Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 15, 2009

In this Issue:

(Click on article
to read more)

School Board meeting Tuesday, May 19
Meeting date: Tuesday, May 19
7:30 p.m.
District Office Board Room (364 S. Park St.)
Open to public
Retirement Celebrations 2008-2009 (remaining -- as reported to the Communications Dept.)
Prospect Point Elementary
Kristine Takemura
Thursday, May 21
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Hot Mamma’s (1447 W. Pine Street)

Green Park Elementary
MaryJo Fontenot
Wednesday, May 27
3-5 p.m.
Green Park Library

Garrison Middle School
Karen Sinclair-Okerlund
Thursday, May 28
3:30-5:00 pm.
Garrison Library

District Office
Laura Droke
Wednesday, June 10
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Board Room (364 S. Park St.)

Prospect Point Spring Carnival tonight
- Prospect Point PTA Annual Spring Carnival
- Luau theme menu and Polynesian dancers
- May 15
- 5 to 7:30 p.m.
- Fun booths
- Jumpy toys
- Wrist bands are $5 which provides access to all games and jumpy toys, a free snow cone, and complimentary lei (while supplies last)
LabSim completes case study on Dennis DeBroeck’s Wa-Hi technology class
Walla Walla High School: A Rural High School in the Digital Age

The Need:
Employable Skills and A Connection to the Real World
Like many rural schools, the realities of life at Walla Walla High School seemed detached from the rest of the world. For years, many students at the rural Washington State school struggled to fully grasp what it would be like to work for a large organization. They not only needed a way to prepare for occupations they had only heard about, but they had to become motivated to prepare for challenging industry certification programs that, from their perspective, seemed almost meaningless.

“Nearly 73 percent of our students may never complete college,” said Dennis DeBroeck, the instructor for the high school’s Information Technology (IT) program. “We needed to provide these students with a vocational program so they could gain employable skills and find a starting point for careers when they graduated.”

Since DeBroeck launched the IT program nearly 16 years ago, he has strived to provide his students with access to the most state-of-the-art technology education. While maintaining a physical computer lab is important, it was also very costly and time consuming. Trying to keep up to date with all of the myriad technologies students need to learn was especially difficult. DeBroeck also struggled to measure how each student was doing. With as many as 120 students each term, keeping track of the progress of each student was made even more difficult when students would miss class and get behind.

“Classes are a journey and I take an apprentice approach,” DeBroeck added. “I try to bring into the class real-life experiences and employable skills related to the technology industry. I have to make it rigorous and relevant or students are not going to be prepared to compete.”

The Solution:
LabSim: “Hands-On” and “Green”

DeBroeck first became aware of TestOut’s LabSim software in 2001 via the vendor’s academic grant program. He installed LabSim onto the classroom’s local area network (LAN) server, and from each computer, students were able to gain the real-world experience DeBroeck was hoping to give them. The LabSim lab simulations provide the hands-on learning, while the videos, practice exams and other instructional content supplement DeBroeck’s teachings in courses related to certifications such as A+, Network+, Security+, CCNA and MCSA.

“We used to have more physical computers in our classrooms, but now, we use LabSim instead, which has reduced our costs significantly,” DeBroeck said. “While we do have a state-of-the-art physical lab here at Walla Walla, we no longer need to purchase and upgrade so much additional software, boards and other components and worry about whether the students are going to break anything or that the hardware is going to go to waste. When you think about it, LabSim is an environmentally ‘green’ product, another benefit to the school and community.”

In the introductory classes, students work through the entire A+ Essentials LabSim online labs and then supplement their learning with physical computer lab work and logic. The students also delve deeper into electronics, then add networking with LabSim. In the more advanced classes, the students can pick the topics they want to go into such as Network+.

DeBroeck requires that students achieve 100 percent on the labs before they move on to the next assignment. While they work towards this 100 percent, LabSim provides instant feedback on their lab results that points them towards the content that will help them better learn the content.

“LabSim is really tailored to the way high school students in the digital age are used to learning,” DeBroeck said. “It’s media-based and visual. They even bring in their own headphones and get in their own zone so they can focus on what they are learning, instead of a noisy classroom.”

LabSim also records the results for each student online, enabling DeBroeck to track the progress of - and evaluate - his students in real-time from any location with an Internet connection.

“The students have so many activities, distractions and are always missing out on lectures and important information,” he added. “It’s hard for them to catch up with other students. Then there are the students who want to go faster than others. Now I have the ability to let the students go at their own pace whether they need to review and catch up or speed ahead.”

The Results:
Experienced & Motivated Students

“We’ve had a tremendous success rate with LabSim,” DeBroeck said. “In fact, our students are coming out of the program ready to start work — and start this work with higher level IT jobs, not just computer repair. They’re working at companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Chevron USA, with the vast majority getting those jobs right out of high school.”

While many students are going right to work, they might also have already earned some significant college credit taking these courses. In addition to their high school grades, students in the program can earn up to 60 college credits at Walla Walla Community College and the Oregon Institute of Technology. Requirements for the credits include earning an A or B in the class, completing a list of competencies, completing a portfolio of the work they’ve done, and putting together a resume and cover letter.

“Only about 25 percent of the kids will get those college credits, though, but that’s 25 percent more than were able to get those credits before our classes,” DeBroeck said.

In addition to preparing for work and IT certification testing, LabSim helps prepare the students for the scenario-based tests Washington State requires for ‘No Child Left Behind’ reporting. “LabSim’s scenarios helped my students prepare for the WASL testing by helping them to learn to think out of the box and solve problems based on scenarios. LabSim has been a huge asset to our curriculum.”

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

Former Wa-Hi student brings lacrosse passion to Iraq
Walla Walla High School graduate Zack Porter, son of Lincoln Alternative High School teacher Tom Porter, is featured in an article on the Lacrosse All Stars website -- http://www.lacrosseallstars.com/blog/2009/5/11/las-exclusive-mcla-lacrosse-hits-iraq.html

Porter attends the University of Idaho, but is serving in Iraq as a member of the National Guard. Porter walked on the University of Idaho lacrosse team and has found a way to play the sport he loves in a war zone. Porter was an outstanding athlete for the Blue Devils during his high school years. Click on the link above to learn more about Zack Porter’s Iraq experience.

Blue Devil Athletic Development “BDAD” registrations accepted
Program Goal: Improve Overall Athletic Ability for All Sports
• For Boys and Girls Grades 6-12
• June 30 to August 7 (Monday - Thursday)

Daily Schedule
Session 1: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
• Incoming 9th-12th grade students

Session 2: 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
• Incoming 6th-8th grade students

Session 3: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Incoming 9th-12th grade students

Instructors: Eric Hisaw, Amy Hisaw, Ryan Carter

Location: Wa-Hi Weight Room
Cost: $30 pre-registered and $35 at the door

Note: Students will need a medical release and a parent permission form. Both forms are available at the Wa-Hi Athletic Office, or at the door. (PHYSICALS ARE NOT REQUIRED)

Make checks payable to Wa-Hi Athletics
Mail to: Wa-Hi Athletics, c/o Eric Hisaw - 800 Abbott Rd, Walla Walla, WA 99362

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

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 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

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.

Classroom Close-Up features Sharpstein teacher
This week Sharpstein Elementary music teacher Lori Parnicky 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 Parnicky is now playing on regional stations.
Pioneer Middle School PTSA & Family Night
Monday, May 18
Dinner served at 6:45 p.m.
Short Program at 7:05 p.m.
- Tour the building
- Practice Opening Lockers
- Meet the Staff
- Learn about STARS Camp
- Find out about 6th Grade!

We look forward to meeting you!