Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 1, 2016

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District Stories

School Stories

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District Stories
Dorn: Budget ‘puts students on hold this year’
OLYMPIA — March 29, 2016 — In November I released my budget request for this legislative session. I noted at the time that the deadline for full funding of basic education was right around the corner.
We are at the corner now. The best thing that can be said about this budget is that it puts students on hold this year.
The Legislature did address the teacher shortage issue, but appropriated far less money than I asked for. Beyond that, I’m having trouble figuring out what was accomplished. In August the state Supreme Court ordered that the state pay $100,000 a day until it produces a plan for full funding.
I hoped the order would influence the Legislature to make significant movement. In my budget request, I specified $173 million needed to comply with the McCleary lawsuit; the Legislature appropriated $0.
They did, however, come up with a plan to plan to fund education.
I urge the Supreme Court to take a hard line. The sanctions the Court has in place now obviously haven’t gotten the Legislature’s attention. I’d like the Court to establish a firm date by which full funding must be complete. Until that time, our students will stay on hold. And that is never acceptable.

Friday, April 1 - Early dismissal for K-5
- Teacher academic planning time
Spring Break April 4-8 - NO SCHOOL
Schools are closed April 4-8 for Spring Break. Classes resume Monday, April 11. Have a safe and fun break.
School board public work session and meeting - Tuesday, April 19
5:30 p.m. - Public Work Session (Curriculum update)
6:30 p.m. - Regular School Board meeting
Anne Golden Boardroom (364 S. Park St.)
Both meetings open to the public

Students ace Collection of Evidence graduation requirement
The district recently received notification from The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) 100 percent of the 21 students who submitted Collection of Evidence packets in math met the standard, thus satisfying the state graduation requirement. Also, six of seven met the Collection of Evidence standard in Reading and one out of four met the Writing mark. 
“This is not easy work,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan. “Thanks to math teachers Monica Nelson, Kelsee Anderson and Stephanie Gomsrud and Reading and Writing supervising teachers Sherry McConn (Wa-Hi), Jerry Quaresma (Opportunity) and Genie Huntemann (Lincoln) for coaching and supporting these students.”
Students complete the COE when they are seniors and have not yet met graduation standards on traditional state tests.  Reasons may include:  transfers in from out of state or out of country so they missed state testing, illness during state testing, needing additional time to achieve expected standards. The Collection of Evidence is a portfolio of student work, showing they have achieved expected outcomes.  Each collection has multiple work samples (4-8), several of which must be 'on demand':  completed without preparation on a single day. There are strict guidelines regarding the conditions under which students complete the tasks. Students work under the supervision of a teacher, usually as a part of a semester-long course. The Collection of Evidence tasks have been re-written to match the rigor of the Career and College Readiness standards now in place in Washington state, which are also measured by the Smarter Balanced Assessments. The first submissions of the new style of COE will be June of this year.

Walla Walla team hits road to recruit teachers to district
Executive Director of Human Resources Chris Gardea and a team of local educators recently traveled to Spokane and Tacoma to recruit new teachers at large, statewide Career Fairs. Gardea will also be attending the Portland Career Fair over spring break. Equity and Access Coordinator Sergio Hernandez is visiting colleges in and out of the state to recruit teachers. The state’s teacher shortage and competition to fill high need positions, including special education and bilingual education, is prompting more outreach to find quality educators to fill open positions, according to Gardea.
School district teams with city police for emphasis patrol campaign
City of Walla Walla police officers will be patrolling in school zones more frequently this spring as part of an emphasis patrol campaign. The emphasis patrol campaign will operate from April 11 to June 9. The district is contracting with off-duty officers to provide this service. Police officers will be enforcing the posted speed limits, watching for distracted drivers and looking for other careless driving offenses. This safety awareness campaign is part of the district’s School Zone Safety Program. 
“Student safety is at the top of the list of our priorities,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan. “As the weather improves and more children are walking and riding their bikes to school, we need to do our part to help keep everyone safe.”

School Stories
District students bag food for students in need
This week students from Prospect Point, Blue Ridge, Head Start/ECEAP, Garrison, and Lincoln organized 301 bags of food for families to eat over spring break. Many children have little to eat during breaks from school, according to Prospect Point Intervention Specialist Christine Ludwig. She says they are organizing another session prior to summer vacation.
Berney plans garden work party
Saturday, April 2
-  9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Tasks: Fence building, preparing the beds for spring planting, and expanding the flower beds
- Come join us for a short time, or for the whole time
- Bring basic tools if you have them
- Questions: Contact our Garden Coordinator, Joy Bader, at joygbader@gmail.com

Pioneer Orchestra earns superior rating at regional competition
Congratulations to the Pioneer 7th-8th Grade Orchestra on earning a superior rating at the Columbia Basin Music Educator's Middle-School Large-Group Orchestra Festival on Tuesday, March 29. They performed Concerto in D by J.S. Bach; Fantasia on Amazing Grace arr. Del Borgo, and Variations on A Well-Known Sea Chantey by Richard Stephan. Adjudicators for the Festival were Bruce Walker, Kathy Sands, & Sherry Danielson.
Local police officer trains students on digital citizenship
City of Walla Walla Police Detective Marcus Goodwater spent a day at Garrison Middle School this week to meet with students about digital citizenship and internet safety. Officer Goodwater stressed the importance of proper handling of electronic files.
“Once you hit the send button the files can end up anywhere,” said Officer Goodwater. “Students often don’t realize the power of their electronic devices and the impact it can have on their lives if they make poor choices.”
Detective Goodwater also specializes in solving crimes against children. He talked to the students about the serious nature of child abuse and other crimes against children. He let them know it is appropriate to report these types of offenses so the proper authorities can get involved. Detective Goodwater’s visit supports the district’s Digital Citizenship program implemented to help students learn how to safely and appropriately use electronic devices in today’s technical world.

Lincoln High School students receive Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month awards
Congratulations to Lincoln High School seniors Angel Martinez and Steven Lewis for receiving Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month Awards for March.  Alternative Education Program (WWCC) seniors Selena Cisneros and Jackson Owens also received awards. These students will also be eligible to compete for the Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Year Award and a special $1,000 college scholarship. 2015-16 Youth of the Year Theme: “Responsible citizenship for a strong America.” Mark Higgins is the program coordinator.
Lewis is a senior at Lincoln High School with ambitions to attend the culinary arts program at WWCC. He has a 3.5 GPA and has nearly perfect attendance in the four years he has attended Lincoln High School. Steven has been active in Drama during his high school years, performing in Grease at the Power House Theatre.  When not involved in school, he stays busy taking care of his younger siblings and doing yard work.  Steven is a very kind, humble individual that never has a negative comment to say about anyone, according to Principal Marci Knauft. Angel Martinez is a four year Lincoln student. He has a 3.5 GPA and nearly perfect attendance during his high school career.  He is a quiet leader, both on and off the basketball court, according to Principal Marci Knauft. Despite school not coming easy to him, his self-motivation, personal drive and hard work have earned him top ranks among Lincoln graduates this year, said Knauft.

JROTC student accepts appointment to West Point - By JROTC Blue Devil Public Affairs
Walla Walla High School Senior Madeline Erikson officially accepted her appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point by signing her National Letter of Intent to compete on their NCAA Rifle Team Tuesday in the Fletcher Memorial Room at Walla Walla High School.  Flanked by family, friends and teammates, Erikson became the second rifle athlete to sign with West Point in two years. Erikson’s path to West Point’s Division I Rifle Team began when she was a freshman, enrolling in the JROTC Rifle Marksmanship class. Over the past five years, there have been eight service academy appointments, six rifle team and two non-rifle team, from Wa-Hi’s JROTC program. 
“I took Rifle Marksmanship as an elective” said Erikson.  “I hunt and shoot with my dad, so I thought it would be a good way to improve my accuracy.  I never really thought of it as a varsity sport.” 
Erikson, who also played softball and basketball found however that competitive indoor rifle marksmanship was a sport that combined both her athletic and cognitive abilities.
“It took a lot of work to make the team.” Erikson said.  “I only shot for fun at first, but by the end of my freshman year, Sergeant Mebes noticed that my scores were improving, so I was allowed to come back as a sophomore and take the advanced class.  That was when I started shooting competitively.”
By Erikson’s junior year, she held the position of squad leader in the JROTC program at the rank of cadet staff sergeant so she could help instruct new cadets in the sport.  That year was also her first appearance at a national championship match.
“I traveled with the team to the Army National Match at Camp Perry, Ohio in February during Winter Storm Neptune,”  Erikson said. “It was 20 degrees below zero and blowing clouds of ice crystals.  I’ll never forget that trip.”
Erikson’s performance at Army Nationals solidified her place on the highly competitive sporter class team and in April she traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah for the CMP Western Regional Championship.
“On the second day of the match, Madeline’s rear sight on her rifle broke while she was in the middle of her kneeling set,”  said Wa-Hi Rifle Coach Mark Mebes  “I saw the ball bearing go skipping across the floor.  She just smiled, shrugged and started adjusting her point of aim based on her last shot.  She still walked away with a score over 500. It takes real mental toughness to recover from an equipment failure like that and not let it ruin your score. That was when I decided to move her up to the precision team.”
Moving from sporter class to Olympic-Style shooting at the end of her junior year, Erikson decided she wanted to try to work her way onto an NCAA team.  With only a year to gain the notice of a college coach, she realized it would be an uphill battle.  She approached her coach and told him she wanted to shoot at West Point. 
“I shot as much as I could last summer, including attending a marksmanship camp in Lebanon, Oregon.” Erikson said  “I also began to contact college coaches.”
By December, several coaches had responded and the University of Texas El Paso even flew her down for an official NCAA visit.
“I really had my heart set on West Point though.” Madeline said. “The cadet recruitment process there takes a little longer than other NCAA schools, but I wanted to know where I stood there before I accepted an offer to go somewhere else.”
In February, Madeline traveled with the rest of her team to the JROTC National Championship in Anniston, Alabama.  Unknown to her, the West Point Rifle Coach Web Wright III was in the audience. 
“After the match was over he sat down and talked with me.  He said he was very pleased with my scores both days, particularly in prone.  I had fired a 400 out of 400 and I am glad he saw me do that, because I had worked pretty hard at it.  I didn’t accept a single shot that wasn’t perfect.”
A week later, while at practice in the rifle range at Wa-Hi, Madeline received a phone call from Coach Wright.  
“I answered my phone and the whole team was standing there watching me,” said Erikson. “When he told me that West Point was recruiting me I gave them a thumb’s up.  Everyone was hugging me while I was still on the phone with him.  It was one of the best moments of my life.”
Erikson will report for Basic Cadet Training June 27 and begin classes in August at the academy.  She joins former Wa-Hi  team captain Nathan Brewer who just finished his freshman (Plebe) year shooting for the Black Knights. 

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

Children's Home Society of Washington marks Child Abuse Prevention Month
Children's Home Society of Washington in partnership with the Exchange Club of Walla Walla and Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition are building awareness about child abuse prevention efforts during National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. The community is invited to plant pinwheels and participate in other family-friendly activities. The pinwheel is an uplifting symbol of childhood and serves as a reminder of the healthy starts that all children deserve.
- Pinwheels for Prevention
Thursday, April 21
4-6 p.m.
- Pioneer Park Playground, 940 E. Alder
- Free
For more information, call (509) 529-2130 or visit http://www.facebook.com/ChildrensHomeSocietyOfWashingtonWallaWalla/. For more information about CHSW, visit www.childrenshomesociety.org.

Parks & Recreation update
Warrior Soccer Academy - Ages 5 - 11
April 18 - May 12 - $48
All Comers Track & Field Meet - Ages 12 & Under
May 1 - $3 ($5 onsite registration)
Adult Co-Ed Soccer - 16 & up
Registration Deadline - April 17 - $422 per team (includes player fees)
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us. Like on Facebook! www.facebook.com/wallawallapr

Picture Lab plans volunteer training
Volunteer with Carnegie Picture Lab and bring art education into the classroom! Two Volunteer Training workshops will take place this spring, one onWednesday, April 13 at 5:30-7 p.m, and one on Thursday, April 14 at 10 to 11:30 a.m. Both workshops take place at the Carnegie Picture Lab studio at 515 E. Main Street. No art experience is necessary, but attendance at one of the workshops is strongly encouraged. Also, there will be delicious baked goods!
Information:
- Tracy Thompson, Program Director

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