Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 8, 2009

In this Issue:

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School Board approves budget savings plan
Plan protects classroom and saves jobs
School board members held a public work session Tuesday, May 5 to discuss the district’s 2009-2010 Budget Savings Plan. During the regular meeting, school board members approved the district’s plan which calls for trimming the general fund budget $3.5 million for the 2009-10 school year.

Washington state’s unprecedented financial crisis has sent a shockwave across the state as K-12 education is taking a substantial hit. The district has worked in collaboration with staff, parents, students and community members to make tough budget decisions in light of the economic recession. The district’s budget savings plan protects class size, limits the impact on student learning and extra-curricular programs and saves jobs.

“No permanent staff will lose their jobs as a result of our plan. We’ve made reductions through attrition and transfers to eliminate 16 certificated positions. Other districts around the state cannot make this claim. We appreciate the support and cooperation of our staff through this difficult process,” said Superintendent Rich Carter.

Budget Savings Plan Highlights
- Budget reduced by $3.5 million for the 2009-2010 school year
- Plan focuses on protecting current class size
- Plan has limited impact on student programs
- No layoffs for permanent staff
- Transfers and service reductions eliminated 16 certificated positions
- Four Dean of Student positions have been eliminated
- Athletics reduced $115,000 or 10 percent (Reduction percentages: 55% - Wa-Hi, 25% Middle School, 20% Elementary)
- Some teacher and learning support programs reduced
- Out-of-State travel suspended

Budget Savings Plan online: www.wwps.org

Certificated staff transfers for 2009-10 school year posted on website
Certificated staff transfers as a result of the 2009-2010 Budget Savings Plan are now posted on the district’s website:

Click on the Budget Savings Plan button on the homepage (www.wwps.org).

Pioneer students raise money through Hoops for Heart event
Pioneer Middle School teachers Doug Venneri, Kim Gradwohl and Karen Bumgarner recently organized a Hoops for Heart event to raise money for the American Heart Association. The event netted $815. Student Caitlin Christen raised $108 in pledges to take top honors.
Recent Grandmother’s Roundtable forum to play on Charter Cable Channel 3
The Grandmothers’ Roundtable forum which took place April 20 focusing on the topic: Our Youth: Statistics – Problems – Solutions is scheduled to air on Charter Cable Channel 3 on Tuesday, May 12 at 6 p.m.

The forum, moderated by Jan Kruper, Ph.D., a psychology instructor at Walla Walla Community College, includes presenters Dr. Alison Kirby, a pediatrician at the Walla Walla Clinic, Holly Howard, Director of the School-Linked Health Center and Brooke Bouchey, the Intervention Specialist at Lincoln Alternative High School. The video also includes questions from
the audience.

Copies of the forum can be purchased from the Grandmother’s Roundtable for $15. For more information, please contact Sarita McCaw at (509) 525-3349 or saritamccaw@bmi.net.

Sharpstein Elementary plans Art Auction - Discover, Imagine, Create
Come view and purchase Sharpstein students’ art creations!
- “Evening of the Arts”
- Wednesday June 10
- 7 p.m.
- Sharpstein School (410 Howard St.)

Call Sharpstein Secretary Barbara Brown for more information: 509.527.3098

Community support helps bring new crosswalks to congested intersection
Wednesday a ceremony was held to dedicate the Chestnut and Chase Crosswalk Improvement Project. Local contributions from agencies and the City of Walla Walla funded this $50,000 intersection improvement project.

The intersection of Chestnut Street and Chase Avenue is located near Garrison Middle School and is commonly used by students to get to and from school.

“With Chestnut Street being an Arterial Street with high traffic volumes, this crossing was difficult and at times dangerous for pedestrians,” according to Project Manager Mike Laughery E.I.T., Engineering Associate for the City of Walla Walla. “Without this generous participation the project would not have happened, let alone been a success. BMAC was really the spearhead on this project in the beginning phases.”

Project design features:
- shortened crosswalk distance across Chestnut Street
- reduced distance for pedestrians to cross street
- improved visibility for drivers to see pedestrians
- eight ADA ramps were placed at the intersection for improved pedestrian accessibility
- solar powered flashing lights were installed above pedestrian signs at the intersection to alert drivers of the crosswalk

Project Contractor: Double T Construction

“As always the measure of a successful project is to come in on budget and on time,” Laughery said. “This project did both.”

The City of Walla Walla Engineering Department prepared construction plans and managed the project. The Streets Division helped out by moving and upgrading catch basins and storm pipes to match the new layout. In addition, the Streets Division installed and programmed the flashing lights to alert oncoming traffic of the pedestrian crossing. The Parks and Recreations Department volunteered time to level the planter areas and lay grass seed.

Crest Club Blood Drive nets significant contribution to American Red Cross Blood Bank
Walla Walla High School Crest Club co-sponsored the annual Wa-Hi Blood Drive with the American Red Cross Wednesday, May 6. The event took place in the Wa-Hi Small Gym during the school day. Approximately 120 students participated and 100 units of blood were collected. Each unit of blood saves three people’s lives.

Crest Club members would like to thank Subway for their generous donation of a six-foot sub sandwich, Big Cheese Pizza for their generous discount on pizza for the blood donors, and high school volunteers. Crest Club is an honorary service club for senior girls at Wa-Hi. Past service projects have included raising money for the Children’s Museum in Walla Walla and building a float with Habitat for Humanity for the December Lights Parade in Walla Walla.

Walla Walla High School Social Studies teacher Michelle Higgins serves as the Crest Club advisor.

Walla Walla High School WordMasters team places fourth in the nation
Walla Walla High School’s WordMasters 12th grade team placed fourth in the nation in the recent WordMasters Challenge competition. This competition, which included students representing 556 high school teams, requires close reading and analysis of many different kinds of poetry and prose. Walla Walla High School’s 11th grade team placed 12th in the nation in the cumulative standings at the end of the four meets held this year.

One of Wa-Hi’s students won the highest honors for year-long individual achievement as well: Junior Troy Henderson placed among the 14 highest ranked eleventh graders in the entire country in the year-end standings.

The students were supervised by Walla Walla High School English Teacher Lori Dohe.

Personnel Report (from the 5/5/09 school board meeting)
• New Hires
Missy Newcom, Speech Language Pathologist, Special Programs

• Resignations/retirements

• Leave of Absence
Kellie Humbert, ESL Teacher, Prospect Point, 1 year
(• For the 2009-10 school year)

Green Park KGPS TV features live newscast
For 15 years students and staff at Green Park Elementary have received live video news every Wednesday and Friday mornings from the KGPS TV broadcast program. Fifth grade teachers Jim Lux, Michelle Carpenter and Elissa Stites supervise the program. Fifth grades students serve as news anchors.

Fifth grade students Romey Drabek and Abby Van De Rostyne were present and said they love the program. Teachers say the news show allows everyone to get the same information, limits interruptions and promotes school spirit.

Response to Intervention program proactive
Response to Intervention (RTI) Grant Coordinator Maria Garcia briefed school board members on the district’s program Tuesday night. The district is in year one of a three year grant to fund the program.

Garcia said the program is proactive and is helping students make academic gains. She said another benefit has been less discipline referrals. RTI is used to identify students needs, determine necessary support and monitor progress.

The district’s RTI program was featured in a regional magazine this fall and a national magazine this spring. Educators from Tacoma are visiting Walla Walla High School today to get more information on the district’s program. Learn more online: http://www.wwps.org/community/rti.htm

Public invited to Edison Elementary Farewell Celebration
Edison Elementary staff and students invite the community to join them in celebrating the end of an era during a farewell ceremony at the 73-year-old school, Tuesday, June 9.

Celebrate Edison’s vast traditions and historical significance by honoring past and present students and staff. The new Edison Elementary is under construction and is scheduled to open Fall 2009.

Event Fact Sheet

Date: Tuesday, June 9

School Tours of original building - 3 to 5 p.m.
- Former administrators and staff, alumni and current students will escort guests through original building
- Memorabilia displays will be on display in the gym
- Alumni presentations and a photo slideshow will be showing on the big screen

Farewell Ceremony - 7 p.m.
- Welcome from Principal Nancy Withycombe
- Introduction of previous principals and staff in attendance
- Introduction of alumni by decade in attendance
- School Board member Anne Golden speech
- Edison Choir performance
- Alumni stories
- Refreshments, tours and displays

Edison Elementary (1315 E. Alder)

Nancy Withycombe, Principal
Email: nwithycombe@wwps.org

Altrusa Club names 2009 Literacy Grant recipients
Altrusa Club of Walla Walla has selected the 2009 Literacy Grant winners. The applications this year were top-notch, according to spokesperson Melissa Harrison, and the group really had a tough time selecting recipients.

Harrison said she is sorry Altrusa can’t provide funding for all applicants, but she definitely encourages teachers to try again next year. The funds need to be used for literacy materials for classrooms.

The winners are:
Lori Thomas - Berney
Diane McEuen - Garrison
Bob Gregoire - Green Park
Judy Peasley - Special Programs/Edison

Garrison Middle School student pages in Olympia
Walla Walla student Dean Atkinson Jr. traveled to Olympia April 20-24 and paged in the House of Representatives. His 16th District representative Maureen Walsh (http://www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/walsh), R-Walla Walla, sponsored his involvement in the page program.

Atkinson is in 8th grade at Garrison Middle School and is the son of Dean and Veronika Atkinson of Walla Walla. During his week in Olympia, Atkinson attended page school to learn about the legislative process, assisted legislators on the House floor, and delivered documents amongst the buildings on the capitol campus.

“Dean had a great opportunity to see the Legislature in action and learn about how laws are made,” Walsh said. “I hope he enjoyed the experience and will be interested in government in the future.”

Atkinson sponsored a mock bill to prohibit smoking in vehicles with passengers under the age of 21. Since 1891, students from around the state have applied to participate in the legislative page program. Pages earn $35 for each day they serve in the program.

Interested students must be between the ages of 14 and 16, have permission from their school and a parent, and be sponsored by a legislator.

For more information about the House page program, visit: http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/PageInternProgram/housepageprogram.htm.

District names Graduates of Distinction
Walla Walla Public Schools names this year’s honorees for the Graduates of Distinction program.

R.F. “Dick” Monahan – Class of 1958
• Walla Walla Attorney and Vice President of the American Quarter Horse Association

Daniel DeSiga – Class of 1967
Artist and Muralist currently based in Yakima, Washington

Greg Ralston Pepin – Class of 1968
President of Boeing, Turkey and Vice President of Boeing International

Dr. Philip Phillips – Class of 1975
Researcher and Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne

Graduates of Distinction Reception
Date: Tuesday, June 2
Time: 6:15 to 7:25 p.m.
Place: Walla Walla School District Board Room

Walla Walla High School Drama Department presents “Little Women”
“Little Women” Show highlights:
- Musical version of the classic book
- The duets are sweet, the solos are powerful and introspective.
- The big group number is a major show stopper.

Remaining Show dates and times:
May 8 - 7 p.m.
May 9 - 2 p.m.
May 14 - 7 p.m.
May 15 - 7 p.m.
May 16 - 2 p.m.

- Tickets are on sale now
- Ticket reservations, call the box office at 526-8613 between 4 and 6 p.m.
- Students: $6
- Adults: $10

“Please get tickets ahead to avoid disappointment,” Drama Director Brian Sentor said. “You won’t want to miss this show for the whole family.”

Youth Health Fair features low cost sports physicals
Walla Walla General Hospital teams with Walla Walla Public Schools to sponsor event

Walla Walla General Hospital and Walla Walla Public Schools have teamed to host a Youth Health Fair Sunday, May 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walla Walla General Hospital.

The event features low cost sports physicals for students in grades 6-12. Sports physicals are $10 each. All proceeds will be donated from Walla Walla General Hospital to the Walla Walla Public Schools Athletic Department to pay for sports fees and equipment for students in need.

The Health Fair also features health screenings, information and educational activities for the entire family.

Event Fact Sheet:
What: Walla Walla General Hospital and Walla Walla Public Schools partner to provide a Youth Health Fair featuring low cost sports physicals - $10 each.

* (All proceeds will be donated from Walla Walla General Hospital to the Walla Walla Public Schools Athletic Department to pay for sports fees and equipment for students in need.)

When: Sunday, May 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Walla Walla General Hospital

Why: Event provides low cost sports physicals and health information to all families. The Health Fair also features health screenings, immunizations, health information and educational activities for the entire family

How: Pre-register for sports physicals; walk-ins also welcomed

For more information contact:
Sharryl Toews, Walla Walla General Hospital
E-mail: ToewsSL@ah.org

Dan Calzaretta, Walla Walla Public Schools event coordinator
E-mail: dcalzaretta@wwps.org

Homelink Information meetings planned
• May 18, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - Berney Library
• May 20, 10 a.m. to 12 noon - District Office Blue Mountain Room (364 S. Park St.)

“These meetings are for parents looking for information about Homelink and K12,” said Homelink Advisor Teacher Pam Clayton. “We will have registration packets available to pick up or fill out during the meeting.”

For more information about the Homelink Program, contact Clayton at (509) 527-3010 or by e-mail: pclayton@wwps.org.

District featured Saturday, May 9 on KAPP/KVEW (ABC) television show School Scene Magazine
KAPP/KVEW (ABC) will continue airing School Scene Magazine featuring Walla Walla Public Schools the next few months. This 30 minute program features student and staff interviews showcasing district programs and activities. Prosser School District Superintendent Dr. Ray Tolcacher is the show’s host.

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.

School Scene Magazine schedule to air on KAPP/KVEW (ABC)
Saturday, May 9 - 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 24 - 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 31 - 9 p.m.
Sunday, June 7 - 8 p.m.
Tuesday, June 9 - 9 p.m.
Sunday, June 14 - 8 p.m.
Tuesday, June 16 - 9 p.m.

Bledsoe to appear at 2nd Annual Central Washington Football Golf Tournament at WW Country Club
Former Walla Walla High School student and stand-out football player Blaine Bennett brings the Central Washington Football Golf Tournament back to Walla Walla Thursday, May 14 at the Walla Walla Country Club.

Thursday, May 14
1:30 p.m.
WW Country Club

Event Highlights:
- 18 holes of golf (sign up today)
- Cart rental
- Lunch and dinner
- Former NFL Quarterback Drew Bledsoe guest appearance
- KP and Long Drive Award
- Silent Auction
- Sports Memorabilia
- Central Washington gear
- Meet the CWU coaching staff

Bennett is in his second year as head football coach at Central Washington University. He continues to recruit heavily in the Walla Walla Valley and is interested in building relationships in our area. Last year Bennett signed Class of 2008 student-athletes David Weisner and Michael Najera to play at Central.

Many Walla Walla Public Schools staff and influential community members are actively supporting this tournament. For information on the tournament, contact Marc Yonts at 509.540.9553 or by e-mail: myonts@wwps.org.

Classroom Close-Up features Berney teacher
This week Berney Elementary teacher Denise Parodi 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 Parodi is now playing on regional stations.