Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - August 28, 2009

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School board meeting - Tuesday, September 1
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 1
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: 364 S. Park St.
Meeting open to public
Students score perfect on WASL “Collection of Evidence” submissions
The Spring 2009 WASL “Collection of Evidence” (COE) scores were released this week and 100 percent of the district’s 29 high school students met standard. The Collection of Evidence is an alternative way for students to demonstrate their knowledge of the state learning goals through the submission of classroom work samples in reading, writing, or mathematics.

Students are eligible to submit a COE after having attempted the traditional WASL test at least one time without meeting standard. A teacher serves as an advisor to guide the student in completing and submitting the Collection of Evidence.

“It is very impressive to have every student in the district meet standard on the COEs,” said District Assessment Director Ron Higgins. “The success is indicative of the hard work and focus of both the students and the teachers who provided guidance during the development of the collection. We applaud their efforts and are proud of this accomplishment.”

Capitol Building flag now flying at new Edison Elementary
Thursday morning Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers presented Edison Elementary School with an American flag that flew at the United States Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Local Boy Scouts conducted the flag raising ceremony.

Boy Scouts and Leaders in attendance:
Joseph Musick - Boy Scout Troop 305
Jaron Dalgleisn - Cub Scout Pack 343 (not sure of the spelling of this last name)
Levi Parsons - Cub Scout Pack 343
Ray Musick - Cub Scout Pack 306
Drew Hollopeter - Cub Scout Pack 306
Bill Musick - Cub Master Pack 306
Jake Hollopeter - Assistant Cub Master Pack 306

McMorris Rodgers addressed the entire student-body prior to the ceremony during an all school assembly in the gym. She stressed to students how the American flag represents our freedoms and personal liberties. She encouraged the students to learn as much as they can while in school and said education opens doors to opportunities. McMorris Rodgers represents the state’s 5th District.

New Link Crew program helps freshmen transition to high school
By Gretchen Hormel-Tomkins, WSU GEAR UP Resource Development Specialist

Juniors and seniors “linked” 427 freshmen with high school during last Monday’s orientation between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. To prepare for the big day, 88 upperclassmen completed nine hours of Link Crew training before Wa-Hi’s Freshman Orientation was held on Monday, August 24th.

Link Crew is a high school transition program that increases freshman success. Members of the junior and senior class are trained to be Link Leaders who act as positive role models, motivators, mentors and teachers - helping freshmen discover what it takes to be successful during their high school transition. Freshman class success becomes high school success, benefitting the school in numerous ways. Link Crew schools report having greater connection, increased extracurricular participation, fewer discipline issues and greater pride and spirit.
[Adapted from http://www.boomerangproject.com/]

Freshman Orientation began with a welcome tunnel and assembly, which included energizing bleacher cheers and a number of big group activities led by Jillian DeBritz, Link Crew Facilitator. Link Crew Student Leaders were then in charge of small group sessions in classrooms, dedicated to helping introduce freshmen to new friends on a new school campus, along with providing tips on how to be successful at high school. The small group sessions also included a campus tour and group photos at Wa-Hi’s Spirit Rock.

Link Crew Staff included:
- Jillian DeBritz, Link Crew Facilitator (Lead)

Link Crew Coordinators (Support Staff)
- Mike Gwinn, WSU GEAR UP
- Pat Hanford, Wa-Hi Career Center
- Julie Laufenburg, Wa-Hi Art Instructor
- Matt Shaw, Wa-Hi English Instructor
- Marika Tomkins, WSU GEAR UP
- Carrina Stillman, Wa-Hi English Instructor.

Many thanks to five Wa-Hi ASB student volunteers and two Pioneer GEAR UP student volunteers for helping with tasks, including: orientation preparation and taking care of “all of those helpful details” during Monday’s orientation. A partnership between Walla Walla Public Schools and Washington State University GEAR UP helped make Wa-Hi’s first annual “link” between middle school and high school possible.

Lincoln High School students to study book on civility
Considerate conduct and civility will be focus areas this year at Lincoln Alternative High School as the students embrace a school-wide book study based on the book, Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni. Lincoln students will participate in monthly recognition assemblies, break down the 25 rules of considerate conduct one at a time and have community speakers visit their school to share their stories of success.

Principal Jim Sporleder says his vision for the school is one based on positive relationships and trust. Today district Risk Management consultant and Bullying Prevention Specialist Mark Thompson presented an overview on civility. One of the activities called on teacher Tom Porter to empty a tube of tooth paste and then put it back in the tube. After Porter struggled to put the tooth paste back in the tube, Thompson made his point to the students.

“Once you say hurtful things, you can’t take them back,” Thompson said. “We are going to emphasize taking responsibility to affirm the value and worth of each human being.”

Sporleder says he is excited for the school year and believes he can use examples from the 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct as teachable moments daily in his interactions with students.

District emergency plans maintain safety during police standoff
Tuesday a police standoff and felony arrest near 2nd and Maple Streets forced the district to activate its emergency plans at several schools. Lincoln Alternative High School and Garrison Middle School were put in lock-down. Students who walk home from school at Garrison, Lincoln, Blue Ridge and Sharpstein were kept at school until their parents could pick them up.

School bus service was also altered to keep students away from the crime scene and after-school activities at Garrison Middle School were canceled.

“Our number one priority during these types of situations is to keep our students, staff and visitors safe,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “We took all precautions to do this, which included keeping students in the safety of our schools and modifying our school bus routes to take students directly home. We will always error on the side of safety when it comes to children.”

Carter went on to thank building staff, transportation, students and parents for successfully managing Tuesday’s emergency situation. The district will debrief on the situation and review what went well and address areas that need improvement.

Penitentiary employees donate school supplies
Washington State Penitentiary employees have once again collected school supplies and brought them to the district for distribution to students who might not be able to afford them. This week WSP employees Mary Moss and Joanne Sams personally delivered boxes of supplies that can be used by students of all ages. We thank WSP for continuing to remember our students for the past several years.
Student work on display at Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days - September 2-6
Be sure to stop by the Education Building at the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days September 2-6. District Education Building coordinator Amy Reed says visitors will see student artwork and class projects from schools throughout the Walla Walla Valley. Walla Walla Public Schools will feature technology projects and have a staffed information station for school materials and information.
Care-a-Lot Preschool presents Berney Bulldog cake to new principal
Care-a-Lot Preschool owners Nancy and Jesse Griffin presented Berney Elementary Principal Donna Painter with a homemade, custom decorated Berney Bulldog cake as a welcome present on the first day of school. Care-a-Lot Preschool is located across the street from Berney.

The Griffin’s said they wanted Painter to feel welcome and to let her know they are ready to support her. The cake featured life like characters, including a bulldog, doghouse, dog bone and grass field. Painter said she has never seen anything like it. “It looks so real,” she said. “I wish I could keep it and put it in a display case. It’s just beautiful.” Care-a-Lot Preschool Director’s Assistant Kristin Boggs helped coordinate the effort.