, Public Speaking II (1), Business Ethics [team] (3)
Vincent Zheng, Network Design (1), Computer Problem Solving (2)

Other students who participated in the competition included Quiara Avalos, Loren Eng, Irma Pena, and Jocelyn Vargas.

“The kids were obviously ready to perform the moment they got off the bus,” said FBLA Chapter Adviser Scott Reardon. “I could not be more pleased with the effort and professionalism that was demonstrated throughout the day. But despite the awards, I hope that the most important memory that they will have of this event is that they took some risks, competed well, and can be proud of their accomplishment.

Wa-Hi Drama Club plans variety show
“All the World’s a Stage...” -- A night of songs, scenes, and skits

Wednesday, Feb. 25
7 p.m.
$4 admission
Wa-Hi Auditorium

This is a student organized and directed production which serves as a fundraiser for the Drama Club excursion to the musical “Wicked” in Portland, OR.

For more information contact Ryan Campeau at: razzle_ryan@pocketinet.com

Learn more about the district’s Two-Way Language program during parent information meeting
Elementary parents who are interested in having their children, who will be in kindergarten or first grade next year, participate in the district’s Two-Way Language program are encouraged to attend a parent information meeting Monday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. at the district office board room (364 S. Park St.).

For more information, contact Bilingual Coordinator Diana Erickson at 526-6771.

Lincoln students praise school
Lincoln Alternative High School students participating on the school’s student leadership team reported to school board members Tuesday night’s school board meeting on the positive changes they have witnessed at the school under Principal Jim Sporleder’s leadership.

In the past two years attendance is up 41 percent and students are more actively involved in school, according to Tuesday night’s report. Students also said teacher and student leadership team advisor Erik Gordon is helping the school’s culture.

Some of the changes include:
• student government program
• safe school
• more course options
• team sports
• full-color, hardback yearbook
• “girls circle counseling group”
• drama program
Battle of the Bands draws local talent
Thursday night eight bands featuring Walla Walla High School students performed during the annual Battle of the Bands competition. The event was sponsored by the Boys Federation under the direction of advisor Scott Magnaghi. The top three bands earned prizes which all included gift certificates from Hot Poop.
Pioneer Middle School students make positive impression at Solo & Ensemble contest
Recently Pioneer Middle School students participated in the 2009 Solo & Ensemble Contest.

“Our students performed outstanding and represented Pioneer and Walla Walla Public Schools in a manner we can be proud of ” District Music Coordinator Roger Garcia said.

Students perform and score anywhere from a 1 = Outstanding, II = Excellent, III = Good, IV = Fair & V = Poor.

Pioneer results:

Orchestra Entries
Andrew Jones, 7th grade, piano: I-
Chloe Wright & Grace Jones, 7th grade, violin duet: II+
Davin Jones, 7th grade, cello: I
Kayla Stewart, 8th grade, violin: I-
Kelsey Gabel, 8th grade, viola: I-
Kurt Funk, 6th grade, cello: I+
Kurt Funk, 6th grade, piano: I-
Melissa Nelsen, 8th grade, violin: I-
Nathan Brewer, viola & Kurt Funk, cello duet; 6th grade: I
Olivia Holm, 6th grade, violin: I-
Quinn Anderson, 8th grade, cello: I+
William Liening, 6th grade, violin: I
Yamille Gutierrez-Bernal, 6th grade, violin: I

Vocal Entries
Pioneer Trio (Kaitlyn Calhoun, Brelynn Hess, and Emily Prull) II+
Pioneer Duet (Kalli McClure and Jordan Wilson) III
Destiney Wall II
Alison Braddock II
Lucera Cox II-
Alyssa Mullins III+

District sports tournaments continue this week weekend

District Basketball Tournament Information
Friday, Feb 20: Wa-Hi Girls Basketball vs. Kamiakin - @ Walla Walla High School main gym - 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 20: Wa-Hi Boys Basketball vs. Eisenhower - @ Eisenhower (Yakima) - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 21: Wa-Hi Girls Basketball vs. TBD - @ Walla Walla High School main gym - Time: TBD

Cost: No passes will be allowed. $7.00 adult and $5.00 senior/student

Wrestling Boys and Girls
Friday, February 20
State Tournament, Tacoma Dome
Start Time 10 a.m.

Saturday, February 21
Start Time 10 a.m.

Boys Swimming
Friday, February 20
State Tournament, Aquatic Center
Start Time 1:45 PM

Saturday, February 21
Start Time 10:15 a.m.

Saturday, February 21
Start Time 11 a.m.
Kennewick Invite

Art Regier Outstanding Volunteers of the Years Award nominations accepted
2008-2009 Nomination Announcement

Nominations are being accepted through Friday, March 27 for the Art Regier Outstanding Volunteers of the Year Award. The Art Regier Volunteers of the Year recipients will be recognized at the April 21 school board meeting. Nomination forms are available at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the district office.

Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award
The Award
The Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award was instituted in 1991 as a memorial to “Grandpa Art” Regier. Regier, a retiree who devoted years of service to elementary schools in Walla Walla, epitomized the spirit of volunteerism in education. His tireless dedication and concern for the students he served are the inspiration for this award.

Nomination Process
Nominations (use form on reverse) from staff members will be accepted in Walla Walla Public Schools Communications Department, 364 South Park Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362 through, Friday, March 27, 2009. Additional nomination forms are available at each school office and the Communications Office. Each nomination may be accompanied by no more than three letters of recommendation.

Selection Process
A committee composed of school staff, parent, and administrator representatives will review all nominations and determine the Outstanding Volunteer. An effort will be made to select individuals who represent the spirit of volunteerism that “Grandpa Art” modeled.

Criteria for Selection
Criteria for selection may include the following:
1. Exceptional service or contributions to the children of Walla Walla Public Schools
2. Unusual dedication
3. Demonstration of care, compassion and empathy

Recipients of the Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award will be honored with a plaque to display at their home or place of business, and their name will be permanently affixed to a memorial plaque in the school district’s board room at 364 South Park Street.

Need information or more forms?
Please call Communications Director Mark Higgins 526-6716

Great Explorations event offers girls opportunities to learn more about math, science and technology
“Great Explorations”...a math/science/technology conference for girls in grades 5-8

DATE: Saturday, March 21
TIME: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
PLACE: Whitman College Campus, Boyer and Park Streets
FEE: $5 per person; scholarships available. Contact Carol at 525-3531 or pcmorgan@charter.net.
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Registration forms have been distributed to schools during the past week. Additional forms can be downloaded and printed at www.aauw-wallawalla.org or picked up in person at the YWCA. Completed registration forms must be returned by Monday, March 21 to allow time for workshop scheduling.

• Twenty-one diverse, hands-on, fun-filled WORKSHOPS are presented by area women who work in math, science and technology-related fields. Girls indicate preferences on their registration form; three workshops are assigned on a first registered, first served basis.

• A PARENT/EDUCATOR PANEL DISCUSSION on The Economics of Education will run concurrently with the girls’ workshops. Interested parents and educators must also submit a registration form to attend.

• KEYNOTE SPEAKER, Erika Marin-Spiotta, an environmental scientist, will speak on “People, Cows, and Climate.” She has traveled the world to study tropical forests and the soils below them. Hear about some of her adventures feeding ants and dodging seed-throwing monkeys. She will also talk about the doors opened in her career by math, science and technology courses that she took in school.

• Healthy SNACKS are provided mid-morning, between the second and third workshops.

• CO-SPONSORS include the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Walla Walla Public Schools, Whitman College, and the YWCA.

• QUESTIONS? Contact Jeanne Beirne at 525-7401, jbeirne@my180.net or Carol at 525-3531, pcmorgan@charter.net.

Health services linked to learning
Tuesday night Health Services Director Jennifer Douglas and Pioneer Health Clinician Melissa Bronstein reported to school board members on the district’s health services program.

Douglas said they are launching a new web page to improve communication and serve as a one-stop information source. The district’s health clinics serve more than 3000 students per month. Douglas said the department continues to use data to improve service. She said academic performance is clearly linked to health.

Personnel Report (from 2/17/09 school board meeting)
New Hires

(Certificated) Allison Peck, Alternative High School teacher, Lincoln, 19 years
Tracy Khan, School Psychologist, Special Programs, 6 months

(Classified) Denise Marr, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School, 8.5 years
Jennifer Lee, Para-Educator, Green Park, 4 years

Leave of Absences
(Certificated) Patricia Weeks, Speech Language Pathologist, Special Programs (13 years)
• For the 2009-10 school year

Latino Club helps preschool students learn
Tuesday night members of the Walla Walla High School Latino Club reported to school board members how they are using funding from a United Way Early Literacy Grant to help area children.

The Explorers’ Post 311 Latino Club purchased the Preschool Estrellita Early Literacy Program with the funds. In October, 10 Latino Club students, along with three Walla Walla School District para professionals that serve as Garrison Night School childcare workers, spent an evening being trained in how to use the program and preparing materials.

“Starting the first week in November, the Latino Club members attended every Wednesday and Thursday to work with the preschool age children from 6-7 p.m. using the Estrellita materials,” said District Bilingual Coordinator Diana Erickson. “If there was a low number of preschoolers, some of the Latino Club students worked with the school age children who were involved in 4-H and Learning for Life activities.”

Although the Estrellita part of the evening ended at 7:00, all of the Latino Club members chose to stay the remaining hour of Garrison Night School to help with all of the children when they went to the gym to play, according to Erickson.

Program objectives:
• promote literacy skills in preschoolers
• promote leadership skills in Latino Club members
• provide service in our community
• develop awareness in Latino teens of the skills necessary for early childhood success

2009 Kindergarten and fall Open Enrollment registration dates set
Walla Walla Public Schools Kindergarten and Open Enrollment period is Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27, 2009. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school. New elementary and middle school boundaries take affect in the fall of 2009.

Open Enrollment and New Student Registration Hours:
Monday, March 16
7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

March 17 — March 27
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up an open enrollment application form at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning March 9; however, the form will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, March 16.

If there is space available to accommodate open enrollment requests, then the priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available for public viewing at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office. School Board policies are also online at http://www.wwps.org/leadership/board.htm#11

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all
schools, the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street, and online at www.wwps.org . Click on the District A to Z link and then click on Boundary Map (Revised).

Walla Walla Branch of American Association of University Women announce scholarship opportunities
Applications are now being accepted for the AAUW Educational Scholarships, established to provide assistance to women who have completed a minimum of one year of college (30 semester or 45 quarter credits) and have a desire to complete their undergraduate or post-graduate education. Please note that there must be a break of at least one year at some time during the college education process.

Applications will be accepted from women who meet the following requirements:
1) They must be able to provide transcripts from at least one year of college, followed by an interruption (time lapse) in education.
2) They must submit two letters of recommendation from someone familiar with their educational background and goals.
3) They must be residents of Walla Walla , Columbia, or Umatilla Counties.

The scholarship committee is seeking women who demonstrate a desire to continue their education by completing or adding to their degree. While past academic performance will be considered, of equal importance is the person’s clearly demonstrated community involvement and enthusiasm for future community commitment. The individual financial need of the applicants will be considered in making the awards. The scholarship funds will be directed to the college of the recipient’s choice to be used as needed for educational expenses.

The application can be accessed at the AAUW website : http://www.aauw-wallawalla.org/or call Alice at 509-522-5428 (amacd@charter.net) or Linda 541-938-2471 (bmoats@q.com) for more information

Completed applications must be received by April 16, 2009.
Send completed applications to:
Alice MacDonald, AAUW Scholarship Committee
1429 Taumarson Rd.
Walla Walla, WA 99362.

Final candidates may be required to participate in a personal interview with the scholarship committee. The recipient of the award will be notified by the first week of May and introduced at the AAUW annual dinner meeting on May 13th. Please note that the scholarship is only awarded once per recipient.

Classroom Close-Up features Prospect Point 4th grade teacher
This week Prospect Point 4th grade teacher Karen Watson 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 Watson is now playing on regional stations.

Retired educators announce spring mini-grant recipients
The Walla Walla Columbia School Retirees Association announces its spring 2009 Mini-Grants recipients. Active members of the Association are eligible each year to apply for the 10 Mini-Grants of $100 each. Grants can be used for special projects and activities to enhance the educational experience. Five grants are given in the Fall and five in the Spring annually. Special thanks to Linnea Keatts for coordinating the program.

Congratulations to the Spring 2009 recipients:
Cathy Plucker, Touchet Elementary Schools
Sara Van Donge, Sharpstein Elementary School
Jim Briggs, Walla Walla High School Registrar
Roseann Groom, Waitsburg High School
Pam Beasley, Waitsburg Elementary School

Walla Walla Kids Read program website highlights upcoming events
The Walla Walla Kids Read website for 2009 events is live -- www.wallawallakidsread.com. There are many great activities scheduled to promote literacy, including the city-wide Battle of the Books event which includes all district 4th and 5th grader students.

District Library Media Specialists Joanne Savage (jsavage@wwps.org) Linda Seibold (lseibold@wwps.org) are great contacts for the Battle of the Books program. All costs for these events are covered by Walla Walla Kids Read, including bussing, author fees, and facility use fees.