Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Feb. 6, 2015

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School board members sample new state assessments

School board members went back to school Tuesday night during a public work session to review the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) exams set to roll out this spring to students in grades 3-11.

School board members were each provided a Chromebook for the sample exercise to simulate what students will be experiencing during the online exams in math and English/Language Arts. Assessment Coordinator Maria Garcia, Common Core State Standards Transition Coordinator Casey Monahan and Technology Director Forrest Baker facilitated the session.

School board members commented on the rigor of the exams and depth of understanding students must demonstrate to be successful. They also said the district needs to provide students more access to technology for them to be ready for these new tests.

Passing scores on the SBAC indicate students are on track to be ready for credit-bearing college courses when they graduate from high school. Student test results are expected back within a few weeks once they take the exams. Results from this spring’s testing will likely show fewer students meeting these new, higher, benchmarks than have been passing the Measurement of Student Progress (MSP) and High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) in recent years. In fact, pass rates are expected to be similar to those seen when the WASL, Washington state’s first assessment, was implemented in 1997. Garcia and Monahan are producing a video and other communications tools to help inform parents about SBAC.

Personnel Report (from Feb. 3, 2015 School Board meeting)

Employment: NONE TO REPORT

Mary Klein, Edison Elementary teacher, 18 years (effective 6/12/15)

Elizabeth “Betsy” Adkins, Superintendent’s Administrative Assistant, 41 years (effective 5/31/15)
Rhetta Hartwell, Transportation, 4 months (effective 1/26/15)

School board reviews new state graduation requirements

School board members received an update on a proposed revision to Policy 2410: High School Graduation Requirements. The Washington State Board of Education has changed the state graduation requirements for the Class of 2019. The total number of credits required to graduate will be 24, up four from the current 20 credit mark. Walla Walla Public Schools currently requires 22 credits to graduate.

See more at: http://sbe.wa.gov/GradRequirements/ClassOf2019.php#.VM_xe9LF_To

School Health Advisory seeks community leader

Are you interested in supporting a healthy school environment for students?  The School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) has been established to put the health of the students first, and the committee currently has a volunteer opening for the Community Chair position.  If you are passionate about the health of the students in Walla Walla and think you might be interested in this position, please contact Lindsay Engh at 509-524-2653 or lengh@co.walla-walla.wa.us for more information.

No School February 16 - Presidents Day

There is no school Monday, Feb. 16 in observance of Presidents Day. Classes resume Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Parent Conferences

- Parent Conferences: No School Thursday, Feb. 26 and Friday, Feb. 27
- Check with your child’s school for a conference schedule

School Performance Reports available for public view 

School Performance Reports have been completed and are now available online - www.wwps.org (http://www.wwps.org/schools/information/performance-reports). They are also available in limited quantities at all school buildings after winter break. Each district is required to provide these reports annually to give parents and community members easily understandable information on educational programs and assessment results.

Each report includes a brief statement of the mission of the school, enrollment statistics, expenditures per student for the school year, student attendance and graduation/dropout rates, historical information on the school building and an invitation to all parents and citizens to participate in school activities. They also list district and building goals as well as highlights from the previous school year.

Each report also specifically directs the reader to the appropriate pages of the Washington State Report Card website which shows current and historical state and national assessment scores, teacher information and much more specific student demographics.

Highly Capable Nomination Period scheduled for February 17 to March 6

Walla Walla School District’s Highly Capable Program Services provide students of high academic and intellectual ability with designated time to explore concepts in greater depth. The goal of the Highly Capable Program is to encourage the development of higher level thinking skills.

Information on the Highly Capable Program nomination period is currently available on the district website. Nomination forms will be available in all district schools and on the district website no later than February 17. Parents will be able to contact their child’s teacher or school learning specialist/counselor for more information. .

The nomination deadline this year will be March 6. All nominated students will be screened using norm-referenced standardized tests and those who qualify for further testing will participate in cognitive abilities testing at their home schools. In all cases, parents will be notified of the results of the process, and a child not selected one year may be referred again in subsequent years.

For grades three through five, Highly Capable students can be served by Explorers, a pull-out program focusing on enriched Science and Mathematics academic experiences. Students may also be served under the RtI model at their home schools.
Middle school Highly Capable (Explorer Program) students focus on the subject areas of English, Language Arts and Social Studies. Middle school services are incorporated into the school day through separate self-contained Explorer Program classes. For more information, please contact the Walla Walla School District Curriculum and Instruction office: 509- 526-6739 or 526-6735.

School Stories

Walla Walla High School awarded math grant to support struggling students

Tuesday night, school board members approved the awarding of a $49,100 College Ready Math Initiative Grant. This initiative funds an intensified Algebra program at Walla Walla High School for the next two years. This  hands-on technology rich program will allow students who have struggled in math progress at an accelerated rate to reach grade level. Teachers Monica Nelson and Jerry Records will teach the new classes. 

Walla Walla music students selling citrus

Walla Walla Public Schools participating in band, orchestra and choir are taking orders for navel oranges, grapefruit, juice oranges and tangelos, as part of the 5th Annual Music Boosters Citrus Sale. There are 20 lbs and 40 lbs. boxes available at a cost of $25 and $40 respectively. The Citrus Sale will run from February 2 to 19. Fruit will be delivered the week of March 23.

This is the Music Boosters only fundraiser and helps provide the extras that make the District Music Program a success. Purchasing fruit is great and it is a great way to support our students participating in Orchestra, Band, Choir and Music at every level. For more information, contact the Walla Walla Public Schools Music Program at 509-526-1916.

Miss Washington delivers anti-drug message to Walla Walla students
Miss Washington Kailee Dunn visited Garrison Middle School Wednesday to talk to students about the negative consequences of using drugs. The visit is part of an awareness campaign Dunn has organized to serve area schools. She covered health issues related to drug use, legal fallout and social impacts for those who use drugs. Dunn graduated from Kamiakin High School last school year. 
Berney McTeacher Night - By Tyler Morrison, Communications Intern

Berney Elementary staff took over a local McDonalds restaurant for “McTeacher Night,” on Feb. 3 to earn money for technology upgrades in their building.

McTeacher Night is a fundraising event held in McDonalds restaurants nationwide, designed to support local education. Members of the Berney staff worked from 5-7 p.m., taking home 15% of the sales and tips from the customers, earning a goal breaking $1819.19.

“We felt incredibly supported by our Berney families and friends,” Principal Christy Krutulis said. “The constant line wrapped around the store, and the amount of money we raised for technology far exceeded our expectations.”

This was the first collaboration between the school and the restaurant in this type of fundraising.

“I am very pleased they gave us an opportunity to participate in the fundraising,” Manager Bernardo Perez said.

Berney teachers enjoyed the experience as well.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity for our staff to be able to do this,” Berney teacher Denise Parodi said. “I love being able to see the kids outside of school and be able to work with my peers in a different setting as well.”

McTeacher Night video: https://animoto.com/play/63ClYti0gcnC5QwWaKMZhQ

How to communicate with your teen parenting classes offered
W2 for Drug Free Youth in cooperation with Lincoln High School staff members Shelly Phipps and Casey Cramer will be offering a parenting program that focuses on better ways to communicate with your teen.  This fun and highly interactive program will be offered every Thursday evening from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln High School, February 5 through March 26. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Parenting Wisely program. Childcare will also be provided and this program is free. All Walla Walla Public Schools parents of teens are welcome. Please RSVP to Casey Cramer at 526-8518 or ccramer@wwps.org if you are interested or have additional questions. 

Community Stories
City Parks and Recreation Update

Father & Daughter Valentine Ball
- Saturday, February 21
- 7 to 8:30 p.m.
- Garrison Middle School
- Cost is $15 per Father (Daughter(s) included)
- Pictures are from 6 to 7 p.m.

Mother & Son Bowl-A-Rama
- Saturday, February 28
- 2 to 4 p.m
- Bowl Away Lanes
- Cost is $21 for a Mother/Son Couple
- Each additional son is $13
- Don't forget to wear your neon and white clothing so that you will glow while you bowl

Blue Mountain Girls Softball
- Registration is now open for girls 5-12
- Cost is $40 for 6U and $55 for 8U to 12U.
- Mini-Camps start March 14

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us. Like us on facebook! www.facebook.com

Junior Club offers scholarships for local women

Junior Club of Walla Walla will award three $2,000 scholarships to local women: one to a student enrolled in a local nursing-degree program and two to students pursuing any college-level field of study. These funds are for tuition only and will be paid directly to the recipient’s educational institution. Applicants must be female, 24 years or older, and a resident of Walla Walla County or the city of Milton-Freewater for at least two years. To request an application, email juniorclubww@gmail.com. Applications must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2015. Scholarship recipients will be notified on or before April 30, 2015.

In addition to providing scholarships to local women, Junior Club of Walla Walla also serves the needs of several local non-profit organizations including Books for Babes, Walla Walla Community Hospice, Salvation Army, Children’s Home Society, and the Blue Mountain Humane Society.

AAUW Book Sale this month
Don’t miss the 40th annual American Association of University Women (AAUW) Book Sale at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Friday, Feb 21, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb 22, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb 23, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Please note the new earlier start time on Friday. Children (14 and younger) each receive one free book from the extensive children’s section.  The book sale’s approximately 35,000 books are divided into more than 40 categories. Prices range from $.50 to $4 for most titles.  A special books section featuring rare, collectible books are priced individually. Credit and debit cards will be accepted this year, along with checks and cash. Proceeds from the sale fund local scholarships for women returning to college, and local educational projects and events. 
Applications for Annual Altrusa Spelling Bee now accepted
Altrusa International of Walla Walla is hosting its annual Spelling Bee for third, fourth and fifth grade students on Saturday, March 28. The event will take place in the SEA-TECH Skills Center on the Walla Walla Community College campus and is open to the first 100 students who return entry forms. Prizes are given to the top contestants in each grade level competition. More information and entry forms are available in district elementary schools and on the district website under in the A to Z section under Altrusa Spelling Bee. The deadline for applications is March 11.

Ballot deadline draws near

Ballots for the February 10 special election must be returned and 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. 

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