Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - September 3, 2010

In this Issue:

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No School Monday, September 6 - Labor Day Holiday
Classes resume Tuesday, September 7. No school days and other calendar information is available on the district’s web site at: www.wwps.org
School Board meeting Tuesday, September 7
- Meeting date: Tuesday, September 7
- Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Location: 364 S. Park St. (District School Board Room)
- Meeting open to public

State test results a mixed bag for Spring 2010
Walla Walla High School test results above state average in three out of four areas

State testing scores from spring 2010 were mixed when compared to spring 2009, State Superintendent Randy Dorn said today at a news conference to announce results from the first year of the grades 3-8 Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) and the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE).

Dorn said he expected mixed results with the introduction of new state tests and online testing. However, he said the results also reflect two straight years of cuts to the K-12 education budget as many crucial services, such as after-school and summer-school programs intended to assist the most challenging students, have been cut or eliminated.

For Walla Walla Public Schools, the spring 2010 results mirrored the state’s trend of some improvements and some declines. Reading remains the district’s strongest subject, with 10th grade results consistently exceeding the state average. The district is above the state average in writing and science in middle school and high school and finished below the state average in math at all grade levels. For a complete listing of all state test results, visit: http://www.k12.wa.us/

Walla Walla Public Schools remains in Step Two of District Improvement in relation to Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements, which is based on achievement marks in reading and math for students in grades 3-10. Walla Walla Public Schools has developed a districtwide improvement plan per AYP mandates.

“I would like to thank the students and staff in our district for their efforts in completing and administering these assessments last spring,” Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Mick Miller said. “Our results are mixed.  There are areas where our students performed very well and there are other areas where we have work to do.”

Miller says the state’s testing program is just one of several measurements educators and the district uses to evaluate student achievement gains. 

“In our district we have a number of assessments that chronicle student growth,” Miller said “Unlike the MSP/HSPE, these assessments are less formal and we receive results much more quickly and those results are used to tailor instruction to meet student needs.” 

Miller said improved instructional strategies, aligned curriculum, professional collaboration and an experienced staff put Walla Walla Public Schools in a favorable position for making the necessary academic gains.

“As a system, we are committed to improving student learning,” Miller said.” One important measure is MSP/HSPE testing and we are committed to raising our scores.  Yet there are other measures as well and we will look forward to sharing those results in the future.”

Pioneer Middle School students hit by car Thursday morning
Two Pioneer Middle School students were hit by a car Thursday in a crosswalk near Tausick Way and Alder Street at approximately 7:20 a.m. while walking to meet their school bus. The students were transported to Providence St. Mary Medical Center where they were treated and released.

Superintendent Mick Miller accompanied the students to the hospital and met with family members as the students were being treated. Miller said the students had minor bumps and bruises and no serious injuries. Miller says we can all learn from this accident which could have been much more serious.

“We need to be extra cautious when driving near schools, especially in the hours before and after school,” Miller said. “This accident could have easily resulted in tragedy. This time of the year the sun is very low in the sky as children are walking to school making visibility poor. We need to slow down, use extreme caution and observe posted speed limits to ensure the safety of our students.”

Miller is also asking staff and parents to remind students to be cautious when walking to and from school to help in the prevention of accidents.

Meet new Superintendent Mick Miller at the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days tonight
New Superintendent Mick Miller will be at the school district information booth at the Walla Walla Fair and Frontiers Day Education Building tonight (Friday, Sept. 3) from 5 to 7 p.m.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet the district’s new superintendent and let him hear your priorities for a quality school district. Mick Miller is excited to meet staff, parents, students and community members. Please join us in welcoming Mick Miller to Walla Walla. The Education Building will be open throughout the fair and will feature student work.

District orchestra program plans beginning strings meeting September 9
Who: All Beginning Strings students and parents
What: Beginning Strings meeting
Where: Pioneer Middle School, 450 Bridge St., B-25 (Band Room)
When: Thursday, September 9 - 7:00 p.m.
Why: To discuss orchestra “policies & procedures”, get information about instruments, and meet Orchestra Teacher Woods. If you can’t attend, but are interested, please call/e-mail Ms. Woods at 526-8616 (Wa-Hi Music) or e-mail jwoods@wwps.org

The Picture Lady program plans annual volunteer workshop
- The Picture Lady annual workshops to become a Volunteer Presenter
- Wednesday, Sept. 8 (evening session)
- Thursday, Sept. 9 (morning session)
- Information: picturelady@carnegieart.com

KNDU TV (NBC) and Wal-Mart join forces to donate school supplies
Thursday afternoon Superintendent Mick Miller and College Place Superintendent Tim Payne accepted $1700 in school supplies from the College Place Wal-Mart as part of the KNDU TV ‘s annual school supplies drive in coordination with Wal-Mart. The items will be divided between the two school districts and distributed to students in need. Superintendent Miller said these school supplies will make a difference for families in the Walla Walla Valley..

“We want to thank KNDU TV and Wal-Mart for this generous donation,” Miller said. “We know the recession is impacting many of our families and these donated school supplies will provide some relief. Again, we just want to thank everyone who donated supplies and helped organize this amazing project.”

Student registrations now accepted for Walla Walla High School’s Big Blue Weekend
Adult volunteers, donations and sponsorships needed to support event

Big Blue Weekend Program Chairs: Walla Walla High School teachers Kris Duncan & Carina Stillman
Event dates: October 1-3
Location: Washington Family Ranch - Antelope, OR
Student participation: 300 students
Cost: $75 (transportation, room and board and sweat shirt – NOTE: no district funds used for this event)

What is Big Blue Weekend?
Big Blue Weekend is a school-wide retreat aimed at building positive relationships between students and with staff members. Intentionally designed activities allow students to step outside of their comfort zones, break down social barriers, and develop skills they can integrate into their lives.

Who can attend?
All Wa-Hi students are invited to attend Big Blue Weekend, with priority registration given to freshmen and sophomores.

What happens during the weekend?
- Large group activities meant to break down social barriers.
- General sessions with speakers on relational skills.
- Small group discussions and team-building activities led by student leaders and Wa-Hi staff.
- Free-time activities that allow students to take calculated risks and gain confidence by stepping out of their comfort zone, such as: Rock-Climbing, Gym with Basketball/Volleyball Courts, Weight Room, and Pool Tables, Indoor Skate Park, Three-Person Swing, Frisbee Golf, Soccer Field
- Dorm-style housing with adult chaperones in every room.
- High-quality, family style meals prepared by property staff and served by volunteers from the Walla Walla community.

How are the costs of Big Blue Weekend paid?
Big Blue Weekend is covered completely by student registrations ($75 each), ASB fund-raising, community donations, and grants. No part of the weekend is paid by building or district funds.

Where is it held?
Big Blue Weekend is held at Washington Family Ranch, a first class facility in central Oregon, where students have access to a wide variety of free-time activities not offered by any other retreat location in our region. The resort-like atmosphere and facility promote excellence in all activities, and property staff provide meals, house-keeping services, and program support. WFR has the capacity to serve several hundred people at a time, allowing more students and staff to participate.

How can I get involved?
You can attend the weekend as a chaperone who stays in a cabin and participates with a small group of students, or you can volunteer to join the work crew which prepares and serves meals all weekend. You can also donate money to cover a portion of one student’s registration fee, in order to provide scholarships to students who need financial help.

For more information about this event:
Carina Stillman

Kris Duncan

YMCA starts new afterschool program

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3:00 – 5:15
Wednesday from 2:30 – 5:00
Registration Fee: $20
Cost: $8 per day

There are 10 spots available in the Y van for transportation from Prospect Point and Blue Ridge for a total of 20 kids. There is no additional charge for transportation.

Participants will have an opportunity to enjoy the following activities in a fun and safe environment:
- multiplayer Dance Dance Revolution along with a 16 player Wii cube
- use of the climbing wall
- after school tutoring and mentoring
- music appreciation – children will be exposed to various types of music, and learn the many cultures that inspired the creation
- children will have the opportunity to learn and enjoy outdoor recreation activities and possibly enjoy a day trip
- computer literacy and training will be available
- art appreciation will be available to children
- open gym and organized activities such as: 3 on 3 basketball, pickle ball, volleyball, dodge ball, racquetball, indoor soccer, and more
- outdoor recreation activities will be offered to children as well
- children will be able to sign up for swim lessons on Wednesday
- snacks will be provided

The goal of this after school program is to give all children an opportunity to enrich their lives. The YMCA believes the community is talented and diverse in their talents.

“We have an opportunity to draw from those talents and share them with the community’s youth,” Youth Development Director Alyssa Latham said. “We would like to provide a variety of enrichment activities, in which there is something for everyone.”

Alyssa Latham
Youth Development Director
Walla Walla YMCA
340 S. Park St.

School board meetings to start at 6:30 p.m.
School board meetings will start at 6:30 p.m. beginning in October. Superintendent Mick Miller recommended starting the meetings one hour earlier to better meet the needs of staff, parents and students.

He said this change will allow parents and staff to be home earlier to get their children ready for bed or to complete their studies.

Walla Walla Public Schools special guests for WSU Cougars vs. USC Trojans football game
Take advantage of significantly discounted tickets for the WSU Cougars vs. USC Trojans football game Saturday, Sept. 25 at 12 p.m. (noon) at Martin Stadium in Pullman by participating in the Walla Walla Public Schools football group outing.

Through this special group offer, staff members, family, friends, parents and students can purchase sideline seats for $25 (regular price $50) or end zone seats for $15 (regular price $35). One person will be randomly selected to win two field passes for the game through the Walla Walla Public Schools group offer.

Here is how to get your tickets:
1. Click on www.wsucougars.com
2. Click on the tickets tab (select group ticket window)
3. Go to login screen
4. Sign-in ID: WWPS
5. Password: COUGS
6. Purchase your tickets!

The group ticket window expires Sunday, Sept. 12 at midnight. For more information:
Adam Ganders
Assistant Ticket Office Manager
Washington State University
509.335.0215 (Phone)
509.335.8585 (Fax)

Blue Devil football kicks off tonight at Hermiston - Radio coverage: KTEL 1490 AM
Walla Walla High School football kicks off tonight (Sept. 3) at 7 p.m. with a non-conference match-up at Hermiston.

Don’t miss an exciting down of Blue Devil football this season on KTEL 1490 AM. Wa-Hi teacher Scott Reardon will be calling all the play-by-play action. Tune to 1490 AM for all the Blue Devil football games.

Preschool program needs used children’s books
In an effort to increase literacy skills and help the district’s youngest learners develop a love for reading, the Head Start/ECEAP program is seeking gently used children’s books for its school-to-home book check out program. If you are interested in donating used children’s books for this worthwhile cause, please drop them off at Blue Ridge Elementary School. Contact Preschool Director Kerri Coffman for additional information: kcoffman@wwps.org.

The Picture Lady Program is soliciting art materials for Creative Reuse
The Picture Lady Program is looking for “art-worthy” material for creative re-use in hands-on art lessons. The program services 3,050 kids in the Walla Walla and College Place elementary school community. The program is funded by the Carnegie Art Center. Community support helps achieve their goal: Every child, Every class.

“Art-Worthy” Material List:
Art Books - Art Educational games - Brushes - Buttons - Cameras - Canvas - Ceramic Tiles - CD cases - Chalk - Colored Paper - Coloring Books - Corks - Craft Supplies - Crayons - Egg Cartons - Fabric samples - Fabric yardage - Feathers - File Folders - Film canisters - Fimo - Foam Core - Frames - Glitter - Glue - Hobby Supplies - hole punchers - Instruments - Jewelry making supplies - Knitting/crochet Needles - labels - Lace - Leather - Mailing Tubes - Magazines (limited) - Magnets - Maps - Marbles - Matt board - Notebooks - Paints (watercolor, acrylic, poster, gouache, or tempera) with labels - Paper of all types - -Pens/Pencils - Pins/Needles - Photographs - Plexiglas - Popsicle sticks - Printing Supplies (blocks, brayers, water soluble ink, ect) - Scissors - Posters - Ribbon - Rubber bands - Rubber stamps - Rulers -Screen-printing supplies - Sewing Notions - Stamps - Stamp Pads - Staplers - String - Stuffing - Tape - Teaching materials - Test Tubes and Lab Gear - Trimmings - Yarn - Wallpaper - Wire - Wood rounds & dowels - Zippers

Where to bring your donations:
1. A Picture Lady Program Drop Box will be available at the Education Pavilion -- Walla Walla County Fair & Frontier Days, Sept 1-5, 2010

2. Main Drop Off Box: The Picture Lady is located in the upstairs offices at the Walla Walla Post Office (Main & Sumach). A drop box is located on the upstairs landing at Walla Walla Post Office. In order to maintain quality and integrity of mission, please consider the list of needed materials. If you have questions or alternative items, please contact.

Denise Slattery
Materials Coordinator
Picture Lady Program