Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 8, 2013

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Wells elected to join school board

Incumbent school board members Cindy Meyer and Ruth Ladderud have retained their seats on the board following the November 5 General Election. Sam Wells was elected to replace retiring school board member Dan Hess.

The election will be officially certified by the Walla Walla County Elections Office Tuesday, November 26. All three directors will be sworn in during the Dec. 17 school board meeting.

“Education is very important for me and my kids and everyone in the community, so it was a chance to get involved and practice what I preach,” said Sam Wells.

No School Monday, Nov. 11 - Veterans Day

Staff and students across the district organized Veterans Day celebrations this week. Veterans Day coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I.

Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. Thanks to all of our district staff, former students and parents who have served in the military.

District team to present at regional conference on positive behavior interventions

A team from Walla Walla has been invited to present at the Northwest PBIS conference in Spokane this Friday. 'PBIS' stands for Positive Behavior Intervention Supports, and is the behavior branch of the Response to Intervention (RTI) framework.

“The team will be highlighting various buildings' approaches to implementing PBIS, and of particular interest to the conference organizers is that WWPS's PBIS implementation is a district-level initiative,” said Maria Garcia, district RTI coordinator. “This program is not just one or two buildings going it alone. We have taken a district approach on this issue.”

School board Executive Session: Tuesday, November 12

- 5:30 to 6:25 p.m.
- WWPS Board Room/Administration Building/364 S. Park Street
- Purpose of the Executive Session: To review the performance of a public employee. No decisions will be made.

School board public work session: Tuesday, November 12 - Topic: Wa-Hi facility improvement 

- Board of Directors Public Work Session
- 6:30 p.m.
- WWPS Board Room/Administration Building/364 S. Park Street

The Walla Walla School District Board of Directors has scheduled a work session on Tuesday, November 12, 6:30 p.m., at the WWSD Administration Building/Board Room, 364 S. Park Street. The purpose of the work session is to discuss a long-range facilities improvement plan, including options for improving Walla Walla High School.

No decisions will be made. The work session is open to the public.

District adds text messaging to automated notification system

Walla Walla Public Schools parents and staff who would like to receive text messages for school district information now have this option. Parents and staff will continue to receive automated phone calls and email messages.

This is an additional layer of communication support. The district will primarily use the text message feature for emergency notifications and school closures.Those who like to begin getting text messages may opt-in by texting the word Alert to 22300. Contact Mark Higgins at 526-6716 or mhiggins@wwps.org for more information.

Last chance to join Superintendent’s Patron Tour

The deadline to join Superintendent Mick Miller for a behind the scenes look at Walla Walla Public Schools is Tuesday, Nov. 12. The Superintendent’s Patron Tour program is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the district, ask questions, tour local schools and enjoy lunch together.

Patron Tour Schedule:
- Wednesday, November 13
- 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (lunch provided)
- Tour sites: Berney Elementary, Wa-Hi, Lincoln HS (Tour starts at the district office - 364 S. Park St.)
- RSVP by contacting Mark Higgins at: 526-6726 or mhiggins@wwps.org

Personnel Report (from Nov. 5, 2013 school board meeting)

Elias Alonso, Custodian, Wa-Hi
Brandon Butler, Custodian, Wa-Hi
Jorge Gutierrez, Custodian, Wa-Hi
Mark Michaud, Para-Educator (temp), Berney
Sylvia Tang, Para-Educator (temp), Edison/Pioneer

Elaine Bluhm, Fiscal Assistant, Business Office, 26 years

Dorn Impressed With State’s Math and Reading NAEP Score Increases by OSPI

Scores continue to exceed the national average in both subjects

OLYMPIA (November 7, 2013) — Washington state’s fourth graders made gains this year in their math and reading scores on the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), according to results released today by the National Center for Education Statistics. The state’s eighth graders made gains in reading and maintained their scores in math.

In eighth-grade math, only five states scored statistically higher than Washington. In fourth-grade reading, it was four; fourth-grade math, three.

And only two states scored statistically higher than Washington in eighth-grade reading.

“I’m impressed with the movement in scores this year,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “I’m proud of the students who participated in the testing sample. Their scores reflect their hard work and the work of educators across the state. But opportunity gaps remain, especially for English language learners. We need to continue finding better ways to help students who need more support.”

NAEP is a program of the U.S. Department of Education. Commonly called The Nation's Report Card, it is the only test in the United States that allows comparisons of the performance of students in Washington with performance of students nationally. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography and U.S. history. It’s a yardstick that state educators, legislators and governors can use to gauge the effectiveness of state educational policies.

School Stories

Flag retirement ceremony at Garrison Middle School

Members of Governor Jay Inslee’s state Task Force for Veterans Affairs visited Garrison Middle School Wednesday morning to conduct a flag retirement ceremony. Teacher Grace Ogoshi organized the event to help students learn more about this traditional ceremony. 

Tutoring Program Links Whitman, Walla Walla Students - Article on Whitman Pioneer

Whitman students need jobs; the Walla Walla School District needs support. The America Reads America Counts (ARAC) program forms a partnership between the college and the school district that simultaneously fulfills the needs of both institutions. ARAC employs 30 Whitman students to work toward enhancing reading and math skills in classrooms throughout Walla Walla. See the entire story at: http://whitmanpioneer.com/news/2013/11/07/america-reads-america-counts/

Walla Walla High School exchange students celebrate City of Walla Walla International Education Week

The City of Walla Walla has proclaimed November 10-17 International Education Week in Walla Walla. City Mayor Jim Barrow read a proclamation in support of the week during this week’s City Council meeting. Retired educator and longtime AFS volunteer Linnea Keatts helped coordinate a visit from Wa-Hi Exchange students to attend the city council meeting to join in the celebration. The following Walla Walla High School Exchange students participated: Hogara Ikuma (Sasayama,Japan), Fatin Klungsmut (Thailand), Martin Ortiz (Argentina), A-Jay Turkkan (Turkey) and Valter Serafim ( Mozambique).

Books for Babes bulb sale in bloom

The Books for Babes program, a service project of Edison Elementary that provides a bag of books for all newborns in Walla Walla, is conducting its annual Bulb-In-A-Can fundraiser. All proceeds benefit the program.

These adorably wrapped cans with a narcissus bulb inside makes a nice holiday gift. They are $5 each. Bulbs will be delivered by Friday, December 13. Send orders via email by Monday, December 2. Email: bargabk@charter.net

Make payment by check to Books for Babes. Send checks/orders to Edison via inter-district mail or by US Postal Services to 1315 E. Alder.

Pioneer National Junior Honor Society teams with Toys for Tots

Pioneer Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society is partnering with Toys for Tots to collect new unwrapped toys from November 4 to December 13. In 2012, Toys for Tots distributed more than 1000 toys. Toys or cash contributions may be delivered or mailed to Pioneer Middle School (450 Bridge St).

All toys and donations collected will stay in the Walla Walla Valley (College Place to Dayton) for local children in need. Toys will be distributed to children ages birth to 18. For more information, contact NJHS Advisor Alba Biagi at 527-3050 or abiagi@wwps.org.

Sharpstein staff thank school board

Sharpstein Elementary teacher Rob Griffith and several Sharpstein teachers attended the school board meeting to present board members and senior administrators with thank you cards. Griffith said the Sharpstein staff appreciate the board’s service and commitment to quality education in our community.

Wa-Hi Music students named to All-State Honors groups

Congratulations to the following students for being named to 2014 All-State Honor groups which will be held in Yakima during the Music Educators Convention in February.
- Kyli Humphreys, French Horn with the Wind Ensemble
- Hannah Cabasco, Clarinet with the Concert Band
- Elena Janis, Symphonic Choir (Soprano 1)
- Matthew Bowler, Symphonic Choir (Tenor 1)
- Piper Titus, Symphonic Choir (Alto 2)
- Katelyn Rickords, Symphonic Choir (Alto 1)
- Job Diaz, Symphonic Choir (Tenor 2)
- Anna Apostolidis, Treble Choir (Soprano 1)
- Kallan McClure, Symphonic Choir (Alto 1)

Wa-Hi Jazz Band honored at WSU Jazz Festival

The Walla Walla High School Jazz band received the "Outstanding Jazz Band" award for the morning session of WSU Jazz Festival. Congratulations to drummer Eli Gentzler for receiving an "Outstanding Soloist" award as well.

“This is only the second year that WSU has chosen to present plaques for this, thereby making it a competitive event and not just for adjudication only,” said Wa-Hi Band Teacher Andrew Ueckert. “We also had the privilege of seeing Machado Mijiiga, Wa-Hi class of 2012, perform with the WSU Jazz Big Band.”

Cost reduced for Spanish classes offered at Garrison Night School

Beginning Spanish: Instructor Aaron Martin
- Mondays and Wednesdays / 6 to 8 p.m.
- November 18 to February 27
- Cost: Now only $25!

Advanced Beginning Spanish: Instructor Carol Franklin
- Tuesdays and Thursdays / 6 to 8 p.m.
- November 19 to February 27
- Cost: Now only $25!

Register at the Walla Walla School District Business Office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Clock hours are available for Walla Walla Public Schools employees. Call Melito Ramirez at 526-8638 or 629-1560 if you have any questions.

Wa-Hi Drama presents Flowers for Algernon

- Show dates: Nov. 14-16 and 21-23 at 7 p.m. & Nov. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.
- Ticket prices: Adults $12 / Students $6 (18 and under)
- Tickets are on sale in the Wa-Hi Main Office (ASB) Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Purchase tickets online at www.wahibluedevils.org/arts/drama.
- For ticketing information call 526-8613 (message only)
- General seating (limited to 140 in the round seats per performance)
- Science fiction: A mentally disabled janitor is granted extreme intelligence only to lose it again. Based on the short story by Daniel Keyes published in 1959.

Used baby and toddler toys needed for Lincoln High School parenting class

Lincoln High School is starting a parenting class for teens with babies and young children with through its after school program. The class will meet once a week and operate similar to the Tot Spot program. The program is accepting donations of lightly used baby and/or toddler toys or books. Items may be delivered to Lincoln High School at 421 S. 4th Ave. Contact the school for more information at 527-3083.

Community Stories
Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association offers scholarships

- Two $1,200 scholarships
- Scholarship grants are given to prospective teachers and/or candidates in other school related fields who will student teach or do internship experience in an educational setting.
- Applications are available now and are due April 1, 2014

1. Graduate of high school in Walla Walla or Columbia County
2. Student teach/internship between September 2014 and June 2015

- Mardel Bierwagen at 525-6117 or gbierwagen6117@charter.net

Milton Freewater Rotary brings Harlem Ambassadors basketball show to town

The fun begins at 7 p.m. on November 14 when the internationally acclaimed Harlem Ambassadors take on your local Rotarians in a fun-filled, family-friendly evening of basketball showmanship featuring high-flying slam dunks, ball-handling tricks, and hilarious comedy routines at the Mac-Hi gym in Milton Freewater. Bring the whole family to this event and experience laugh-out-loud comedy basketball for a good cause.

There will be an opportunity to win an autographed basketball, purchase Harlem Ambassadors souvenirs, meet the Harlem Ambassadors during a free post-game autograph session, and snacks and beverages will be available for purchase. A limited number of tickets are available for this event, which supports the Milton Freewater Rotary Club, so get yours today! The MF Rotarians includes teachers, coaches, firefighters, police officers, and other local leaders.

Music, laughter, interactive games with the kids, prizes, hoops, hijinks, and more!

Advance tickets are on sale now: only $5-7. Tickets are available at Walla Walla Ace Hardware, the Milton Freewater Chamber of Commerce, the Milton Freewater US Bank, or online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/476847

Call 509-526-1490 for more information.

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