Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 9, 2014

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Teacher Appreciation Week - May 5 to 9

Thanks so much to all of our fantastic teachers as we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week: May 5 to 9!

“As teacher appreciation week ends, I want to add to those saying "thank you" to our teachers,” said Superintendent Mick Miller. “I am continually impressed with the professionalism of our teachers as well as the genuine concern and care provided students each day. We never know how or when we make a difference in the lives of children, but I know it is happening in our schools. Thank you so much.”


Board calls for reconvening of Facilities Task Force

The next steps for a bond to improve Walla Walla High School or any other district facility will begin with the reconvening of the district’s Community Facilities Task Force. School board members during Tuesday night’s meeting at Pioneer Middle School asked Superintendent Mick Miller to begin the process of bringing the group back together.

Superintendent Miller said the first task will be to contact existing members to see if they are willing to continue serving on the Task Force. Miller said the district will also recruit new members to better represent the diverse community of Walla Walla. Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan will co-chair this group.

Board members also will begin reviewing the district’s Strategic Plan as the plan is set to expire in 2015. School board President Anne Golden asked fellow board members to become familiar with the existing plan and begin thinking about what direction the district should take regarding future strategic planning.


Four Walla Walla Public Schools on state “Focus” list – Lincoln High School earns ticket off list

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction released its list of Priority and Focus schools and Walla Walla Public Schools has four schools on the “Focus” list: Edison Elementary (English Language Learners - continuing); Garrison Middle School (English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities - continuing); Pioneer Middle School (English Language Learners – newly identified); and Sharpstein Elementary (Students with disabilities – newly identified).

Lincoln High School moved off the Focus list by improving graduation rates. Blue Ridge Elementary maintained its growth pattern and was not named as a Priority or Focus school for 2014. No Walla Walla Public Schools have been identified as “Priority” schools.

Priority and Focus designations are based on the school’s performance over the past three years in relation to the State Board of Education Achievement Index standards. The Achievement Index factors in student growth as well as student achievement in reading and math.

Priority and Focus Schools Definition Overview:
- Priority: Schools across the state with the lowest five percent of Achievement Index Scores.
- Focus: Focus schools are those showing the greatest improvement need for a specific sub group of students.
(NOTE: In Walla Walla, these ‘Focus’ subgroups are English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities)

Walla Walla Public Schools Steps to Improvement:
- Providing instructional planning support
- Specific professional development targeted at accelerating student learning
- Continuing to monitor student progress

“We are proud of the hard work our teachers and students do every day and are confident the schools identified as ‘Focus’ will make the necessary growth to move off of this list,” said Maria Garcia, WWPS Assessment Coordinator.


End-of-Year Celebrations

Lincoln High School Graduation
- Thursday, June 5 @ 6 p.m.
- WW Fairgrounds

Wa-Hi Commencement
- Friday, June 6 @ 7 p.m.
- Wa-Hi Commons area (gym if raining)

Pioneer Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
- Tuesday, June 10 @ 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Gym

Garrison Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
- Wednesday, June 11 @ 7 p.m. - Garrison MS Field


Personnel Report (from May 6, 2014 board meeting)

Employment
(Certificated)
Makena Busch, English/CTE Teacher, Walla Walla High School
Amber Davin, Physical Education Specialist, Garrison Middle School
Madison Dissmore, Bilingual Elementary, Blue Ridge Elementary
Spencer Hessler, Physical Education Specialist, Lincoln High School
Kate Keyes, Bilingual Elementary, Sharpstein Elementary
Bernard Ma, Business Education, Walla Walla High School
Richard Moro, English, Walla Walla High School
Tracy Williams, K-12 Content and Technology Systems Coordinator, District Office
(Athletics)
Kelsey Brennan, Athletic Trainer, Walla Walla High School
Victoria Reardon, Athletic Trainer, Walla Walla High School

Retirement/Resignation
(Certificated)
Kathy Bense, Special Education Preschool Coordinator, Special Education, 30 years
Jody Busby, Special Education, Blue Ridge Community Preschool, 1 year
(Classified)
Dina Anderson, Assistant Secretary, Walla Walla High School, 13 years
Linda Barker, Head Secretary, Lincoln High School, 23.5 years
Yesenia Trujillo, Intervention Specialist, Sharpstein Elementary, 1 year



School Stories
District art teachers plan Spring Art Show

- May 9 and 10
- Location: SEA-TECH Building (525 Campus Loop on the Campus of Walla Walla Community College)
- Participating schools: Lincoln High School, Walla Walla High School, Garrison and Pioneer Middle Schools
- Hours: Friday, May 9 - 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, May 10 - 1 to 4 p.m.
- What to expect: The show will feature work created by students from Wa-Hi, Lincoln, Garrison, and Pioneer. It will include drawing, painting, pottery, sculpture, photography, graphic arts, visual effects and digital animation.


Blue Devil Athletic Development (BDAD) begins in June

- June 30 to August 6 (look for flyers and online posting soon)
- 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.


Walla Walla High School Drama presents Moby Dick, the Musical

Remaining show dates are May 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and May 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.
Tickets cost: Adults - $12 and Students - $6. Additionally, tickets will be available for purchase one hour prior to curtain.
Ticket sales: Tickets may be purchased at the main office (ASB counter) between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily or online at https://intouch.wwps.org. Information: Call the drama hotline at 526-8613.

Story background: The London Herald reports this musical to be “exuberant”. The girls of St. Godley's School are in trouble! Money for the school has run out and the place will have to close. Leave it to these resourceful girls, and their unflappable headmistress (played by a man in drag), to come up with a plan to keep the school afloat. Using whatever they can find at hand, the girls mount an original production as a fundraiser: a musical version of Moby Dick, featuring their headmistress in the coveted role of Captain Ahab.


Green Park team wins Corporate Cup Sportsmanship Award

Green Park Elementary formed a team for the YMCA Corporate Cup competition. Para-Educator Karen Carlile and teacher Michelle Carpenter served as team co-captains. Green Park’s Corporate Cup team came home with the Sportsmanship Award.

“As a parent and staff member of Green Park, it was extremely exciting to see our staff members come together and compete with spirit and enthusiasm while being a part of Walla Walla's community.” Carilile said. “We had a fantastic time and are already planning our strategies for next year's events.

Green Park staff are encouraging a team from each school to participate next year’s competition to encourage health and wellness within our district staff.

‘We won the Sportsmanship Award for coming to every event with a smile on our face, graciousness in our hearts and a passion for seeing everyone succeed,” Carpenter said. “Not only did we do that, but as a staff it was a huge builder of team, commitment and great laughs!”


Walla Walla High School music students compete at state

Seven entries from the Walla Walla High School Choral Music Department and two entries from the Orchestra Department performed at the Washington Music Educator Association State Music Competition in Ellensburg on April 25-26. These students took first place in their category at the regional event earlier this school year.

Results Overview - By Music Department
- Alandra Dalan and Isaac Johnson (Vocal) performed a duet. They did an outstanding job, but did not receive a rating because we forgot their music.

- Daisy Schoen, Piper Titus and Gina Lincoln (vocal) performed in a trio that received a Superior rating.

- The One Cubed Trio (strings) consisting of Ye Ji Cho, Lucas Larreau and Kurt Funk received an Excellent rating.

- The Wa-Hi String Ensemble consisting of Ye Ji Cho, Kurt Funk, William Liening, Suk Chan Cho, Velia Saldivar, Emma Spencer and Lucas Larreau received a Superior rating.

Soloists competed on Saturday. Five of the six soloists chosen from the Columbia Basin Region were from Wa-Hi.

The following soloists placed at State:
- Daisy Schoen (Soprano 1): Third place
- Bryson Gobel (Baritone): Second Place

These soloists received the following ratings:
- Jaime Quaresma (Alto): Excellent
- Anna Apostolidis (Mezzo Soprano): Superior
- Michael Anderson (Tenor): 1- Superior



Pioneer Middle School focuses on closing the achievement gap and preparing students for college and careers

Pioneer Middle School Principal Mira Gobel provided a report to school board members Tuesday night. Her update centered on the eight criteria the school has embraced as a leadership framework. Each criteria has measurable goals and activities aimed at supporting the framework focus area. She praised staff and students for embracing this concept which has led to high staff morale, more community involvement and student success. The school’s mission statement focuses on closing the achievement gap and preparing students for college and career readiness.

One initiative Pioneer Middle School staff and students have developed to engage the community and build school culture is sending origami cranes to communities recovering from tragedy. The school recently sent cranes to the mudslide impacted town of Oso and they plan to send them to South Korea in honor of the ferry accident victims. Japanese legend states these cranes bring eternal good luck.

Pioneer’s Framework for Success
• Creating a culture
• School Safety
• Planning with data
• Align curriculum
• Improving instruction
• Managing resources
• Engaging communities
• Closing the Achievement Gap


Student Produced Independent Films for Youth Festival May 30

- 4th annual SPIFFY film festival. SPIFFY (Student Produced Independent Films for Youth)
- Friday, May 30 from 6 to 9 p.m.
- Free (donations accepted to support filmmaking program and travel costs to New York for award winning students)
- Walla Walla High School Auditorium
- Information: Pioneer Explorer Teacher Dan Calzaretta - dcalzaretta@wwps.org

“We have some amazing films this year, including two that were accepted into the National Film Festival for Talented Youth and one that was awarded a Gold Medal at the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards,” Calzaretta said. “Treat yourself to an evening of great student films. You will be astounded by these young filmmakers!”


Community Stories
Local Shelter teaches shelter smarts

Join Blue Mountain Humane Society for “Cool Kids, Cats and Dogs”, a free interactive event for children ages 7-12, on Tuesday, May 20 from 4-6 p.m. at Blue Mountain Humane Society. Kids will learn to interact safely with shelter pets, to identify shelter pet needs and to respond to shelter pet emergencies. RSVP today 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


Providence St. Mary Service League hosts fair trade day sale

Please join us in celebrating World Fair Trade Day, the largest Fair Trade event in North America each year. The Providence Saint Mary Medical Center’s Service League will join our neighbors across the U.S. and around the world in celebrating World Fair Trade Day by hosting Fair Trade sale and sampling event May 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In celebration of World Fair Trade Day, you are invited to stop by the lobby at Providence St. Mary’s Hospital to sample and purchase Fair Trade coffee and chocolate, learn more about Fair Trade, and shop for beautiful and fairly-traded home décor, accessories and other unique hand crafted items from around the world. Your purchases empower marginalized farmers, workers and artisans to gain the income and skills they need to support themselves and their families.

Here is your chance to give gifts that change lives! In addition to supporting artisans and farmers around the globe, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Providence Saint Mary Service League. Please help us spread the word and invite your friends, coworkers and neighbors. Visit www.FTRN.org to learn more about Fair Trade. For more information about the sale, contact Judy Pinney at 509-301-0105.


Fifth Annual Relay for Hope: Walk Away Child Abuse

- Saturday, May 17
- Registration: 8 a.m. / Kick-off celebration begins at 9 a.m.
- 1-mile, 5K and 10K run/walk along Mill Creek Trail & Bennington Lake (run, walk or donate)
- Fees: $25 w/ no shirt; $35 w/ shirt (teams of four or more receive a $5 discount per registered person)

Take a stand with the Parent Aide Program, a partnership with the Exchange Club of Walla Walla, and send the message there is hope and support for families in our community. The Relay for Hope helps the Parent Aide Program raise awareness about the devastating effects of child abuse and provides additional funding to ensure critical services targeted toward building healthy families in our community.

For registration and sponsorship information, contact Stephanie Biegel or Debi Allessio at Children’s Home Society of Washington, (509) 529-2130 or stephanieb@chs-wa.org; debia@chs-wa.org


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