District extends spring Parent/Teacher/Student conference schedule to allow professional development
The Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors voted unanimously Tuesday night to change the 2010-2011 school year calendar by extending spring Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences to include Wednesday, March 9 as a no school day. (See revised conference schedule below.)
The calendar change will allow district staff to participate in a morning workshop March 9 with Dr. John Medina, a brain research and child development expert. Dr. Medina is an award winning author and trainer, providing the latest research in understanding how the brain functions. His research focuses on methodologies for teaching children in response to what we know about optimal brain function. He offers transformative strategies that can influence daily life for adults and children.
March 7-11, 2011 Parent/Teacher/Student Conference Calendar Schedule
• Monday, March 7 (school in session)
• Tuesday, March 8 (school in session)
• Wednesday, March 9 ( NO SCHOOL) *this represents the change to the previously adopted calendar
• Thursday, March 10 (NO SCHOOL)
• Friday, March 11 (NO SCHOOL)
NOTE: Check with your child’s school for specific conference times and dates
Kindergarten and Open Enrollment Registration dates set for 2011-12 School Year
Walla Walla Public Schools Kindergarten and Fall Registration period is Monday, March 21 to Friday, April 1, 2011.
Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school. Parents wishing to pick up the kindergarten registration information may do so at their child’s school beginning March 14. However, the completed registration forms will not be accepted until March 21.
New Student Registration Hours:
Monday, March 21 - 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
March 22 - April 1 - 8 a.m. to 3:30 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 school hours beginning Monday, March 14; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, March 21.
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.
Gobel steps down as Walla Walla High School head football coach
Walla Walla High School Head Football Coach Mike Gobel recently announced he has made the decision to not continue on as Blue Devil head coach. Gobel says he will continue coaching within the program and stay on as a math teacher at Walla Walla High School.
The Walla Walla High School Head Football Coach job announcement is now posted on the district web site at www.wwps.org and will remain open until filled. All questions about the head football coach qualifications should be directed to Walla Walla High School Athletic Director Don Wilkins at: 509.527.3020 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions regarding the application process should be directed to Assistant Superintendent Laure Quaresma at: 509.526.6711 or by email: email@example.com.
Personnel Report (from 1/18/11 school board meeting)
Pamela Dressler, Occupational Therapist (temp.), Special Programs
Alejandro Anaya, Custodian, Walla Walla High School
Matt Casey, Bus Driver, Transportation
Rogelio Jara, Bus Driver, Transportation
Robb Lincoln, Bus Driver, Transportation
Kent Mayberry, Bus Driver, Transportation
Mark Mebes, JROTC Junior Army Instruction, Wa-Hi
Justine Taylor, Special Education, Berney, 34 years
(effective at the end of the 2010-2011 school year)
Karina Morin transferred in December to Sharpstein Elementary from Edison Elementary. Karina was a para-educator at Edison and is now Assistant Secretary at Sharpstein.
Linda Boggs to attend AVID District Director Conference in Phoenix, AZ (Funding: CIA Travel)
Kirk Jameson to attend rifle team competition at Fort Clinton, OH (Funding: Principal Travel)
||January is School Board Appreciation Month
District students and staff showered school board members with tokens of appreciation Tuesday night in support of school board appreciation month. Posters, flowers, photos and even a video featuring Prospect Point students were on display at the January 18 school board meeting.
Superintendent Mick Miller officially presented each board members with a certificate of appreciation and personally thanked them for their service and dedication to children.
Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Task Force honors efforts to improve safety
Thursday To and From - The Safe Travels Alliance co-chairs Katie Christianson and Kathryn Southwick Hess received Good Samaritan awards at the 11th Annual Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Task Force Awards and Recognition Luncheon. Christianson and Southwick Hess organized the To and From - The Safe Travels Alliance to find immediate, mid-range and long-range solutions for the education, enforcement and safety infrastructure as it relates to traveling to and from school.
Thanks to Southwick Hess and Christianson’s efforts, Washington Traffic Safety Commission school zone safety curriculum is now in use at all schools. Southwick-Hess is working with area hospitals to include school zone safety information with newborn information packets. Christianson is collaborating with the City of Walla Walla to apply for state grant funding for flashing school zone speed limit signs for Berney and Blue Ridge Elementary Schools. To and From - The Safe Travels Alliance is also working on efforts to increase awareness and training of safe walking and biking practices with parents, staff and students.
Communications Director Mark Higgins received the Educational Outreach award for his support of To and From - The Safe Travels Alliance. Higgins says Christianson and Southwick Hess have brought a level of interest to this issue which has motivated everyone in the district to take on additional responsibilities to enhance safety. He said they have transformed their thoughts and ideas to positive action. Special thanks to Task Force Coordinator Nancy McClenny-Walters and Task Force Chair Sgt. Todd Smith for organizing the luncheon. For more information on the Task Force, visit: http://www.co.walla-walla.wa.us/departments/hrs/TrafficSafety.shtml
Pacific Power awards Edison for energy savings
Pacific Power Regional Manager Bill Clemens presented the school district with two Certificates of Energy Resource Stewardship awards at the January 18 school board meeting in recognition of the school district’s installation of energy efficiency improvements at Edison Elementary. Clemens said the district will save more than $40,000 annually as a result.
The school district will be saving over 110,000 kilowatt hours annually. Pacific Power provided $20,151 in incentives to help with the installation of the energy efficiency improvements.
“The Certificate of Energy Resource Stewardship recognizes organizations that show a commitment to energy efficiency and the sustainability of resources,” said Clemens. “These kind of investments will pay dividends to the school district for many years.”
||Blue Ridge strategies enhance student achievement
Blue Ridge Elementary Principal Kim Doepker, Math Coach Jeremy Hubbard and Afterschool Program Coordinator Ruben Hernandez provided a update to the school board January 18 on teaching and learning strategies in place to improve student achievement. This year Blue Ridge has developed a “Platooning” model which has 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students rotating to different classrooms for core content instruction.
Doepker says this model allows teachers to broaden their subject knowledge and take the necessary time to expose the students to more materials. She said staff, student and parent feedback has been amazingly positive. Blue Ridge also has a successful afterschool program focused on helping second language learners improve their math skills.
Walla Walla Heat 6th grade basketball team wins championship at Seattle Tournament
The Walla Walla Heat 6th Grade Boys Basketball team won the championship in the Silver Division in the Washington Youth Sports Martin Luther King Basketball Tournament in Seattle last week weekend. The Walla Walla Heat defeated teams from Seattle, Redmond and Mercer Island to take the title.
Click on this web link to see the team photo and additional information: http://www.wayouthsports.com/schedule.htm
Pictured in the web site:
Front row left to right
- Mitchell Lesmeister (Meadowbrook)
- Jacob Needham (Garrison)
- Dexter Aichele (Meadowbrook)
- Devon Oliver (Garrison)
Back Row L to R:
- Coach Jr. Olivares
- Jordan Olivares (Garrison)
- Pat Kelly (Assumption)
- Grayson Gillin (Garrison)
- Justin Olivares (Garrison)
- Coach Mike Needham.
Jordan Olivares was voted MVP in the 6th Grade Silver Division. The team this year has won the following tournaments:
- 1st Annual Bomber Bash in Richland
- Autumn Kick Off in Hermiston
- The Turkey Shoot at the Spokane Warehouse Athletic Facility
- Hanford Holiday Hoopfest
- Washington Youth Sports Martin Luther King Basketball Tournament in Seattle
This weekend the team will be participating in the Snake River Shootout at Lewis & Clark State College in Lewiston and next month in Portland and Spokane. The Walla Walla Heat have played teams from all across the region including: Yakima, Tri Cities, Pendleton, Hermiston, Pullman, Spokane, Idaho, Seattle and Canada.
Walla Walla teachers earn National Board Teaching Certificates
Congratulations to the following teachers for earning their National Board Teaching Certificates:
- Colleen Chamberlain: Green Park Elementary 3rd Grade Teacher
- Lynn Junke: Pioneer Middle School Language Arts Teacher
- Scott Reardon: Walla Walla High School Business and Occupational Education Teacher
These outstanding teachers join the nearly 40 educators in our district who have also earned this prestigious distinction. Thanks also to Julie Cox (Wa-Hi), Elissa Stites (Green Park) and Gayle See (Wa-Hi) for serving as mentors to these teachers during this challenging process.
||Blue Devil Youth Dance Camp Saturday
- Kindergarten through 6th grade students invited to participate
- Saturday, January 22
- 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Registration begins at 11 a.m.)
- Walla Walla High School Small Gym
- Cost: $25 (price includes a t-shirt) and free game pass
Parents and family members are invited to watch their child perform during halftime of the boys varsity basketball game later that night at 7:30 p.m.. Dancers get in FREE, parents get in at regular price. For more information contact coach Abby Muro at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Walla Walla High School cadets win big at Oregon Drill and Marksmanship Meet
Cadets from the Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devil” Cadet Battalion traveled to Prineville, OR to compete at the Crook County High School Marksmanship and Drill meet last weekend and brought home the hardware for their efforts.
Cadets from the Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps took several top honors in individual and team categories. More than 350 Cadets on drill and marksmanship teams from a dozen regional schools competed.
“Our cadets worked hard and competed well and earned trophies, medals and ribbons for their efforts,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, who coaches the Walla Walla drill teams and serves as Senior Army Instructor for the Wa-Hi JROTC program. “Among the many categories where our students excelled, for example, Cadet 1st Sgt. Kevin Brown came home with 4th place for his performance in the individual armed exhibition drill.”
Cadet Lt. Col. Robyn Paul, a senior and Blue Devil Cadet Battalion Commander, listed the honors her fellow cadets earned at the event: “Our Armed Drill Team took 3rd place and Cadet Capt. Kaylee Bialozor took 4th place for Armed Drill Team Commander. Our Unarmed Drill Team (Sponsors) took 5th place and Cadet Capt. Delacey Heater took 6th place for Unarmed Drill Team Commander.”
The Blue Devil Marksmanship Team fired outstanding individual and team scores, too, according to their coach.
“Our Precision Team took 1st place and swept the top three individual spots. Cadet Kyle Jameson won first place, Cadet Capt. (and Rifle Team captain) Katie Chavre took 2nd, and Cadet 1st Lt. Wyatt Wilks took 3rd ,” said shooting team coach, retired Army Master Sgt. Gerry Taylor. Sporter Team #2 brought home 2nd place. The Sporter Team won honors at several levels also, “Cadet 1st Lt. Skyler Carpenter took 1st, Cadet 2nd Lt. Rishi Patel won 2nd place, Cadet 1st Lt. Shane Perkins took 3rd place, and Cadet Hailee Fenton won 5th place.”
JROTC Cadets learn leadership skills, military history, precision drill and ceremonies, and marksmanship. The Wa-Hi “Blue Devil” Cadet Battalion competes in drill and ceremony and marksmanship events around the region.
Dorn Testifies on Early Learning Progress
OLYMPIA — The Legislature should increase funding for all-day kindergarten – or at least maintain its existing funding, State Superintendent Randy Dorn said this week. Dorn made those remarks while on a panel for the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, testifying with Department of Early Learning Director Bette Hyde and Thrive By Five Washington President and CEO Nina Auerbach.
Much of the testimony concerned the Early Learning Plan, a joint project by the three organizations that lays out a 10-year, coordinated roadmap for early learning. The plan maps out what should be done and when it should be done, as well as how success will be measured. Dorn talked specifically about the implementation of full-day kindergarten. Currently, about one in five students are enrolled in state-funded, all-day kindergarten.
“We know that investing in early learning is a great investment – as much as seven or eight dollars to every one that’s spent,” Dorn said. “Full-day kindergarten gives young children – especially poor children – time to learn the foundational skills and knowledge they’ll need to be successful students later.”
For more information, visit the OSPI Web site at http://www.k12.wa.us.
||First Aid for Children class offered through American Red Cross
- F.A.C.T. Class
- For: K-3rd Grade Children
- When: Every Sunday, from February 27th through April 3rd
- Time: 2-4 p.m. (Parents don’t have to stay)
- Where: Blue Mountain Red Cross (Alder & Palouse Streets)
- Cost (for 6 courses): Public—$12 per child
*Children will receive a certificate at end of course.
*Register by contacting Red Cross by phone, e-mail, or internet (http://www.bmcredcross.org/)
*For questions contact Mari at Red Cross: email@example.com
Big Cheese Pizza supports Gear Up Extended School program
Thanks to Hepler’s Big Cheese Pizza for donating pizzas to the Gear Up Extended School program for freshmen and sophomores who need additional support in school. One medium pizza is donated to a student through a lottery system for students who come to class, do their homework and demonstrate a good work ethic in class.
“It helps improve the program by motivating the kids attendance and work ethic,” says teacher Jason Postlewait. “The kids really look forward to the drawing and work hard during the week to get the ticket so they have a better chance of winning the pizza. These students have a ton of potential and some of them just need that extra something to help motivate them to make a significant change at school. We are very fortunate to have great community partners like the Hepler family at Big Cheese Pizza who strive everyday to make a difference in their community and in these student’s lives.”
||Walla Walla -Columbia Retired School Employees Association has scholarships available
Two $1,000 scholarships are available.
1. Graduate of high school in Walla Walla or Columbia County
2. Student teach between September 2011 and June 2012.
Contact person: Mardel Bierwagen @ 525-6117 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications are due: April 1, 2011
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers honors student-athletes for excellence
Congratulations to Senior Sydney Christensen and Junior J.P. Wolpert for receiving the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Big Nine female and male athlete award for the winter sports season.
These two outstanding Wa-Hi student-athletes are being recognized for their accomplishments in and out of the athletic arena,” said District Athletic Director Don Wilkins.
Each season the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers honor a male and female athlete from each of the BIG 9 schools as athlete of the season. The selected athletes have demonstrated outstanding work ethic, citizenship, and academic performance.
“They have been great teammates and team leaders,” Wilkins said. “It has been a privilege working with these outstanding young adults.
Christensen maintains a 3.9 GPA and was a member of Wa-Hi’s 4A Academic State Champion volleyball team. She is also a member of the Wa-Hi basketball and track teams while carrying a 3.9 GPA. Wolpert maintains a 3.9 GPA and was a member of the Wa-Hi Cross country team and qualified for the state meet and finished in the top 15 in the state. He is also a member of the Wa-Hi track and field team and has a 3.9 GPA.
Big Cheese pizza special coupons to help support student trip to Washington DC
Parent volunteer and community activist Kathryn Southwick-Hess has teamed with Pioneer Middle School teacher Dan Calzaretta to co-chair organizing a student learning trip to Washington DC & Gettysburg, PA during spring break 2011.
There are several 8th grade students from Pioneer Middle School, three high school students, one student from Garrison and one student from Edison Elementary making the trek back east. In addition to the student participants, there are nine parents supervising the trip.
“The kids will be well supervised from start to finish,” Southwick-Hess said. “Our tour group provides us with a 24/7 guide,
a security guard in the hotel hallway each night, bus driver and local guides to enhance our education.”
Many of the students are doing the 100 plus hours of coursework to earn one semester of high school History credit, according to Southwick-Hess. They have also been actively fund raising. The students have held a car wash and sold pizza coupons, performed babysitting, mowed lawns, cleaned houses, and even walked dogs. Students are continuing to sell Big Cheese discount pizza coupons.
“Big Cheese has offered us an expiration date on our current coupon sale of October 31st, 2011,” Southwick-Hess said. “That’s a lot of time to get your pizzas eaten!”
“This trip wouldn’t be happening without your dedication to helping this group of parents who want to make history come alive for the kids in our district,” Southwick-Hess said.
Call or visit Pioneer Middle School to get more information about ordering a Big Cheese pizza coupon: 527.3050.
||Classroom Close-Up features Garrison Middle School teacher
This week Garrison Middle School Teacher Sara Van Donge 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 Van Donge is now playing on regional stations.