Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Feb. 21, 2014

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

Elementary early dismissal Friday, Feb. 21

All elementary students will be dismissed early from school Friday, Feb. 21 to allow time for report card preparations. Please contact your child’s school or visit the website for early dismissal times.

No school Feb. 27 and 28 - Parent/Teacher Conferences

- No school Thursday, Feb. 27 and Friday, Feb. 28
- Parent/Teacher Conferences
- Classes resume Monday, March 3

Volunteer of the Year nominations due March 15

Nominations for the Art Regier Volunteer of the Year award program are now being accepted. Send or email completed forms to Mark Higgins by March 15. The district will recognize our Volunteers of the Year at the April 15 school board meeting. The form is located in the Staff or Parent sections of the district website: www.wwps.org
- Mark Higgins - mhiggins@wwps.org / District Office: 364 S. Park St. / 526.6716
- Volunteer of the Year forms online: http://www.wwps.org/images/parents/Art_Regier_Nomination_Fillable_Form.pdf

Text message option for school notifications

Parents may “Opt-In” to receive text messages from the school district for school closures and emergency notifications. To sign up, text the word ALERT to 22300.

School Board Committee Assignments

David Hampson:
• Safe Schools
• Career/Technical Education
• Classified Negotiations (w/Cindy Meyer)
• Health & Nutrition Task Force

Anne Golden
• Curriculum Advisory/Instructional Materials
• Certificated Negotiations (w/Ruth Ladderud)
• Legislative Representative
• District Calendar
• WWVEA Liaison

Sam Wells
• Extracurricular Supervisors Negotiations
• Administrative Negotiations
• School-Based Health Clinic
• Technology/Telecommunications

Ruth Ladderud
• Community Facilities Task Force
• WWVEA Liaison
• Head Start Policy Council
• Certificated Negotiations (w/Anne Golden)

Cindy Meyer
• Explorer Advisory Committee
• Parent Advisory
• Classified Negotiations (w/David Hampson)
• Citizens for Schools Liaison
• AVID Liaison

February 2014 – Parent/Teacher Conference Schedules

Berney Elementary
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:30 – 8:00 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Blue Ridge Elementary
- Thursday, Feb. 20 (Celeb. of Learning Night): 3:15 - 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:15 - 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Edison Elementary
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:15 - 6:45 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Green Park Elementary
- Wednesday, February 26: 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. – 6:50 p.m.

Prospect Point Elementary
- Tuesday, February 25: 3:30 – 7:15 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:30 - 7:15 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Sharpstein Elementary
- Tuesday, February 25: 3:00 – 7:05 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:00 – 7:05 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Garrison Middle School
- Tuesday, February 25 (Arena): 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26 (Arena): 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Pioneer Middle School
- Monday, February 24 (Classroom Drop-In): 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26 (Classroom Drop In): 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Lincoln High School
- Monday, February 24: 3:45 – 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:45 – 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Walla Walla High School
- Tuesday, February 25 (Arena): 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27 (Scheduled - Classrooms): 7:30 a.m. – Noon
- Thursday, February 27 (Phone conferences, etc.): 12:45 – 6:15 p.m.

Blue Ridge/Green Park Head Start/ECEAP
Monday, February 24: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 25: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 26: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 27: 8:20 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Personnel Report (from 2/18/14 school board meeting)

Jennifer Presnell, School Psychologist, Special Education Department

Joel Barber, Science, Wa-Hi, 32 years
Paula Nichols, Second Grade, Blue Ridge, 7 years
Nancy Watkins, Language Arts/Reading, Garrison, 26 years

Architects meet with Wa-Hi staff

Thursday architects from BLRB/USKH completed their second visit with Walla Walla High School staff members to continue discussions on design options for improving the 50-year-old school facility.

Recent survey results from Wa-Hi staff indicate 90 percent would like the district to pursue a bond measure to improve the school. HVAC limitations, classroom size and outdated technology are at the top of the list for areas in need of improvement.

Staff members are weighing the pros and cons of two primary design options. One is similar to the 2013 bond issue which eliminates exterior breezeways to allow for more classroom square footage and the other features a new science building near CTE which keeps exterior breezeways. They are also studying phasing options and project costs.

No decisions have been made regarding a proposal to take to the voters. The school board would need a resolution to the Walla Walla County Elections Department by March 7 to participate in the April 22 special election. The next election date options are August 5 and November 4.

Budget update: General Fund remains on target 

Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan provided an update to school board members Tuesday night on the 2013-14 General Fund budget. Cohan reported revenues are down $453,000, primarily due to an enrollment dip of 20 students in general education and 36 students in Special Education programs.

He said there was also good news to report. He said expenditures are also down approximately the same amount as the revenue shortfall so the overall budget remains balanced. Cohan anticipates a $6.5 million restricted fund balance to end the 2013-14 budget cycle. This figure is on target with projections from when the budget was adopted in August.

School Stories
Blue Devil Cafe prepares special education students for work force

Walla Walla High School students participating in the Blue Devil Cafe program reported to school board members Tuesday night. Now in its second year, sales have tripled for this program designed to offer special education students hands on training in food service. Lattes, muffins and baked potatoes are just a few of the menu items that keep staff and students lining up for more.

Students who work in the Blue Devil Cafe are required to get a Food Workers permit. They learn industry standards for food service, presentation skills, how to dress for the work place and how to be on time. Students presented to school board members on the skills they are learning. They praised teacher Chris Blackman for her vision, leadership and support of this program. The objective of the program is to model, teach and reinforce job skills through applied academics, social skills training and a realistic work experience.

Edison plans Multicultural Magic event

dancing and music from many different countries. The students will display projects created at home with their families to reflect our multicultural diversity.  Refreshments will include cookies from many different countries.  The event is open to the public.

Pioneer staff grow beards to raise funds for coat project

Congratulations to Hollis Erikson for winning the Pioneer Middle School “Beards with Heart” contest. Erikson is a 6th grade Social Studies/ Language Arts teacher. The fundraiser raised nearly $1000 for the school’s Coats for Kids program.

Staff members David Blocklinger, Dan Calzaretta, John Carter, Hollis Erikson, Marty Fortney, and Jack Mehn participated in the contest. These staff members began growing their beards out several weeks ago to support this cause.

“I am blown away by the generosity of our staff, students and community,” said Britt Adkins, who helped organize the event.

“The recent cold snap was a good reminder of the importance of a warm coat. Maybe this event, and possible future ones, will raise awareness that families can access warm coats right here at their school.”

Walla Walla High School Winter Wish Assembly makes dreams come true

Walla Walla High School ASB held its Winter Wish Program assembly Friday. The program is based on ASB students granting wishes to students, staff and parents. Students submitted requests for friends and family during the winter months. Teacher Arch McHie is the ASB Advisor.

2014 Assembly Wish List:
1. Three signed football jerseys - two for students and one for a little brother of a student who is a huge fan
2. Aaron's redemption - at the beginning of the year assembly we had a student drop another student during a game. He is going to apologize to her, hand her a rose and safely carry her back to the Junior section.
3. A gift card for a massage for one of our teachers.
4. New dress up clothes for two of our staff members
5. Choir Serenade for a student
6. A newborn basket for a student who had a baby brother and the family has needs
7. A 1979 yearbook for the mother of one of our students
8. Six yearbooks for students (3 past and 3 for this year)
9. A large number of hand written letters for a student who has a brother serving overseas
10. A graduation cap and gown for a deserving student
11. Five sets of Prom tickets for deserving students
12. Dinner Date Gift cards for 11 students to give to their parents ($40 gift cards to the Brick restaurant)

Last night for Conspiracy of Hope Talent Show - Feb. 21

This year’s Conspiracy of Hope Talent Shows features 18 acts which showcase the many talents of Wa-Hi students. All proceeds support the Wa-Hi Winter Wish Program and the Dave Meyer Foundation.
- Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.
- Admission: $5
- Wa-Hi Auditorium

Police dog visits Garrison Middle School

City of Walla Walla Police Officer Gunner Fulmer brought his police dog Rev to Garrison Middle School Thursday to educate students on his canine duties. Fulmer planted drugs in a backpack to demonstrate Rev’s drug sniffing skills to the students. Rev is a nine-year-old German Shepherd. Fulmer says most people don’t have a complete understanding of what a K-9 dog does for the police department. He said he likes to bring Rev to schools and build a positive relationship with students. 

Wa-Hi athletes honored by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 

Each sport season the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) recognizes a male and female athlete from each of the Mid-Columbia Conference schools as the Athlete of the Season. Congratulations to the fall recipients seniors Hannah Hampson and Zach Zehner.

Hannah was a member of each of Wa-Hi's varsity cross country teams which won four consecutive State Academic Championships. She has also been a four year participant in the school’s track program.

Zach was quarterback of the Wa-Hi football team and was selected as co-MVP. He has also been a four year member of the school’s baseball program.

School garden sustainability meeting planned

The Walla Walla school garden program has been building since 2007 and was greatly bolstered by a 2012 USDA Farm to School Grant. Four elementary school gardens have been actively utilized by every classroom, enhancing curriculum and providing opportunities to build life skills in gardening and cooking while connecting with wholesome foods. Coordinating the utilization and maintenance of the school gardens requires concerted effort and community support in time, labor and funding.

“It is time to come together as a community to evaluate the school garden program, consider the sustainability and identify steps forward,” said Beth Thiel, Farm-to-School program coordinator. “You are invited to attend a mini-study of the school garden program.”

During the study, participants will be informed about the history of the current program, hear from other existing programs in the region as well as our own school district. The group will be asked to formulate recommendations for our local school garden program. The study is Wednesday, February 26, 4:30 – 6 p.m. at the Walla Walla Public Library, and meet for the next five consecutive weeks. Childcare will be provided as well as snacks.

Blue Ridge and Sharpstein featured in national publication

Students at Blue Ridge and Sharpstein receive instruction from several teachers as part of a “platooning” model developed to specialize instruction. Education Week recently featured these schools and this program. Principals Matt Bona and Kim Doepker are featured in this story. Visit the address below to read this story.

Community Stories
Whitman College hosts expert on parental involvement and childhood education

Should parents be involved in their children's education? Is there a connection between parental involvement and improved student performance? Are there differences in involvement between parents of different socioeconomic classes and ethnic groups? Dr. Keith Robinson, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, has addressed these questions in the most thorough scientific investigation to date of how parents across socioeconomic and ethnic groups contribute to the academic performance of K-12 children. Dr. Robinson’s study challenges notions that parental involvement occurs in only one way, and that it is always beneficial to children's academic success.

The Whitman College Department of Sociology, with funds from the Visiting Educator Program, is hosting Dr. Robinson on Monday, Mar. 3 at 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium on the Whitman College campus. He will present a talk based on his book (co-written by Angel Harris) The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement With Children's Education. The talk will be titled "Parental Involvement and Academic Outcomes: What Works...and What Doesn't."

Keith Robinson's other research focuses on the determinants and implications of test score (achievement) inequality in K-12 education. His presentation will prove useful to parents and education professionals alike.

Questions about the event can be addressed to Professor Michelle Janning, Whitman College Sociology Department, at janninmy@whitman.edu.

District students to compete in Lillie Rice Chocolate Festival baking competition

The Lillie Rice Center Annual Walla Walla Chocolate Festival, A Baking Competition for Professionals, Amateurs and Juniors will be held on Saturday, March 8 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Marcus Whitman Hotel Ballroom.

Chocolate baked goods are entered for judging in seven categories: Restaurant, Bakery, Professional/Chef, Amateur, Showpiece, Junior Baker-kids ages 8-14 and Junior Showpiece- kids ages 8-14. Winners are announced and recognized at the event. The public is invited to come taste the entries, as well as chocolates from area chocolatiers. Tasting tickets are sold for .50 each, admission to the event is $2. This family fun tasting event is a chocolate lovers paradise.

Raffles on Saturday will be a bicycle, wine items and more surprises. Raffle tickets are $5.

All proceeds from the Chocolate Festival will support Lillie Rice Center Inc, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing employment, training and support services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Information and entry forms are available on the Lillie Rice Center website, www.lilliericecenter.org, and find them on Facebook.

AAUW Book Sale Feb. 21-23

Don’t miss the 39th AAUW (American Association of University Women) Book Sale at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Friday, Feb 21, noon – 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb 22, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb 23, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Children each receive one free book of their choice from the extensive children’s section.

The Book Sale’s approximately 35,000 books are divided into more than 40 categories. Prices range from $.50 to $3 for most titles. A special books section featuring rare, collectible books are priced individually. Proceeds from the sale fund local college scholarships and educational projects.

Local Shelter Teaches Superpowers

Join Blue Mountain Humane Society for Superhero Skills 101, a free interactive event for children ages 7-12, on Sunday, March 2 from 2-4 p.m. at Whitman College’s Glover Alston Center. 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 February 27 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

Gesa Power House Theatre plans children’s series

Little Watts Children’s Series of Family Entertainment Kicks Off with “The Secret Life of Walter Manny”

Walla Walla General Hospital is pleased to present Little Watts Children’s Series of Family Entertainment. The first performance features Trent Arterberry in The Secret Life of Walter Manny, at Gesa Power House Theatre on Saturday, March 1 at 1 p.m. The play tells a charming story of turning rejection into affection to which both children and adults will relate. Inspired by Trent's son, the play explores the vivid fantasy life of a child. Ostracized at school, eight-year-old Walter escapes into high-octane reveries of race car driving, firefighting and secret-agent spying. When a fire threatens the classroom, Walter must use his imaginative skills to save his best friend's life. This energetic physical comedy will entertain both children and adults with agility and humor. Tickets are $9/adult, $6/child and can be purchased online at www.phtww.com.

Father & Daughter Valentines Ball Saturday night

Fathers and Daughters, get ready to kick up your heels, play games, and win prizes. Professional photography will be available one hour prior to the ball. This evening will be filled with lots of entertainment and tons of fun! Space is limited! Girls may bring any special adult male (Dad, Grandpa, uncle, or family friend).
- Date: February 22
- Location: Garrison Middle School, 906 Chase St.
- Photo's are taken from 6 to 7 p.m.
- Ages 3 & Up
- Information: Jamie Van Ausdle: 509-527-4527 / jvanausdle@wallawallawa.gov

Teddy Bear Tea and Doll Show Feb. 22

The Walla Walla Columbia County School Retirees Association presents the 8th annual Teddy Bear Tea and Doll Show.
- Saturday, February 22
- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Saint Francis Social Hall (722 W. Alder - Walla Walla, WA)
- Admission $6
- Enjoy a high tea, exhibits, store, photographer, coloring table , story corner and silent auction
Proceeds support scholarships for future teachers and related education personnel. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
- For information, contact Jackie Ormsby at 525 3801

Teachers and administrators ski free at Bluewood this weekend

The slopes are packed with fresh snow at Bluewood and this weekend teachers and administrators ski free. For details, visit http://www.bluewood.com/teachers-ski-free.

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