Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 30, 2010

In this Issue:

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School board meeting Tuesday, May 4
Date: Tuesday, May 4
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: 364 S. Park St.
Meeting open to public
National Teacher Day Salute: By Superintendent Rich Carter
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 is National Teacher Day. Walla Walla Public Schools teachers provide our students a world class education in a loving, caring and safe environment. The average tenure for a teacher in our district is more than 13 years. This is important on several levels.

First, this length of service equates to experience. Our teachers have the training and expertise necessary to help meet the needs of all students. Secondly, it tells us our teachers are happy. Employees who feel supported and appreciated are more motivated and do a better job.

Teachers impact our community in many ways. They teach our youth the essential skills needed to be competitive in the 21st Century. Teachers are role models, friends, colleagues and neighbors who deeply care about our city and our world. They are quick to lend a hand for those in need or join in a celebration to recognize an accomplishment.

If you ever find yourself in need of a smile, just visit a school. The magic our teachers perform on a daily basis is truly a work of art. They inspire our children and help cultivate their dreams. They are true heroes who shy from the spotlight to let our children bask in the glory. This time of the year is an excellent opportunity to reflect on a teacher who made a difference in your life. This good work continues today as teachers in Walla Walla classrooms enrich the lives of our most precious resource: our children.

Please join me in recognizing Walla Walla’s outstanding teachers on National Teacher Day.

District names 2010 Graduates of Distinction
Walla Walla Public Schools has chosen this year’s honorees for the Graduates of Distinction program. They are: Dr. Richard K. Knuth, Class of 1968; Mary Jane Towner Glaser, Class of 1971; and Tim Donaldson, Class of 1979.

These individuals have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions or careers and continue to bring honor to the district. Members of the selection committee were Ned Shafer, Art Griff, Peggy Sanderson, Anne Golden, Doug Bayne, Abe Roberts and Mark Higgins.

The 2010 Graduates of Distinction will be honored at a reception Tuesday, June 1, 2010 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the district office Board Room.

School in session Friday, May 7 - Snow Make-Up Day
School will be in session Friday, May 7 as a result of a snow make-up day. This date was originally scheduled to be a no school day, but December’s ice storm forced the district to use May 7 as a snow make-up date.
District’s Moody’s bond rating elevated
The district received notice this week its Moody’s bond rating is now an Aa3. This bond rating is better than the A1 rating the district previously held. Organizations with an Aa3 distinction are considered to be a safe investment and a low risk for failure.

“This new rating is clear reflection of the district’s commitment to fiscal integrity,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “In a time when many school districts and businesses in our state are struggling to pay their monthly bills, we have positioned ourselves to balance our budget, while still maintaining a healthy reserve to offset additional state cuts projected to come our way. This new Moody’s bond rating is a stamp of approval from financial experts that our district’s financial decisions are prudent and sound.”

Edison Elementary Big Truck Rally and Carnival Saturday, May 1
The Edison Elementary PTA is sponsoring their Second Annual Big Truck Rally and Carnival on Saturday, May 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Big Truck Rally & Carnival is a a fun, family event and also serves as the PTA’s primary annual fundraiser. The event features many large farm, construction, military and emergency vehicles that you don’t ordinarily get the chance to see up close and climb in and around on. Some of the many vehicles on exhibit include a tank, fire truck, ambulance, crane, cement mixer, pump truck, low boy, dump truck, backhoe, tractors, swat team vehicles, meter maid vehicle, garbage truck and many more.

In addition to all the interesting vehicles on display, there will also be lots of fun carnival-style games. Featured in the dunk tank is incoming Edison principal, Josh Wolcott along with other Edison teachers and parents: Patrick McFetridge, Doug Klein, Kay Barga, Lynette Fogg, Marnie Johnson, Alejandra Trejo, Tyler Filan and Dave Larson. Don’t miss your chance to dunk them.

Some of the many carnival activities include: a prize fishing pond, an iSpy Game, face painting, temporary tattoos, custom engraved dog tags, colored hair spray and a 50/50 raffle. Valley Transit is providing their trolley bus which will have stories being read in it every half hour or you can grab a book and sit and relax and read for a few minutes on your own. Since the event is on May Day, we’ll also have an origami flower booth where you can learn how to make a simple flower.

You won’t need to worry about going elsewhere for lunch, as there will be lots of food available for sale including beef & veggie hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, fruit, soda, juice, water and of course: cotton candy! Admission is by donation, with a suggested donation of $2 per person. Free activities include the iSpy game that will also earn you a free trip to the prize fishing pool with two casts for prizes and of course the stories on the trolley are free. All other activities and food can be purchased with tickets on sale at the event for $1 each.]

A Big Truck Rally event poster went home with all Walla Walla & College Place children in preschool through fifth grade. Ten dollar gift certificates to Bright’s Candies have been awarded to the following children for the best poster art and placement: Cotton Wachter - Edison, Wesley Gribnau - Berney, Skylar Druffel - Berney, Parker Pontarolo - Prospect Point, Claire McDevitt - Green Park, Max Vandersloot - Assumption, Jaden Bergevin - Davis, Stephen Burt - Kid’s Place, Wade Huether - WWCC Toddler Class. Thank you to all the teachers & parents who helped to get these posters posted and to all the children for their beautiful artwork. Thank you to Bright’s Candies for the donation of the gift certificates and to Walla Walla’s Harvest Foods, Albertson’s, Franz Bakery, The Foundry and Downtown Walla Walla Foundation.

Tickets for “The Wizard of Oz” going fast
The anticipation for the Walla Walla High School Drama department production of The Wizard of Oz is high, and we can guarantee the audience will not be disappointed. The same cannot be said for those who wait too long to reserve their tickets and find the shows sold out!

The box office opened April 26, and tickets are flying out the door. It’s no surprise ~ it is the musical you know and love with all of your favorite songs! Don’t miss Glinda’s bubble, the Wicked Witch of the West and those scary flying monkeys!

Show times: 7 p.m. May 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 and 2 p.m. May 8 and 15
Location: Walla Walla High School Performing Arts Auditorium

Ticket Prices: $6 dollars for students and $12 for adults.
Tickets can be reserved by calling the Wa-Hi Box Office at (509) 526-8613 Mondays through Fridays between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Order your tickets early to avoid missing the show of the season!

Classroom Close-Up features Preschool Teacher
This week Head Start/ECEAP Preschool Teacher Tensie Lovejoy 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 Lovejoy is now playing on regional stations.
Sharpstein garden creates setting for learning - By Sally Bormann, school volunteer
The Sharpstein Garden has had a successful spring, with volunteers in every classroom involving all kids in the garden. In the atrium you can see the Salsa Garden seedlings of the kindergartners, the Three Sisters starts from the first graders, and the flowers seeded by the second graders growing under lights set up specifically for this purpose for the first time this year.

Kindergartners will be able to follow the tomatoes, peppers and onions they seeded this spring through to salsa they will prepare and eat next fall as first graders. In starting the Three Sisters garden, first graders learned about the agricultural and nutritional wisdom of early Native American cultures which combined their three staples—maize, squash and beans—into a balanced diet that mirrored in their cooking the plants’ abilities to balance each others’ weaknesses and benefit from their companion plant’s strengths in the garden. Second graders learned about the key role of beneficial insects—which their flowers will attract—in the life cycle of plants.

Some classes were able to get right into the garden for their plantings. Third graders discussed the amazing nutritional value of “greens,” and how the abundance of vitamin A and C (and protein and iron) in spinach benefits their bodies. After planting out this year’s greens, students were encouraged to sample the volunteer plants from last year’s crop. One boy told project leader Beth Thiel he “wasn’t a salad guy,” then proceeded to eat a lot of spinach because it was “sweet.” Another boy told his teacher “we’re eating lunch here today, we’re eating spinach.”

Fourth graders learned some history before planting out potatoes. They discovered that Benjamin Franklin was introduced to fries in France, by the advocate of this “scary” New World crop, who had convinced his ruler, Louis XIV to help him trick his people into eating potatoes. Because armed soldiers guarded a plot of potatoes during daylight hours only, all the tubers were slowly stolen out during the night and ended up finally working their way into French kitchens. Fifth graders have been fantastic leaders and buddies for the younger students this year, organizing, promoting, and running the Seed Sale and working on garden planning.

Volunteers needed for Sharpstein landscape project
Volunteers are needed May 22 and 23 at Sharpstein Elementary to transform a section of lawn at the southeast corner of the school into a natural and native landscape. Beautiful, medicinal and edible shrubs and flowers native to Walla Walla County will be used, according to project organizer Beth Thiel.

“We’ll need help moving sod, hauling mulch, and placing rocks,” Thiel said.

For more information:
Beth Thiel

Whitman to host 320 local 7th graders for Gear Up “Harvest Of Hope” Program
By Whitman College Communications Department
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Three hundred and twenty local seventh grade students will converge on the Whitman College campus Tuesday, May 4, 2010 to get a glimpse of college life.

They will participate in a federally sponsored program called GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). Themed “Follow Your Dreams,” it aims to spotlight their goals of attending college. Students from Walla Walla, College Place, Prescott, and Touchet will participate in a full day of activities that will demonstrate college life and show them how they can make a plan for post-secondary education. In preparation for their day at Whitman, students are completing projects focused around the idea of college.

Among a range of academic and co-curricular activities sure to capture their interest will be a presentation by Brien Sheedy, director of Whitman’s Outdoor Program, about goal-setting and his 2004 ascent of Mt. Everest.

The day also will include a campus tour and opening remarks by Tony Cabasco, dean of admission and financial aid, who will discuss the importance of planning for college.

Various Whitman faculty, staff, and student organizations will lead interactive sessions with the middle school students including:
- Science experiments in the fields of chemistry, biology, and physics.
- An exploration of the college’s newly acquired Scanning Electron Microscope.
- Workshops exploring the value of theatre, music, and studio art in higher education.
- Environmental education and team building with the Youth Adventure Program.
- Workshops with the Writing House and the blue moon literary magazine.
- Cultural activities with Club Latino and La Casa Hispana.
- Discussion with Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) officers.

GEAR UP is a federal grant program. Washington State University administers the “Harvest of Hope” GEAR UP grant in partnership with local school districts. GEAR UP functions as a resource to all students in participating schools. Whitman College participates in the GEAR UP “Harvest of Hope” grant program by hosting this event and supporting outreach programs that encourage students to enroll in higher educational institutions.

For more information contact:
Gretchen Hormel-Tomkins - GEAR UP Coordinator (Walla Walla Community College)
(509) 524-5163

Joshua Ian Smith - Admission Officer (Whitman College Office of Admission)
(509) 527-5176

Police officer praises Green Park staff for handling of missing student
City of Walla Walla Police Officer Dan Lackey sent an e-mail to the district this week praising the outstanding job the Green Park staff did in response to a missing child report.

Here is a summary of Lackey’s comments:
“I responded to Green Park for a missing child. I met with Principal Mike Lambert and a lot of staff upon my arrival. They had already started the notifications. They were able to get me a picture of the young lady and had already searched the school.

The teacher took me on the route they had just walked from the computer lab and told me all the hiding spots they already checked. By the time we arrived back to the office, the staff had already received one answer from the bus drivers and were waiting for more.

All the staff involved had all of answers I was looking for and were willing to do whatever was needed to be done. The lost child’s aunt did try to tell the staff that the police did not need to be called right away, but the staff disagreed and called the police. This was the right thing to do!

I met with the aunt to get some more information. We already had officers at the residence making contact with another relative to search the house for her. About this time the lost little girl walked up to the house and the school staff was notified she was located. The Green Park staff did an OUTSTANDING JOB!” Dan Lackey

The Whitman Club Latino and the Walla Walla High School Latino Club to show the movie “Papers”
Location: Maxey Hall W33- Whitman College
Date: Friday April 30
Time: 6:30 pm (movie approximately 90 minutes)
Movie topic: The documentary is about undocumented students in our society. http://www.papersthemovie.com/
Cost: Donations will be taken to provide a college scholarship for one of our Latino Club seniors that is undocumented. Informational booths will include information about the Latino Club and the DREAM Act
FFA plans annual plant sale
The Wa-HI FFA Chapter will be holding its annual plant sale this week.

FFA Plant Sale Schedule (remaining)
- Friday, April 30: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Saturday, May 1: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Monday, May 3: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sale Location: Wa-Hi CTE Building (grass in front of building)

Camp Fire USA Summer Day Camp registration begins May 3
Registration for Camp Fire USA Walla Walla Council’s summer program begins May 3. Super Summer in the Park is an outdoor recreational day camp held at Wildwood Park for ten weeks during summer break, operating weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Activities include swimming, bowling, art projects, sports, library visits, games, field trips, community service projects and crafts. A variety of hands-on, educational activities in subjects such as math, science and reading are also a part of this rich program.

This year, Camp Fire USA extended the age limit and now offers Super Summer in the Park to children entering first through sixth grade.

Parents can register their children for the entire summer or select specific weeks. The cost is $115 per week. This summer’s themes include: Animal Planet, Air & Sea, Survivor Camp, Creative Campers, Mad Science, The Mighty Jungle and more!

For more information visit the Camp Fire USA office at 414 S Park Street, call 525-3180 or check out their website at www.wwcampfire.org.

Lincoln Alternative High School students present drama production Anon(ymous) tonight
The ‘Lincoln Play Production Company’, and Director Jessica Barkl, bring you Anon(ymous) with performances at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, April 30 at the Walla Walla Community College Performing Arts Center.

Lincoln students will perform this contemporary version of the Odyssey, written by Naomi Iizuka, which explores the issues of identity, adoption, and forced relocation. Admission is free. Donations accepted and appreciated.

The one and a half hour performance tells the story of a young refugee called Anon, played by Stan Southern, as he journeys through the United States, encountering a wide variety of people – some kind, some dangerous – in search of his family. From a sinister one-eyed butcher to a sweatshop, Anon navigates a chaotic, ever-changing landscape.

Jessica Barkl, who directed last year’s Walla Walla summer musical ‘Greece’ and will be directing this year’s production of ‘Footloose,’ is leading the Lincoln students through the exciting process of performing Anon(ymous). “Wild, fun and frustrating…theater was definitely a way for me to define myself as a middle and high-schooler. I have a connection with these students,” says Barkl.

Participating in a play production is one of a number of options for students at Lincoln Alternative High School’s after school program ‘The LIFT’. After school program director Jeremy Gradwohl has created a program which includes cosmetology classes, a cooking class, a bowling math lab, Vibe Dance Studio, an organic community garden, karaoke lunches, Age of Empire matches, a partnership program with the Whitman College “Youth Adventure Program” and a morning program which promotes physical and mental exercises to get the students on the right foot for the day. The LIFT encourages students to stay after school and take advantage of programs that teach valuable life skills while the activities also aim to improve basic academic skills such as math, reading and writing.

For more information on Anon(ymous) or The LIFT, please contact Jeremy Gradwohl at Lincoln Alternative High School.

Community Center for Youth plans 10th Anniversary celebration
Walla Walla’s Community Center for Youth has been in place for 10 years and the organization is planning its “Big 10” event to celebrate the milestone.
- “Big 10” Anniversary Celebration: May 14
- 5:30 to 10 p.m.
- St. Patrick’s Youth Center (408 Alder St.)
- Students will need to bring their school ID’s.
- Free food will be available, and a number of fun activities and games will take place.
- Activities include:
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. - movie and popcorn or students can play in a basketball tournament.
6:30 to 10 p.m. - carnival
7 :30 to 10 p.m. - dance
- Information: Contact Paul Rossi at 526-2571

Retirement Celebrations 2009-2010
Berney Elementary
Claudia Ford
Wednesday, May 19
3:30 p.m.
Berney Library

District Office
Rich Carter
Date: Tuesday, June 1
Time: 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Transportation Co-Op Building

Bill Jordan
Date: June 3,
Time: 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Location: District Office Board Room

Edison Elementary
Nancy Withycombe
Date: Tuesday, May 25
Time: 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Location: Edison

Plant Facilities
Lowell Schneider
Date: June 8
Time: 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Location: District Office Board Room

District End-of-Year Celebrations
Garrison Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
Wednesday, June 9: 7 p.m. - Cordiner Hall, Whitman College

Pioneer Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
Tuesday, June 8: 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Gym

Lincoln Alternative High School Graduation
Thursday, June 3: 6 p.m. - WW Fairgrounds

Walla Walla High School Commencement
Friday, June 4: 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Commons area (gym if raining)

* Last day of school - Thursday, June 10 (early dismissal)

District holds I-728 public hearing
An I-728 public hearing was held Wednesday, April 28, in the district Board Room. The purpose of the meeting was to review the 2009-10 spending plan and affirm use of carry over dollars in light of the elimination of I-728 funding in the 2010-11 school year.

Based on forum input, Linda Boggs, Assistant Superintendent, reported that the I-728 carry over dollars is funding professional development and the balance will fund extended learning during the summer of 2010.