Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 25, 2011

In this Issue:

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Children’s Forum: Brain research and child development expert to offer free public workshops
Dr Medina to share strategies for teaching children and understanding brain functions
The 2011 Children’s Forum welcomes author and brain researcher Dr. John Medina to Walla Walla for a variety of events on March 8 and 9. Community members, parents and school district employees will have an opportunity to interact with Dr. Medina during his visit.

USA TODAY says Dr. Medina “dissects the workings of the brain in plain English, explaining its role in the workplace and classroom. In his books (Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby), Medina gives readers principles for surviving and thriving at work, home and school. His presentations offer tips and theories on how to get the most practical benefits from our brains. According to the “Brain Rules” website (www.brainrules.net), he answers questions such as: How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking a myth? “What can science tell us about raising smart, happy children.”

All events for the Sixth Children’s Forum are open to the public. The theme of the Forum is “Resilience” and primary sponsors include Whitman College, Blue Mountain Community Foundation and Walla Walla Public Schools. The Children’s Forum is a local community collaborative that asks the question, “And how are the children?” from the great African Masai tribal greeting.  This acknowledges the high value placed on children’s well-being and the recognition that if the children are well, then society as a whole is well.  The Children’s Forum continues its tradition of education and awareness of issues affecting our Valley’s children and families.

Financial sponsors are: Whitman College, Blue Mountain Community Foundation; School of Social Work, Walla Walla University; Walla Walla Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse; Blue Mountain Association for the Education of Young Children (BMAEYC), Children’s Initiative; Rotary Club of Walla Walla.  Event Partners: Walla Walla Public Schools, Community Network, Juvenile Justice Center, Children’s Administration, Early Learning Coalition, Catholic Charities, Children’s Home Society, United Way.

Sixth Children’s Forum Schedule of Events:
Parent Forum
- Tuesday, March 8 at 5:30 p.m.
- St. Patrick’s Church (Blanchett Hall)
- Free Dinner and Child Care

Public Forum
- Tuesday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.
- Whitman College (Maxey Hall) - Free

The Sixth Children’s Forum
“Resilience- Building Blocks to Healthy Individuals”
Featuring Dr. John Medina, Keynote Speaker
March 9, 2011
Cordiner Auditorium, Whitman College Campus
- 8:00 a.m. - Doors open
- 8:15 to 8:30 a.m. - Introduction of Children’s Forum mission and theme; then welcome to Dr. Medina
- 8:30 to 10 a.m. - Dr. Medina, part one
- 10 to 10:15 a.m. - Stand up and stretch break
- 10:15- 11 a.m. - Dr. Medina, part two
- 11 to 11:15 a.m. - Questions and Answers from the floor
- 11:15 to 12:00 p.m. - Lincoln Alternative High School Principal Jim Sporleder and two Lincoln High School students will speak on “Relationship”
- Noon: Adjourn

For more information contact: Teri Barila, Children’s Forum Coordinator: theresa.barila@wwcc.edu - 509-386-5855 and Dr. Linda Boggs, Assistant Superintendent, WWPS: lboggs@wwps.org – 509.526.6733

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

School board meeting and public work session Tuesday
- Tuesday, March 1
- 5 to 6 p.m. - Public Work Session: Facilities planning update
- 6:30 p.m. - Regular school board meeting
- District Office Board Room (364 S. Park St.)
- Meetings open to public

Community invited to Lincoln Health Center Open House
Lincoln Health Center offers students vast services for healthy living
The Lincoln Health Center is planning a community open house and tour Monday, Feb. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. The Lincoln Health Center provides vast health services to Lincoln Alternative High School. Stop by to tour the Lincoln Health Center, and talk with staff and board members. Learn what they are doing and why it is making a difference.

“The Lincoln Health Center is a great deal of help for everybody at Lincoln. They provide services for everything from a headache, a sports physical, a cold or even a cut or burn. They do everything they can to help us.” Lincoln High School Student-2010

Lincoln Health Center Community Open House
- Monday, February 28
- 4 to 6 p.m.
- 534 S. 3rd Avenue
- Walla Walla, WA 99362

Walla Walla High School receives state award for closing the achievement gap
Walla Walla High School was named a recipient of the 2010 Washington Achievement Award for the Closing the Achievement Gap category. Walla Walla High School was one of only two high schools statewide recognized in this area.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education created the Washington Achievement Award to celebrate top-performing schools and to recognize achievement in multiple categories.

“This award is recognition that the hard work put forth on a daily basis by our entire staff can result in steady and pronounced increases in student learning across the board,” said Pete Peterson, Walla Walla High School Principal. “This is a tribute to the dedication of our staff and students who make Walla Walla High School great.”

This highly selective award is based on a school’s performance on statewide assessments for the three previous years. This data is analyzed using the Washington Achievement Index which is approved by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education. The Washington Achievement Award is given to elementary, middle, high and comprehensive schools in seven different categories: overall excellence, language arts, math, science, extended graduation rate (high and comprehensive schools only), improvement and closing achievement gaps.

On April 27, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction will recognize Walla Walla High School’s achievement at an awards ceremony hosted by Lincoln High School in Tacoma. Visit OSPI’s Education Awards pages to learn more about the Washington Achievement Awards, including details on the Washington Achievement Index and the criteria for selection.

Walla Walla High School singers to participate in All-Northwest Choirs
Five Walla Walla High School singers recently traveled to Bellevue, WA to participate in the Northwest Music Educators National Conference All-Northwest Honor Choir.

They are seniors Natalie Ingersoll-Allen, Kolton Kolbaba, Courtney Bruner, Kiersten Jenkins, and Mallory Livingston. There were selected from a pool of students in the six Northwest states: Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. They sang in the final concert at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

Mariachi Huenachi group to come to the Walla Walla School District
The Wenatchee High School‘s Mariachi Huenachi group will perform at the Walla Walla High School Auditorium Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m., The event is sponsored by the Walla Walla High School Latino Club and the Walla Walla School District. A $3 donation is suggested.

Mariachi Huenachi is the advanced mariachi music class at Wenatchee High School and has earned a reputation as the best high school mariachi group in the State of Washington. Last year the group performed at over 40 events and festivals including the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sounders and Chivas de Guadalajara games.

During the day the group will also be providing concerts at several Walla Walla schools and the Y.M.C.A during the day to promote and introduce Walla Walla students to mariachi music. For more information contact Diana Erickson, District Bilingual Coordinator, derickson@wwps.net or 526-6771

Great Explorations adventure features NASA astronaut
The highlight of the March 26 Great Explorations adventure will be the appearance of NASA astronaut Dorothy “Dottie” Metcalf-Lindenburger who will be the keynote speaker at noon in Cordiner Hall. Her talk is titled “Dream BIG, Work Hard”.

Dottie will be sharing some short anecdotes about her childhood and school years that started her dreaming about space and how she took those dreams and pursued a career in science, eventually becoming an astronaut.  Then she will transition into what the crew accomplished last April 5-20 on the mission to the International Space Station.

The public is invited to attend her presentation and there is no charge for admission. Metcalf-Lindenburger graduated with honors and cum laude from Whitman College in 1997 with a B.A. in geology. She was a science teacher in Vancouver, Washington, when she was selected as a NASA Educator Mission Specialist in 2004.

In February 2006 she completed Astronaut Candidate Training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training.  Completion of this initial training qualified her for technical assignments within the Astronaut Office and future flight assignment.  Dottie served as the Astronaut Office Station Branch lead for systems and crew interfaces.  In 2010 she was a mission specialist on the crew of STS-131 and has logged over 362 hours in space.

Great Explorations is a science, technology, engineering and math adventure for 5th through 8th grade girls, at Whitman College, 8 am - 1 pm, presented by the Walla Walla branch of the American Association of University Women.

Before Dottie’s presentation, girls will have the opportunity to attend three workshops offering informal, hands-on experience and parents/educators are invited to attend a two-part panel discussion.

For more information on registration, scholarships or questions on any of the events, please contact Carol Morgan, pcmorgan@charter.net, 525-3531, or visit the AAUW website at www.aauw-wallawalla.org.

Walla Walla High School sophomore places first in Future Problem Solving competition
Washington State Future Problem Solving announced the winners for the 2011 Scenario Writing on Feb. 13. One sophomore and two juniors received the highest awards and will continue to compete, next at the International Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin, June 9-12.

Sophomore Julia Cosma’s “Touch the Sky” scenario placed first, and she will be honored at the Washington State Future Problem Solving State Bowl by reading her scenario to participants in April.

“The story’s just a grand metaphor about how horrifying the future can be, something we’re all familiar with,” Cosma said. “I’m very happy I won. Writing means a lot to me.”

Last year, Cosma’s scenario placed first in state and third at the International competition, where she competed against students from other countries, as well as first place winners from each state. A second place tie was awarded to juniors Taylor Anady and Mac Clifton. Anady’s scenario titled “Tagged” and Clifton’s scenario, “Gate 14,” will also continue to compete in June at Internationals.

For the competition, students composed futuristic short stories (1,500 words or less) related to one of the current year’s future problem solving topics. This year’s topics included Healthy Living, Air Transport, Genetic Testing, Water Quality and Emergency Planning.

“Scenarios allow students to problem solve using their creative thinking in a futuristic scene. Students must be able to create both interesting characters and a riveting story line,” coach John Buissink said. “High level writing skills are essential when it comes to these scenarios. In fewer than 1,500 words, the writer must be able to grab the readers’ attention emotionally and involve them in the story immediately.”

Walla Walla High School Cadet of the Month earns on-the-spot promotion
The Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devils” Cadet Battalion has selected its “Cadet of the Month” for February 2011 and rewarded his achievement with an immediate promotion.

Cadet Cpl. Zachary Chlipala, a 15 year old freshman, was promoted to this new rank after he won the top spot with a total score of 313 points, according to the presiding official on the board. The top Cadet was selected from three candidates who were inspected and examined in oral interviews by a board of four advanced Cadets, according to Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, Senior Army Instructor for the Walla Walla High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program.

Chlipala said that he joined JROTC because he wants to be the best American he can be through means of discipline, knowledge, and participation. He plans to go to the University of Washington and get his PhD, then work for the CIA as a researcher in the science, weapons, and technologies department. He enjoys science, mixed martial arts, videogames, computer, music, and his drum set.

“His strongest competitive category was his bearing,” said Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Seth Thomas. “This Cadet of the Month was a close match, since all of the Cadets’ performances were outstanding.”

First runner up was Cadet Cpl. Nicholas Russell, a 15 year old freshman, with 225 points. His strongest suit was his bearing. Second runner up was Cadet Pvt. 1st Class Nicholas Anderson, a 15 year old freshman, with 121 points. He was a great candidate for only being in the program for 1 month.

“After the board tallied the points and the winner was clear, we held a ceremony to promote the winning Cadet one rank higher, to recognize him for his hard work and personal success,” said Bialozor.

Wa-Hi JROTC Cadets participate in the program to develop leadership skills and to strive to be better citizens in society. Many Cadets compete with drill, marksmanship, and physical training teams as well as attend the class. These Cadets get to travel to and compete in drill meets at 16 other schools in the Cascade Division that include Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy Cadet programs.

Walla Walla High School music students perform well at Columbia Basin Music Educators Association competition
Earlier this month, Walla Walla High School music students participated in the Columbia Basin Music Educators Association Instrumental Solo and Ensemble competition at Richland High School. Wa-Hi music students competed with high school students from all over the Columbia Basin.

Walla Walla High School Instrumental Regional Solo and Ensemble Winners:
- Kelsey Gabel, 1st Alternate in Viola Category
- Tristan Moore , 1st Alternate in Cello Category
- Walla Walla Sophomore Quintet, 1st Alternate in Strings Large Group Category

Walla Walla Kids Read 2011 Program features beloved children’s author
Walla Walla Kids Read 2011 will play host to Jon Scieszka, one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. Scieszka will entertain and educate thousands of local students at Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College campus. Dates for the event, designed for schools and open to the public, are March 21 and 22.

Walla Walla Kids Read is designed to inspire every K-5 child in the Walla Walla valley by bringing students to a world class facility to hear a well known author. All costs, including busing of students to and from the event, are paid for by Walla Walla Kids Read (this applies to the six Walla Walla based elementary schools. Schools outside of Walla Walla are invited to attend at no cost, but will be required to cover the cost of transportation).

Details about times, events, books, authors, and classroom activities are available at www.wallawallakidsread.com

About this year’s author
In 2008, Mr. Scieszka was appointed by the Library of Congress to be the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Scieszka is the author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, the Truck Town series, Stinky Cheese Man, Math Curse, Science Verse, Robot Zot, Knucklehead, and the Time Warp Trio series among many others. He has won numerous national awards including the Texas Blue Bonnett, the ALA notable book, and Publishers Weekly best book of the year.
Mr. Scieszka is a popular humorist and speaker who loves to make kids laugh and learn. He will speak to groups of K-2 and 3-5 for this year’s event.

Walla Walla Kids Read will include large scale events at Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College campus, along with a community event on the evening of March 22. Please see www.wallawallakidsread.com for details. Walla Walla Kids Read is dedicated to nurturing and encouraging young readers and supporting our local educators in creating life long readers. Their primary goal is to provide a nationally known author presentation to every K-5th grade student in the Walla Walla valley every year. Author selections are designed to inspire, educate, and encourage students to pursue reading and writing. Events are developed for local elementary schools and open to the public. Every elementary school child in Walla Walla, regardless of income, benefits from Walla Walla Kids Read. All costs are funded by WWKR including school busing, author fees, and facility use.

Contact the Walla Walla Kids Read Team
Chair: Patrick Carman
School Liaison, Educational Resources: Michelle Shaul - Green Park Elementary Librarian - mshaul@wwps.org
Events Coordinators / Community Liaisons:
Elizabeth George - Walla Walla Public Library - egeorge@ci.walla-walla.wa.us
Melissa Gardner - melissagardner@charter.net
School Principal Liaison: Mike Lambert - Principal, Green Park Elementary - mlambert@wwps.org
Author Liaison: Squire Broel - Artist - broelsa@my180.net

Walla Walla High School softball coach honored
Congratulations to Walla Walla High School Blue Devil softball coach Jerry Humphreys for receiving the State Softball Coaches Association 4A Coach of the year award.

“It was a well deserved honor,” said District Athletic Director Don Wilkins. “Jerry has done a fantastic job developing and maintaining our program.”

Walla Walla and Lincoln High School students qualify for state debate competition - By Coach Jean Tobin
The Debate Team finished up the regular tournament season this past weekend at the State Qualifying tournament in Leavenworth, Washington. The other schools competing at the tournament in the 5/6 District included: Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Eisenhower, Cascade (Leavenworth), Ephrata, Othello, Chiawana and Pasco.

Walla Walla High School took 2nd in Debate and 2nd in Speech Events and sent 14 out of 15 students eligible to compete at the tournament to state. Students qualifying for the State Individual Events tournament (March 12th at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington) include:

Bryan Preston, Machado Mijiga, Rosa Tobin, Carrie Moore, Calvin Brigham, Kendall Dunovant, Konor Clark, Julia Cosma, Kera Parsons, Hope Grant-Herriot, Kimberly McLaughlin, Marisol Beck, Sean Hamilton and Reyn Hodgson (Lincoln).

Students qualified in a number of events, including Impromptu Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Oratory, Expository, Dramatic Interpretation, and Interpretive Reading. Kera Parsons took 2nd place in Interpetive Reading, Kimberly McLaughlin took 2nd place in Original Oratory, Hope Grant-Herriot took 1st in Expostitory.

Additionally, Calvin Brigham and Carrie Moore (2nd and 3rd place respectively) qualified to attend the State Debate Tournament (also at the University of Puget Sound, on March 18th and 19th) in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. They had to prepare for a new topic for this tournament. The topic was Resolved: The United States is justified in using private military firms to pursue its military objectives. Marisol Beck, Kimberly McLaughlin and Hope Grant-Herriot qualified for the State Debate Tournament in Congressional Debate.

Veteran members of the team also attended the prestigious Thomas Foley Invitational Debate Tournament at University High School in Spokane Valley last weekend (February 11th and 12th). Machado Mijiga placed 3rd in Tall Tales and Editorial Commentary and made it to Super Congress in the Champion Level Congressional Debate. Hope Grant-Herriot made it to Finals in Interpretive Reading and Expository. Carrie Moore advanced to the finals in Expository.

At the Walla Walla Tournament, held on February 5th at Lincoln High School, Walla Walla took 1st place in Debate and 2nd Place Overall 4A Sweepstakes. In Lincoln-Douglas Debate Kendall Dunovant took 1st and Rosa Tobin took 2nd. Machado Mijiga took 1st place in Tall Tales. Marisol Beck took 2nd place in Expository Speaking. Rosa Tobin took 2nd place in Extemporaneous. Hope Grant-Herriot took 1st place in Expository Speaking and Interpretive Reading.

Thank you for all of your support. The State Qualifying tournament was a challenging experience and we are proud to have qualified as many students as we did. We have been busy the last few months, competing in 6 tournaments in 7 weeks. We are glad to have a little break to rest, prepare, and raise funds before the State Tournament.

Sheriff John Turner plans “Sheriff’s Roundtable” community meetings
New Walla Walla County Sheriff John Turner is making good on a campaign promise this spring by beginning a community outreach program: The Sheriff’s Roundtable. Turner will conduct quarterly meetings at the Walla Walla High School Commons from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. These meetings are open to the public. His target audiences include: Walla Walla Public Schools staff, students, parents, school board and administrators.This will be a great opportunity to learn more about community issues related to law enforcement and an opportunity to ask questions of Sheriff John Turner.
Sheriff’s Roundtable 2011 Schedule:
- Thursday, March 31
- Thursday, June 30
- Thursday, Sept. 29
- Thursday, Dec. 15

* Meetings at the Walla Walla High School Commons
* Meetings times: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
* Meetings are open to the public
* Contact Coordinator Debbie Zalaznic at (509) 526-5689

Pepsi donates scoreboard to Berney Elementary
Thursday Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co installed a new electronic scoreboard in the Berney Elementary gym at no cost to the school district. The modern, energy efficient scoreboard will enhance the physical education and athletic programs at Berney, according to Physical Education Teacher Ryan Van Dyke.

“We will be able to use the scoreboard clock for timed station work in our physical education classes,” Van Dyke said. “It will also provide the Lincoln High School basketball program a functional scoreboard for its home games which are played at Berney. Thanks so much to Pepsi for this generous gift.”

Graduates of Distinction nominations now accepted
Nominations are open for the 2011 Graduates of Distinction Program. All nominations and recommendation forms must be received in the district Curriculum Department by April 15, 2011.

The purpose of the Walla Walla Public Schools’ Graduates of Distinction program is to provide an avenue for recognizing high school graduates of Walla Walla Public Schools who have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers; and to honor the Walla Walla Public Schools’ staff members who were the most inspirational in the lives of those individuals.

In order to be eligible for nomination, an individual must have graduated from high school in the Walla Walla Public Schools at least 10 years prior to nomination.

The recognition is intended to honor Walla Walla high school graduates for outstanding achievement. The honor will be given to mature adults who are exemplary citizens and have distinguished themselves in their communities, their professions, or their careers. Nominations will be held for five years, and will automatically be included in the selection process during that time.

Nomination forms are available at the district office, 364 South Park Street, or on the district website: http://www.wwps.org/news/grad_distinction.htm. Please call Kay Schisler, 526-6735, for more information.

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.

Art Regier Volunteer of the Year nominations
Nominations are being accepted through Friday, March 25 for the Art Regier Outstanding Volunteers of the Year Award. Recipients will be recognized at the April 19 school board meeting. Nomination forms are available at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the district office.

Criteria for selection may include the following:
1. Exceptional service or contributions to the children of Walla Walla Public Schools
2. Unusual dedication
3. Demonstration of care, compassion and empathy

Recipients of the Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award will be honored with a plaque to display at their home or place of business, and their name will be permanently affixed to a memorial plaque in the school district’s board room at 364 South Park Street. For more information, please call Communications Director Mark Higgins (509) 526-6716.

Classroom Close-Up features Head Start/ECEAP Preschool teacher
This week Head Start/ECEAP preschool teacher Marilyn Day 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 Day is now playing on regional stations.