Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - December 17, 2010

In this Issue:

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Walla Walla Public Schools Winter Break Schedule
- December 20 to January 2
- Classes resume Monday, January 3
- Have a safe and happy holiday break

District Office Winter Break Schedule
- Monday, Dec. 20: 8 a.m. to 12 noon - 1 to 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Dec. 21: 8 a.m. to 12 noon - 1 to 5 p.m.
- Wednesday, Dec. 22: 8 a.m. to 12 noon - 1 to 5 p.m.
- Thursday, Dec. 23 & Friday, Dec. 24: Closed

- Monday, Dec. 27: 8 a.m. to 12 noon - 1 to 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Dec. 28: 8 a.m. to 12 noon - 1 to 5 p.m.
- Wednesday, Dec. 29: 8 a.m. to 12 noon - 1 to 5 p.m.
- Thursday, Dec. 30 & Friday, Dec. 31: Closed

- Classes resume Monday, January 3 (district office normal hours return)

District to interview three architects to study high school improvement options
School board members and Superintendent Mick Miller screened architect proposals Tuesday, Dec. 14 during the special public school board work session. The district seeks to hire an architectural firm with experience working on school projects. The architectural firm will help the district advance its facilities planning process. Six firms were reviewed Tuesday, Dec. 14 before being narrowed down to three.

Architectural firms BLRB/USKH (Tacoma/Walla Walla), Architects West (Coeur d’ Alene) and NAC Architecture (Spokane) will be formally interviewed to determine the best fit for Walla Walla Public Schools.

“These interviews will be extensive,” Miller said. “I’ve been part of two major renovation projects so it’s exciting to be talking about doing a third at some point.”

Interviews will take place in January. The school board hopes to make a final decision during its January 18 meeting.

Superintendent Miller to discuss facilities needs through “Educate, Listen and Plan” effort
Superintendent Mick Miller recently detailed to school board members his “Educate, Listen and Plan” facilities improvement effort he intends to carry out over the next two months.

Per this plan, Miller will be educating staff, students and community members on past district facilities studies. He will be listening to their thoughts and ideas on these issues and will then be working in collaboration to develop facility improvement plans based on this process.

With the completion of a new Edison Elementary, Support Services Facility and Transportation Cooperative, recent studies have placed Walla Walla High School and Lincoln Alternative High School at the top of the district’s facilities improvement priorities.

Miller plans to visit each school in January and again in February to talk about district facility needs. He also plans to conduct a community meeting in January, meet with several focus groups, talk with student groups and conduct a survey. He also intends to meet with the Walla Walla Union Bulletin Editorial board next month to discuss the “Educate, Listen and Plan” process.

Miller says it is vital to get the right plan in place before taking anything to the voters. Miller says good plans begin with a lot of listening.

School board officers elected
Tuesday December 14 Dr. Jim Lehmann was elected president of the school board and Max Carrera vice president. They will hold these positions for one year. Lehmann, a long-time College Place Public Schools teacher, is now an online instructor for the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Carrera works for the Department of Corrections.

School Board Meetings: January - July 2011
(approved 12/14/10)

Meeting times noted below, unless changed by the school board. Additional meetings may be scheduled as necessary.

Tuesday, January 18 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 1 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 15 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 1 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 19 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 3 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 17 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 7 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 21 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 19 4:00 p.m.

Visit the district web site for more information on the Schools Board: Web Site: www.wwps.org

Personnel Report (from Dec. 14, 2010 school board meeting)
Michelle Gwinn, Para-Educator (temp), Blue Ridge
Sandy Leos, Head Start/ECEAP Para-Educator, Green Park
Monique Morris, Para-Educator, Sharpstein
Sonia Soto, Para-Educator (temp.), Sharpstein
Mickey Weber, Para-Educator, Sharpstein

Kit Chryst, Title One, Edison, 32 years
(effective at the end of the 2010-2011 school year)

Jennifer Avina, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge, 1.5 years
Michele Larson, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, 1.5 years

Leave of Absence
William Heiser, Trades Assistant, Facilities and Operations, 20 years

Staff Transfer
Mireya Vargas transferred to Walla Walla High School from her position as Assistant Secretary at Sharpstein. She is the new Bilingual Intervention Specialist at Walla Walla High School.

Alumni video series praises district educators
During the Tuesday, December 14 school board meeting district Communications Director Mark Higgins reported on a video project the district is working on to highlight graduates. The “Alumni Connections” series provides a venue for graduates to reflect on how teachers and staff have had a positive impact on their lives.

The short, three to four minute features will be posted on the district’s web site, aired on Charter Cable Channel 3, used for teacher recruitment, community presentations and new family communications packets. Links will also be sent out to staff and community members once the video features are posted on the district web site.

2010-11 “Alumni Connections” featured graduates
- Craig Sievertsen (final production December 2010)
- Veronica Esparza (final production January 2011)
- Lindsey Mahan (final production January 2011)
- Abby Van Donge (final production January 2011)
- Megan Clubb (final production February 2011)
- Gary Hanson (final production March 2011)

Washington Education Association health management reward offers district staff YMCA memberships
Walla Walla Public Schools was a recipient of the Washington Education Association (WEA) Select Health Management Program 2010 Group Reward for strong member participation in the Healthy Management Program assessment. As a result, the Walla Walla Valley Education Association received a check for $2500.

The funds were used to further promote a healthy lifestyle by purchasing five, one-year basic adult membership to the YMCA. District WWVEA members submitted their names for consideration of the membership. Thursday afternoon the five winning names were drawn by WWVEA President Richelle Palmer.

Congratulations to the winners of the five, free one-year memberships to the YMCA:
- Brenda Prins, Prospect Point Elementary
- Cindy Palmer, Homelink
- Carl Robanske, Garrison Middle School
- Marit Nierman, Garrison Middle School
- Grace Ogoshi, Garrison Middle School

The Moms’ Network teams with Walla Walla Public Library for holiday reading sessions
The Moms’ Network Reading Room is Saturday December 18 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Walla Walla Public Library. Come enjoy books, reading, hot chocolate, courtesy of Starbucks and holiday treats. There will also be a special guest during the event, Santa Sweet Lou from the Walla Walla Sweets baseball team.

This is a great opportunity to slow down during the holidays, read to your child and hear holiday stories. Every child will also receive a free book courtesy of The Moms’ Network and the Library.

Edison Elementary math night a hit
Last week Edison Elementary School had its first Math Night sponsored by Title 1. Families played math games in classrooms after eating 104 pizzas from Big Cheese Pizza. Students also took games home to play. Comments from staff and families say that math night was a big hit!

Walla Walla High School and Lincoln High School perform strong at regional debate - By Coach Jean Tobin
Walla Walla High School and Lincoln High School participated in another District Debate Tournament last weekend (December 11th) and once again took home the 1st place trophy for accumulating the most sweepstakes points! The tournament took place at Chiawana High School and all schools in the 5/6 District (Moses Lake, Wenatchee, Cascade, Ephrata, Othello, Pasco, Chiawana, Eisenhower and Walla Walla/Lincoln) attended.

Many of the students attending the tournament received trophies in Individual Events including:
(Competing in Open division – the top division)
- Hope Grant-Herriot: 1st place Expository Speaking, 1st place Interpretive Reading
- Rosa Tobin: 2nd place Extemporaneous Speaking, 2nd place Editorial Commentary
- Carrie Moore: 3rd place Expository Speaking
- Machado Mijiga: 1st place Impromptu Speaking
- Carrie Moore & Marisol Beck: 3rd place Dual Interpretation
- Kera Parsons: 3rd place Interpretive Reading

Competing in the Novice Division:
- Koby Humbert, 2nd place Extemporaneous Speaking
- Kimberly McLaughlin: 1st place Expository Speaking, 1st place Oratory
- Reyn Hodgson (Lincoln): 2nd place Dramatic Interpretation
- Kendall Dunovant: 3rd place Impromptu Speaking

In Debate we struggled a little more this tournament; however some students still had a strong performance:

Competing in Lincoln-Douglas, Open Division, Calvin Brigham took 1st Place

Competing in Lincoln-Douglas, Novice Division, we closed out the top two positions, with Konor Clark taking 1st place and Kendall Dunovant 2nd place.

Competing in Congressional Debate, Kimberly McLaughlin, in her first tournament competing in this form of debate, took 1st place in Novice division.

“I’m really proud of our new students and how they have risen to the challenge after just a few tournaments this year. Konor and Kendall have both done well at every tournament they have attended and just continue to become stronger debaters. Rehn Hodgson continually demonstrates his strength as a competitor. And Kimberly McLaughlin competed in 4 events this tournament and placed 1st in three! Additionally, I appreciate how some of our students are willing to challenge themselves, trying more events and harder events.

Rosa Tobin and Koby Humbert are both competing this year in Extemporaneous speaking, an intimidating event which requires students to be well versed on current events from around the world and speak on these events referencing a variety of sources. Also, Carrie Moore and Marisol Beck have been competing in debate, which involves extensive researching and writing, and additionally chose to compete in two events (dual interpretation and expository) which require memorized speeches of 10 and 8 minutes respectively. Hope Grant-Herriot has been a true leader and took the initiative to help our team learn to compete in Congressional Debate. She has earned top scores at every tournament she has competed in, in both individual events and debate.”

Our next tournament is in Spokane, Washington at Gonzaga University the first week of January. We will be researching new topics over the winter break.

Community input sought for Children’s Museum survey
Community survey to Children’s Museum of the Children’s Museum of Walla Walla needs your help. Like many non-profits, this organization is currently struggling, and is in the process of conducting a community survey to help shape its future.

“We would like to get as many survey participants as possible so that we have truly meaningful data,” said Damien Sinnott, President of the Children’s Museum of Walla Walla. “The community survey will help us determine whether it is providing a necessary and wanted service for families in the Walla Walla Valley.”

Here is a link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CMWW

Classroom Close-Up features Walla Walla High School physical education teacher
This week Walla Walla High School Physical Education Teacher Marc Yonts 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 Yonts is now playing on regional stations.