Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 11, 2016

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School board public work session and meeting - Tuesday, March 15

- Tuesday, March 15
- 5 p.m.: Public Work Session - Budget development discussion
- 6:30 p.m.: Regular School Board meeting
- Location: 364 S. Park St. (Anne Golden Boardroom)
- Both meetings open to the public

National expert trains district crisis recovery teams

School district officials have learned it’s not a matter of if a call will come in, it’s a matter of when as it relates to tragedies. This week Walla Walla Public Schools and area school districts took another step forward to be better prepared to recover from a traumatic event. Crisis Management Institute Director Cheri Lovre, M.S. spent two days in Walla Walla for comprehensive Crisis Response Team training. She will come back in May to wrap-up this latest round of training. Lovre is a national expert on this topic and has supported school districts following the Columbine, North Thurston High School and Marysville school district tragedies to name a few.

Central Office administrators, principals, counselors, intervention specialists, learning specialists, and psychologists attended the training to help their schools map a course for planning and recovery. College Place Public Schools, Touchet School District and Pomeroy Public Schools sent staff to attend. Participants learned lessons from past events, strategies for meeting students’ needs, and a process for a smooth return to academics. They also discussed safe rooms, life tributes, impact of suicide on school response and how trauma impacts recovery. School teams are now developing a consistent checklist of things to do on crisis day, agendas for staff meetings, parent visitations, next steps and other aspects to address should a crisis occur.

ThoughtExchange engagement focuses on Strategic Planning

Later this month staff, parents, students and other stakeholders will be asked to participate in the Spring 2016 ThoughtExchange Community engagement. This round will focus on strategic planning as the district prepares to begin a process later this summer. Stakeholders will be asked to weigh in on what are some ways the district can grow or improve in the next three years. The process will also seek to gain examples of what the district is doing well that should continue to be a focus in the next three years. Participants will also be able to ask clarifying questions about the strategic planning process. Parents and staff members will soon receive an email seeking their involvement. Community members and students have an opportunity to self-register via the district’s website. Look for more information soon.

District reaches out to Children’s Resilience Initiative to study impact of trauma

This week a group of district staff joined members of community agencies to receive training from The Children’s Resilience Initiative as part of a six part series on self-regulation and the impact of trauma. This six part series is designed to help participants understand the three primary brain states, the behaviors/needs associated with them and how self-regulation provides the foundation for effective and impactful interactions with those being served. The training focuses on resilience strategies that can buffer the consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) which include physical, sexual and emotional abuse; neglect; loss of a parent; and substance use, drugs or mental illness within a family. The CRI team consists of Jim Sporleder, Sergio Hernandez, Rick Griffin and Brooke Bouchey.

School Stories
Educators from across nation flock to Lincoln High School to see trauma impacted practices
Article Detail

Next Friday Lincoln High School is hosting a group of 20 superintendents from the Portland/Vancouver area to learn how educators are using a trauma-informed educational model to improve student achievement and support the whole child. On Monday, March 21, Lincoln High School will be hosting a small group from Indianapolis seeking to implement trauma informed practices within their school and community. An alternative high school in Bend, OR will be bringing its entire teaching staff to spend the day at Lincoln High School April 15.

“It is our hope that these educational leaders will be able to take pieces of what we are doing back with them to their districts and that it will inform and impact the practices within their school districts and buildings,” said Principal Marci Knauft. “We are excited to have this opportunity to share what we are doing with other educators.”

Chamber Singers to host middle school students

Today members of Walla Walla High School’s award winning Chamber Singers choir are hosting middle school choir students to visit the campus. Approximately 60 students will be on campus to take a tour of the school and have lunch with the high school students. Choir teacher Nichole Riggs is coordinating the activity. 

Debate team members prepare for state competition

Next week Wafa Abedin (Lincoln Douglas), Emma Case (Congress), and Josh Rose (Congress) will be competing at the State Debate Tournament at Gonzaga University in Spokane. The "speech" portion of "Speech and Debate" takes place at University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Abedin Case and Rose will be joined by state qualifiers Noah Deitrich, Jessica Swanson, Courtney Brown, and Amelia Mott. Walla Walla High School English teacher Keith Swanson is the Speech and Debate Team coach.

Columbia Basin Music Educators’ Association Band Festival in Richland

The Columbia Basin Music Educators' Association sponsors the Band Festival each year for all middle school bands in our region (Walla Walla, Pasco. Kennewick, Richland, Kiona Benton, Othello, Mattawa and Finley). This year the Festival will take place at Richland High School in Richland, WA. The Band Festival gives all middle school bands in the area a chance to prepare and perform three pieces of music. A panel of three adjudicators will critique the performance and give suggestions for becoming a better band.

In a sense the Band Festival is more of a challenge than a competition, with each band trying to perform its personal best. The bands are not competing with one another, but are instead rated according to a standard with one of the following ratings awarded to each band: I - Superior, II - Excellent, III - Good, IV - Fair, V - Poor.

The band will have a 30-minute mini clinic with one of the three adjudicators. This week both Pioneer and Garrison Middle School Bands performed. Garrison's band received Straight Superior Ratings ( I's from all three adjudicators) Pioneer's band received Excellent rating ( II, II+, and I-).

Congratulations to the students on a job well done,” said District Music Coordinator Roger Garcia. “You make Walla Walla proud!”

District 21st Century Coordinator to tour STEM programs across the state

District 21st Century Coordinator Brent Cummings is one of 40 education, community, and government leaders from around the state to participate in a three day bus tour to take a close look at challenges and successes in STEM education throughout the state. Participants will visit STEM learning sites in Vancouver, Yakima, and Spokane to look at equity, the role of new state learning standards, and career opportunities for local students. This tour is the second of two Washington STEM Learning Tours.

"I am excited to travel around the state and work with a large and diverse network of STEM providers and educators focused on preparing our students for college and career readiness in the STEM fields,” Cummings said. “On the trip, I see my role as actively pursuing best-practice ideas and programs which I can bring back into Walla Walla Public Schools. Additionally, I am looking to make lots of friends, in order to leverage those connections to bring a multitude of resources back to our community. Washington STEM is an exemplary organization and I am thankful for this opportunity to attend such an amazing learning tour."

Garrison Night School Extended Day Learning Program holds Pinewood Derby - By Bill Erickson 

The 10-week Garrison Night School Extended Day Learning Program recently had an 18-car Pinewood Derby sponsored by Exploring Post 311 and the night school. The event was for kindergarten to seventh grade students who participated in the Extended Day Learning Program held for children during the adult night school program.

The students raced cars they made during the weeks prior to the February 27 race with assistance from student volunteers. After several heats and races, Mayra Campa placed first, Anita Cholico placed second, Fernando Campos placed third, and Aaron Alvarado placed fourth. It is the seventh year the race was held at Garrison Night School which is a partnership between the Walla Walla School District and Walla Walla Community College. During the four-nights-per-week, 10-week program, student volunteers provide reading and math support and oral language development to the children of parents who attend the night school.

“People of all ages throughout our community benefit from the instruction and activities that Garrison Night School offers,” said Volunteer Bill Erickson who serves at the Wa-Hi Latino Club advisor. “The parents serve as role models of lifelong learners for their students, and they learn valuable skills that will serve them well in their jobs and with their families.”

Wa-Hi ASB Officers named for 2016-2017

Tara Krivoshein - President
Selina Atkinson - Vice President
Avery Cortinas - Secretary
Emma Case - Treasurer

Advisor Arch McHie reports 60.59% of the student body cast a ballot. He reports this is the best turnout he has witnessed.

Lincoln High School drama presents Alice In Wonderland

Performance dates:
- Thursday, March 24 and Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m.
- Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- Children who attend Saturday's 2 p.m. performance will have a chance to get their picture taken with their favorite characters
- Tickets are pay what you will and donations are appreciated.
- Information: Jeremy Gradwohl at 526-8516 or jgradwohl@wwps.org

SEA-TECH Robotics Team competes at West Valley

The Walla Walla Warriors (W 3) Robotics Team competed in its First Robotics Competition last weekend at West Valley High School in Spokane. The team is composed of 12 students from Walla Walla High School and the SEA-TECH Skills Center. The Warriors -- in its first ever competition -- finished 17th out of 34 teams. The team advanced to the quarterfinals in the elimination rounds and was awarded the Rookie Inspiration Award. This recognition celebrates a rookie team’s outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school, as well as in their community. The team is funded through generous sponsorships from Columbia Rural Electric Association, Rotary Club of Walla Walla and the Walla Walla Elks Lodge #287. The team has also secured the following grants; Murdock Grant, US FIRST Robotics Grant, and Washington FIRST Robotics Grant.

FIRST Robotics Competition is the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship.

The Warriors’ next competition is March 18 and 19 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. If the team finishes well, it may be invited to the Pacific Northwest Regional in Portland, Oregon.

Walla Walla Warriors (W3) members:
- Stephen Butler
- Aaron Hays
- Nathan Hays
- Garyn Hermann
- Noah Hokanson
- Dane Jepsen
- Neftali Salazar
- McKensy Severn-Buroker
- Tyler Vasconcelles
- Thomas Wilson
- Riley Winnett

- Jarrod Evensen
- James Polson

Piccolo Player Rachel Schueller Pumps Pep Into Game Day - By University of Miami Marketing Department

Story online: http://everitas.univmiami.net/2016/03/04/piccolo-player-rachel-schueller-pumps-pep-into-game-day/

Game day at the BankUnited Center is a lively atmosphere of student-athletes, coaches, referees, fans, mascots, cheerleaders, dancers, house music, and the incomparable Frost Band of the Hour Pep Band. A 2016 Retale.com online blog commented that the college pep band “is basically the best part of the basketball game,” where “young and vibrant kids are open to dancing, laughing, and cheering on the team with abandon.”

At UM, one band member consistently attracts the attention of spectators, not only for her musicianship but also for her genuine enthusiasm and unbridled spirit. Rachel Schueller (2013 Wa-Hi graduate), a double major in math and marine science, plays piccolo and holds a student leadership position in the Band of the Hour marching and pep bands. She is also a Hurricanes super fan, leading the crowd in spirit chants while dancing in the stands.

Rachel is also known as ‘The Hair’ for spinning her long brown locks like a pinwheel, pumping up the crowd with her dizzying antics while elevating the energy in arenas across the ACC.

“If I’m cheering up the crowd and making them feel peppier, that’s my job,” says Schueller. “The best way to raise the level of a crowd is to help others raise their own level of excitement.”

Schueller grew up in a musical family. Her hair dance began when her dad played in a band. “He was a head banger,” she explains, “but my hair was 12 inches longer than his so I thought, ‘Let’s see what this looks like.’ ” Her favorite dance song is “Turn Down For What” by DJ Snake and Lil John. “That drop really gets me going,” she says.

In 2013, online sports site SB Nation named Ram Boy (Colorado State University), and One-Man Dance Party (University of Arizona) as their “Best Fans of March Madness.” Schueller, aka the Hair, embodies the same passion and physical commitment for University of Miami basketball. She is often recognized in the student dining hall weeks after a game, and UM athletics personnel are taking note.

“Every time she’s put on the videoboard, it makes it hard for us to take the camera off her,” says Lindy Sparby, UM athletics director of marketing. “Her enthusiasm is so contagious, it makes other fans want to get up and dance along with her. She raises the energy in the building and brings excitement to our fan environment.”

Through music, Schueller supports her Hurricane teams wholeheartedly. She comes from a small town in the state of Washington, about as far northwest from Miami as you can get. She grew up playing flute and viola, and specifically chose UM for its marine science and marching band programs.

She is a committed fan, but also a musician who commends the Frost Band of the Hour for providing academic undergrads like herself with a creative outlet that includes developing fundamental life skills and making new friends. “Being in the athletic bands is an opportunity to connect with other students in a way that doesn’t happen as easily in the lecture hall,” she says.
The Frost Band of the Hour Pep Band includes 50 student members. Members dedicate one night per week to rehearsal, in addition to performing at UM men’s and women’s home basketball games, select volleyball games, and traveling to post-season away games. The group performs cutting-edge jazz and rock repertoire custom arranged by Frost Director of Athletic Bands/Professor of Music Jay Rees.

Garrison Middle School student places in Cavalcade of Writing contest

Congratulations to Garrison 8th grade student Daisy Moore for receiving 2nd place in the state of Washington's Cavalcade of Authors writing contest. Moore submitted her piece, titled "Dinner Party", and was the second place winner out of hundreds of entries. She will receive a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble, and an award certificate. She also will have lunch with the Cavalcade authors in the Tri-Cities. 

Local children’s author visits district schools

Walla Walla’s own Patrick Carman recently visited district elementary schools to meet with young readers about his two new books. Carman visited five Walla Walla schools and wrapped up his Walla Walla showcase with a book signing at the public library. Carman is on a 22 city tour across the country to discuss the books. Voyagers is a six book series loaded with STEM material for kids and connected to a lot of technology. Fizzopolis is his first graphic novel with partner Brian Sheesley whose work has been part of the Simpsons, Futurama, and Ren and Stimpy.

"This tour is for two new books from two different publishers, so of course that means double the travel,” Carman said. “I'll be visiting schools and stores in 22 cities, but my favorite city by far is Walla Walla. Best young readers in the world!”

District music students perform strong at regional competition

Congratulations to the following Walla Walla High School students for their performance in the Columbia Basin Regional Solo and Ensemble contest at Hanford High School in Richland last weekend. Students prepare for and perform a solo and or ensemble (duet, trio, quartet, etc.). The state competition is April 29 and 30 in Ellensburg.

Musicians each receive a rating on their performances ( I= Superior, 2 = Excellence, 3 = Good, 4 = Fair and V = Poor). In addition the top performer in each category is chosen to go on and compete in the state solo and ensemble contest on April 29 and 30. In addition to pick a 1st place winner there is also a 2nd place (first alternate) and 3rd place winner (second alternate).

Categories include: Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass Women's Small & Large Ensemble, Men's Small & Large Ensemble, Mixed Men's & Women's Small & Large Ensemble.

From Walla Walla the following Students placed in their category:
- Romey Drabek - Soprano Voice, first place
- Brisa Reyes - Alto Voice, first place
- Derek Swanson - Tenor Voice, first place
- Katie Wenzel - Mezzo Soprano Voice, 1st alternate
- Alto-mic Bombs - Women's Large Ensemble, 1st alternate.
(Madison Garrett, Katie Wenzel, Talia Grandstaff, Brisa Reyes, Lauren Hall, Erika Leinweber, Velia Saldivar)
- Talia Grandstaff - Alto Voice, 2nd alternate
- Garrett / Gibbs Duet - Women's Small Ensemble, 2nd alternate
(Madison Garrett & Sarah Gibbs)

Community Stories
Daring to Dream Big comes to Whitman College

Whitman College invites Walla Walla students and their families to an evening talk titled Daring to Dream Big - A journey from the wheat fields to Outer Space. Come hear Astronaut and Whitman Graduate Dorothy Metcalf -Lindenburger ('97) share her story of how she went from being a high school science teacher to an astronaut.
- Monday, April 4
- 7:30 p.m.
- Young Ballroom (Reid Campus Center)
- Free and open to the public

Ballet Immersion classes available for area children

- Children ages 4-7
- Gesa PowerHouse Theatre
- Saturday, March 26
- $25 / child

Magical Ballerinas is intended for students ages 4 & 5 and will focus on fun ballet stretches and basic technique with a fairytale theme. Class time: 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Ballet Classica is intended for students ages 6 & 7 and will focus on more complex ballet technique with at traditional ballet theme. Class time: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Participants in both classes will take home a complimentary tutu for girls or a hero cape for boys.

Space is limited. Please call (509) 525-0815 to reserve your child's spot in class today! Payment can be made by sending a check (made out to DCBF) to Danza Classica Ballet Foundation 129 East Alder, Suite B Walla Walla, WA 99362

International music entertainer visits Walla Walla Public Library

Andrés Salguero is 123 Andrés, one of the most exciting voices in the international family music scene today. His debut album, ¡Uno, Dos, Tres, Andrés en español y en inglés! was nominated for best children’s album. Andrés has been hailed by Billboard as a “rock star for little language learners.” His music is an interactive celebration of Latin culture for kids and families.

- Friday, March 11
6 p.m. Crecer. Cantar. Imaginar.
123 Andrés encourages families to sing and share experiences, joy, and laughter through songs and movement. Music has proven to be a powerful tool to develop self-esteem, language acquisition, literacy and social skills. The workshop includes music from several Latin American countries. Activities for children are available during the program.

- Saturday, March 12
10 a.m. ¿Dónde está Juana?
Join 123 Andrés as he travels Latin America in search of Juana. Families will sing and dance to new and classic Spanish songs and practice or learn español along the way. Andrés introduces children to Latin American song and dance through a musical lesson in geography that incorporates language, history, culture, art and rhythm along with a huge traveling map.

Parks & Recreation update

Here is this week's information from Parks & Recreation.

Girls Softball Clinic - March 13 - Ages 5-13 - Space is limited
Wa-Hi Gym (clinic will be held outside if weather permits)
Hitting & Fielding - $35
5 - 8-year-olds 1 to 2:30 p.m.
9 - 13-year-olds, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Pitching & Catching - $15
4 to 5 p.m.

Blue Mountain Girls Softball - Ages 5 - 12
6U: 5 & 6 Year Olds - T-Ball - $40
8U - 12U - $55
Mini-camps: Mill Creek Sports Complex
10U - Tuesday, March 15 - 5:30 to 7 p.m. / 12U - Thursday, March 17 - 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 19 - 10U 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. / 12U 1 to 3 p.m.

*All players must attend the mini-camp for their age group - Players who wish to move up must attend the mini camp for their age group and the mini camp for the age division that they wish to play in. You must pre-register for all of these events and space is limited so don't wait. For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us. Like on Facebook! www.facebook.com/wallawallapr

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