||Staff rise to top in ThoughtExchange discussions
Facilities and testing raise concerns
This spring the district began the first phase of a three year community engagement process using ThoughtExchange. This initial community outreach effort was designed to help the district learn what it is doing well, where it can improve and what might be missing. Nearly 800 people joined the conversation by generating 1800 thoughts for the district to ponder. Participants were asked what concerns they had, what they liked and what else the district needs to know. Engagement platforms were established for each school and the district around these questions.
Results from the “Discover” phase of the ThoughtExchange process were made available to the district last Friday. School board members and administrators will begin reviewing the data this summer to look for trends and focus areas. The public will be able to review all of this information in English and Spanish later this summer.
First glance of the district’s results indicate people appreciate our staff, support academic programs and believe there is a positive school culture and atmosphere. Areas of concern include facilities and infrastructure, technology to meet the demands of today’s learning needs and the abundance of state and federal testing requirements. This summer the administration and school board will discuss topic options for the Fall 2015 engagement. Look for more information on how to Join the Conversation in September.
||Personnel Report (from June 16, 2015 school board meeting)
Dana Chandler, Principal, Prospect Point Elementary
Mark Pickel, Assistant Principal, Garrison Middle School
Rachel Dee, Special Education Behavior, Garrison Middle School
Staci Humphreys, First Grade, Sharpstein Elementary
Stephanie Kytola, English Language Arts (.4 FTE Temporary), Pioneer Middle School
Juan Faba-Lopez, Bilingual Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Elementary
Midge Crawford, School Psychologist, Walla Walla High School, 4 years
Kristina Duncan, English, Walla Walla High School, 10 years
Cheryl Thonney, Second Grade, Blue Ridge Elementary, 4 years
Matt Casey, Bus Driver, SE Transportation Co-op, 4 years
Diane Schulke, Kitchen Assistant, Walla Walla High School, 24.5 years
Kelli Jo Smith, Para-Educator, Pioneer Middle School, 11 years
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Kristin Erikson, Science, Garrison Middle School, 9 years
(January – June 2016 - .5 FTE leave of absence)
Mike Gobel, Math/AVID, Walla Walla High School, 25 years
(For the 2015-2016 school year)
||Quaresma leads discussion on Bilingual Program
Assistant Superintendent Laure Quaresma led a discussion with school board members on the district’s Bilingual Education program. Quaresma was joined by district principals who are supporting her in a review of the Bilingual Program.
Quaresma said the primary function of the bilingual program is to ensure native Spanish speaking students become proficient in English to be successful in school and life. She also said it is important for these students to maintain and expand their native language. The district offers a variety of services to accomplish this goal, including Dual Language Immersion, Spanish Literacy Development, Early-exit Transitional bilingual, Content based English as a Second Language (ESL) and Pullout ESL.
Quaresma reported students in the dual language programs are seeing the greatest academic gains on state assessments. However, she said budget, staffing availability, student population, classroom space and other factors weigh-in regarding what programs can be offered through the Bilingual Program. Plans are to continue the review of Bilingual Programs in an effort to provide the best services available to meet the needs of district students.
||New Prospect Point Elementary Principal named
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors unanimously approved the hiring of Dana Chandler as principal of Prospect Point Elementary. Chandler will succeed current Prospect Point Principal Chris Gardea who has accepted the position of Executive Director of Human Resources. Chandler was selected from a pool of qualified principal candidates through a rigorous interview and selection process. She begins July 1.
Chandler has been an elementary school principal for the past 12 years. She is currently the principal of The Sullivans School in Japan as part of the Department of Defense school system. Chandler has also been principal of Sollars Elementary (Japan School District, Dept. of Defense), Camelot Elementary School (Lewiston, ID) and Ocosta Elementary School (Westport, WA). Chandler recently received the peer selected 2014-2015 Yokosuka Complex Administrator of the Year award. Prior to her work as an administrator, she was a special education and second grade teacher at Jennings Elementary in Colfax, WA and a special education teacher at John Francis Adams High School in Clarkston, WA.
Chandler received a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from Washington State University and her Masters of Arts in Administration and Curriculum from Gonzaga University. She earned her Principal Certificates from Idaho State University, Washington State University and the Department of Defense Education Activity.
“Throughout my 20 year career in education I have established myself as a leader of integrity, collaboration, relationship building and self-reflection for continuous learning and improvement,” said Chandler. “I have a proven track record for an open and collaborative leadership style with excellent organization, communication and facilitation skills.”
||Pickel transfers to Garrison Middle School
Walla Walla High School Assistant Principal Mark Pickel is transferring to Garrison Middle School to assume the same position. Pickel has been an assistant principal at Wa-Hi since 2011.
||Cohan briefs school board on budget
Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan led a discussion with the school board on the 2015-2016 budget Tuesday afternoon during a public work session. Cohan was forced to make several assumptions since the legislature has not approved a state budget. He reported he is anticipating additional state revenue based on House and Senate budget proposals this session. Cohan said he plans to budget for 300 fewer students in 2015-16 as part of the College Place High School adjustment and recent trend of enrollment dips. The school board will meet again in July to review the budget once it has actual figures from the state.
||District Office Summer Hours
- Summer schedule: June 15 to August 14
- Open Monday to Friday
- 8 a.m. to 12 noon / 1 to 4 p.m. (closed 12 noon to 1 p.m. for lunch)
No early release on first day of school
The 2015-2016 school year begins Wednesday, August 26. There will be no early release on the first day of school. The district Calendar Committee agreed to make this a full day of school when the two-year calendar was adopted Nov. 18, 2013.
||Blue Devil Athletic Development (BDAD) begins this month
- Athletic strength development and conditioning
- June 30 to August 6
- Grades 9-12 time options are 8 to 9 a.m. and 10 to 11 a.m.
- Grades 5-8 time is 9 to 10 a.m.
- Cost: $30 per person
- Register with FamilyID on wahibluedevils.org or in the ASB office
- Information: Contact Eric or Amy Hisaw - firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
||Youth Summer Sports Camps
Visit the Walla Walla High School Athletics webpage for a complete schedule of summer youth sports camps: athletics.wahibluedevils.org
||YMCA - Boys and Girls basketball camp with the Blue Devils
Walla Walla High School Girls basketball coach and members of his team will lead the Back to your Roots camp at the YMCA. This is an excellent opportunity to develop skills, play fun games and learn the importance of team work.
- June 29 to July 3
- Monday to Friday
- YMCA main gym
Ages 4 to 6
9 to 10 a.m.
Ages 7 to 10
10 to 12 p.m.