Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 29, 2015

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
ThoughtExchange second phase allows participants to see the thoughts of others

The district’s Spring 2015 ThoughtExchange Community Engagement process has shifted to the second phase. Better known as “Star”, the second phase allows participants to review the thoughts of others and indicate their priorities by placing stars next to the ideas that are most important to them.

The email invites were sent out Wednesday afternoon and will remain open until 11 p.m. Sunday, June 7. Please take a few minutes to engage and help the district learn what others are thinking through this confidential community engagement process. The district will share the results with the public in June. Contact Communications Director Mark Higgins if you need additional information: mhiggins@wwps.org / (509) 526-6716.

State approves district request for high school graduation requirements

Walla Walla Public Schools has received written notification from the Washington State Board of Education stating the district's request for a temporary waiver of Career and College Ready graduation requirements has been approved. Under the waiver granted, the district will implement the graduation requirements set forth in WAC 180-51-068 for students who enter the ninth grade on July 1, 2017 rather than on July 1, 2015.

The State Board of Education is increasing the number of credits required to graduate to 24, up from the previous state requirement of 20 credits. Walla Walla Public Schools currently requires 22 credits to graduate. The waiver will allow the school board time to explore and implement more opportunities for students to earn high school credit. These include options such as College in the High School, adoption of new courses, offering high school level courses in the middle school, as well as time to further develop Career and Technical Education equivalencies within our high school curricula.

“Delaying the implementation will also allow our district to provide professional development to our teaching and counseling staff as it relates to the 24 credit graduation requirement,” said Jordan. “The additional time provided by this waiver allows us to develop a comprehensive communication plan to share the new graduation requirements with students, families and the community.”

District names new Director of Special Education

Walla Walla Public Schools has named Libby Thompson its new Director of Special Education. Thompson succeeds former director Dr. Karen Lehman.

Thompson is currently Assistant Director of Special Education at North Thurston Public Schools. Previously, she was an Education Specialist in the Special Education Department at North Thurston Public Schools from 2012 to 2014. Thompson also was employed by the Puyallup School District as an Educational Specialist in Special Education for two years and as a special education teacher for seven years.

Thompson earned her Administrator Certificate from St. Martin’s University, Masters in Education from City University and Bachelors in Education from Pacific Lutheran University. She begins with Walla Walla Public Schools July 1.

“I believe all children, no matter their circumstances, can meet high expectations,” Thompson said. “It is up to us as educators to be committed and challenge them to meet their full potential.”

School Board meeting June 2

- Tuesday, June 2
- 6:30 p.m.
- District Board Room (364 S. Park St.)
- Meeting open to the public

Early dismissal for elementary students June 5

- Friday, June 5: Early dismissal for elementary students
- This time is used by elementary teachers for report card preparation
- Students in grades 6-12 are on a regular schedule
- The last day of school is Friday, June 12 (early dismissal for all students)

Public invited to Graduates of Distinction ceremony

Walla Walla Public Schools names this year’s honorees for the Graduates of Distinction program. They are: Judy Chamberlain Holloway, Class of 1962; Richard “Dick” Moeller, Class of 1963; and Carol M. Barker, Class of 1974.

These individuals have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers and continue to bring honor to the district. Celebrate alongside these distinguished alumni at a reception in their honor Tuesday, June 2. Listen to their stories and hear who helped shape their lives during their school years.

Date: Tuesday, June 2
Time: 5 to 6 p.m.
Place: Walla Walla School District Board Room

Judy Chamberlain Holloway
In 1969, Judy was hired as the first elementary school physical education teacher in the history of Walla Walla Public Schools. Since retiring in 1999, she has been active in many organizations, and has volunteered countless hours in many capacities for College Place Presbyterian Church. She also is an avid cheerleader and reunion chair for her 1962 graduating class. Her nominator was friend Pam Ray. Her most inspirational staff member is former Prospect Point custodian Toss Benefiel.

Richard “Dick” Moeller
While in high school, Dick took a carpentry class and discovered his life’s passion. After owning a successful construction company for years, he retired in 2001 only to begin a new phase of his life: volunteering. As a longtime board member for Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days, his contributions include rebuilding the Pavilion and its cupola; and he has been active in the Carpentry Program at Walla Walla Community College. His nominator was Cory Hewitt and his most inspirational staff member is Dick Neher, his physical education teacher at Wa-Hi.

Carol M. Barker
A varsity athlete and student leader, Carol attended Whitman College following her 1974 graduation. One short year later, she suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed in body, but not spirit. She completed her Whitman education, graduating magna cum laude, then taught school locally for several years before heading to Salem to pursue a law degree at Willamette University. She has now practiced law in the Salem area since the mid 1990’s, in addition to partnering with her Salem Alliance Church pastor to lead bible studies for more than 25 years and co-author nearly 40 Bible study guides. Carol was nominated by her high school physical education teacher Charlotte Worth. She has named Charlotte and Jolynn (McBee) Woods, Wa-Hi’s Dean of Girls in the 1970’s, as her most inspirational staff members.

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

Statement From State Superintendent Randy Dorn on End of Special Session

Where is the "Grand Agreement" we were promised?
“The Legislature recognizes, as does the Court, that the remaining enhancement targets must be met by the statutory implementation date of 2018, which means that the pace of implementation must increase. For this reason, the upcoming biennial budget developed in the 2015 legislative session must address how the targets will be met…2015 is the next and most critical year for the Legislature to reach the grand agreement needed to meet the state's Article IX duty by the statutorily scheduled full implementation date of 2018. “
- Report from the Legislature to the Supreme Court, May 1, 2014

OLYMPIA — May 28, 2015 — Thirteen months ago, the Legislature promised the Supreme Court and the people of the state of Washington that 2015 would be the year of the grand agreement on education funding. After 135 days of a regular and special legislative session, there has been virtually no movement on this issue. Near the end of the regular session, bills were introduced in the Senate that would have made real progress toward full funding of basic education, but none of those bills have been acted on. The second special session is the moment of truth. Will the Legislature do the right thing, or risk a constitutional showdown with the Supreme Court?

Legally, at a minimum, the Legislature must adopt a complete plan showing year by year how the state will fully fund the following:
- The elements of House Bill 2776: full-day kindergarten; materials, supplies and operating costs; student transportation; and reduced class sizes in grades K-3.
- 100% of the compensation for all staff who help provide a basic education.
- And reduced class sizes in grades 4-12, and other staffing enhancements included in the Prototypical School Model originally set forth in the Picus and Odden report which the court referenced in the McCleary decision, unless they adopt an education policy rationale explaining why they wish to deviate from that model.

In my opinion, anything less will invite sanctions from the Court. In addition, I believe the Legislature needs to ensure that the budget they pass does no harm to school districts by increasing their reliance on levies. And they need to pass legislation to prevent the unconstitutional use of levies to fund compensation for basic education services. If they don’t act now, local bargaining over levy funds will continue, digging the hole deeper in terms of the levels of compensation the State will eventually become responsible for.

I again urge the Legislature to consult the plans that Treasurer McIntire and I presented during the regular session. Together, they provide a road map toward a fully funded school system. As a former legislator, I know these issues are politically difficult. But gridlock is not an option. Today, kids receive different levels of education depending on the local funding available to their schools. This is wrong, and blatantly unconstitutional. I remember a day when courageous members of both parties would put aside their differences and do the right thing for the students of the great state of Washington. It is time for this generation of lawmakers to step up and become leaders.

District retirement celebrations (remaining)

WWPS District Office
Betsy Adkins
Friday, May 29 / 3 to 5 p.m.
District Office

Pioneer Middle School
Judy Anderson and Yvon Barber
Tuesday, June 9 / 3 to 4:30
Pioneer Multipurpose room

Sharpstein Elementary
Kathy Emmert, Carolyn Smith and Kate Venneri
Friday, June 5 / 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Sharpstein atrium (lobby)

Walla Walla High School
Terry Willcuts, Ivonne Gainza, Bunny Baker and Gretchen Baker
Wednesday, June 10 / 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Wa-Hi Commons

School Stories
Bike Barn and Specialized team to support Blue Ridge Bike Rodeo

Wednesday, Blue Ridge Elementary teacher Cheryl Thonney invited her brothers Kevin and Andrew Thonney from the Bicycle Barn to Blue Ridge for the annual Bike Rodeo. Students learned the basics of bicycle maintenance, safety rules of the road and techniques to improve their skills. This year Kevin was able to secure a grant through Specialized for 50 youth helmets. This allowed all students to be properly fitted with brightly colored new helmets. Students were able to ride to Jefferson Park thanks to an escort from local police and firefighters.

“Some had never ridden prior to today, but all students were off of training wheels by the end of the day,” Cheryl Thonney said. “People in the community made this event possible by providing bikes for students to borrow or offering their time to work with the students on safety and riding skills.”

Lincoln High School plans drama production this weekend

Lincoln High School Drama Presents “Glimpses of the Moon” Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30 at 7 p.m. at the Walla Walla High School Performing Arts Auditorium. “Glimpses of the Moon” is a romantic Jazz Musical set in the 1920’s. Nick (Etiene Vela) and Susy (Anna May) are poor individuals who are trying to marry someone wealthy. They make a plan to marry each other in hopes of meeting other rich people to marry in the future. Little did they know that their plan would backfire. Ticket prices are by donation so that all can attend, according to Director Riki Wauchek.

“Join us for this amazing production,” said Wauchek. “The students worked hard at fundraising to earn the money in order to buy the rights to perform the play.”

Wa-Hi Auto Club Car Show Saturday

The Walla Walla High School Car Club is planning a Car Show and Food Drive Saturday at the Wa-Hi Science parking lot from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The automotive entrants donated 10 nonperishable food items to get their vehicle in the show and are competing for trophy's and prizes donated by our local Les Schwab tire store, according to Automotive Technology Instructor Paul Quick.

“We should have great weather so come check out the cars,” Quick said. “It doesn't cost anything to see the show, but If you would like to donate food to the cause that would be great too.”

Providence and Walla Walla Public Schools offer $10 sports physicals today

Area students in grades 6-11 will be able to get sports physicals for $10 in the Walla Walla High School Main Gym May 29 from 3:30 to 7 p.m.

Providence St. Mary Rehabilitation Department, Providence Medical Group and the Walla Walla Public Schools are partnering to provide inexpensive exams at a convenient location for student athletes and their parents. Proceeds will be donated to the Walla Walla High School Athletic Department for athletic training supplies. The event is open to all area students.

The exams will include height and weight, a vision test, blood pressure, musculoskeletal exam, and a physical. They will be conducted by family practitioners in concert with physical therapists, athletic trainers, physician assistants and therapy assistants.

To receive a sports physical, all student athletes under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their parent/legal guardian or bring a release and health history form signed by a parent or legal guardian. No appointments are necessary. For more information, call 509-526-8403.

Local organizations offer donations to Lincoln High School art program

The Lincoln High School Art Department is the recipient of two donations from the community. At its May Creative Network event, ArtWalla presented Lincoln Art Program Director Jayne Eacker with a $500 gift to be used for student art supplies and special projects. The donation from ArtWalla represents a portion of the proceeds raised for arts education by regional artists through their participation in the annual ArtSquared event. Currently ArtWalla is sponsoring the Pop Up Gallery on the corner of Second and Poplar. ArtWalla is a local organization committed to supporting and strengthening the Arts in the Walla Walla Valley. The Walla Walla Art Club also donated $300 to Lincoln for the purchase of art supplies.

“Lincoln High School wants to thank these organizations for their generous support,” Eacker said.

Wa-Hi Spring Sports State Playoff update

Track & Field
- Field events started Thursday at Mt. Tahoma High School
- Tickets are $9 each day or $18 for tournament
- Schedule: http://www.wiaa.com/ConDocs/Con1451/2015%201B,2B,1A%20Track%20Schedule.pdf

- First game Friday, May 29 at 10 a.m. at Merkel Sports Complex (Spokane)
- Tickets are $9
- Bracket: http://www.wiaa.com/Brackets/T1185.pdf

Girls Tennis
Jenny Bautista and Jazmin Duran qualify for Regionals at Richland High School

Wa-Hi students named Microsoft champions - Story by Ryan Manny (Wa-Hi Journal)

Four Microsoft students have been named Washington State Champions in a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) competition, which was announced by Certiport and Microsoft on May 21. Certification exams show a student’s mastery of a certain Microsoft program.

Junior Andrew Harvey (Excel 2010), sophomore Grace McKeirnan (Excel 2013), sophomore Aaron Page (Word 2010) and freshman Andrew Dutton (PowerPoint 2010) were named Washington State Champions and will receive an invitation to U.S. Nationals in Orlando in June, along with a prize package which includes a Microsoft Surface.

Sophomore Mackenzie Harting placed second in Word 2013, and sophomore Hannah Cabasco placed third in PowerPoint 2013. They will also receive prize packages.

All students had perfect scores of 1000, but they also completed the 50-minute certification exams in single-digit times. Most students take the full 50 minutes to complete a certification exam, and only a few achieve perfect scores. To date, students in Washington state have passed 19,243 certification exams this year.

“The competition was fierce in PowerPoint 2013,” School of Business teacher Gay Buissink said. “This is more than just flying over the screen, clicking here and there with the mouse. It takes weeks of practice, honing one’s ability to skim read for the 2010 competition or to commit large amounts of information to memory for the 2013 competition. Students were very self-motivated.”

The competition began last fall when Buissink started identifying students who scored the highest in each of the Microsoft certification exams. In the last month, the students worked at the competition daily, coming in after school and at lunch.

Competitors took the test dozens of times in a row in order to improve their times. “Mrs. Buissink yelled at me a lot. It helped me get down to business,” Harvey said.

Whitman College School Outreach newsletter available

Whitman College continues to enhance learning opportunities for Walla Walla Public Schools students through its Student Engagement Center. Click on the link below to read the 2014-2015 School Outreach Newsletter. Thanks to Whitman College Outreach Coordinator Susan Prudente and the entire Student Engagement Center team for making a difference in our district.

Green Park Elementary Carnival & Auction

Date: Thursday, June 4
Time: 4 to 8 p.m.

The Green Park Carnival has 19 booths including Cotton Candy, Target Toss, Fish Pond, and Face-Painting. Pizza and fresh veggies/fruit are offered in the cafeteria, with a silent auction in the Green Park gymnasium. Tickets are sold to adults only at $.25 each. This is the longest running carnival in Walla Walla, 80 plus years. It is a fundraiser for Green Park PTA that provides enrichment activities and support to Green Park by bringing Missoula Children’s Theater, Chromebooks, Marimbas, Art and Science Fairs, Miles Club, Garden Club, Children’s Day, Pacific Science Center, and other fantastic experiences to the students. The general public is welcome to attend.

Wa-Hi Advanced Placement Biology students visit Whitman College

This week Walla Walla High School students in Peggy Payne’s and Mary Burt’s Advanced Placement Biology classes took a field trip to Whitman College to do a microscopy lab, tour the campus, and learn about admissions.

Whitman College Science Outreach Coordinator Heidi Chapin helped coordinate the activity. She said Whitman College is committed to supporting public education.

“At Whitman College, we really like to give back to the community,” Chapin said. “We identify the resources we have that are easy to share to invigorate the schools science programs and build upon what students are already learning.”

For Wa-Hi sophomore Stella Gryler, the field trip to Whitman College provides lab learning opportunities not available at her school.

“There is a lot of neat science equipment at Whitman College that we don’t have at Wa-Hi,” Gryler said. “We were able to look through these good microscopes at Whitman College to support what we have been learning all year.”

Community Stories
Eastgate Lions Club hosts health screening event 

parking lot (1649 Plaza Way) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Volunteer health professionals and Eastgate Lions Club members will staff the professionally equipped mobile unit and provide vision, hearing, glaucoma, diabetes; and blood-pressure screenings for people of all ages.

“We would especially like to get information about this opportunity to school children (and their parents) since our club has received a substantial bequest intended to assist children (under the age of 18) with vision problems who need, but cannot afford, treatment,” said member Sally Kearsley. “If these children or young people come to the health screening unit to be evaluated and are found to need eyeglasses or other vision aids or devices, we will be able to work with them to get the information they need to take advantage of this assistance.”

For additional information about the screening event and the vision grants, contact Dale Peck at 529-5132 (dalepeck1@yahoo.com) or Glen Horner at 525-5485 (ghorner@charter.net).

Local students to perform in “A Celebration of Dance” Saturday

The Walla Walla Dance Company under the direction of Nancy Wells presents Spring Finale 2015 “ A Celebration of Dance” Saturday, May 30, 7:30 p.m. at Cordiner Hall. All new choreography in Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Lyrical with 125 of the most talented and exciting dancers in the area.
Reserved: $15 / General: $12

Educational Summer events planned

Wings of Freedom Tour
- June 15 (noon to 5 p.m.), June 16 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and June 17 (9 a.m. to noon)
- Three historical airplanes will be on site (P-51 Mustang, B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator)
- Walla Walla Regional Airport
- Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under
- Veterans admitted free of charge.

Rosie the Riveter Style Show
- June 28
- 2 p.m.
- Kirkman House
- Admission is $10 and includes strawberry shortcake with ice cream.

Humanities Washington Speaker
- July 3
- Topic: Triple nickle WWII paratroopers.
- The venue has not been announced
- Admission is free.

Local group teams with mobile food bank to give away food

Former Edison Elementary teacher Kay Barga is helping coordinate a Social Concerns Committee partnership with the 2nd Harvest Mobile Food Bank to provide  free produce, nutritious perishable products, other groceries and beef to all in need. The food give away event is Tuesday, June 9  from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Assumption Church, 2098 E. Alder.  The give away requires no appointment or documentation and will be held rain or shine. For more information, contact Kay Barga at 529-3527.

Registration is open for City Parks and Rec Summer Programs

- 2nd Half of Season: Adult Softball League Men's & Women's (Ages 16 & up) June 1
- UPlay - Free Summer Day Camp (Ages 7 - 12) June 15
- Free Summer Meals - Schedule TBD (Ages 1 - 18) June 15
- Youth Tennis Lessons (Ages 6 - 18) June 15
- Swim Team (Ages 16 & under) June 15
- Youth Golf Lessons (Ages 16 & under) June 16
- Adult Nia Fitness (Ages 12 & up) June 21
- Swimming Lessons (Ages 0 - 10) June 22
- Bas Relief Clay Tile (Ages 8 - 15) June 23
- Youth NFL Flag Football League(Grades 2 - 8) July 6
- Whitman Volleyball Kids Camp (Ages 7 -14) July 6
- Youth Fencing Lessons (Ages 9 - 17) July 8
- Imagination Yoga (Ages 3 -12) July 8
- Women's Self Defense Getting the Upper Hand (Ages 12 & up) July 12
- Camp Jump Start (Ages 7 - 12) July 13
- British Soccer Camps (Ages 3 - 18) July 13 register at www.challengersports.com<http://www.challengersports.com>
- Brazilian Soccer Camps (Ages 8 - 18) July 13 register at www.challengersports.com<http://www.challengersports.com>
- Little Kicks Soccer (Ages 3 - 5) July 14
- I Love Cheerleading Camp (Grades K - 5) July 29
- Youth Fall Soccer League (Ages 5 - 14) June 30 Registration Deadline
- Whitman Soccer Kids Camps (Ages 4 - 12) August 10
- Youth Track & Field Camp (Ages 4 - 12)<https://secure.rec1.com/WA/walla_walla/> August 26
- Youth Circus Lessons (Ages 8 - 13) September 3
* Scholarships are available upon request.

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

Wa-Hi student choreographs local ballet production

- A Midsummer Nights Dream and More
- Saturday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m.
- Cordiner Hall, Whitman College Campus
- Tickets available at Earthlight Books and at the door ($15 Reserve; $12 General; $10 Student/Senior Citizen)
- Producer/Director: Idalee Hutson-Fish: The Dance Center

The Dance Center of Walla Walla presents its annual all-studio recital directed by Idalee Hutson-Fish. This performance features the famous Shakespeare story of A Midsummer Nights Dream with music by Mendolsshon. Guest artists Danielle Tolmie and Mark Tucker from Eugene Ballet Company as Tatania and Oberon and with Ashley Akacich as the mischievous Puck, make this production one to remember. Local dancers, Lisi Dobson (Junior), Sophia Rolph (Junior), Caleb Leitch (Senior) and James Innes (Senior) will be dancing the roles of Helena, Hermia, Lysander and Dimitris. Charles Gordon (Class of 2012) will be dancing the role of Bottom along with 85 dancers from The Dance Center as sprites, fairies and Athenians. Also on the program will be five Hebrew love songs choreographed by Wa-Hi senior, Caleb Leitch and sung by the Walla Walla High School Chamber Singers. Included on the program will be a new Untitled work choreographed by director Idalee Hutson-Fish.

City plans Isaacs Avenue Corridor Study public open house

- Tuesday, June 9, 4-6 p.m.
- Whitman College, Reid Center - Ballroom A (345 Boyer Avenue)
- Visit gowallawalla.us for more information
Do you drive, walk, bike, take the bus, live or shop on Isaacs Avenue? If so, please consider attending the last major public event on the corridor study. The meeting will review project goals and the preferred alternatives for future improvements to the design and condition of Isaacs Avenue between Rose St. and Wilbur Ave. If you have questions or are interested in joining the email list, please contact Monte Puymon with the City’s Engineering Division at mpuymon@wallawallawa.gov or at (509) 542-4513.

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