Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - October 2, 2009

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School board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 6
Meeting date: Tuesday, Oct. 6
Meeting time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: 364 S. Park St. (Board room)
Meeting open to public
Superintendent Carter to provide progress report to Community Facilities Task Force
The district’s Community Facilities Task Force will receive a facilities update from Superintendent Rich Carter Thursday, October 15 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the WWPS Board Room.

Facilities update topics:
- Edison construction project
- Southeast Washington Transportation Cooperative
- Support Services project
- Sale of Support Services complex and land to YMCA
- High School Skills Center study and pre-designs
- Bridge Street sidewalk improvements near Pioneer Middle School
- Traffic flashing signs near Sharpstein and Garrison
- Crosswalk improvement near Garrison
- County sidewalk installation grant proposal near Prospect Point
- Prospect Point school bus lane on Howard Street

WWPS Community Facilities Task Force
Dan Reid, Chair
Kathy Covey
Jim Dumont
Darcy Fugman-Small
Dan Johnson
Mary Koch
Mary Meeker
Paul Meier
Jim Peterson
Ken Seibold
Pat Johnston
Lowell Schneider

Berney teacher releases second children’s book

Berney Elementary teacher Joe Gribnau recently published “Kick the Cowboy,” his second fully illustrated children’s book. The book is available at Book and Game and online retailers.

This story is about a cowboy who loses all his friends because he’s mean. A little girl helps him find his heart and learn how to respect others. Gribnau says the story reminds us to not think too much of ourselves and put others first. Gribnau has organized writing workshops with students to help them improve their writing skills.

Berney also hosted a Family Night Tuesday to showcase Gribnau’s book and writing discussion.

District plans Holiday Food Drive
Thursday Walla Walla Public Schools staff met to begin planning for the district’s 2009 Holiday Food Drive. Lincoln Alternative High School Business teacher Lori Finn and Green Park Elementary 5th grade teacher Michelle Carpenter have agree to co-chair the campaign. They will be sending out a letter to staff soon detailing ways to get involved and support this effort.

All food donations support the Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank to help replenish needed supplies. The Holiday Food Drive will run from Monday, November 30 to Friday, December 18. Collection sites will be at all schools. This year’s focus will on teaching students the importance of helping others to make a difference in their community. Look for more information in the weeks to come.

Holiday Food Drive meeting participants:
- Lori Finn, Co-Chair (Lincoln)
- Michelle Carpenter- Co-Chair (Green Park)
- Christina Price-Huntington (Pioneer)
- Carl Robanske (Garrison)
- Brenda Kirk (Blue Ridge)
- Christine Ludwig (Prospect Point)
- Margaret Thomas (Pioneer)
- Mark Higgins (District Office)
- Betsy Adkins (District Office)

Gang Task Force officer updates district administrators on gang activity
This week the district’s Safe and Civil Schools Committee met to review emergency plans and discuss safety needs for the school year. Walla Walla Police Officer Kevin Bayne from the city’s Gang Task force reported to district administrators and committee members on gang activity in the community. He praised the district for its efforts to curb gang affiliations in schools and stressed it’s important to take a zero tolerance stance on this issue.

Lincoln Alternative High School Principal Jim Sporleder introduced his school’s new resource officer Kevin Braman. Braman has been with the Walla Walla Police Department for eight years. He says he sees himself as a role model on campus as he works to help students make good decisions. Braman also provides law enforcement support to Pioneer and Garrison Middle Schools.

City of Walla Walla Police Detective Matt Wood conducted a debriefing of the hostage situation on 2nd Avenue that impacted school operations the first day of school. The district also reviewed its procedures for police activity near schools.

Walla Walla High School Resource Officer Scott Brashear reported the district is on target to meet state requirements for updating all emergency plans on the statewide Rapid Responder program. Rapid Responder is an online software program for first-responders to use as a tool when responding to emergencies on school campuses. The site features school maps, emergency plans, staff information, chemical inventories and much more.

Berney Learning Specialist Angie Gardea was introduced to the group as the district’s new GriefBusters program coordinator. GriefBusters is used to help the district recover from a traumatic incident including the death of a student or staff member.

“We continue to make safety and civility a high priority in our district,” Safe and Civil Schools Committee chair Mark Higgins said. “This effort is a partnership with the community, our staff, parents and students. It’s important we all work together to keep our schools safe.”

Edison parent honored for Edison construction photos
Edison Elementary Principal Nancy Withycombe presented Edison parent Robert Lintner a special gold shovel during the school’s recent dedication ceremony as a thank you for his donation of hundreds of photos documenting the Edison Construction project. Lintner documented the project from start to finish with his camera. He said he was honored to provide this gift to the school district for its historical files.

Walla Walla High School plans Parent/Teacher conferences next week
Walla Walla High School is conducting Parent/Teacher Conferences Thursday, Oct. 8 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. All parents need to report to the Commons to pick up conference maps, grades, WASL scores and additional information. Conferences will be conducted in the Commons and locker lobbies. For more information, call 527-3020.
Home Depot turns to Walla Walla High School student for special promotion
Walla Walla High School student Gerald Maib recently designed a banner for Home Depot’s kitchen promotion. Maib has found his talent in 3D modeling and animation and loves to have opportunities to further his skills, according to his Technology Teacher Dennis DeBroeck.

This is Maib’s second year in Media Technology and Animation at Walla Walla High School.

“He had a very short deadline to complete the project,” DeBroeck said. “It went over so well that he has been asked to do another.”

Home Depot Assistant Store Manager Jamie Dressler was impressed with Maib’s work.

“The sign was awesome,” Dressler said. “In fact, it was so awesome our store manager would like another one the same size.”

DeBroeck says Maib has tremendous skills.

“I’ve enjoyed watching him build 3D objects from polygons and points (no clip art ) and then turn it into lifelike imagery,” DeBroeck said. “It’s incredible. Gerald is now working on several projects including a 3D image of a B-17 Bomber. Thank you to Mr. Dressler and Home Depot for allowing our students to demonstrate their skills and to see their work used in a professional setting. There is no substitute for this interaction.”

Pioneer POWER Night promotes getting involved in school
Pioneer Middle School POWER students hosted a very successful POWER NIGHT and OPEN HOUSE Monday, September 28. More than 300 people attended the program. Displays highlighting student activities and support programs filled the lobby. Parents learned about student support programs such as Gear Up, Mariposa, the Millennials After School Program, College Bound and the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).

They also received information about Associated Student Body (ASB), POWER, Natural Helpers, PALS and National Junior Honor Society, some of the many activity programs available to students at Pioneer. In addition, parents and students were invited to share a chili dinner and listen to a short program by PTSA President Holly Carrera and PTSA Treasurer Norrie Gregoire encouraging parent involvement.

Assistant Principal Jack Mehn outlined the Pioneer Middle School philosophy of rewarding students who are doing the right thing. Parents and students also visited teachers in their classrooms and areas of interest in the building, such as Student Services. All in all, POWER NIGHT at Pioneer was a ‘powerful’ event!

Walla Walla High School Crest Club elects new officers
This week Walla Walla High School Crest Club members elected new officers for the 2009-2010 school year. The Crest Club is an all senior girls academic honors club. They support numerous activities on campus, including the annual American Red Cross Blood Drive, breast cancer awareness efforts and the Holiday Food Drive. Walla Walla High School Social Studies Teacher Michelle Higgins is the Crest Club advisor.

Crest Club Officers for 2009-2010:
President - Sandra Marin
Vice-President - Adanna Escobar
Secretary - Kylar Boggs
Treasurer - Emma Miller

Kirkman House Museum presents: Sheep to Shawl October 3, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Kirkman House Museum invites you to our annual Sheep to Shawl Celebration. Sheep to Shawl is a family friendly festival that showcases the diverse activities associated with the sheep and textile industry. Admission to the event is free, so bring your family and friends for an afternoon of fun!

Come and experience a live demonstration of sheep shearing right on the museum grounds! This is a great way to show children where their sweaters and mittens originate. Local artists and craftsmen demonstrate various wool-working techniques, including spinning, weaving, and felting, using the wool shorn live at the festival. Hands-on activities include the opportunity to try spinning wool with a drop-spindle and an introduction to weaving on a simple loom. Local vendors display their beautiful handmade wool items for sale, including hats, roving, and hand spun yarns. A delicious lamb lunch by Graze Catering is available for purchase throughout the day; the menu includes vegetarian options and dessert.

As the name suggests, this festival tracks the journey of wool from the back of a sheep as it is transformed into a shawl. Wool from the festivities last year was spun, dyed and woven by local textile artist Susan Swayne into a shawl of rich blues and sharp, distinguished silver tones. One lucky winner of the 2009 drawing will go home with this beautiful shawl, valued at over $100.

Drawing tickets are a suggested donation of $1/ticket or $5/six tickets. Proceeds from the event directly benefit the Kirkman House Museum and our continued focus on community programs. For more information about Sheep to Shawl please visit www.kirkmanhousemueum.org or call 509-529-4373.

Military Service Academy Open House
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office is organizing an open house for parents and students in grades 9-12 interested in applying for a military academy upon graduation from high school. Please contact the Congresswoman’s Spokane Congressional District Office for information at 509-353-2374 or log onto her website at mcmorrisrodgers.house.gov.

Wednesday, October 14 – Walla Walla Open House
6 to 9 p.m.
Walla Walla High School
800 Abbott Road
Walla Walla, WA 99362

Classroom Close-Up features Walla Walla High School Spanish teacher
This week Walla Walla High School Spanish teacher Dan Ojcius 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 public service announcement radio spot featuring Ojcius is now playing on regional stations.