Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 11, 2011

In this Issue:

(Click on article
to read more)

Input and involvement key to district’s strategic planning initiative: By Superintendent Mick Miller
The Walla Walla Public School district is undertaking a strategic planning process and we welcome your input. We believe it is a good time to review our mission and solicit feedback from those in the community as well as our staffs to assure that we are meeting the current and future needs of our students.

The strategic planning process has two important components. The first component is a survey which will be issued in April. The second component is one-on-one personal and telephone interviews with a cross-section of our stakeholders. We have contracted with an outside consultant, Susan Newton of Development Strategies Plus, to facilitate the strategic planning process.

The school district Board and leadership will meet with Susan Newton in late spring to review the preliminary findings and identify key themes. We will use the survey and interview data to create the strategic plan and we look forward to sharing the findings and the strategic plan at community meetings.

We appreciate the value of your time and hope you will answer our brief survey next month. In addition, if you are contacted for a telephone interview, I hope you will take the time to participate because your input is important.

I believe this is an exciting process and we hope that our strategic plan will allow us to better serve our students and the Walla Walla community. All input is confidential and Susan Newton is the only person who will have direct access to the survey and interview data.

Thank you, in advance, for your input and participation in the Walla Walla Public Schools strategic planning process.

School board meeting Tuesday, March 15
- Tuesday, March 15
- 6:30 p.m.
- District Office Board Room (364 S. Park St.)
- Meeting open to the public

Dr. Medina links brain research to education
This week’s 2011 Children’s Forum welcomed author and brain researcher Dr. John Medina to Walla Walla for a variety of events. Walla Walla Public Schools staff members packed Cordiner Hall Wednesday morning to hear Medina’s message. Medina stressed the importance of physical activity, a positive home environment and early learning initiatives to enhance academic performance.

Walla Walla Public Schools is currently surveying staff, parents, students and community members to get input as to how the district should move forward using Medina’s research. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Linda Boggs is organizing this process. Learn more about Medina at his “Brain Rules” website: www.brainrules.net. Visit the district website at www.wwps.org to take the Medina survey.

Classified School Employee Week: March 14-18
Classified School Employee Week is March 14 to 18. School Board President Dr. Jim Lehmann and Superintendent Mick Miller praised classified employees during the March 1 school board meeting. They said these dedicated employees are critical to the success of the district. Look for special treats during Classified School Employees Week.

Time to Register for Great Explorations (Science, Technology and Math Adventure for girls)
On Saturday, March 26, the Walla Walla branch of the American Association of University Women will present Great Explorations Science Adventure, a science, technology, engineering and math adventure for 5th through 8th grade girls, at Whitman College, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The highlight of this year’s event will be the appearance of NASA astronaut Dorothy “Dottie” Metcalf-Lindenburger who will be the keynote speaker at noon in Cordiner Hall. Before Dottie’s presentation, girls will have the opportunity to attend three workshops offering informal, hands-on experience with careers that utilize science, technology, engineering and math.

Now is the time to send in registrations, to be more likely to be in workshops with friends, and to get first choice of workshops. The fee to attend is $5 and scholarships are available. For more information on registration, scholarships or questions on any of the events, please contact Carol Morgan, pcmorgan@charter.net, 525-3531, visit the AAUW website at www.aauw-wallawalla.org, or find us on Facebook.

Our Facebook page AAUW Great Explorations Science Adventure is up and running. Everyone is encouraged to visit the site and click that they “Like” us. This helps spread the word about this exciting event.

Edison to team with McDonalds to raise money for school programs
Edison Elementary, in conjunction with the McDonalds on East Isaacs, will be holding a Mc Teacher night on Monday, March 14. Proceeds from the sales between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m. will go to support Edison Elementary School. Come and enjoy a family dinner and support the students of Edison.
Edison students raise thousands of dollars for American Heart Association
Recently students from Edison Elementary School raised more than $3500 for the American Heart Association by participating in the Jump Rope for Heart program. Students participated as part of PE class. PE teacher Patrick McFetridge organized the event and encouraged his students to participate. Fifth grade student Kat Matos was the top fund-raiser. She raised $725 to support the cause.
Literacy program promotes reading at home for Edison students
Students at Edison Elementary school are participating in the “Reading is the Ticket” program. Students have been working hard to complete 10 hours of reading outside of school during the month of February and the first part of March. Students who complete their 10 hours prior to March 18 will receive a free ticket to Silverwood Theme Park to be used for a day of fun this summer as a reward for their hard work.

YMCA Spring Break day camp helps keep youth active when school is out
Day Camp over Spring Break is the perfect way to keep kids occupied and active during their week off from school.
- Dates: April 4 to 8
- Time: 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Instructor: Ruby Mitchell
- Age Groups: Elementary grades
- Cost: $140 (Cost for members: $120)

Each day the Day Camp staff will lead campers in:
- group games (arts and crafts)
- sports activities
- field trips to local educational landmarks

All of the resources and activities at the Y will be incorporated as well, including:
- swimming
- archery
- basketball

YMCA offers kitchen cooking class during Spring Break
When: April 4-7
Where: Someone’s in the Kitchen Restaurant
Time: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Cost for Members: $60
Cost for Non-Members: $80
Age: 6-12
Instructor: Chef Gene Soto

Consumer Credit Counseling Services offers free financial literacy workshop
Laurie Tufford from Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Tri-Cities will be conducting the first ever Financial Literacy Night at Walla Walla High School Auditorium Monday, March 21 at 7 p.m. This a free, 60 minute seminar.

Tufford will be discussing such topics as needs versus wants, sticking to the basics, and watching for hidden expenses. It is the goal of this brief financial training to provide talking points for parents and students to discuss financial management principles at home. For more information, please contact Scott Reardon at Wa-Hi at (509) 527-3020 Extension 4607.

Filan wins ESD 123 Judges Choice award for technology project
Walla Walla High School student Madison Filan recently won the “Judges Choice” award for his Media Technology and Animation class submissions to the ESD 123 Art Show. Madison has been accepted and plans to attend the Seattle Art Institute following graduation.

Filan won the awards in the 3D Category for his Grassland and Gold Fish submissions. Madison is in Walla Walla High School Technology teacher Dennis DeBroeck’s class. Madison will receive his award at the March 15, 2011 High School Art Show and Awards Ceremony.

Berney students to show off dance skills through a variety of music genres
- Berney Elementary students in grades K-5 are hosting: “So You Think Berney Can Dance Different Styles?”
- Thursday, March 17
- 1:30 p.m.
- Dances performed will be Jitterbug, Cha Cha, Disco, Hip Hop, 60’s, and Instrumental.

The Berney Choir will also perform in The “Broadway Review” March 18 and 19 at the Dayton Liberty Theater.

Volunteers needed to support families at risk of abuse and neglect
Work Session: Strengthening families and the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
The Home Team Parent Aide Program, a partnership program with the Walla Walla Exchange Club, builds healthy families by mentoring parents who are experiencing stress to overcome challenges and experience success in their lives and parenting. Services are family centered and focus on child safety, problem solving, parenting skills and social support. The program offers professionally trained and supervised volunteer parent aides to support parents and families at risk of abuse and neglect.

Come and learn more about the Home Team Parent Aide Program and how you can help build a supportive community one family at a time!
- Tuesday, March 15
- 12 noon to -1 p.m. or 6 to 7 p.m.
- Video and light meal provided
- Children’s Home Society of Washington (1612 Penny Lane)
- RSVP to Stephanie Biegel (509) 529-2130

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

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.

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 March 21 to April 1
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.