Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 24, 2015

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
District names Art Regier Volunteers of the Year

In celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Walla Walla Public Schools is proud to announce Darrell and Von Gomsrud, Donna Chapin, Linda Clark, Jean Gibbs, and Linda Arms as the district’s 2014-2015 Art Regier Volunteers of the Year.

Darrell and Von Gomsrud – Green Park Elementary (for more than seven years)
Nominators – Diane Mires, Jean Tobin, Missy Johnson and Gina Yonts
- They provide meals during conferences
- Donate school supplies
- Help coordinate the Picture Lab program

Nominator Gina Yonts said: “Their willingness to take on the lion share of the Picture Lab project for Green Park has been a blessing. I am constantly amazed at the positivity with which the Gomsrud team shows up, ready to roll, with welcoming and friendly smiles and art supplies in tow.

Donna Chapin – Berney Elementary (six years)
Nominators: Tammy Baker, Annette Matlock, and Danielle Van Dyke
- Donna supports small group math instruction
- She helps coordinate the miles club program
- Donna attends field trips to provide required supervision support

Nominator Annette Matlock said: “Donna has been the most amazing classroom volunteer. Her consistent volunteer time in classrooms over the years has been an enormous blessing to teachers. Whether helping with classroom celebrations, leading small groups, attending field trips or just taking care of busy work, Donna can always be counted on.

Jean Gibbs – Sharpstein Elementary
Nominators: Matt Bona, Danae Darby, Terri Gilbert and Terry Morgan
- Jean coordinates a volunteer group of about 20 volunteers from Pioneer United Methodist Church of Walla Walla to help in classrooms at Sharpstein
- She works closely with the teachers and volunteers to ensure a special match
- She also volunteers to monitor crosswalks and bus drop-off areas on a daily basis

Nominator Terry Morgan said: “Jean is our welcome committee in the morning, along with her husband Ben. Jean’s warm smile and friendly personality invite children to respond. She is kind, caring and special to our staff and students.”

Linda Arms – Blue Ridge Head Start/ECEAP Program (2014-2015 school year)
Nominators: Cresencia Gutierrez-Duran and Denise Fraire
- Linda volunteers in the areas of Education, Parent Involvement, Health and Family Services
- She grew up with 9 to 10 ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and has overcome many barriers
- She assists with making copies, cutting, laminating and gluing projects for different classrooms

Nominators Denise Fraire said: Knowing a person like Linda makes you see life from a different perspective as she has proven you can overcome and conquer what you set out to do. She brings a smile to our faces and we enjoy our small talks as we come in contact with her at school. She sets goals for her child, for herself and strives to reach them.”

Linda Clark – Prospect Point Elementary (10 to 12 years)
Nominators: Susan Prudente, Kara Shulke, Chris Gardea, Amy Nielson and Melissa Gardner
- Linda chairs the school’s Accelerated Reader program through the PTA
- She leads literature circles, assists in the classroom and prepares materials for teachers
- Linda helps with Miles Club, Picture Lab presentations, Hearing and Vision Screenings and the bike rodeo
- She also donates school supplies and coats each fall so students have what they need to be successful

Nominator Amy Nielson said: “Linda is my favorite type of volunteer. She donates countless hours of her time, energy and talent to our local schools, to youth sports programs and to other areas within our community and yet she does so quietly and without much fanfare. She is a humble volunteer, whose desire is only to be of help and enrich the community around her, not to gain the applause of others.”

WWPS Spring Art Show features regional student artists 

- Friday, May 1 to Thursday, May 7
- Show Hours: Friday Night Opening 4 to 7:30 p.m.; Sat, Sun, M-Th 4 to 6 p.m.
- Location: SEA-TECH (525 Campus Loop - Walla Walla Community College)
- Information Contact: Julie Laufenburg - jlaufenburg@wwps.org

Student artists from throughout the Walla Walla Valley will have their artwork on display during the Walla Walla Public Schools Art Show May 1 to 7 at the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center. Paintings, photography, animation and more will be on display. Be sure to stop in and view the vast work from these talented local student artists.

Personnel Report (April 21, 2015 School Board meeting)

Karen Tello, Para-Educator, Special Programs

Julianne Anderson, Learning Specialist, Sharpstein Elementary School, 5 years

Yvon Barber, Head Secretary, Pioneer Middle School, 33 years
Carrie Brown, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Preschool Program, 2 years
Pat Griffith, Head Secretary Technology Department, District Office, 14 years
Cesar Hernandez, Para-Educator, Garrison Middle School, 4 years
(Cesar was on a leave of absence for the 2014-2015 school year)
Julia Leavitt, Intervention Specialist, Blue Ridge Elementary School, 1 year
Maria Meza, Para-Educator, Special Programs, Did not Begin in Position
Steve Stimmel, Head Custodian, Prospect Point Elementary School, 15 years
Eddie Walker, Music Secretary, Garrison Middle School, 18 years

Certificated: Julie Cox, English Teacher, Walla Walla High School, 5 years
(.2 FTE leave of absence for the 2015-2016 school year – will continue in a .8 FTE teaching position)

State assessment update - By Assessment Coordinator Maria Garcia

Walla Walla students in grades 3-5, and grade 10 have been busy for the last few weeks taking the new Smarter Balanced assessments in English Language Arts and Math. Students in grades 6-8 and 11 will soon begin as well. Each school and grade level has their own testing schedule, and school leaders and the district technology department have worked closely to optimize the use of available technology. Overall, the district is about halfway completed.

As parents, you can have confidence that even though the standards and the test are new, your child's teachers have done everything in their power to make this testing experience as positive as possible. Although the tests are much more rigorous than what students have previously experienced, we are very proud of the way our students have engaged with the tests so far. Walla Walla kids and teachers are truly something special!

Rapid return of results is one of the benefits of our new system, and you can expect to have information about how your child performed before the end of the school year. Remember: With anything new, it takes time to learn and adjust, and we can expect overall rates of 'meeting standard' to be somewhat lower than we are used to. We will be considering results from this first year as our starting point, and know that learning will take place and students will improve from year to year. Keep a look out for additional information as it becomes available later this spring.

Mark Your Calendars! End of Year Celebrations

Opportunity Program Graduation
- Thursday, June 4 / During school day / Opportunity Program (1917 E. Isaacs Ave.)

Lincoln High School Graduation
- Thursday, June 4 / 6 p.m. / Marcus Whitman Hotel

Walla Walla High School Commencement
- Friday, June 5 / 7 p.m. / Commons Grounds

Pioneer Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
- Wednesday, June 10 / 7 p.m. / Walla Walla High School Gym

Garrison Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
- Thursday, June 11 / 7 p.m. / Walla Walla High School Gym

Wells and Jordan continue community engagement program

Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan and School Board President Sam Wells continued their community engagement work this week by meeting with the Exchange Club. Wells shared the district is seeking proposals from third-party firms to conduct a search for a new superintendent. The new superintendent will begin in July of 2016. He also reported the school board is conducting more public work sessions to study curriculum offerings and testing. Superintendent Jordan presented a state of the district address. His speech included budget, legislative moves, Common Core State Standards and enrollment. Wells and Jordan have met with several service clubs this school year as well as a number of focus groups to gather input and share district information. 

Kindergarten registration and open enrollment continues through May 1

Kindergarten and Fall Registration for elementary schools is scheduled through Friday, May 1. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school.

Kindergarten/Elementary Registration and Open Enrollment Hours:
- Now through May 1: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Open enrollment requests at Walla Walla Public Schools will be granted according to School Board Policy No. 3130 and its procedures 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.

School Stories
Snow Make-Up Day 

• Friday, May 8
• All schools will be in session

Volunteers build school garden at Berney Elementary

Berney Elementary students will soon have a school garden after volunteers spent their Saturday building raised beds and preparing the soil. Parent Joy Bader is coordinating the installation project. Kindergarten teacher Lori Thomas is the Berney Garden coordinator. 

Lincoln High School teams with Milton Freewater Drive-In for drama fundraiser

The Lincoln High School Drama Dept. will hold a fundraiser at the Milton-Freewater Drive In Thursday, April 30. The movie Shrek will be shown. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. and the movie will start at 8 p.m. The entrance fee will be by donation only. All entrance donations and some of the snack bar revenue will help fund the Lincoln Drama Department.

Area youth team with GESA Power House Theatre for international student film festival

May 9, 2015
1 to 7 p.m.
GESA Power House Theatre
Free 14 and under

Approximately 40 films from throughout the world made by filmmakers under 21 years of age, including several from Walla Walla students, will be shown during the SPIFFY (Student Produced Independent Films For Youth) festival Saturday, May 9 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the GESA Power House Theatre. Cost is $12 and those 14 and under are in for free. Pioneer Middle School teacher Dan Calzaretta is the festival director.

“It is the only student film festival in Eastern Washington,” said Calzaretta. “One of the most important skills they learn is how to manage a long-term project with many moving parts. These skills will follow them to high school, college and a career.”

A local committee of parents and students screened the films to narrow the field from 80 selections to 40 for public viewing. Each genre will receive an award based on audience participation via electronic voting via text on their cell phones. Many of the local students collaborated with CREW SPACE at the City of Walla Walla Public Library to produce their films. Food vendors will be at the festival from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a variety of local foods.

“We have had a lot of support from GESA Power House Director Ron Williams and the entire Power House staff.” Calzaretta said. “They have been behind SPIFFY from the first minute it was talked about.”
Event Information:
- Dan Calzaretta
- dcalzaretta@wwps.org
- 509.527.3050

Walla Walla High School students named Washington Scholars

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School students Courtney Cox, Brelynn Hess, Madyson Gabriel, Emily Leinweber, and Sabine Vernon for being named Washington Scholars for Legislative District 16 by the Washington Student Achievement Council. This year a total of 654 high school seniors were honored as Washington Scholars from the graduating class of 2015, nominated by 263 high schools across the state.
Legislative District 16 number of recipients:
Kamiakin - 1
Kennewick - 1
Southridge - 0
Richland - 1
Hanford - 0
Touchet - 1
Riverview (Finley) - 1
Pasco - 1
Dayton - 1
Prosser - 1
Chiawana - 0
Walla Walla - 5

About the Washington Scholars Program
"The 1981 Legislature created the Washington Scholars program to honor the accomplishments of the most exemplary high school seniors graduating in Washington each year. The award represents the highest meritorious academic honor conferred on these young residents by the state’s government and education leaders. High school principals were encouraged to nominate the top one percent of their graduating senior classes for Washington Scholars recognition on the basis of academic achievement, leadership, and community service. Historically, designation has been limited to three Scholars and one alternate in each of the state’s 49 legislative districts. This year recognition has been extended to all eligible students nominated by their high school principals. Recognition as a Washington Scholar includes no monetary scholarship. The Washington Student Achievement Council administers the Washington Scholars program in cooperation with the Association of Washington School Principals."

Wa-Hi freshman takes Future Business Leaders of America state title - By Wa-Hi Journal

Freshman Andrew Dutton placed first in Spreadsheet Applications at the FBLA State Business Leadership Conference on April 15-17 in Spokane. Dutton is currently enrolled in the Microsoft Office Applications class, which, among other things, covers the use of Microsoft Excel and spreadsheets. Dutton also placed second in MOS Word 2013 by having a perfect 1000 score on the 2013 Word Microsoft certification exam and having the second fastest time in the state. He has now qualified for Nationals in Chicago, June 28-29, where he will be part of the Washington state delegation.

Senior Kayla Crain edged out 75 other competitors on Wednesday to advance to the final round of only nine in the Client Service event on Thursday. She placed in the top nine, but not in the final five. Crain also competed in the Job Interview event.

FBLA President Emily Atkinson represented Wa-Hi in the parade of presidents with over 120 high schools represented. She was also recognized at the Southeast Region meeting for her dedication to FBLA. Senior Bernardo Saucedo and junior Ben Tompkins represented Wa-Hi FBLA as voting delegates during the state officer elections. Seniors Alex Agidius and Atkinson competed in the Business Ethics event, junior Autumn Chinn competed in Public Speaking II, and junior Isaiah Schaub competed in Impromptu Speaking. Over 2,000 Washington FBLA members attended the State Leadership Conference, including nine Wa-Hi members. Students competed in over 70 competitive events, having first placed in their respective regions at Winter Conference in February. FBLA members visited a college and career fair and listened to keynote speakers, including former Starbucks President Howard Behar. FBLA is advised by School of Business teacher Bernard Ma.

Walla Walla High School senior signs college letter of intent

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School senior Courtney Cox for signing her letter of intent to the University of Portland for cross country and track. We wish Courtney well in West Coast Conference action.

SEA-TECH offers free summer courses

Health Summer Program
- June 15 to July 2
- 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday
- Nutrition and wellness for life, personal and family health, CPR and First Aid, Health Careers
- Satisfies the .5 high school graduation requirement for health
- Instructor: Victoria Reardon

Introduction to Manufacturing Summer Program
- June 15 to July 2
- 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday
- Exploratory course in the area of manufacturing: drafting/CAD, welding, CNC plasma cutting, shop safety, career options
- Manufacturing summer course satisfies the .5 FTE CTE or elective credit
- Instructor: James Polson

SEA-TECH Summer School Parent Information Night, Tuesday, April 28 from 6 to 7 p.m. @ SEA-TECH (525 Campus Loop)

KNDU TV reporter features SEA-TECH 

SEA-TECH held a public open house Monday to showcase the new facility and programs. KNDU TV reporter Raven Richard visited Walla Walla to cover the event. Click on the link below to watch her report.

Head Start/ECEAP applications now accepted

The WWPS Head Start/ECEAP preschool program is now taking applications for the 2015-2016 school year. The program provides free preschool classes for qualifying children in Walla Walla County. Families are encouraged to apply for children who will be 3 or 4 years-old by August 31, 2015.  Applications are available at Blue Ridge Elementary and on the Walla Walla Public Schools website.

Mr. Wa-Hi named

Gerrod Peck was crowned Mr. Wa-Hi 2015. Thanks to MC's Eric and Amy Hisaw and judges Peggy Payne, Kathy Pritcher and Rob Ahrens. This event was organized by the Senior Class Officers: Yamile Bernal, Mitch Huffman, Kendall Davis and Zach Crum.

Pioneer Middle School students to be inducted National Junior Honor Society

Pioneer Middle School is planning its National Junior Honor Society Induction ceremony May 20 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the school gym. Alba Biagi is the program advisor. Congratulations to the following students who will be inducted to Pioneer's Chapter of NJHS:

- Ashleigh Anderson
- Matteo Beaufume
- Rachel Boschker
- Jacqueline Brick
- Eleah Dalgleish
- Fionn Ensor-McDermott
- Clementine Farnum
- Reese Fewell
- Madison Furstenberg
- Elsa Gomsrud
- Gavin Gonzalez
- Nels Gregoire
- Megan Harvey
- Joshua Holgate
- Lucas Houchin
- Shemar Irizarry
- Mya Jones
- Nataya Lovejoy
- Luke Matlock
- Claire McDevitt
- Joella Miller
- Ryan Moore
- Matilda Morris
- Milan Mumm
- Daria Parodi
- Liliana Reiter
- Makayla Schille
- Maddison Vail
- Rebecca Whitehurst

Mark you calendars for WEAR BLUE DAY May 1

Staff and students across the district will be supporting Wear Blue Day to raise awareness about Juvenile Arthritis May 1. Student Allison Wanichek established this annual event several years ago.

“Wearing blue is great, but I want to make sure people know WHY they are wearing it — which is to raise awareness about Juvenile Arthritis,” said Wanichek, who was diagnosed with this disease as a young girl. “Look for posters, public service announcements and more information as the May 1 date draws near.”

Visit the WWPS website (www.wwps.org) to see a video Public Service Announcement. Allison’s younger brother Jack, a Prospect Point 4th grade student, produced the video for Blue Day to raise awareness about juvenile arthritis.

FFA Plant Sale next week

The FFA Plant Sale will start at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29 and conclude on Friday, May 1. The sale is outside the CTE building on Abbott Road. The FFA has added a few new varieties this year along with many of its traditional annuals.

Area businesses offer signing bonuses to SEA-TECH students

Southeast Area Technical Skills Center students in the Health Sciences program are in high demand as demonstrated recently by area businesses offering signing bonuses to students who earn their Certified Nursing Assistant credentials. Walla Walla General Hospital, Odd Fellows Home and Park Manor Rehabilitation are all willing to pay bonuses for students to who are hired. Some businesses have also offered to help fund additional college instruction for students who are interested in advancing their careers. Health Sciences teacher Sandy Thomas says she is proud of her students and excited for their futures.  

Trip to Belize planned for area middle school students

Parent volunteer Kathryn Southwick Hess and Pioneer Middle School teacher Dan Calzaretta are teaming with Education First to plan a non-school district sponsored Environmental Science-based tour to Belize next year during Spring Break. This privately organized trip will primarily focus on studying fragile ecosystems and marine biology. Currently there are 44 middle school travelers signed up and some remain on a waiting list

“We will also learn about the history and unique culture of this Latin American country,” said Southwick Hess. “Students have the option of earning high school credit through EF's accredited programs which involve study before, during and post trip activities.”

Belize Trip Fundraisers:
- May 9: Community Yard Sale - 130 Merrill Road
- May 17: Krispy Kreme Donuts pre-sale (Contact Gladys Coley to order prior to May 13 - 520-2527)
- May 29-20: Spring Fling at Pioneer Park (50/50 drawing and games)
- June 21: Diversity Day at Pioneer Park (50/50 drawing and games)
- June 27, July 25, August 22: Car washes at the Elks Lodge

Fundraiser Information: Gladys Coley (509) 520-2527

Community Stories
Opportunity for Middle School students to experience college life

The Whitman Institute for Scholastic Enrichment (WISE) is currently accepting applications for the August 9-11, 2015 program. This is a free program for local students who will be entering 9th grade in fall 2015. Participants stay on the Whitman College campus for three days and two nights and all meals are provided. The WISE schedule includes classes with Whitman professors, workshops on how to access and prepare for college, an art project and recreational activities. Students who would be the first in their families to attend college are especially encouraged to apply. A workshop for parents included as part of the program covers the financial aid process, academic choices in high school and other concerns related to preparing for college.

To apply, students fill out an application, a parent release form, a counselor or teacher recommendation form, and submit a copy of a recent report card or online grade report. Applications are due by June 1, and are available online at whitman.edu/wise or by contacting Sonja Aikens at 527-5596 or aikenssl@whitman.edu.

YMCA Summer Sign-Up Day!

- Sunday April 26
- 1 to 4 p.m.
- Borleske Stadium

Join the Y staff for games, demonstrations, a bouncy house and family fun. A free lunch (hot dogs and fruit) is provided and a visit from Sweet Lou! Come learn more about summer camps and programs for ages 3 and older. Programs include sports, rock climbing, archery, volleyball, swim lessons, including 1/2 day and full day camps. Sign up on May 26 and receive 10% off of camps and a free YMCA/WW Sweets t-shirt!

City Parks and Recreation Update

Fencing - Ages 9-17
Cost - $35
Dates - April 26 - May 20
Location - Carnegie
Beginning and Intermediate classes are available.

Fall Soccer - Ages 5-14
Registration will open by Thursday, April 30

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

Town Hall meeting venue for release of Healthy Youth Survey data

W2 for Drug Free Youth will be hosting a Town Hall Forum on April 28 at 7 p.m. at the Walla Walla High School Auditorium. Come hear the results of both the W2 for Drug Free Youth Community Survey and the 2014 Healthy Youth Survey completed by 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grade students in Walla Walla.

Meeting topics
- What are the top concerns of our youth? Alcohol? Drugs? Depression? Violence? Homelessness?
- What do kids like best about living in Walla Walla?

A question and answer period will feature middle school and high school principals, Trilogy Recovery Community and Walla Walla Youth Alliance. Local resources and information will be available for both parents and youth.

For more information contact:
Peggy Needham, Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative Coordinator
Trilogy Recovery Community
515 West Poplar
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 876-4525

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