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

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School board meeting Tuesday, March 2
Tuesday, March 2
7:30 p.m.
364 S. Park St. (board room)
Meeting open to public
Parent Conferences next week - No School March 4-5
Parents are encouraged to check with their child’s school for a complete Parent/Teacher conference schedule. There is no school March 4 and 5. Classes resume Monday, March 8.
Superintendent search process to ramp up
The deadline to apply for the open superintendent position is Friday, March 5. The school board tentatively plans to name six semi-finalists and conduct interviews Saturday, March 13 beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 5 p.m. These interviews are open to the members of the public to serve as observers to the process. The school board has assembled a panel to represent the school district and community to work with them in ranking these candidates.

Semi-Finalists Interview Panel Members (for March 13 interviews)
- Linda Boggs, Assistant Superintendent
- Pat Johnston, Chief Financial Officer
- Liz Campeau, Assistant Personnel Director
- Laure Quaresma, Sharpstein Principal
- Darcy Weisner, Wa-Hi Principal
- Richelle Palmer, WWVEA President
- Dave Webber, PSE Vice President
- Cynthia Selde, Community Member
- Steve Moss, BMAC Community Member
- Jim Russo, Community Member
- Gary Hanson, Community Member
- Ted Cohan, Community Member
- Holly Howard, Community Member

The school board will then narrow the field down to three finalists. The finalists will come back to Walla Walla March 15, 17 and 18 for a full-day of interviews and public engagement sessions. A public forum is scheduled for 5 p.m. each day at the board room. Community members, parents and students are encouraged to come and meet all the Superintendent finalists during the 5 p.m. question and answer public sessions. There will be an opportunity to learn more about them, complete a form and help the district find the very best possible fit for our students, staff and community.

The school board plans to name the new superintendent Thursday, March 18. This is subject to change, but remains the goal.

Blue Ridge teachers receive additional Guided Language Acquisition Design
This week district GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) experts Diana Erickson and Connie Taylor-Randall spent time at Blue Ridge offering additional training to Blue Ridge teachers Amy Hartford, Corey Hobbs and Janifer Sams. Erickson and Taylor-Randall will travel to Sharpstein in March to provide additional training to Sharpstein teachers.

GLAD offers strategies which focus on teaching to the highest student academic level, increasing student interaction and engagement, and improving academic vocabulary and language to enhance comprehension and retention.

These strategies, which are modeled by district professional development trainers, utilize the best practices based on research and how the brain learns, Erickson said. We need to continue to refine our teaching practices and collaborative efforts to improve student learning and performance so that students are better prepared to enter the work force and explore higher education.

Community Facilities Task Force discusses state matching funds process
Wednesday, members of the Community Facilities Task Force met to continue their work on updating the districts long-range facilities plan. John Evans of Architects West explained how the state matching fund process works.

He said many districts, including Walla Walla, have forward-funded their facility improvement projects and then reinvested state matching funds in other projects when those funds become available. He said this practice exists because there is always some uncertainty as to when state matching funds will be paid. In some cases, it can take anywhere from three to 5 years. Waiting for the receipt of matching funds to pay for a project can alter the bid cycle and force school districts to delay bidding their projects until state approval is granted.

Communications Director Mark Higgins provided a virtual tour of schools in Pasco, Richland and Kennewick to raise awareness of what other districts have done to improve their facilities. Higgins also shared the Pasco School District facilities improvement plan with task force members. Superintendent Carter reviewed past work the district completed regarding long-range facilities planning.

Dan Reid of Opp and Seibold General Construction is chairing the Community Facilities Task Force Reid is coordinating a series of meetings to research district facilities and ultimately make recommendations to the school board for future consideration. Visit the district website at http://www.wwps.org/community/community_facilities_taskforce.htmto track the progress of the group. The next meeting is Wednesday, March 10 at 4 p.m. in the board room.

Dan Reid (Chair), Opp and Seibold Construction
Jim Dumont, City of Walla Walla Parks and Recreation
Darcey Fugman-Small, Woodward Canyon Winery
Mary Koch, Retired Educator
Jim Peterson, Walla Walla Community College
Pat Johnston, WWPS - Chief Financial Officer
Karen Carman, Parent Representative
Craig Sievertsen, Parent Representative - Banner Bank
Melito Ramirez, WWPS Intervention Specialist
Gay Buissink, Teacher - Wa-Hi Business Education
Jim Sporleder, Principal - Lincoln High School
Kim Lyonnais, City of Walla Walla - Development Director
Allan Gillespie, Owner, Gillespie Roofing
Ruth Ladderud, Whitman College
Scott Krivoshein, Investment Broker, Raymond James
Dan Hess, Lawyer - School Board Member
Jerry Zahl, Walla Walla Farmers Co-Op

Lowell Schneider, Plant Facilities Director
Dan Johnson, Facilities Support Director
Dr. Rich Carter, Superintendent
Mark Higgins, Communications Director
John Evans, Architects West
Rob Blethen, Publisher, Walla Walla Union Bulletin - serving as an observer
Kay Schisler, Task Force Administrative Assistant

District educators learn more about the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)
This week approximately 40 district teachers spent two days at Walla Walla Community College attending training sessions to learn more about the Advancement Via Individual Determination or AVID program. AVID is designed to increase school-wide learning and performance. The training was funded by GEAR UP and was coordinated by Mike Gwinn.

AVID Mission
The mission of AVID is to ensure that all students, especially students in the middle with academic potential capable of completing a college preparatory path, will:
- Succeed in rigorous curriculum
- Enter mainstream activities of the school
- Increase their enrollment in four-year colleges
- Become educated and responsible
- Serve as participants and leaders in a democratic society
Learn more about AVID at: http://www.avidonline.org/

Berney students raise money for Haiti and breast cancer research
Earlier this month students from Berney Elementary were busy collecting money for two different charities: Coins from Caring Kids to support Haiti relief efforts; St. Mary Medical Center Breast Cancer Fund.

The Coins from Caring Kids coin drive was spearheaded by three 4th grade girls:
- Tori Matlock
- Anna Moore
- Kayla Pitzer.

Every morning these girls helped kids deposit their coins in the large container located in the front office, Berney Intervention Specialist Kristen Duede said. The event was a great success raising $501.39

Terry Hackney from the Blue Mountain Red Cross will be coming to Berney on March 1 to accept the check at an all school assembly.

Fifth grade students Hayley Taylor, Ashley Halazon, Lauren Svenson, Sydney Carrara, Natalia Bloom and Cailin Bloom raised funds for Providence St. Mary breast cancer fund. With the help of parent volunteers; Cliff and Marie Taylor, they made Valentines Day cards that were sold before school and during their lunch. This fundraiser brought in $340. Dennis Maughan from Providence St. Mary Medical Center will also be in attendance at the assembly to accept the funds.

I am very proud of all the hard work that our kids have put in and how generous our students and their families are, Duede said.

Wa-Hi Boys and Girls Golf Teams Fundraiser Scramble
- Help raise money for the Walla Walla High School golf program
- Come play with a Wa-Hi golf team member or a golf team alumni
- Prizes, longest drive competition and more!

Date: Friday, March 26
Location: Walla Walla Country Club
Time: 12 noon
Cost: $50 entry fee per player (additional $40 greens fee for non-WWCC members)
Information: Contact Terri Hanson at 509.520.3063 or the WWCC Pro Shop at 509.525.1562.

Walla Walla Kids Read to host nationally known authors Judy Schachner and Blue Balliet
Walla Walla Kids Read will host two nationally known authors for its 2010 program. This years line up is expected to entertain and educate thousands of local students at Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College campus. Dates for the event, designed for schools and open to the public, are March 15 and 16, 2010.

Walla Walla Kids Read is designed to inspire every K-5 child in the Walla Walla valley by bringing students to a world class facility to hear a well known author. All costs, including busing of students to and from the event, are paid for by Walla Walla Kids Read for the six Walla Walla elementary schools. Districts outside of Walla Walla are invited to participate at no cost, but will be required to cover the cost of transportation.
Details about times, events, books, authors, and classroom activities are available at www.wallawallakidsread.com.

About this years authors
JUDY SCHACHNER - Kindergarten through 2nd grade
Judy Schachner is the writer and illustrator of the perennially popular Skippy Jon Jones series, along with many other award winning books for young children. Schachner is a wonderfully humorous and educational speaker. Expect lots of laughs, lots of fun things to look at, and an inspiring time for all.
Find activities, videos, and a lot more about Judy Schachner at www.skippyjonjones.com

BLUE BALLIET - 3rd grade through 5th grade
Blue Balliett is the popular author of three award winning mysteries for middle grade readers: Chasing Vermeer, The Calder Game, and The Wright 3. Chasing Vermeer, a New York Times Notable Book, earned the Edgar Award, the Agatha Award, the American Booksellers Associations Book Sense Book of the Year Award, The Great Lakes Book Award, and the Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction. The Wright 3, a USA Today bestseller, received a Childs Magazine Best Children’s Book Award and the Chicago Public Library Foundations 21st Century Award, the first time the award was given to a children’s book writer. The Calder Game won the Juvenile Literary Prize from the Friends of American Writers. Warner Brothers has acquired the film rights to Chasing Vermeer. Find activities, videos, and a lot more about Blue Balliett at www.scholastic.com/blueballiett

About Walla Walla Kids Read
WWKR is dedicated to nurturing and encouraging young readers and supporting our local educators in creating life long readers. Our primary goal is to provide a nationally known author presentation to every K-5th grade student in the Walla Walla valley every year. Our author selections are designed to inspire, educate, and encourage students to pursue reading and writing. Our events are developed for local elementary schools and open to the public. Every elementary school child in Walla Walla, regardless of income, benefits from Walla Walla Kids Read. All costs associated with our events, including school busing, author fees, and facility use, are funded by WWKR.
Contact the Walla Walla Kids Read Team
Chair - Patrick Carman
School Liaison, Educational Resources - Michelle Shaul, Green Park Elementary Librarian
Events coordinator / community Liaison - Elizabeth George, Walla Walla Public Library
School Principal Liaison - Mike Lambert Principal, Green Park Elementary School
Author Liaison - Squire Broel, Artist

Statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on proposed budgets:
RELEASE EARLIER THIS WEEK: Today, the leadership in the state House of Representatives and Senate released their supplemental fiscal year 2010 budgets. In 1994, the states per pupil spending was $3,707, adjusted for inflation. The state Senates proposed budget for 2010 is $3,815 per student, just $108 per student more than 16 years ago and down $311 from 2007.

While both budgets decrease K-12 public education funding, the Senates version would cut approximately $650 million for the 2010-11 school year. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on the impact of the budgets:

“Both chambers of the Legislature today made an attempt to lessen the blow to education funding. The Senate budget, however, still makes cuts to education that will have real impacts on real students. As this legislative session moves into its final days, I will urge the Legislature to support the Houses funding levels for our schools.

The Senate budget significantly cuts funding for the K-4 staffing ratio enhancement, reduces the funding districts have to hire classified staff and cuts funding for Initiative 728. What would these cuts mean to our schools? The elimination of about 2,500 teachers and more than 300 bus drivers, secretaries and other classified staff; the increasing of class sizes in our kindergarten through fourth grade; and the loss to school districts of more than 450,000 hours districts will have facilities maintenance and cleaning.

If I ask myself if today’s students have the same quality of education as their counterparts of three years ago, I would definitely say no. We are moving backward with education funding and putting more of a burden on local school districts. That’s just not right.

The bottom line is, we are now more dependent than ever on local levies for funding public education and that creates an alarming equity issue.

Even raising revenue doesn’t get us back to our 2007 funding levels, and those are the figures a King County Superior Court judge recently ruled weren’t enough to amply fund basic education.

Our education system is much more complex than when we first enacted education reform in 1994, and that’s about where the Senates proposed funding puts us. We have nearly 10 percent more low-income students and double the number of English-language learners (with 202 languages spoken by K-12 students). We have got to get serious about this. Were asking educators to do much more with not nearly enough.

Lets be clear, neither of these budgets meets our constitutional requirement to amply fund basic education. When we don’t put education funding first, students suffer. As the states education leader, I will let both chambers know their budgets continue to under-fund education and do not ensure all our students are provided a meaningful, equitable education.” - Randy Dorn, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Walla Walla High School Regional Basketball Schedule
Boys Basketball (Regional Tournament)
Wa-Hi vs. Eisenhower (loser out game)
Friday, February 26 - 7 p.m.
Toyota Center (Kennewick)
* If Wa-Hi wins, the team faces the loser of the Kamiakin vs. Mead game and will play Saturday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Toyota Center (the winner of this game advances to state)

Girls Basketball (Regional Tournament)
Wa-Hi vs. Mead (winner to state)
Friday, February 26 - 4 p.m.
Toyota Center (Kennewick)

* If Wa-Hi wins, the team faces winner Chiawana vs. Lewis Clark game and will play Saturday, Feb. 27 at 3 p.m. at the Toyota Center for the Regional Title. If Wa-Hi loses, the team faces the winner of the Moses Lake vs. Southridge game and will play Saturday, Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. at the Toyota Center

Walla Walla High School Instrumental Regional Solo & Ensemble Winners
Congratulations to the following Walla Walla High School music students for advancing to compete at the state level.

Emma Burgess - Winner In Clarinet Category
Amy Ueckert - 2nd Alternate in Clarinet Category
Connor Stone - 2nd Alternate in Alto Saxophone Category
Walla Walla Clarinet Quartet - 2nd Alternate in Small Woodwind Group Category
(Emma Burgess, Amy Ueckert, Michelle Ruzicka & Cassie Abernathy)
Anna Burgess - Winner in Violin Category
Morgan Linehan - Winner in Cello Category
Quinn Anderson - 2nd Alternate in Cello Category
Walla Walla String Quintet - Winner in Strings Large Group Category
(Aislynn Beeckstrand, Olivia Welker, Jonathan Barnes, Morgan Linehan & Vance Jones)

Regional Instrumental Solo & Ensemble Results
Emma Burgess: Clarinet - Superior Rating
Amy Ueckert: Clarinet - Superior Rating
Michelle Ruzicka: Clarinet - Excellent Rating
Groover Snell: Clarinet - Excellent Rating
Sean Newcomb: Flute - Excellent Rating
McKelle Wilwand: Flute - Excellent Rating
Megan Thompson & Mary Felt: Piano Duet - Superior Rating
Connor Stone: Alto Saxophone - Superior Rating
Walla Walla Flute Ensemble - Superior Rating
Walla Walla Clarinet Quartet - Superior Rating
Quinn Anderson: Cello - Superior Rating
Morgan Lenihan: Cello - Superior Rating
Vance Jones: String Bass - Excellent Rating
WWHS Symphony Orchestra Quintet - Superior Rating
Kelsey Gabel: Viola - Superior Rating
Anna Burgess: Violin - Superior Rating

Garrison Night School graduates celebrate successful experience
Thursday night, 225 community adults graduated from the Garrison Night School, an adult education program in partnership with Walla Walla Community College and the Walla Walla Public Schools. The mission of Garrison Night School is to promote the education of Hispanic parents by connecting them to the school community, preparing them for a General Education Diploma (GED) and facilitating their enrollment in college, thus raising the educational level and standard of living of the family.

Also offered are Spanish classes for native English speakers. The program provides free child care to support parents seeking additional education. Walla Walla High School students in the Latino Club provided the child care services. This effort is part of the Estrellita Program fro pre-school students at Garrison night school which is funded by a Walla Walla United Way Literacy grant that Exploring Post 311 received in 2008.

This year more than 30 Latino Club students provide more than 1000 hours of service The program is a cooperative effort of the Walla Walla School District, Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla High School Latino Club, and Exploring Post 311. The Exploring program is a subsidiary program of the Boy Scouts of America. Special thanks to Bilingual Coordinator Diana Erickson and volunteer Bill Erickson for their efforts helping coordinated the child care services with the Latino Club.

Graduates of Distinction nominations now accepted
Nominations are open for the 2010 Graduates of Distinction Program. All nominations and recommendation forms must be received in the district Curriculum Department by April 15, 2010.

The purpose of the Walla Walla Public Schools Graduates of Distinction program is to provide an avenue for recognizing high school graduates of Walla Walla Public Schools who have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers; and to honor the Walla Walla Public Schools staff members who were the most inspirational in the lives of those individuals.

In order to be eligible for nomination, an individual must have graduated from high school in the Walla Walla Public Schools at least 10 years prior to nomination. The recognition is intended to honor Walla Walla High School graduates for outstanding achievement. The honor will be given to mature adults who are exemplary citizens and have distinguished themselves in their communities, their professions, or their careers.

Nominations will be held for five years, and will automatically be included in the selection process during that time.

2009 Graduates of Distinction
Dr. Philip Phillips - Class of 1975
Greg Ralston Pepin - Class of 1968
Daniel DeSiga - Class of 1967
R. F. Dick Monahan - Class of 1958

Nomination forms are available at the district office, 364 South Park Street, or on the district website: www.wwps.org/news/grad_distinction.htm. Please call Kay Schisler, 526-6735, for more information.

Kindergarten and Open Enrollment Registration period is Monday, March 15 to Friday, March 26
Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the students attendance area elementary school. Parents wishing to pick up the kindergarten registration information may do so at your child’s school beginning March 8. However, the completed registration forms will not be accepted until March 15.

New Student Registration Hours:
Monday, March 15, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
March 16 - March 26, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up open enrollment application forms at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning March 8; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, March 15.

If there is space available to accommodate open enrollment requests, then the priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available for public viewing at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office. School Board policies are also online at http://www.wwps.org/leadership/board.htm#11

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all
schools, the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street, and online at www.wwps.org. Click on the District A to Z link and then click on Boundary Map.

Walla Walla University plans 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament to benefit Women’s Shelter
Date: Sunday, Feb. 28

Time: 10 a.m.(Registration at 9:30 a.m.)

Location: Walla Walla University Gym (corner of SW Davis and 4th Street, College Place, WA)

Proceeds: Bring your team of three to match up with teams from WWU and the community in this fundraiser event for the Shelter for Freedom project. Tournament is open to the everyone, high school age and up: $5 for students, $10 for non-students. Come support the Walla Walla Women’s Shelter!

Information: Contact Lisa Barceló at (909) 709-3053 or by email: lisa.barcelo@wallawalla.edu

City of Walla Walla to Host Second Town Hall Meeting on the City’s Failing Water, Sewer, and Street Systems
The City of Walla Walla will host the second of four town hall meetings regarding the City’s failing water distribution, sewer collection, and street surface systems on Thursday, March 4th at 6:00 p.m. at the Housing Authority Gym, 501 Cayuse Street. City staff and elected officials will inform residents of the conditions of these systems and share information on the repair and replacement requirements, including potential costs. Staff and officials hope that residents will engage in these conversations, increase their awareness of the situation, and discuss solutions.

Residents will have two more opportunities to attend a town hall meeting to discuss the infrastructure challenges. The additional dates and times are as follows:

- March 18, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. - Walla Walla Community College Conference Center Room 185, 500 Tausick Way
- April 1, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. - Whitman College Reid Campus Center Ballroom, 280 Boyer Avenue

In 2009, the Public Works Department determined that 114 of the 140 miles of the City’s water, sewer, or street infrastructure needs replacement; approximately 40 miles is experiencing failure of all three components simultaneously. The public information sessions will provide further detail of the extensive nature of the component failures and potential plans to systematically rebuild our critical infrastructure systems.

The first town hall meeting held on February 18th was attended by over 50 residents. During the presentation, many audience members asked questions and provided input on potential funding scenarios for the street maintenance and repair portion of the plan. All attendees of the information sessions will be asked to vote on options for funding the plan with the results being tabulated and posted on the City’s website at the conclusion of the meetings.

Classroom Close-Up features Walla Walla High School teacher
This week Walla Walla High School teacher Keith Gradwohl 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 Gradwohl is now playing on regional stations.