Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 23, 2015

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

January is School Board Appreciation Month

District staff and students provided school board members tokens of appreciation in celebration of School Board Appreciation Month. School board members are volunteer elected officials. They serve a four-year term and meet regularly to ensure quality educational opportunities are available to all students. Thank you for all you do for our community and school district.

Snow Make-Up Day - May 8

School was canceled Nov. 20, 2014 due to slick road conditions. School will be held Friday, May 8, 2015 as the weather make-up day.  

Personnel Report (from Jan. 20, 2015 school board meeting)

Classified: Antonia Keithahn, Para-Educator (temporary), Walla Walla High School

Coaching: William Howard, Head Girls’ Golf Coach, Walla Walla High School

Resignations and Retirements
Certificated: Katherine Venneri, 2/3 Grade, Sharpstein Elementary, 31 years
• Effective June 12, 2015

Classified: Mary Boeckman, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary, 6 years

Bianca Navarrete, Assistant Secretary, Walla Walla High School, 1.5 years

Shelley Welter, Assistant Secretary, Facilities & Operations, 1.3 years

Leave of Absence
Certificated: Gretchen Baker, Vocational Employment Skills, Walla Walla High School, 16.5 years

• For the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year

Georgi Delgadillo, Homelink, Homelink Program, 4.5 years

• For the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year

District to close Homelink Parent Partnership program next school year

Walla Walla Public Schools is closing the Homelink Parent Partnership program at the end of the 2014-2015 school year due to declining enrollment and limited state funding. The Homelink Program provides supplemental curriculum and instruction in a public school setting to enhance the course work parents are providing their homeschool students.

The Homelink program currently serves 27 Full-time Equivalent (FTE) students in kindergarten through 8th grade at the Berney Elementary School campus. The program was established in 1997 and during its peak averaged nearly 160 FTE.

Changes to Alternative Learning Experience laws (WAC 392-121-182) during the 2011-13 Legislative biennium have contributed to a steady decline in enrollment which makes the program no longer sustainable, according to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Linda Boggs.

“New state legislation eliminated funding to homeschool parents for supplemental educational experiences which averaged $1200 per student each year,” Boggs said. “The changes also require more regulatory accountability and compliance from homeschool parents and Homelink which have negatively impacted the program.”

Homelink currently provides science, technology, and art instruction and curriculum. Homelink parents will be briefed on next year’s educational options for their children within the existing Walla Walla Public Schools system.

AMVETS dedicate flag at the district office
Thursday morning members of the Walla Walla American Veterans Post gathered around the flag pole at the district office to dedicate a new flag. The previous flag was damaged in a wind storm in December. Provost Marshal Richard Bardsley was the ceremony director. His sister Roberta sang the National Anthem and read the poem “The Flag Speaks” as part of the ceremony. The AMVETS also retired several other district flags which have been damaged by weather. The school district is committed to providing civics education and patriotism as a regular part of the educational system. Thanks to the AMVETS for their professionalism and pride.

Secondary Open Enrollment window February 2 to 27

There will be two open enrollment registration periods for enrollment in Walla Walla Public Schools during the 2015-16 school year.

Open enrollment for secondary (middle and high) schools will be February 2 through 27, 2015. The schools will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first registration day, February 2, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of the month.

Secondary parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up an Open Enrollment application at their attendance area school or a release form from their current school district office during normal business hours beginning January 26; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, February 2.

Fall 2015 open enrollment for elementary schools and kindergarten registration is Monday, April 20 to Friday, May 1, 2015. Schools will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first registration day, April 20, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through May 1.

Kindergarten registration forms will be available at the schools beginning April 13. Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to an elementary school outside of their attendance area may pick up an Open Enrollment application at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning April 13; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, April 20.

Open enrollment requests at Walla Walla Public Schools will be granted according to priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 which 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/district/information/school-board/policies.

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.

Enrollment count up in January

Business Services Director Ted Cohan reported the district is up 14 students in January from the previous count in December. The district still remains 80 FTE students below budget targets which equates to about $450,000 in lost revenue. Cohan said the district will not need to make mid-year cuts due to expenditures coming in lower than expected. The district is beginning preliminary budget discussions for next year, which includes enrollment targets.

Walla Walla educators earn National Board Certification

Tuesday night, Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan presented Green Park Special Education teacher Esther Angotti and Edison Kindergarten teacher Rebecca Keene with  their National Board Certification pins. The district now has 43 nationally certified teachers. Jordan congratulated these outstanding educators during the school board meeting  for this significant accomplishment.

School Stories
District Music teacher shows passion for education in new video

District Music Coordinator Roger Garcia is featured in the district’s Why I Teach video series. Garcia is a dedicated music educator who has a passion for learning and student achievement. Click on the link below to watch the video:

Walla Walla High School to induct Long and Thompson into Blue Devil Hall of Fame

Walla Walla High graduates Toby Long (Class of 1983) and Andy Thompson (Class of 1999) will be inducted into the Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday, Jan. 24 during halftime of the boys basketball game. Tip-off for the game is 7:30 p.m. at the Walla Walla High School main gym.

Long was an outstanding football and basketball player at Walla Walla High School before attending college at George Fox University where he was a 1st Team Academic All-American. Long was the Big Nine Conference rushing champion his senior year and 1st team All-Conference selection in football. He was named to the 3A All State Tournament team in basketball after the Blue Devils finished second in state.

Andy Thompson was a first team All-Conference football player as a defensive back and quarterback. He was also named the Big Nine Football Player of the Year and All State quarterback. He was a member of the state championship basketball team his senior year. He attended the University of Montana and played linebacker from 1999 to 2003. He helped the Grizzlies win five Big Sky conference championships and one National Championship.

Walla Walla 21st Century Grant program students launch weather balloons in Olympia - Story by Rudi Bertschi

This week, Walla Walla School District grantee launched its eighth weather balloon in two years. This one soared from the Capitol grounds here in Olympia in the presence of State Superintendent Randy Dorn, Governor Jay Inslee, a handful of legislators, and several onlookers. 21CCLC Project director Brent Cummings and his staff, along with 12 high school sophomores (they first did this as middle school students) – all Latinas – executed the launch from between the Legislative Build and the Temple of Justice.

Our out-of-school-time partner, School’s Out Washington, produced today’s showcase event to tout the importance of out-of-school-time learning. Supt. Randy Dorn, Sen. Andy Billig, Marcie Maxwell from the Governor’s office, plus a handful of legislators and various other supporters were on hand to greet the students in the Cherberg Senate Office Building. The balloon launch itself took place just outside Governor Inslee’s office window – and sure enough, he couldn’t resist coming outside for a closer look at what was going on and to talk with the students.

Gov. Inslee told us that each day he recognizes the most inspiring person he meets, and today he announced that person is Brent Cummings, our 21CCLC project director. Then, on the spot, the Governor removed his lapel pin and pinned it on Brent (certificate to follow)! Wow! Just Wow! Walla Walla has made us proud again and made a strong case for 21CCLC and great out-of-school-time learning.

After the launch, our girls went to the Senate gallery where they were recognized from the floor. Sen. Mike Hewitt offered a resolution commending the students for their work and achievement, whereupon Lt. Gov. Brad Owens and the entire Senate rose to applaud the students. Needless to say, these young women are walking on a cloud and will likely remember this day forever.

By the way, nary a student asked, “When will we need this in real life?” Experiential education is real life. We can all be grateful to be part of a program that gives us leverage to do so much good.

Rudi Bertschi is the Washington State Program Supervisor for 21st CCLC.

Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association Scholarships available

- Two $1200 scholarships
- Scholarship grants are given to prospective teachers and/or candidates in other school related fields that will student teach or do internship experience in an educational setting.

- Graduate of high school in Walla Walla or Columbia County
- Student teach/internship between September 2015 and June 2016
- Applications due March 1

Mardel Bierwagen: 525.6117 or gbierwagen6117@charter.net

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Workshop

- January 28
- 5:30-7 p.m.
- Walla Walla High School

Walla Walla High School and WSU GEAR UP is holding a workshop for Walla Walla High School seniors and their families Jan. 28 to provide one-on-one support in filling out and filing their free applications for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is the universal document required for college financial aid including grants, federal student loans, work study, and scholarships.

All workshops will take place in the Wa-Hi library and will consist of open computer time with trained GEAR UP staff available to walk families through the online process of filing this important document. Parents need to bring their 2013 tax statements (2014 taxes are not needed in order to complete the FAFSA process). Please contact the GEAR UP office or the Career Center at Walla Walla High School for a complete checklist of the information needed to properly file the FAFSA.

Washington State University GEAR UP, which is located on campus at Walla Walla High School, involves a variety of innovative partnerships and initiatives to support students in college and career readiness skills.

For more information contact Becky Schwartz at the Wa-Hi GEAR UP office.
- Becky Schwartz
- 509-526-8621
- bschwartz@wwps.org
- www.yourcollegeandcareer.org

Community Stories
Washington State Supreme Court Justice Yu and Whitman President to discuss race issues

“Race, Law and Justice in America”, a public conversation
Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.

Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom

Justice Mary Yu will address campus as the 2015 MLK keynote speaker. A frequent speaker for legal education seminars, Justice Yu is also active in a variety of community and professional activities. She performed the first same-sex marriage in the State of Washington and is the first member of the LGBT and Asian communities to serve on the Supreme Court. Her list of recent awards includes “Judge of the Year” from the Washington State Association for Justice; “Public Official of the Year” from the municipal League Foundation; and the 2012 “Difference Makers Award” from the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.

George Bridges is the 13th president of Whitman College. He is a distinguished educator and nationally recognized scholar. After earning his undergraduate degree in 1972 from the University of Washington, Dr. Bridges pursued his graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. There he earned his M.A. in criminology and Ph.D. in sociology. Prior to pursuing an academic career full time, Dr. Bridges worked as a social scientist in the staff office of the Attorney General of the United States. In this capacity he assisted in the design and implementation of research programs on federal law and justice policy.


Remember to Vote - Ballots due February 10

Ballots for the February 10 special election mail out today and must be postmarked by Feb. 10, 2015. A proposal to Rebuild Memorial Pool is on the ballot. Contact the City of Walla Walla Parks and Recreation for more information. 

Walla Walla Dance Company presents: The Three Little Toymakers

- Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m.
- Cordiner Hall (Whitman College)

The Three Little Toymakers is a charming, heartwarming tale of three girls who, though poor, live with a loving, happy family. One Christmas, after all the other children have opened all their gifts, the girls find some old discarded toys the other children threw out. The little girls dream of fixing them and bringing them to life! They want children everywhere to enjoy the special toys they will create with their imagination and ingenuity.

Sadly, not all toys are perfect. One of the clowns wreaks havoc in the toyshop! Not everything goes as planned. But the little toy soldiers and the sassy nurse dolls bravely come to the rescue. They help the toymakers fix the toys good as new and in the nick of time too! Just then the judges roll into town for the Great Toy Contest! Guess who wins the title Best of the Best? Toys that can dance!
Tickets on sale at Earthlight Books and at the door the night of the event.

Reserved: $16
General: $12
Senior: $10

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