Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 5, 2010

In this Issue:

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Superintendent Carter to discuss school funding with legislators
Superintendent Dr. Richard Carter is making a trek over the mountains to Olympia this weekend to talk with legislators about the state budget. Despite the state’s financial woes, Carter says he will send a clear message to elected officials that public education can not afford additional funding cuts.

“Our public schools are in a financial crisis right now in our state,” Carter said. “They have been cutting public education for 30 years. We need our legislators to understand we can’t afford any more cuts to public education or we’re all going to go bankrupt and the schools will be managed from Olympia instead of our local communities.”

Carter says he agrees with the King County Superior court judge’s ruling that Washington state is not amply funding basic education.

“This is an obvious example of what we have been telling legislators for 30 years,” Carter said. “We can not afford any additional cuts to public education. This court ruling supports our position.”

King County Superior Court Judge John Erlick ruled that Washington state is not amply funding basic education
Statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on school funding decision:
Today, King County Superior Court Judge John Erlick ruled that Washington state is not amply funding basic education under the state Constitution. Judge Erlick’s written opinion is available on the King County Web site<http://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/SuperiorCourt/~/media/courts/SuperiorCourt/Docs/McCleary.ashx>.

Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn regarding the decision.

“Today is a landmark day for the students of Washington.

“Judge John Erlick rightfully claimed that the state is failing in its Constitutional duty to fund education. In his decision, he writes, “State funding is not ample, it is not stable, and it is not dependable.

“Erlick backed up his decision by precisely defining certain words - paramount, education, ample and all. The result of the state’s underfunding, he writes, is that our “public schools are failing to equip all children ... with the basic knowledge and skills mandated by this State’s minimum education standards.”

“As a former teacher, principal and current chair of the Quality Education Council<http://www.k12.wa.us/qec/> - the implementation arm of last year’s Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2261<http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2261&year=2009> - I am painfully aware of the state’s underfunding of basic education. The bill is a first step, but it doesn’t go far enough to amply fund education or eliminate our reliance on local levies.

“Now that Judge Erlick’s decision has been returned, we, as a state, need to fully fund basic education. For more than 30 years we’ve been heading down this road, and the time for action is now. Only when the Legislature acts affirmatively and addresses this issue can our students obtain the education we are morally and legally obligated to provide.”

Snow make-up date Friday, May 7
Tuesday night Superintendent Rich Carter announced school will be in session Friday, May 7 as a snow make-up day. A severe ice storm forced school to be closed Tuesday, Dec. 15. May 7 was designated on the approved 2009-2010 calendar as a possible snow make-up day.
District begins testing for radon at all schools
The district continues its proactive approach to ensuring the safety of students and staff by testing for radon at all district schools in light of a discovery of elevated radon levels at Blue Ridge Elementary primarily in the evenings and weekends when the school’s ventilation system was not in use.

This week the district began placing radon detection devices around all district schools as a precautionary measure. The devices will then be sent off to a lab for review. The results are not expected back for several weeks.

The district has scheduled radon mitigation experts to begin work at Blue Ridge in March. The goal is to have a long-range solution in place at Blue Ridge by the end of spring break in April. Additional radon monitoring will continue at Blue Ridge. Results of the radon testing at Blue Ridge are posted on the district’s website at www.wwps.org and the district continues to maintain open communication with Blue Ridge staff and parents as information becomes available.

School Board ongoing committee assignments
Max Carrera
• Safe Schools
• Career/Technical Education
• Classified Negotiations (w/Cindy Meyer)
• Head Start Policy Council

Dan Hess
• Community Facilities Task Force
• Extracurricular Supervisors Negotiations
• Administrative Negotiations
• School-Based Health Center

Anne Golden
• Curriculum Advisory and Instructional Materials
• Certificated Negotiations (w/Jim Lehmann)
• Legislative Representative
• District Calendar (back up)

Jim Lehmann
• WIAA Liaison
• Certificated Negotiations (w/Anne Golden)
• Technology/Telecommunications
• District Calendar

Cindy Meyer
• Explorer Advisory Committee
• Parent Advisory
• Classified Negotiations (w/Max Carrera)

Wa-Hi Debate Team has strong showing at Pacific Lutheran University - By coach Jean Tobin
In our third and final regular season tournament of the year, Walla Walla High School’s Debate Team had another strong showing. On January 29 and 30 the team competed at the T.O.H. Karl Forensics Invitational Tournament at Pacific Lutheran University. The tournament was one of the largest held in Washington this year, with approximately 50 high schools attending from around the region.

In individual events, Hope Grant-Herriot (freshman) competed in the top division (Open) of Interpretive Reading against senior competitors and made it into the Finals Round. She received a trophy for First Place Novice Competitor in her event. Hope’s speech was so entertaining that one judge had to stop the timer (all events are timed and students are docked points if they go overtime) in order to finish laughing. Maddie Bronstein (freshman) and Nic Clifton (junior) both made it to the Finals Round of Novice Impromptu, where their final speeches were based on political comics.

In novice Lincoln-Douglas debate Maddie Bronstein (freshman) earned 1st place speaker and Clement Cantil (sophomore) placed 3rd overall in the event. Calvin Brigham received a 6th place speaker award. Machado Mijiga and Rosa Tobin both finished strong with 4-2 records (4 wins, 2 losses). The Lincoln-Douglas topic was “Resolved: Economic Sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.”

In novice Public Forum Bryan Preston (freshman) and Nic Clifton both received awards for being amongst the top ten speakers. This was the first time either student had competed in the event. The Public Forum topic was “Resolved: President Obama’s plan in Afghanistan is in the best interests of the United States.”

Marisol Beck (freshman), Carrie Moore (freshman), Julia Cosma (freshman), and Kera Parsons (freshman) also attended the tournament and all received positive comments and high marks from judges on their ballots. Overall, despite having started a new program and having to cancel two tournaments due to weather, Walla Walla High School students have been ranked top competitors and won awards at every tournament they have attended.

We are very grateful for the support of community members, parents and the Walla Walla School District whose contributions made attending this tournament possible. A special thanks to Annie Capestany and Fred Moore who accompanied us to the tournament as judges. Our next competition is February 12th and 13th in Pasco, Washington. It is the State qualifying tournament.

Personnel Report (from 2/2/10 school board meeting)
• Resignations/Retirements
Certificated: Jillian DeBritz, Social Studies, Wa-Hi, 5 years
(effective at the end of the 2009-10 school year)

Music boosters plan Citrus Sale fundraiser
The Walla Walla Music Boosters is holding a Citrus Sale during throughout the month of February. The goal is to sell a semi-truck load of Texas Red Grapefruit, Navel Oranges, Juice Oranges and Tangelos.

- Half case for $20
- Full case for $35

Contact Music Boosters at (509) 730-5605 or at WWMB@ymail.com to place an order. Fruit will be delivered the week before Spring Break. All proceeds benefit WWPS Music Programs.

Garrison families learn more about the “Tween” years
Tuesday night Garrison Middle School families as well as the 5th grade families from Blue Ridge, Sharpstein, and Prospect Point participated in a Parent Forum centered on learning more about the “Tween” years.

Pediatricians Dr. Nicole Villarreal from Walla Walla Clinic and Dr. Evelyn Rodriguez from Family Medical Center talked about topics including hygiene, acne, puberty, nutrition, sleep, and physical and emotional development.

School counselors Bunny Baker and Steve Pitzer presented information on stages of development, and the kinds of situations often seen in middle school.
Discussion Topics
- theories of childhood development
- peer relationships
- technology
- promoting the child’s well-being
- conflict resolution
- childhood obesity

We held this event to help parents gain knowledge about things they can expect from their middle school child, as well as to support parents, give them an opportunity to ask questions of experts, and to give them a chance to network with other middle school parents.

The following helped organize this event:
Brent Cummings (3Rs)
Jerri Doyle (GEAR-UP)
Bunny Baker (Counselor-Garrison)
Steve Pitzer (Counselor-Garrison)
Ginger Calvario (Parent Involvement/Spanish translation)
Becky Fink (Head Secretary-Garrison)
Jackie Scholl (Parent Involvement)

This was the school’s second Parent Forum this school year. The next forum will be held in March focusing on “Teen Technology” with discussions on texting, cellphones, MSN, IM, MySpace, Facebook and more.

School Board Meetings - July-December 2010

Tuesday, July 20

Tuesday, August 17

Tuesday, September 7
Tuesday, September 21

Tuesday, October 5
Tuesday, October 19

Tuesday, November 2
Tuesday, November 16

Tuesday, December 14

All School Board meetings begin at 7:30 p.m., unless changed by the school board. Additional meetings may be scheduled as necessary.

Walla Walla High School continues to reach out in support of Haiti
Walla Walla High School staff and students continue to share their time, talents, and energy to offer to help Haiti earthquake survivors.

Coin Drive: A coin drive has been organized to raise funds for Haiti.

Hustle for Haiti Frolic: Students have organized the Hustle for Haiti Frolic after Saturday’s home double-header basketball games in the Wa-Hi Commons. The cost is $5 with student ID and $3 with ASB card. Students who purchase a “Hope for Haiti” t-shirt at the game for $12 get into the dance for free. T-shirts will only be sold at the games.

Silent Auction: A Silent Auction is planned for Saturday in the Commons from 5 to 7 p.m. Donated items are also needed. Please come and support this Haiti fundraiser.

Pioneer students On TRAC
This year Pioneer Middle School developed a new program Taking Responsibility for Academic Commitment or TRAC to help students become more accountable for their education and to help them improve their organizational skills.

During Tuesday’s School Board meeting, Counselor David Tegtmeier said this program is a component of the district’s Response to Intervention (RTI) model and is considered a Tier Two intervention. Students who are missing three or more unexcused assignments in a core subject, or who are failing at the mid-term grading period in a core subject, are placed on an academic improvement plan.

A conference with teachers, parents and the student is then scheduled to discuss an appropriate improvement plan. Students who are placed in the TRAC program meet four days a week after school to continue developing their academic skills. Students reported to school board members the program is helping them improve their academic performance and become more organized.
Sumerlin signs to play Division I football
Wednesday Walla Walla High School Senior Zach Sumerlin signed to play football for the Air Force Academy. He plans to major in forensic science. Zachary has been involved in sports throughout his school years. He plays football, basketball and is involved in rodeo. He enjoys snowboarding.

He was First Team (unanimous), All Conference Offensive Line and Defensive Lineman for the Big 9 in football. He was First Team All Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year. Zachary has been inducted into National Honor Society and represented Walla Walla High School as the Youth of the Month student for the Exchange Club of Walla Walla.
World War II B-24 tailgunner talks to students about his missions
WWII Veteran Benjamin Vegors visited several classes at Walla Walla High School in January to speak about his experiences as a B-24 Tailgunner during the war in Europe. Scott Reardon, who teaches Computer Applications, Business Law and an Introduction to Economics class at Wa-Hi, has written Ben’s stories after many extensive interviews with him and shared information about him with other teachers at Wa-Hi. Vegors is a chaplain at the local Veterans Administration Hospital.

Jillian DeBritz invited him to attend her World History classes and speak about his experiences during a unit on Imperialism and contrasted his experiences with a modern view of Germany and its history given by German exchange student Charlotte Kersting. Vegors also shared his experiences with Michelle Higgins’s 20th century U.S. History classes during a unit on WWII.

“Students connected well with Vegors,” Higgins said. “He complimented students at Wa-Hi for being polite, well-behaved and good listeners. His energy and enthusiasm was inspirational and contagious. He provided a historical context for WWII, as well as shared many interesting stories and life lessons with students.”

Edison PTA Family Fun Night features local authors
Edison Elementary’s PTA will host the final Family Fun Night for the school year on Tuesday, February 9. The theme for the evening is reading. Many local authors, drama students & professors, police officers, librarians and just plain cool people will be reading delightful stories to you, some in English and some in Spanish. Free pizza (from Sweet Basil & Big Cheese), salad, apple cider and dessert will be served promptly from 6-6:30 and the (4) 15 minute readings are from 6:30-7:30. This is an event you won’t want to miss.

Edison PTA is delighted to bring the following readers to you: Michael Wenberg, Joe Gribnau, Kathryn Hess, Augusta Farnum, Tim Bennett, Tiffany Galaviz, Jacqueline Erwin, Katie Higgins, Loren Dickinson, Kate Roberts, Zoe Ingerson, Liz George, Lois Hahn, Yolanda White, Fiona Taggart, Carlos Arceo & Luz Phillips. Also a special thanks goes out to our newest, helpful volunteers for the event: Richard Ashford, Arthur Laurs & Nicholette Holtman.

Every child will take home a free book. Books are available in Spanish and English. Books being given away have been donated by Earthlight Books, Book & Game, Matt & Vanessa Prull and the Walla Walla Public Library.

The PTA would like to thank the following businesses that have donated food for the Family Fun Night events this year: Sweet Basil Pizzeria, Graze Catering, Creektown Cafe, Stone Soup, Cookie Tree Cafe & Bakery, Andy’s Market, Earthlight Books & Book & Game. Please consider being a patron of these local businesses who are getting involved and making a difference in our school.

This event is free and open to all families of Edison students.

Transportation staff use Barney the Bus to teach traffic safety
Transportation Department staff will soon be taking Barney the Bus to district elementary schools to talk to students in kindergarten through second grade about safety. Barney the Bus operates by remote control, has flashing lights and talks via a walkie-talkie device. This activity is part of the district’s effort to promote safety.

AAUW plans annual book sale
The American Association of University Women- Walla Walla organization is planning its 35th annual book sale February 19-21 at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center. Thousands of gently used books in more than 30 categories will be up for sale. Proceeds fund scholarships and educational projects for women and girls. Community members are also encouraged to donate books.

AAUW Book Sale Schedule
Friday, Feb. 19 - Noon to 9 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 20 - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 21 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call 522-5007 or 526-3232 for information, drop box locations or pick-up. To learn more, visit: aauw-wallawalla.org.

Art Regier Outstanding Volunteers of the Years Award nominations accepted
Nominations are being accepted through Friday, March 26 for the Art Regier Outstanding Volunteers of the Year Award. Recipients will be recognized at the April 20 school board meeting. Nomination forms are available at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the district office.

Criteria for selection may include the following:
1. Exceptional service or contributions to the children of Walla Walla Public Schools
2. Unusual dedication
3. Demonstration of care, compassion and empathy

Recipients of the Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award will be honored with a plaque to display at their home or place of business, and their name will be permanently affixed to a memorial plaque in the school district’s board room at 364 South Park Street. For more information, please call Communications Director Mark Higgins 526-6716.

Walla Walla High School Varsity Sports Highlights

Boys Basketball vs. Richland
Friday, Feb. 5th
7:30 p.m.
Location: Richland HS

Girls Basketball vs. Kamiakin
Friday, Feb. 5th
7:30 p.m.
Wa-Hi Gym

Boys Swimming Districts
Feb. 5th & 6th
Location: CWU

Wrestling Districts
Feb. 5th & 6th
Location: Wenatchee HS

Boys Basketball vs. Chiawana
Saturday, Feb. 6th
7:30 p.m.
Wa-Hi Gym

Girls Basketball vs. Chiawana
Saturday, Feb. 6th
5:45 p.m.
Wa-Hi Gym

Walla Walla High School Latino Club names staff members of the month
The Walla Walla High School Latino Club is pleased to announce Security Team member Gary Winston Sr. and Education Talent Search Specialist Max Weber have been selected as the Walla Walla High School Latino Club Staff Members of the Month for January 2010.

This recognition is based on their faithful service to students who are Latino Club members. As a staff member, Mr. Winston and Mr. Weber are making a significant impact on all students at Walla Walla High School.

Latino Club member comments:
Max Weber
- Mr. Weber is funny and inspiring.
- He is always eager to help and willing to do things for you!
- He is very helpful and always there and breaks his back to assist students in their pursuit to achieve their goals of going to college.

Gary Winston Sr.
- Mr. Winston Sr. gets along very well with students.
- He knows how we feel.
- He is super nice, super cool, and a good friend and staff member.
- We respect him because he respects us.
- He makes everyone feel welcome at school and he makes our community a better place.

Fort Walla Walla Museum offers educators admission free tours
Educators are encouraged to take advantage of the learning opportunities available at the Fort Walla Walla Museum. There are many no cost activities for teachers and students. Contact the Fort Walla Walla Museum as soon as possible at (509) 525-7703 or info@fortwallawallamuseum.org.
Women’s Rights Exhibit Opens At Kirkman House Museum
Catharine Paine Blaine
Seneca Falls and the Women’s Rights Movement in the State of Washington
January 13 – April 18, 2010

Kirkman House Museum invites inquisitive minds of all ages and interests to experience our new exhibit: Catharine Paine Blaine: Seneca Falls and the Women’s Rights Movement in the State of Washington. Take a guided tour of the museum for a glimpse into the daily life of a nineteenth century woman and the struggles she faced as she not only fought for equality but also handled the grueling day-to-day tasks of the Wild West. The exhibit presents an historical context to the struggle for suffrage alongside seldom seen pieces in the Kirkman House permanent collection, including an entire room devoted to hands-on experiences for kids.

The exhibit is open during regular museum hours Wednesday – Saturday 10 A.M. – 4 P.M. and Sunday 1 – 4 P.M. General admission is a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for students & seniors. Group and class tours are encouraged; please make advance arrangements by calling 509-529-4373.

Garrison and Pioneer students to premiere student produced documentaries
Garrison and Pioneer Middle School 6th, 7th and 8th grade students recently submitted documentaries in the annual C-Span documentary contest for students. This year’s contest theme: A Challenge America Faces or A Strength America Has. Garrison students had 13 teams and Pioneer had 17 teams participate in the contest.

“All students pledged to work a considerable amount of time out-of-class gathering statistics and compiling research, writing narrative script to accompany the video, selecting music to demonstrate how they felt about the topic, strengthening camera skills, acquiring b-footage and filming video, interviewing both professional and peers and learning appropriate editing software to put it all together,” said Pioneer Middle School Explorer teacher Dan Calzaretta.

A film festival will be held February 12 at the Walla Walla High School Auditorium where documentaries from both schools will be premiered. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. A special thank you to Brent Cummings, Garrison’s Millenials Director, who provided unbounded amounts of technical expertise and support.

Please click below to see a documentary on:
Drug abuse: http://studentcam.viddler.com/videos/watch.php?id=ecb35f87
Gangs in America: http://studentcam.viddler.com/videos/watch.php?id=5e0a82ed
Wasted Food: http://studentcam.viddler.com/videos/watch.php?id=6959eef1
Cyber Bullying (youtube link) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e8m5u2Vwc4
Child Abuse: http://studentcam.viddler.com/videos/watch.php?id=3548b434
All the videos produced by the Pioneer students can be seen on the Pioneer Explorer webpage at:

C-Span Contest Film Festival Schedule
Date: Friday, February 12
Location: Wa- Hi Auditorium
Time: Since we have so many films we will show them in groups
6th grade (Pioneer only): 4:30-5:15 p.m.
8th grade (Mrs. Clearman’s 8th grade Social Studies class): 5:15-6 p.m.
7/8 grade Explorers (Pioneer and Garrison): 6:00-8 p.m.

Learn more about the middle school Explorer program online: Pioneer Explorer Website at http://sites.google.com/site/pioneerexplorers/ - Garrison Explorer Website at http://resources.wwps.org/garrison/bclearman/

Classroom Close-Up features Garrison teacher
This week Garrison Middle School Social Studies teacher Charlie Arias 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 Arias is now playing on regional stations.