Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 10, 2014

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School Performance Reports now available online

School Performance Reports have been completed and are now available online. They also are available in limited quantities at all school buildings. 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.

Energy Management program leads to less electricity, water and natural gas usage

Despite more infrastructure demands through additional computers, after hours building usage, technology initiatives and air conditioning, the district used 12 percent less in electricity, 36 percent less in natural gas and 15 percent less in water. Energy Management Program Coordinator John Butenhoff reports the program saved the district more than $367,000 or 23 percent on utility costs.

“WWPS spent over $1.2 million on utilities last year, but it would have been significantly more if not for this program,” said Butenhoff. “The district is in year 14 of our energy management program. This program focuses on turning off equipment and systems when they are not in use.”

Tour Prospect Point, Wa-Hi and Lincoln High School during Superintendent’s Patron Tour

Superintendent Mick Miller invites you to join him for a behind the scenes look at Walla Walla Public Schools. 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.

- Wednesday, Feb. 12
- 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (lunch provided)
- Tour sites: Prospect Point Elementary, Wa-Hi, Lincoln HS (tour begins at district office - 364 S. Park) St.)
- RSVP by contacting Mark Higgins at: 526-6726 or mhiggins@wwps.org

Workshop planned to help students plan for college

WHAT: GEAR UP 4 Tomorrow
WHERE: Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla WA
*WHEN: Saturday February 1, 2014 / 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.*

This event is part of a robust day featuring national speakers; LTC Consuelo Kickbusch and Roy Juarez Jr and a lunch keynote with Dr. Keith Woo-Young, WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor. Students and parents will have the opportunity to visit four different workshops with information about college scholarships, financial aid requirements, college savings, career exploration, FAFSA registration, high school success, first generation college students success and much more.

No School Monday, Jan. 20 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

- No school Monday, Jan. 20
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 21

New Public School Employees Union officers installed

- Dave Locken, President

- Jeff Givens, Vice President

- Pattie Eagon, Secretary

- Ginger Heiser, Treasurer

Walla Walla Kids Read six year run comes to an end

Walla Walla Kids Read (WWKR) founder Patrick Carman has announced the program will not be offered in 2014 marking the end of the program which began in 2007. Carman, a nationally renowned children’s book author, cites several reasons for his decision, including his extensive travel schedule, rising cost of the program and time constraints. Carman reports he is currently exploring options to re-imagine the program as a non-profit which supports literacy initiatives in the Walla Walla valley.

“We’ve hosted 11 world class authors at six Walla Walla Kids Read events, and hopefully the program motivated a lot of young readers to keep turning pages,” Carman said.

The primary goal of WWKR was to provide a nationally known author presentation to every K-5 grade student in the Walla Walla valley every year. Carman’s vision was to nurture and encourage lifelong readers. The annual spring activity featured large scale events at Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College Campus, along with a community event, school visits and live webcasts.

All costs associated with the events were funded by Walla Walla Kids Read, including author fees, webcast fees, facility use, and transportation for Walla Walla Public Schools. School kits with information, activities, and books were also supported by Walla Walla Kids Read.

Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Mick Miller praised Carman for establishing Walla Walla Kids Read and helping the district reinforce the importance of strong literacy skills and helping students develop a love for reading.

“It has been a great program, we are grateful for Patrick’s vision and leadership and his focus on reading has had a real impact on children throughout the Valley,” Miller said. “We hope the program will be re-imaged in the future.”

School Stories
Opportunity Program plans graduation celebration

- Opportunity Program Graduation/Reception
- Tuesday, Jan. 21
- 5:30 p.m. (prior to the 6:30 p.m. regularly scheduled school board meeting)
Students graduating from the Walla Walla School District Opportunity Program at mid-year will be recognized for achieving the credits and requirements for a high school diploma. A reception will follow the recognition. The graduation/reception will be held in the district board room, beginning at 5:30 p.m. and lasting until shortly before the regular board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. The public is cordially invited to attend and congratulate the honorees, and refreshments will be served.

Wa-Hi teachers to participate in Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics

Walla Walla High School teachers Patty Jones and Jason Postlewait are planning to plunge into the freezing Columbia River Saturday, Jan. 18 as part of the Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics. This will be Jones’ fourth event. This year will mark the first event for Postlewait. Last year more than 700 plungers raised more than $100,000 for Special Olympics.

- To make a donation pledge for Patty Jones, visit: http://kennewickplunge2014.kintera.org/9322340
- To make a donation pledge for Jason Postlewait, visit: http://kennewickplunge2014.kintera.org/bigpoppapost

Big Cheese pizza certificates support student trip to New York

A group of students is heading off to New York City over spring break on an Education First (EF) tour. They are looking for your support through eating pizza! The students are selling Big Cheese pizza certificates for $10. These are good for a supreme pizza (worth $18). All proceeds will go to the group to help with trip costs.

If you are interested please contact Kathryn Southwick-Hess at hesswick@gmail.com.

The Lincoln High School Drama Department presents Grease at the Gesa Power House Theater 

- Show dates: January 31 and February 1
- 7 p.m.
- Tickets are by donation at the door
- Gesa Power House Theater

Jeremy Gradwahl reports for the past few months Lincoln students have been working on the biggest play production in the school’s history. The cast of 20+ students have been working on acting, dancing, and singing with the help of director Riki Wauchek, choreographer Rhonda Copeland, music director Margaret Yount and the Lift, according to Gradwahl. He encourages everyone to come out and support the Lincoln students who have worked so hard to bring this production to our school and community.

Community Stories
SweetHearts for Kids Benefit Luncheon

- Wednesday, February 26
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Silent auction begins at 11 a.m.
- Doors to luncheon open at 11:30 a.m.
- Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center
- For more information, call (509) 529-2130 or email debia@chs-wa.org

Retired educators offer scholarships to perspective teachers

Walla Walla Columbia School Retirees Association has two $1,200 scholarship grants available. Scholarship grants are given to perspective teachers and/or candidates in other school-related fields who will student teach or do internship experience in an educational setting.

* Graduate of a high school in Walla Walla or Columbia County
*Student teach or Internship between September 2014 and June 2015
Contact: Mardel Bierwagen @ 525-6117 or gbierwagen6117@charter.net
Applications are available now. Applications are due April 1, 2014.

Blue Mountain Humane Society celebrates Martin Luther King Jr Day with free fun kids program

Blue Mountain Humane Society will sponsor Superhero Skills 101, an interactive event for children grades 2-5, on Monday, January 20 from 2-4 p.m. at Whitman College’s Glover Alston Center. In honor of MLK Day, kids will train in the following superhero skills: empathy, compassion, cooperation and creativity. Kids are encouraged to wear their best superhero costumes! Snacks will be provided. Space is limited. Please RSVP by January 15 by phone at (509) 529-5188 or via email at humaneeducation@bluemountainhumane.org.

Blue Mountain Humane Society strives to “prevent cruelty and promote kindness” with its Band of Mercy kids club. Each month, Humane Education Coordinator Elaina Avery plans an event that gives Band of Mercy kids the opportunity to act on this mission. While events are planned with Band of Mercy kids in mind, all children with an interest in the club’s mission are welcome to attend. Contact: Elaina Avery at (509) 529-5188 or humaneeducation@bluemountainhumane.org

Parenting Teens meeting planned: Topic - Eating Disorders

Parenting Teens Together, a confidential support group for parents of teens, is meeting Thursday January 16 at the YMCA Board Room. This is a new location for the support group. The discussion will begin at 7:30 p.m. The topic is “Eating Disorders” with information and resources provided by a prescriber, Anne Mason; a therapist, Elisa Hope; and a nutritionist Diane Benfield.

The discussion will focus on causes and triggers of eating disorders, how to recognize signs and symptoms and how to find local treatment options. We will also discuss prevention tactics.

The group meets on the third Thursday of each month and invites guest speakers to address topics of special interest.  Meetings are lecture-based with an emphasis on discussion, Q & A and open sharing.  The meetings are not limited to the main topic and local resources will be available for all parents who attend. The meetings are at the YMCA Board Room at 7:30 p.m.

Parenting Teens Together was founded by local parents in conjunction with The Moms’ Network. For more details visit www.themomsnetworkww.com or contact Amber Broel at broelae@gmail.com

Invisible Walla Walla - A Realistic Look at Homelessness in the Valley

Wednesday, January 15
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 323 Catherine St.
Description: We will start the evening with a soup dinner at 5:30, followed by a walking tour and panel discussion of homelessness in Walla Walla and what we can all do to address this issue in our community. This is open to all who are interested in understanding more about homelessness and being part of the solution. Please join us. Be sure to RSVP at the Helpline Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1387869974802652/?source=1

Carnegie Picture Lab (CPL) teams with public library to offer free kids activities

Carnegie Picture Lab presents Family Fun Night in the daytime. This is an afternoon featuring fun art projects for the whole family. This event is Saturday, January 18 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Walla Walla Public Library, 238 E. Alder Street.

With a theme of Exploring Gardens, students will create pictures using leaf rubbings, paint batik flags and use their sense of smell to identify garden elements. CPL is excited to partner with the Walla Walla Farm-to-School Program, and will receive volunteer help from the area’s many AmeriCorps volunteers.

Carnegie Picture Lab is an all-volunteer non-profit organization whose mission is to nourish creativity by supporting and enhancing art education for elementary school children in the Walla Walla Valley. Each year, over 4,000 elementary students receive three art history and art creation lessons from CPL’s cadre of volunteer teachers. To support CPL as a volunteer or with a donation, visit www.carnegiepicturelab.com.

Seattle Mariners Caravan tour comes to Whitman College

- Thursday, Jan. 16
- 4:15 to 5:45 p.m.
- Whitman College Sherwood Center (main gym)
- Free autograph appearance
- Meet players, broadcasters and the Mariners Moose

Walla Walla Police Department accepting applications for the Law Enforcement Citizens Academy

- Classes start January 21
- 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday evenings for 11 weeks
- Registration is required along with a background

The Law Enforcement Citizens Academy is an exciting 11 week program hosted by the police department. This program targets people in the Walla Walla Valley, 18 years or older, who want to learn more about Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System. Offered FREE of charge, this hands-on, interactive, behind the scenes program is taught by experienced police officers, who share their unique perspective on law enforcement.

The classes will be held every Tuesday night starting January 21 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The Law Enforcement Citizens Academy will conclude April 1 with a graduation ceremony, special speaker and dinner. The classes will be held at various locations throughout the city. The class size will be limited to approximately 30 participants. For more information contact the Crime Prevention Unit, Vicki Ruley at 524-4409.

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