Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 26, 2010

In this Issue:

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Spring Break - March 29 to April 2
There is no school next week for spring break. Classes resume Monday, April 5.
District plans ground breaking ceremony for new Support Services facility
Walla Walla Public Schools invites the community to participate in a ground breaking ceremony Wednesday, April 7, at 10 a.m. to celebrate the start of construction on a new Support Services facility. The development of a new Support Services facility represents the second phase of a project to relocate the Support Services and the Transportation Department from 325 S. Park Street to 1162 Entley Street near Koncrete Industries. This facility will house the warehouse, maintenance, grounds services, print shop, and food services.

Ground breaking Ceremony
Date: Wednesday, April 7
Time: 10 to 10:30 a.m.
Location: Site of Support Services Facility - Entley Street and 13th

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Tuesday, March 16, named T.W. Clark Construction, LLC, to serve as general contractor for the new Support Services construction project. Construction is expected to begin soon and be completed by December 2010.

Walla Walla High School graduate hired to Walla Walla County Emergency Management position
Walla Walla High School graduate Abbie Lee Van Donge was recently hired as the Assistant Director of Walla Walla County’s Emergency Management Department. Van Donge is nearing the completion of a master’s degree in emergency
management from the American Military University, holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from University of Hawaii (Hilo), and has firsthand emergency management and Incident Command System exposure, according to Walla Walla County Emergency Management Department Director Gay Ernst. Van Donge reports to her new position April 5, 2010.

Free Preschool for qualifying families
Applications can be picked up at Blue Ridge Elementary for Head Start/ECEAP’s 2010-2011 school year. Please submit your completed application to Blue Ridge and provide a copy of your child’s birth certificate and immunization record, as well as family income documentation for the past 12 months. We can accept 2009 tax returns, 2009 W-2, current DSHS print out of assistance, and 12 months of paystubs.

Qualification is based on family income and age of the child. Families must meet Federal Poverty Guidelines. Children must be at least three and no older than four by August 31, 2010.

The Head Start/ECEAP program includes support services for families, limited transportation to and from school, meals, family night activities, and disability services. Families complete monthly home visits with a Family Advocate. These home visits provide family support and help families connect with all Head Start/ECEAP services.

For questions, please contact Kerri Coffman, Director, at 527-3066.

Gerling named track student-athlete of the week
Congratulations to Walla Walla High School senior Garret Gerling for being named the Columbia Basin 4A Boys Track and Field Student-Athlete of the Week. Gerling is currently ranked first and third in the state in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles.

Edison PTA donates free t-shirts to students
Today members of the Edison Elementary PTA provided every student a free t-shirt. The shirt design was inspired by Edison’s district map and the idea that students from a wide variety of backgrounds come together at Edison. Thanks to the Edison PTA for this generous gift.
Music Booster organize successful fresh fruit sale fundraiser
The Walla Walla Music Boosters sold more than 600 cases of fresh fruit, netting over $4,000 to benefit Walla Walla Public Schools Music Programs. To give back to the community, 12 cases of fruit will be donated to area food banks through Blue Mountain Action Council. The Walla Walla Music Boosters help to purchase equipment, instruments, sheet music and cover other expenses of the music department.

A big thank you to the fundraiser committee: Clarice Swanson, President; Shauna and John Bogley, Secretaries; Karen Leier, Memberships; Ginger Calvario, Treasurer; Roger Garcia, District Representative; Paula Livingston and Barbara Hoffman, Volunteers, for organizing the effort and all of their hard work. Another big thank you to our distribution crew headed up by Albert and Laura Schueller, Kurt Hoffman and John Bogley, along with volunteers Cheryl Heller, Steve Campeau, John and Luke Hoffman, Jim Russo, Russ Gordon, Mark Beck, Mark Hess, Jerry Poirier, Dan Johnson, Penny Taylor and Kelly Gabel.

Thanks also go out to the Music Booster members, music teachers, music students and their parents who did so much to make the citrus sale a success!

Community Facilities Task Force begins prioritizing facility needs
Wednesday, members of the Community Facilities Task Force met to continue efforts to prioritize district facilities improvement needs. Plant Facilities Director Lowell Schneider provided a report on the district’s maintenance program. The district spends approximately $500,000 annually, not including staff, on regularly schedule maintenance based on needs identified through a long-range maintenance plan, according to Schneider. He said the district’s maintenance plan is based on a similar structure used by Whitman College.

Task Force Chair Dan Reid also had architect John Evans share potential options for improving Walla Walla High School in phases and the possibilities of using state matching dollars to replace Lincoln Alternative High School. Evans is scheduled to come back and address the group during the April 14 to further discuss these options and other possible scenarios. Reid has scheduled the Community Facilities Task Force to provide an interim report to school board members during a public work session in the district board room Tuesday, April 20 from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Members of the community are encouraged to attend.

School board approves construction bid for Prospect Point school bus lane
Today, Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors, during a special school board meeting, approved the $157,618 bid from A. Key Excavating, Inc. to construct a school bus lane on Howard Street to improve safety at Prospect Point Elementary School. This project, expected to begin in early April and be completed by June 2010, is designed to separate the school bus pick up and drop-off area from the parent drop-off and pick-up area to enhance safety and ease traffic congestion. The project will include curbs, gutters, sidewalk, asphalt driveway, landscape, light poles, and fencing.

“With increased traffic congestion due to new housing developments around the school zone, the issue of safety for students traveling to and from school has been an ongoing concern,” said Chris Gardea, principal of Prospect Point. “The new bus loading area will allow students to utilize safe walking paths to and from the buses and the school grounds, with the interior parking lot utilized primarily for parent pick-up and drop-off. This project will address several safety concerns...separating parent and bus traffic, improved lighting on Howard Street, and drinking fountains on the front and back playgrounds.”

A. Key Excavating, Inc. is located in Milton-Freewater, but has worked in this area for many years, including the Green Park renovation project, according to Facilities Support Director Dan Johnson.

“Allen Key will be using many local sub contractors including Walla Walla Electric and Diamond Cut Landscape,” Johnson said.

Seattle Shakespeare Company actors teach high school students
This week, all freshman and some sophomore English classes had the unique experience of working with the Seattle Shakespeare Company (SSC). Six actor-educators worked with in Walla Walla High School classes Monday through Thursday as part of an English Department project to better understand Shakespeare’s work. Today they are scheduled to perform two, 90-minute, five-actor productions of Romeo and Juliet. Special thanks to English Department Chair Casey Monahan for helping organize this learning opportunity.

Below are comments from Walla Walla High School English teachers about this week’s experience:

Comments from Casey Monahan:
To most fourteen and fifteen year-old students, Shakespeare texts are not very accessible, but struggling readers have little chance of understanding much of the story. This is why Seattle Shakespeare Company’s visit means so much to me and my students. Over the course of the five day residency, the actors first build interest in the story of the play through interactive physical activities like stage fighting and dancing. Once the students are hooked, the actor/ educators move into activities where students act out important lines from the play. By Friday they are ready to experience the whole play. They have heard the whole story, interacted with each other as if they were characters, and examined some of the language. All of these experiences build academic confidence in students who are not always especially confident.

Comments from Terry Willcuts:
The actors from SCC were consummate professionals who provided interesting lessons about Shakespeare in an entertaining way. The students were on their feet, enthusiastically participating; this will truly be a week they will remember from their high school years. It has encouraged me as a teacher to approach Shakespeare in a more creative way. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope that they will return again next year.

Comments from Debra Wright:
My Honors Freshman English classes have had a wonderful time with our entertaining and energetic Shakespearean actors, Nik and Damian. We’ve learned about stage fighting, Elizabethan dress and dancing, the rhythm of Shakespearean language, and the conventions of Elizabethan society. It’s been one of the best weeks of our entire school year.

Learn more about the Seattle Shakespeare Company’s residency program online at:

Exchange Club of Walla Walla plans community Easter Egg hunt
Saturday, April 3
Pioneer Park
9 a.m.
Prizes and fun for the whole family
Event is free and open to the public
Sister City students from Sasayama arrived in Walla Walla
Walla Walla’s sister city, Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, arrived with a delegation of 13 students and two adult chaperones Wednesday afternoon. The students are from Homei and Sangyo High Schools. Chaperones include Noriyuki Ashida, an English Second Language teacher from Homei High School and Shigeru Ogata, a Sasayama city official who helps coordinate sister city activities in Sasayama.

The delegation will stay with host families in Walla Walla, College Place and Waitsburg. Each day the group will be visiting area schools, museums, historical sites and shopping. The purpose of the visit is to learn about the diversity of American culture, experience life with a American family, and learn about various aspects of education, history, and social issues.

Their first order of business is to meet Mayor Barbara Clark and other city officials at City Hall Thursday morning to receive the City proclamation which designates the week of March 28 – April 3 as Walla Walla – Sasayama Sister City Week. They will then have a relaxing first day as they settle in to a time adjustment and rest from a long 24 hour journey from Sasayama, Japan.

Each day the students will participate in group activities, then spend evenings and weekend free time with their host family. The Walla Walla and Sasayama Sister Committees have been conducting this two week home stay program since 1994. Including students, their families and host families, more than 1,000 people have been involved in Walla Walla and Sasayama contributing to the program success.

The Sasayama delegation will depart for Sasayama on April 3 with an overnight stay in Seattle. They will arrive back in
Sasayama on April 5.

Walla Walla High School technology teacher interviewed for national magazine article
This week, Walla Walla High School Technology Teacher Dennis DeBroeck was interviewed by a reporter from “The Journal” about his high school technology teacher. “The Journal” is a national magazine with a focus on online education and technology. The primary audience for the publication is K-12 district leaders, IT personnel, and administrators. DeBroeck discussed online education and its benefits. A publishing date for article has not been determined at this time. Learn more about the publication online at: http://thejournal.com/Home.aspx
Walla Walla High School Drama Department Presents “The Wizard of Oz”
This show is the musical version with all of your favorite songs!
Show dates: May 6, 7, 8, 13,14 and 15
Shows times: 7 p.m. (special 2 p.m. matinees are on Saturday March 8 and 15)
Location: Walla Walla High School Performing Arts Auditorium
Ticket Prices: $6 dollars for students and $12 for adults.
Tickets sales: Tickets go on sale in April and can be reserved by calling (509) 526-8613, the Wa-Hi Box office

Comments from Director Brian Senter: “This is a great show, and, with an added twist of excitement, this will mark the first time that Wa-Hi actors will fly on stage! Flying by Foy out of Las Vegas will be in town to rig and fly the actors. Don’t miss Glinda’s bubble and those scary flying monkeys, not to mention the Wicked Witch of the West. This is a classic with a wonderful story and beautiful singing! Fun for the whole family!”
Classroom Close-Up features Blue Ridge teacher
This week Blue Ridge third grade teacher Janifer Sams 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 Sams is now playing on regional stations.

Walla Walla High School students qualify for state vocal competition
Walla Walla High School hosted this year’s regional Columbia Basin Music Educators’ Association vocal solo-ensemble event last Saturday. Students from nine area high schools performed solo or in ensembles of up to 16 for adjudicators. The adjudicators gave each performance a rating from 1 to 5 and provided valuable feedback on how to improve to the students. See below for the state qualifiers from Walla Walla:


Kolton Kolbaba
First Alternate - Daniel Lockart
Second Alternate - Jacob Dyer

David Marr

WWHS Sextet (Dan Lockart/Joseph Quiner/Kolton Kolbaba/Gordon Farr/Will Bergstrom/Madison Filan)

MIXED VOCAL – SMALL ENSEMBLE - STATE QUALIFIER Denali Molitor/Samantha Herriot/Dan Lockart/Will Bergstrom

KM Duet - (David Marr/Kolton Kolbaba)

First Alternate - Willa Schober
Second Alternate - Teddilynn Dyer

Allison Henckel
First Alternate - Merrit Filan
First Alternate - Kelsey Palmer
Second Alternate - Samantha Herriot

First Alternate - Schober-Trego Duet
Second Alternate - Reese Girls

Natalie Ingersoll-Allen
First Alternate - Alina Reese
Second Alternate - Mallory Livingston

Boggs schedules meeting on middle school dual language program
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Linda Boggs announced she is organizing a meeting Thursday, April 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the district board room to discuss the district’s dual language program.

The focus of the meeting is to address concerns the district is fielding in relation to a decision to not create a new program by extending the dual language program in middle school to students in grades 7th and 8th. Historically, the district’s dual language program has always been a K-5 program, but this year the district was able to offer a component of a dual language program at Garrison Middle School for 6th grade students.

Boggs recently sent a letter to parents with children in the Garrison 6th grade program stating the 6th grade dual language program will continue next year at Garrison. She also explained that due to shrinking budget revenue, limited qualified staff, and other middle school course demands, the district will not offer the program beyond 6th grade.

“We know this is a great program and share the disappointment parents are feeling,” Boggs said. “Afterschool programs, online offerings and other options for students to maintain and develop their language skills in middle school may be a possibility. These will be topics on the April 15 agenda.”

For information about the middle school dual language parent meeting, contact the district’s Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Department at 526-6734.

Walla Walla High School students place 12th in nation in WordMasters competition
A team of students representing Walla Walla High School recently won highest honors in this year’s WordMasters Challenge, a national competition for high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry. Participating with 526 other school teams from all across the country, Wa-Hi’s 9th grade students tied for 12th place in the nation in the year’s third meet, held in February. More than 52,000 students from across the country and from three foreign nations participated. The team was supervised by Walla Walla High School English Teacher Lori Dohe.

WordMasters individual honors:
- Junior Olivia Welker: Placed among the 25 highest-scoring 11th graders in the country. She made only one mistake.
- Other high scorers included: Tanner McCoon, Kalie Adams, Luke Flippo, Ashley Melton, Clare Reese, Gregg Heller, Jocelyn Thompson, Krystal Bautista, Sarah Fuller, Anna Tupper-Bridges and Kailee Willard.

Lincoln Alternative High School Dance Team visits Odd Fellows Home
Lincoln Alternative High School seniors Muffy Wimberly and Angie Barraza, members of the newly formed Lincoln Phoenix Dance Vibe, recently visited the Odd Fellows Home, performed three routines and spent time with residents after the performance.

The girls did a wonderful job, said Odd Fellows Activities Director Lisa Wolf.

The performance is part of the school’s community outreach program to help students volunteer in the community. The team has been invited to return for more scheduled performances and will perform for Lincoln students at a school assembly this week.