Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - June 4, 2010

In this Issue:

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School board schedules public meeting to discuss Edison excess bond funds
- Monday, June 7
- 6:30 p.m.
- District Office Board room
- Meeting open to the public

Meeting agenda
1. Open public meeting/work session: Mrs. Meyer
2. District recommendation to reinvest excess bond proceeds from Edison School Project: Dr. Carter
3. Edison School Project update: Mr. Dixon
4. Edison facility equipment & operational decisions: Mrs. Withycombe
5. District options for excess bond proceeds from Edison School Project: Mrs. Johnston
6. Comments/Questions from audience: Mrs. Meyer
7. Conclude public meeting/work session: Mrs. Meyer

Edison Elementary Principal addresses concerns with new Edison school
As principal of Edison Elementary, I feel obliged to address concerns that were discussed in the June 2 edition of the Union Bulletin. The design of the new school was a collaborative effort that included parents, community members, and staff working with the architect.

There were many meetings when people shared their aspirations with the architect, who in turn would bring revised drawings to the next meeting. Building a facility that supports best instructional practices to promote student achievement guided our decisions. In any construction project, every desire cannot be met.

Disappointment that a stage/performance area was not included is understandable, but the decision was to purchase risers and a sound shell to be used for performances in the gym which is consistent with common practice in all of the elementary schools. The district’s performing arts auditorium, which can be accessed by all schools, is located at Walla Walla High School.

Space for Homelink, our district’s connection with home-schooled children, was included in the first design for the new Edison, but when the bond failed in 2006, the district chose to balance student population at the six elementary schools with Edison having three classrooms at each grade level rather than two, not leaving space for another program. In the second bond proposal in 2007, Homelink was never included as part of the new building.

The school was built on a tight site resulting in parking and traffic flow challenges. After a committee including parents and community members consulted the city, the fire department, and the district’s transportation department, it was decided to switch buses to the front of the building and private vehicles to the back. Bus drop off and pick up works well, and the congestion in the back of the school in the afternoon lasts about 10 minutes from dismissal bell until the last car leaves campus, which is an acceptable time frame.

Excluding warranty issues that are being addressed, the new building is complete. Students have state of the art technology in every classroom, an outdoor science center, an outdoor amphitheatre for performances and instruction, a cafeteria that can be used for art classes, and a quality gymnasium that is excellent for school and community use. In short, the district got a great value for its investment; one that should last another 75 years. Nancy Withycombe, Edison Principal.

Last day of school - Thursday, June 10
Students will be released on the early dismissal schedule Thursday, June 10. Check with your neighborhood school for the exact release time. Have a great summer break! The 2010-11 school year begins Tuesday, August 24.

Personnel Report (from June 1, 2010 school board meeting)
- Andrew Blumel, Social Studies, Walla Walla High School
- Elisabeth Entrena, .5 FTE ESL, Edison
- Alberto Granados, Fifth Grade, Edison
- Julie Maney, Life Skills, Green Park
- Keith Michels, Social Studies, Walla Walla High School
- Donna Morris, Resource Room, Pioneer (.6 FTE is continuing/.4 FTE is temporary)
- Elaina Renius, Counselor, Walla Walla High School
- Claircy Boggess, Career Information Specialist, Walla Walla High School
- David Locken, Plumber, Facilities and Operations

- Matt Hamlin, Math, Walla Walla High School
- Andy Maheras, Social Studies, Walla Walla High School, 7 years
- Nancy Kessler, Occupational Therapist, Special Programs, 30.5 years (Nancy will retire effective January 31, 2011)
- Justin Hampton, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School, 1 year
- Sarah Spiess, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School, 1 year

Staff Transfers
- Ben Ugaldea will transfer to Walla Walla High School as the Library Media Specialist for the 2010-2011 school year.
- English teacher Pat Kofler will transfer from Walla Walla High School to Lincoln Alternative High School for the 2010-2011 school year.

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers applauds “Girls Rock the House” participants
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers attended a reception at Pioneer Middle School Monday afternoon to honor the middle school girls who participated in “Girls Rock the House” program. This national program was created to inspire girls to get involved in politics.

Nearly 30 people attended the reception, where McMorris Rodgers presented Pioneer Middle School 8th grade student Ellie Rassbach with the state award, a copy of the United States Constitution, and a Girls Rock the House book. Rassbach also earned a trip to Washington DC this summer to spend more time with McMorris Rodgersand witness political activity in action.

McMorris Rodgers also spent time talking with each of the girls who participated in the program during the reception. The congresswoman gave a brief history of the program, citing the fact that there are just over 100 women in the House and Senate, yet women make up half of the population. She said women drive 80 percent of the health care decisions at home, are the largest group driving the economy with small businesses, and yet have only held voting positions in the federal government since the 1970s.

“This has been a great learning opportunity for our student,” Pioneer Middle School Principal Dana Jones said. “It was even more powerful having Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers personally meet with the girls to celebrate their accomplishments.”

School Board members Anne Golden and Dan Hess also attended the event. Parents Kathryn Southwick Hess and Donna Wujek organized the local “Girls Rock the House” program.

Police receive report of a suspicious vehicle near school
Thursday a suspicious white van with Utah license plates was reported to have been parked at the corners of Cottonwood and Ransom roads, just south of the Prospect Point School intersection of Howard and Reser. Police sources report no children in our area or in Utah have been reported missing. They report no other information surfacing as a result of this report they received Thursday afternoon.

However as a precaution, police and school officials remind everyone engage in safe practices, including walking or biking in pairs and not talking to strangers. If you have any information about a vehicle matching this description in our school area, please contact the Police Department.

Revised school board policy to promote more parent involvement
Principal on Special Assignment Connie Taylor-Randall reported to school board members Tuesday night on progress witnessed this year with the district’s Title I program which provides for additional resources in America’s most impoverished schools.

Taylor-Randall, who oversees the district’s Federal Title I program, mentors new teachers and supports professional development efforts, recommended the district include the six national standards for parent involvement in School Board Policy 2108. Per Title I requirements, the district must have a board policy detailing the federal requirements for the Title I program — including parent involvement. Taylor-Randall says putting a greater emphasis on parent involvement in the policy will lead to improved academic achievement and support. The school board will consider the policy change recommendations in future meetings.

All students involved in the TRiO-ETS grant program to graduate
All seniors involved in the TRiO-ETS grant program will be graduating this Friday, according to Max Weber, TRiO-Educational Talent Search Advisor. This program helps eligible students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to realize their dream of a college education.
“This is one of the most outstanding TRiO-ETS classes in recent history,” Weber said. “I would like to thank all of the wonderful support of the administrators, teachers, and staff at the schools where TRiO-ETS is housed (Walla Walla High School, Garrison, Pioneer, Lincoln). The program could not continue to be this successful and continue to meet the federal grants guidelines without your support.”
TRiO-ETS grant program data

Total students enrolled: 71
Graduating seniors: 71
Attending college in the fall: 69
Attending four-year colleges: 23
Attending WWCC or another junior college: 46
Military: 2
Scholarship Money Earned (not grants or loans): $195,000+
Blue Mountain Scholarship Recipients: 29

The 2009-2010 school year will again see our grant meet the federal guidelines of..
- 90% graduation
- 95% apply to college
- 95% apply for financial aid
- 75% enroll in college

Homelink continues to serve needs
Tuesday night Berney Elementary Principal Donna Painter provided school board members an annual report of the Homelink program last night. Homelink serves 157 students and continues to meet the needs of home-school families.

Green Park PTA purchases instruments for school
This week Green Park Elementary received 11 marimbas recently purchased by the school’s PTA. These exciting new instruments will support the school’s music program.

“It took about three years to save enough money, but it was something the PTA felt would benefit every child in the school,” Green Park PTA President Mari Sanders said.

Blue Ridge to offer dual immersion program next year
Tuesday night Blue Ridge Elementary Principal Kim Doepker reported to school board members on end-of-the-year student achievement gains recorded since the school year began in August.

She said better use of data, instructional practices, professional development and working as a team have led to the significant improvements. Earlier this school year, Blue Ridge Elementary was placed the state’s list of low-achieving schools based on federal performance criteria linked to state assessment scores over the past three years. The list of lowest-achieving schools is connected to the Washington State Board of Education Accountability Framework which is designed to turn around persistently low performing schools.

Schools on the list of low-achieving schools have two options. Blue Ridge opted for Option 1, which includes volunteering to participate in a third-party Academic Performance Review and then have the local school board use the results to develop a Required Action Plan in collaboration with staff and the community to improve achievement.

Blue Ridge teachers Jeremy Hubbard and Tina Holbrook also presented to the school board on elements to be put in place next year as part of the school’s improvement plan. Changes for next year include, a dual language program beginning in kindergarten only and advancing one grade per year through 5th grade. Students in grades 3-5 will participate in “platooning” for subject-based instruction. Students in these grades will no longer have one teacher who teaches all academic subjects. Teachers will now work as a team in a “platooning” model. Students will have different teachers for math, science, writing/social studies. Each of the teachers will also teach reading. Students will rotate to the different classrooms for their instruction.

Doepker says they are committed to meeting the required academic gains per the low-achieving school criteria.

Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival features 29 local events
The Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival is coming up from June 3-18, 2010. The opening event was a workshop for students at Walla Walla High School Thursday morning, June 3. Members of the Icicle Creek Piano Trio will offer a violin, cello and piano clinic at Walla Walla High School. With 29 events over 16 days, it is the largest event on Walla Walla’s cultural calendar.

This year, 16 world-class musicians are coming from all over the United States for concerts set in wineries, schools, restaurants, parks and concert halls. For a complete listing of performances, a simple schedule, artist bios and tickets, please visit wwcmf.org.
The Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival is again offering half-price rush tickets for students at the “Festival Series” concerts.

These five concerts, held at Whitman College, Walla Walla University and Dayton’s Liberty Theater usually cost $20 for admission, but students can get in for $10 at the door. Student rush tickets go on sale 30 minutes before the concert.

Walla Walla High School music CDs available
A professional recording company recorded the final choral concert last week. The professionally produced CDs are available for sale at $16 each. Please contact Choral Director Norb Rossi to purchase a cd.
Norbert Rossi, Director of Choral Activities
Green Park student wins state award - Escribo en Español Contest “I write in Spanish”
Green Park second grader Nataya Lovejoy was awarded the third place prize in the Escribo En Español Contest “ I write in Spanish.” Every year the Center for Spanish Studies hosts this international contest which is open to academic institutions in the state of Washington. Nataya’s mother is Green Park preschool teacher Tensie Lovejoy.

Prizes and awards will be given out in a ceremony at the Capitol Building in Olympia. The ceremony, followed by a “reception”, will take place on June 5, 2010, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, in the State Reception Room, located on the 3rd floor of the Capitol with the assistance of the Lieutenant Governor, the Honorable Brad Owens, Superintendent of Public Education, Mr. Randy Dorn, and the Consul of Spain in Seattle, D. Luis Fernando Esteban, who will be responsible for presenting the awards.
Sharpstein students raise funds to promote peace
Sharpstein Elementary students recently raised $485 for the school’s “Pennies for Peace” project. Students Stella and Elise Gryler organized the successful penny drive.

Walla Walla High School Latino Club Elects New Officers
Walla Walla High School Latino Club recently elected new officers for the 2010-2011 school year.

The newly elected officers are:
President – Roger Contreras
Vice President – Bahia Parrish
Secretary – Grasiela Ocampo
Treasurer – Jahaira Chavez
Web Masters - Rubi Villegas
Alex Maya

The purpose of the Walla Walla Latino Club is:
- To promote the educational, cultural, and representation of the Latino Community at Walla Walla High School;
- To develop and implement activities to develop relationships and understanding of all students in the high school community;
- To mentor and provide information to increase the educational and career opportunities of Latino students;
- To provide opportunities for club members to serve Walla Walla through community service.

2009 Walla Walla High School graduate receives University of Idaho Valkyries Award
Former Walla Walla High School Latino Club member and 2009 graduate Lizbette Morin received the 2010 Student Achievement Valkyries Award by the Associated Students of the University of Idaho. This award is presented to outstanding freshmen who have demonstrated outstanding service, leadership, academic achievement, and who are committed to serving the university community.

Each year, ten University of Idaho freshman are presented with this award. Lizbette is working on a double major in Accounting and Business Management with a minor in French. Besides being a student at University of Idaho, she is the president of the Wallace residence hall complex, a community volunteer, and a member of the College Assistance Migrant Program Organization of Students (CAMPOS).

As a student at Walla Walla High School, Lizbette was active in the Walla Walla High School Latino Club, French Club, FBLA, and a member of National Honor Society. In her senior year, she was recognized by the Walla Walla Rotary Club for overcoming challenges in her life to succeed in her education. She also was a recipient of the Learning for Life “Young American” Award for academic achievement and community service.

“Truthfully, my involvement and choices I make as a student is not to be recognized as the best student,” Morin said. “I do what gives me satisfaction in life; getting good grades and doing things for the less fortunate makes me feel like a better person and I really don’t do it for the recognition. That is just the way I am as a person. I have the strong desire to succeed, not only my freshman year, but all of the years I spend at U of I.”

“Make a Splash” public library activities promote summer reading
This summer’s “MAKE A SPLASH – READ!” program at the City of Walla Walla Public Library encourages young people to read and visit the library this summer.
- Visit the library or sign up on-line at www.wallawallapubliclibrary.org
- Set a goal for the amount of time you will read
- Receive a booklog to keep track of reading time and a bookmark to keep your place!
- Get a halfway prize after 15 days of reading.
- Beginning July 26, everyone with at least 30 days of reading can visit the Library to choose a paperback book as their prize.
- Check out great books, laugh and learn at library events.
- All programs are free!

Many thanks to the following sponsors:
- All the wonderful volunteers
- Yancey P. Winans Testamentary Trust
- Target Foundation
- Blue Mountain Community Foundation
- AAUW Walla Walla Branch
- ArtWalla
- Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival
- Friends of the Library
- Columbia REA
- Walla Walla Altrusa
- Walla Walla Early Learning Coalition
- Walla Walla Farmers Market
- Hepler’s Big Cheese Pizza
- McDonald’s Restaurant

Retirement Celebrations 2009-2010 (remaining)
Lowell Schneider (Plant Facilities)
Date: June 8
Time: 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Location: District Office Board Room

Greg Reid (Garrison Middle School)
Date: Thursday, June 10
Time: 4 to 8 p.m.
Location: Red Monkey Downtown Lounge

District graduation ceremonies scheduled (remaining)
Walla Walla High School Commencement
Friday, June 4: 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Commons area

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

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

District teams with Walla Walla Sweets for “Last Day of School Summer Blowout at Borleske”
Date: Thursday, June 10
Time: 1:05 p.m. (first pitch)
Location: Borleske Field

Game Highlights:
- First pitch: Superintendent Rich Carter
- National anthem: Walla Walla High School Chamber Singers
- 7th inning stretch: Ron Higgins to sing “Take me out to the ball game”
- Discount tickets for staff and students - $3 (normally $7) or $6 for a ticket, hot dog and soda

How to get tickets:
Fill out order forms available at all schools and bring payment to the Sweets Office (109 E. Main St., Suite C - Downtown) before June 8. Tickets will not be available at the box office at this price, so get yours in advance today! Staff are asked to talk with their supervisors regarding being released to participate in this end-of-year celebration.

“BDAD” - Blue Devil Athletic Development summer program
The BDAD summer program is designed to help boys and girls in grades 6-12 improve their overall athletic ability for all sports!

Dates: June 29 to August 5 (Monday - Thursday)
Session 1 - 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. (Incoming 9th-12th grade students)
Session 2 - 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. (Incoming 6th-8th grade students)
Session 3 - 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. (Incoming 9th-12th grade students)

Instructors: Eric Hisaw & Amy Hisaw
Location: Wa-Hi Weight Rm & Gym
Cost: $30 pre-registered / $35 at door

Note: Students will need a medical release and a parent permission form, which they can get at the Wa-Hi Athletic Office any time or at the door. (PHYSICALS ARE NOT REQUIRED). Information: Contact Eric Hisaw at 527-3020 or by e-mail at: ehisaw@wwps.org

Summer Athletic camps scheduled
Blue Devil Football Spring camp
June 21-25
Various locations during the week (Hanford, Walla Walla, Pasco)
Visit the Walla Walla High School website for details (Athletics section)
For more information, contact Head Coach Mike Gobel at: mgobel@wwps.org

Blue Devil Volleyball summer camps
High School Camp
July 6-8
9 to 11 a.m. & 12:30 to 3 p.m.
Wa-Hi Gym
Middle School Camp
July 6 & 7
4 to 6 p.m.
Wa-Hi Gym
Summer open gym sessions: June 15 to July 29 (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m.)
For more information, contact Audra Cummings at 526-6962 or by email: acummings@wwps.org

Blue Devil Elementary Boys Basketball Camp
June 14-17
9 to 11 a.m. at the Wa-Hi Gym
Open to any boy that will be entering 3rd, 4th, or 5th grades next year
Cost is $50.
Registration forms at Cummins Athletic Supply or on the Wa-Hi athletic website at www.bluedevils.org

Blue Devil Middle School Boys Basketball Camp
June 21st-24th 9-11 a.m. at the Wa-Hi Gym
Open to any boy that will be entering 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th grades next year
Cost is $50

Registration forms at Cummins Athletic Supply or on the Wa-Hi athletic website at www.bluedevils.org
Both camps put on by Wa-Hi Boys Basketball players and coaches.
Email Head Coach John Golden at Jgolden@wwps.org for questions.

Blue Devil Girls Basketball
June 11-13: Summer Showdown Tournament at Whitman
June 14-17: Gonzaga Team Camp at Gonzaga University
June 18-19: Walla Walla Invitational Tournament at Wa-Hi
July 16-17: DeSales Tournament
These are for all high school girls interested in playing basketball. For more information contact Head Coach Jill Meliah at: jmeliah@wwps.org

Volunteers needed for Summer Musical
By Dennis Marr - I am looking for some fun folks to donate an hour or so of their time in exchange for free admission to see the Walla Walla Community College’s summer musical, Footloose! on the night you work. I have openings for ushers, ticket takers, t-shirt & program sellers and special event helpers prior to the performances. The dates are July 8th,9th,10th, 15th, 16th,17th, 18th, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th.

You will see familiar faces such as Ron “Cowboy Bob” Higgins, Willa “Ariel” Schober, Preston “Ren” Loomer, Peter “Willard” Anderson and lots more of our local talent. Interested? Please email me at denise.marr@WWCC.edu or give me a call at 527-4275.