Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - December 9, 2005

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Facilities Improvement Plan takes long-range approach to addressing district needs

Tuesday night Walla Walla Public Schools board members are expected to set in action a proposal to introduce a 25 Year Facilities Improvement Plan to our community. This is an opportunity for Walla Walla residents to get nearly a dollar for dollar match on their tax dollar to significantly improve their local schools.

This proposed plan – which calls for replacement bond elections every six years while maintaining a flat rate of 99 cents in additional taxes over the 2005 bond rate throughout the span of the 25 years – will provide adequate learning spaces necessary to meet today's 21 st Century educational demands. Our facilities needs are well documented through local, regional and national studies.

Significant changes to State of Washington school construction matching dollars formulas benefit our plan and would bring in $33,672,000 in state match dollars in the first bond alone.

We'll address some of the district's most urgent needs first, which include: replacing Edison Elementary (current site), replacing Paine Alternative Campus (current site), moving our Support Services operations to the current Walla Walla High School Career and Technical Education building, and replacing and renovating Walla Walla High School . The plan also calls for additional dollars at all schools for yearly facility improvements, technology and security upgrades.

The following is an overview of the projects included in the May 16 bond proposal.

Edison Elementary

Edison Elementary is 70 years old, in poor condition, with limited technology, and has numerous efficiency and safety shortcomings. It's also too small for future district growth so we want to expand its capacity. MGT of America's facilities study recommended the school be replaced. Replacing Edison at its current location is cost effective, allows for growth and also preserves a neighborhood school.

Paine Alternative Community Center

Paine Alternative Campus is more than 70 years old, in very poor condition, and has numerous safety issues. The MGT report recommended the school be replaced. The district is envisioning a fiscal partnership with the Blue Mountain Action Council to create a multi-use community facility on the Paine Campus to provide a range of youth programs and support. District architects do not recommend modernizing the existing building citing cost, poor program support and safety as the primary reasons.

Support Services

The district's Support Services Building , used as a bus garage, mechanics' shop, and school supplies warehouse, is located across from the district office in a residential neighborhood. MGT's report rated this building among the worst seen in any school district. We want to sell the existing property and move the operations to Walla Walla High School 's Career and Technical Education building. This move will save the district approximately 2 million dollars, improve our efficiencies and provide a long-range solution to our Support Services operations.

Walla Walla High School

Although Walla Walla High School lies in a beautiful setting, the school is over 40 years old, inefficiently laid out for today's programs, needs modernization, has numerous security and safety challenges and is over-capacity. District architects do not recommend modernizing existing buildings. Cost to refurbish existing buildings is more than building new and there is no place to house students during construction. Replacing the existing building with a unified structure improves efficiency, maximizes resources, tightens security and better supports staff collaboration. Architects West – who designed the award winning Sharpstein Elementary – will use their skills to maintain the natural beauty of Wa-Hi and complement Yellowhawk Creek.

Walla Walla High School currently has its football games and track meets at Borleske Stadium. This stadium built in the 1920s, owned jointly by the city, district and Whitman College , is in poor condition. There are no locker rooms, limited restrooms, poor ADA provisions, and numerous safety and security challenges. The district also spends up to $300 per day to transport students to the site during track practice each spring and $60,000 a year to maintain Borleske. To better support the high school's Physical Education and extra-curricular activities, the district recommends including a new athletic facility with an all-weather track on the campus of Walla Walla High school . This multi-use facility would also support daily physical education programs, soccer, graduation and various community activities -- including local and regional playoff events.


Funding summary: (2006 bond proposal)

$53,950,000 (Local)

$33,672,000 (State match dollars)

Total – $ 87,622,000 (.99 cents per $1,000 in additional taxes above the 2005 bond rate)

(Note: $8,000,000 is the estimated amount of the College Place contribution for high school improvements. This will eventually reduce the local responsibility to approximately $45,950,000)

This proposal also allows Walla Walla residents an opportunity to support local economic development as these projects will put millions of dollars back into our community through jobs, services and materials. We have information to share and are more than willing to come out to your place of work or community group gathering to discuss this issue and its importance. Strong schools equal a strong community.

School board meeting - Tuesday, December 13
School board members will conduct a regularly scheduled meeting, Tuesday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the district board room (364 S. Park Street). This meeting is open to the public.

Local artist Jeffrey Hill unveils revived Garrison Middle School ‘Trooper’ artwork
Artwork donated as a memorial to deceased Garrison teacher Ann Weatherill

This morning during an all school assembly local artist and former Garrison Middle School student Jeffrey Hill unveiled his artwork of a Garrison Trooper riding his horse which is now mounted near the school’s entrance and will serve as a memorial to former teacher Ann Weatherill who died tragically in 2004 from a bicycling accident.

The assembly was also an opportunity for Hill to pay tribute to former Garrison Art Teacher Dale Steindorf for being his inspirational role model as a student and lifelong mentor. Hill designed and created the original Trooper when he was in Steindorf’s art class as a student at Garrison Middle School and has now restored and painted it to better than new condition.

Hill also presented a painting of his Garrison Trooper art piece to Weatherill’s husband Charles Potts, her daughter Natalie and sister Molly. Hill also gave Steindorf a bronze statue to thank him for the positive influence he has had on his life.

Trevor Hunter of Hunter T Bronze was also honored for helping repair the Trooper artwork and get it mounted at the school’s entrance. Justin Wylie of Wylie Monuments was recognized for his contribution designing the bronze plaque which will be mounted below the artwork as a memorial to Ann Weatherill. Garrison students talked about Weatherill during the assembly and thanked her for helping them learn and to care more for others. At the conclusion of the assembly students gathered to view the art work as they returned to class.


Wa-Hi FFA students collect goods for those in need
Thursday night our FFA members collected over 1,000 food and clothing items for those in need in our community.

“It is nice to see how our kids respond to those who are in need,” FFA Advisor Mike Martin said. “It was also nice to hear comments from the students how this is their way of saying thanks to a community that has so generously supported the FFA. A special note, one of our students (Darling Walk) took extra time last night to put together a special basket for one of her church members. One last thought, as we approach the holiday season, we have one more thing to be thankful for and that is the great students we have here in the Walla Walla School District.”



Seventy students inducted into National Honor Society
National Honor Society inducted 70 students Tuesday night at the Walla Walla High School auditorium. For an invitation into NHS, students must have a 3.5 grade point average. Student’s character is then screened by a Faculty Advisory committee. Invitations are then sent to qualifying juniors and seniors to complete an application process.

Documentation of service to our community and leadership capabilities are included in the application along with signatures of community members, teachers, fellow students, administrators and parents. When this is completed, students go through the induction ceremony which focuses on the four pillars of the National Honor Society. Scholarship, Leadership, Character, and Service are the founding principles of the National Honor Society.

At the Tuesday night induction ceremony, Chris Ferenz, mathematics teacher, and Rob Ahrens, science teacher, spoke to the students about their personal educational pathways. Mr. Ferenz emphasized making good choices and Mr. Ahrens focused on working hard in all areas of life.

This year’s NHS officers, who worked hard on behalf of our new inductees to put on the beautiful ceremony, are:
Rocky Eastman, President
Joe Harold, Vice President
Yasmeen Colis, Secretary
Adam Hair, Treasurer
Hillary Smith, Co-Historian
Maggie Chia, Co-Historian

Brian Pendleton, Principal at Walla Walla High School, congratulated all of our NHS new inductees and presented them with Certificates of Membership, membership cards with a symbolic pin, and a white carnation, in place of a lit candle, to represent the flame of knowledge.

Special thanks go to Sherry McConn, former NHS advisor, who helped with the ceremony set up and clean up. Especially, NHS would like to thank Ky Hafen for his incredible help in setting up/cleaning up the auditorium for NHS’s use.

This year’s inductees are:
Hailey Emily Bohnet
Nicholas Antonio Ferraro
Hailey Renee Gies
Ana Lucia Herrera
Mindy Marie Juergensen
Briana Linn Kelly
Elizabeth Jo Klein
Mariah Louise Newhouse
Nicholas Tyler Shenefield
Stephen D Short
Malia Suzui
Awet Alazar
Kim Armentrout
Jayson Bentley Ball
Kelsey M Beckmeyer
Andrew James Bell
Joshua Edward Benedict
Jeremy David Bergevin

Rebecca Carole Blair
Andrea Renae Briones
Andrea Leanne Bughi
Victor Hugo Cantero
Rebecca Jean Clubb
Ashley Charlene Collins
Kelsie Davisson
Mary Caitlin Doherty
Jesse Jae Duprey
Andra Ely
Andrea Flaa
Wesley James Fletcher
Anna Adelaide Forge
Sydney C Gabbard
Kaori Lynn Graybeal
Jared D Greenwood
Taryn Marie Hair
Krizmah Higgins
Kyler Reser Knowles
Allison M Leier
Elizabeth Lindsay
Spring Margaret Lonneker
Ian S Lucas
Caleb Nolan Mayberry
Maeve Irene McClellean
Kylie Elyse McConnell
Amanda Kay Meyer
Krista Marie Morasch
Melany Muro
Joshua Owen Ness
Meghan Rose Nix
Kathleen Michelle O’Brien
Jordan Nicole Paden
Emily Rose Pinney
Ashley Marie Purdin
Maren Christine Rehberg
Helen Marie Reich
Megan Marie Renfro
Haley Sue Schneidmiller
Christopher Paul Schulz
Kylie Jane Sheckler
Sandra Shields
Nathan T Stroobants
Thomas James Suckow
Jesica Elizabeth Sundberg
Quinn Maureen Tomlin
Christy Lynn Turner
Ashlee Kae Wall
Darci Renee White
Eric Wiessner
Jennifer Marie Wickham
Kendall Jane Wilson

Congratulations goes out to all of these outstanding young Walla Walla Public School students.


District teams with WWCC to receive Born Learning- READY! for Kindergarten grant
Grant summary

Grant Amount
- $80,000 award from State of Washington
- $10,000 matching local funds by June 2006
- $10,000 matching local funds by June 2007

Grant contacts:
- Melinda Brennan- Walla Walla Community College
- Judy Peasley – Walla Walla Public Schools

Grant Timeline:
- January 2006 through June 2007

Project Description:
The Born Learning-READY! for Kindergarten project is comprehensive and deep in its approach to empowering parents of young children. There are two major strands of our program – one being the parent sessions described below, and the second a coordinated regional media campaign using the Washington State Born Learning Campaign model and materials. Our goal is to saturate our market with messages and themes designed to inform and engage parents, caregivers, and early childhood professionals.

The READY! program for parents provides a venue to join together three times each year with parents raising children of the same age, to learn about some simple activities that can easily be incorporated into daily interactions with their children. Parents of newborns gather together, as do parents with children at other ages. The classes provide information on how children learn at each age and stage of development, and invite the parents to learn how to utilize regular children’s toys and regular daily activities to interact in powerful ways with their own children as they grow.

The facilitators of the parent sessions are individuals from across the community who have a passion for early learning and the power of positive parenting.

Once registered in the READY! program, the family is placed on the calling and mailing list for future sessions. The children are registered for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library which gifts each child with an age-appropriate quality children’s book that is mailed to the home each month, as long as the family participates in the READY! program. This can mean a personal home library of up to 60 quality children’s books for each child by the time they enter Kindergarten.

Project Outcomes:
Strengthen the development of strong and healthy families in our region by promoting literacy through parent education and involvement of families with children from birth to age 5. Improve readiness for learning upon entry to Kindergarten. Engage local leaders in four rural counties and build community support for early learning programs through increased public awareness and knowledge among parents, guardians, families and caregivers. Build upon Walla Walla Community College and Walla Walla Public Schools’ existing institution and program strengths.

Public School Employees union votes in new officers
Congratulations to the following classified staff members for recently being voted in to serve as officers for the PSE Union.
• Larry McCauley (Mechanic, Plant Facilities)- President
• Mike Stroe (Bus Driver, Transportation Department) - Vice President
• Jeanne Brewer (Library Technician, Pioneer) - Secretary
• Rose Martin (Para-Educator, Sharpstein) - Treasurer

* These are two year terms

Paine students plan annual Holiday dinner
Paine Campus students are planning a holiday dinner, Thursday, December 15, at 5 p.m.
“This year we are coordinating with other classes on a larger project which will include our usual holiday dinner and culminate in a dinner theater production later this winter,” teacher Marlene Castoldi said. “I am working on the food production aspect and drama, staging, documentation, and advertising are being done by students in the classes of Ed Eckles, Anne Wallace, and Barb Mc Rae. Students in the food production group have acquired their food handler permits from the Health Department. We are still in the process of planning the menu and determining the cost.”

Contact Castoldi at 527-3083 to RSVP.

Garrison Middle School students support Katrina Aid Relief Effort (KARE)
Garrison Middle School Junior Honor Society members have recently concluded a fund drive to aid relief efforts on the Gulf Coast. Pictured below are Zach Sumerlin and Audrey Smith pointing out Walla Walla and Pacagoula respectively on the map where progress was marked during the fund drive. They adopted Gautier (pronounced Go-Shay) Middle School in Pascagoula, Mississippi and have sent a check for $2189.01 to the school to use in any way that will most benefit the students there.

The check will be presented to the school by Rebecca Davis of the Pascagoula Main Street Association. Rebecca, her husband Dave and Frank and Angela Corder were in Walla Walla in October for a KARE fundraising dinner and visited Garrison classes while they were here. The students at Garrison have followed events in Pascagoula as time has passed and have written notes to accompany the check in hopes of establishing pen pals with students from the school.

Two district teachers earn National Board certification
Congratulation to Walla Walla High School English as a Second Language teacher Diana Erickson and Green Park Elementary 5th grade teacher Elissa Stites for earning this prestigious certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The board announced the latest crop of National Board-certified teachers in late November. With this latest announcement, Washington has a total of 900 board-certified teachers-placing the state 13th in the nation for the number of National Board certification holders. And Washington ranked sixth in the nation this year for the total number of newly minted board-certified teachers.

The path towards National Board certification is a year-long introspective process, one which includes creating of a portfolio of work that documents a teacher’s success in the classroom as evidenced by their students’ learning. Candidates also complete a series of tests designed to measure their knowledge of content.

“We are proud of these outstanding educators and the effort they put in to earn this certification,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “We are fortunate to have this level of educator working with children in Walla Walla. I salute their efforts.”

2005 Holiday Concert Series (remaining concerts on schedule)

Dec. 12 - Prospect Point Holiday program (grades K-2) 12:30 PM / (grades) 3-5 / 1:30 PM

Dec. 12 - Pioneer Holiday Concert #3 / 7:00 PM, Wa-Hi Auditorium
8th Grade Band & Choir, Boys’ Choir, P3 & Jazz Band

Dec. 13 - Prospect Point Holiday program (grades K-2) 9:15 AM / (grades 3-5) / 10:15 AM

Dec. 13 - Green Park Holiday program (grades 3-5) / 1:30 PM

Dec. 13 - Garrison Holiday Concert / 7:00 PM, Garrison Gym

Dec. 13 - Edison Holiday program (grades 1-3) / 7:00 PM (grades 4-5) / 7:40 PM Wa-Hi Aud.

Dec. 13 - Prospect Point Choir Tour Odd Fellows, Garrison Creek Lodge
(11 AM & 12:30 PM, Park Plaza, 1 PM)

Dec. 14 - Wa-Hi Holiday Concert #1 / 7:00 PM, Wa-Hi Auditorium (Adults $2, Students $1, Families $5)
(Chansons, String Orchestra, Cantabile, Symphonic Band, Treble Ensemble)

Dec. 15 - Garrison 7th-8th Choir Tour (Odd Fellows, Garrison Creek and Wheatland Village)

Dec. 15 - Sharpstein Holiday program (grades 1, 2 and 3) / 1:00 PM

Dec. 15 - Edison Kindergarten Program / 7:00 PM

Dec. 15 - Berney Holiday programs (grades K-2) / 12:30 PM / (grades 3-5) / 1:45 PM

Dec. 15 - Wa-Hi Holiday Concert #2 / 7:00 PM / Wa-Hi Auditorium (Adults $2, Students $1, Families $5)
(Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Singers, Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Jazz Band)

Dec. 16 - Sharpstein Holiday program (grades K, 4 and 5) / 1:00 PM

Dec. 16 - Blue Ridge Elementary School Holiday program (grades K-2) / 12:30 PM

Dec. 16 - Blue Ridge Elementary School Holiday program (grades 3-5) / 1:15 PM