Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - December 16, 2005

(Note: There will not be a Week In Review Friday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Dec. 30 due to winter break)

In this Issue:

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Winter Break Schedule
Walla Walla Public Schools will not be in session December 19 through January 2. Classes will resume, Tuesday, January 3. The district office will be open December 19-22 and December 27-29 from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.
Have a safe and happy winter break!

Board supports facilities improvement bond
School board members Tuesday, Dec. 13 passed a resolution in support of a facilities improvement bond slated for Tuesday, May 16.

“This is an issue that has been studied in-depth for the past six years by local citizens, staff, school board members, parents, students, administrators, business leaders and independent consultants,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “This decision was made with great deliberation, discussion, thought and consideration by a number of parties over a long period of time.”

2006 Bond Fact Sheet

Election date: Tuesday, May 16 (vote by mail ballots to be sent Friday, April 28)

25 Year Facilities Improvement Plan Summary:

Walla Walla Public Schools is proposing a 25 Year Facilities Improvement Plan to significantly improve local schools over time. School improvement projects scheduled to be undertaken with the renewal of future bond issues in 2012, 2018 and 2024, will be dependent on passage of the May 16, 2006 school bond.
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 21st Century educational demands.

District facilities needs are documented through local, regional and national studies. (*facilities study results available)

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

The May 16, 2006 bond election addresses the district’s most urgent needs, 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 2006 bond also calls for additional dollars at all schools for yearly facility improvements, technology and security upgrades.

Funding summary (May 16, 2006 bond):
$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)

The following is an overview of the projects being proposed in the May 16, 2006 bond election:

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
· Replacement building supports 200 more students for future growth
· 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 Community Learning Center
· Paine School is nearly 80 years old, in very poor condition, and has numerous safety & ADA 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 facility support for programs, and safety as the primary reasons
· Paine Community Learning Center supports additional capacity for future growth
· Paine Community Learning Center is evolving into a school of choice and an option for a second, small high school experience in Walla Walla

Support Services
· Residential neighborhood location creates safety concerns, noise issues and space limitations
· MGT’s report rated this building among the worst seen in any school district
· District wants 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 efficiencies and provide a long-range solution to our Support Services operations

Walla Walla High School
· The district recognizes Walla Walla High School lies in a beautiful setting
· The school is over 40 years old and needs modernization
· Inefficiently laid out for today’s programs
· Numerous security and safety challenges
· Over-capacity
· District architects do not recommend modernizing most existing buildings (four existing buildings to remain)
· Note: Main gym, small gym, auditorium, Career & Technical Education buildings to remain
· Cost to refurbish existing buildings is more than building new
· There is no place to house students during construction if existing buildings were to be refurbished
· Replacing the existing buildings 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.

Athletic/PE Facility at Walla Walla High School
· 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 at Borleske Stadium, limited restrooms, poor ADA provisions, and numerous safety and security challenges
· The district 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.
· Athletic/PE Facility (with an all weather track) at Wa-Hi better supports the school’s Physical Education and extra-curricular activities
· This multi-use facility would also support daily physical education programs, soccer, graduation and various community activities — including local and regional playoff events.

Economic Development
· Millions of dollars will flow back into Walla Walla economic development efforts through jobs, services and materials

What’s Next? (Note: priorities for the proposed 2012, 2018, and 2024 bond issues will be reviewed prior to each election – bond tax rate stays flat)
• 2012 (Projects – Pioneer Middle School including new gym and removing portables - $17,400,000 – note tax rate remains 99 cents of additional tax above the 2005 bond rate)

• 2018 (Projects – Berney Elementary, Blue Ridge Elementary, Garrison Middle School, Pioneer Middle School, Prospect Point Elementary — $17,377,000 - note tax rate remains 99 cents of additional tax above the 2005 bond rate)

• 2024 (Projects Green Park Elementary, Sharpstein Elementary maintenance — $6,105,000 — note tax rate remains 99 cents of additional tax above the 2005 bond rate)

•2012, 2018, 2024 — additional dollars at all schools for yearly facility improvements, technology and security upgrades.

More Bond Information:
For information on the 2006 Bond election, contact Communications Director Mark Higgins at (509) 526-6716 or by e-mail at: mhiggins@wwps.org.

Meyer takes school board oath of office
Longtime district volunteer Cindy Meyer became the district’s newest board member last night after taking the oath of office. She takes the seat of retiring school board member Dr. Richard Jacks.

Meyer has a B.A. in Geology from Oregon State University. She co-chaired the Citizens for Schools Levy campaigns in 2002 and 2004 and has volunteered in the schools for 12 years in numerous roles and capacities.

She and her husband, Joe, a local physician, have two teenage daughters. Meyer will serve a four year term.

Highlights of Meyer’s District Volunteer Service
• Green Park PTA (President, VP, Treasurer)
• Explorer Parent Organization Co-President & grant writer
• Walla Walla High School PTA President and Vice-President
• Golden Acorn Award Recipient
• 00-01 Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award Recipient
• 03-04 SEWASA Award for Outstanding Service
• Member Wa-Hi Shared Leadership Committee

School board elects new officers - Geidl elected president
Mary Jo Geidl was sworn in for her second four-year term Tuesday, Dec. 13. Board members also elected Geidl president of the board and named Anne Golden vice president.



Wa-Hi’s inaugural Leadership Camp a success
Last weekend, 62 students and 9 teachers attended the first Winter Leadership Camp at Meadow Wood Springs Camp on Tollgate.

“It was a huge success,” Leadership Teacher Lori Finn said. “Students spent the weekend learning about the fears and challenges all students face. They learned to communicate, work in a team, and how to tear down the walls of separation that make WA-Hi an overwhelming experience for many students.”

The leadership camp was planned and organized by 12 student counselors, Finn and Assistant Principal Kirk Jameson. The student counselors organized the activities to help students get to know one another and build lasting relationships with students and teachers they may not have otherwise ever talked to or gotten to know.

“For most students, it was a life changing experience,” Finn said. “My goal as an advisor is to provide enough camps each year so that every student at WA-Hi who wants to attend camp has the opportunity. We are currently looking at ways we can provide scholarships to help students so that money isn’t the reason they can’t attend camp. Our next camp is tentatively set for February 2006.”

If you would like additional information or would like to help provide this opportunity for students, please feel free to contact Lori Finn at: 509-526-8650 or email: lfinn@wwps.org.


Big 9 Principals Vote to Make Conference a 4A-3A Combination League

WHO: Principals of schools in the Big 9 Athletic Conference

WHAT: Vote to make the Big 9 a 4A-3A Combination League

WHEN: Vote taken December 14, 2005

WHERE: Kamiakin High School in Kennewick

WHY: The Columbia Basin Big 9 Principals agreed today to make the Big 9 Athletic Conference a 4A-3A Combination League. Principals also voted to accept Hanford and West Valley (Yakima) into the league as member schools.

Principals will now direct their Athletic Directors to devise schedules with schools playing the teams in their same classification, as well as some cross-over games with teams in the other classification. Athletic Directors will take up the scheduling issue during their next meeting.

The Big 9 Athletic Conference will be made up of the following schools in the following classifications:

West Valley (Yakima)

Moses Lake
Walla Walla

Berney Principal and company treat staff to breakfast
Berney Principal David Talley and staff members Wes Sanders, Ben Ugaldea, Scott Ford, Jack O’Brien and Don Davis were up bright and early this morning to prepare and serve their fellow staff members with breakfast. This holiday tradition is a way for Talley and company to say happy holidays and thank you for a great fall.


Pioneer students celebrate achievement during Spirit Assembly by Principal Dana Jones

“We had a very exciting day today. We recognized fall and winter sports 1 (boys basketball participants at a morning assemby. In addition we announced the spirit award for the advisory door decorating contest and had a spirt yell competition.

“Stan Southern performed his original composition on the piano that was his prize-winning reflections entry. Our dance team performed and we had a student/staff volleyball game officiated by Assistant Superintendent Linda. Boggs and a student/staff basketball game officiated by Superintendent Rich Carter. The students won the volleyball game and the staff barely squeaked by with a basketball win. As Dr. Carter noted, we take our basketball seriously at Pioneer. This afternoon students will enjoy a music performance assemby highlighting our band, choir and orchestra.”

Parade of Lights Thank You by Wa-Hi CTE Woodshop Teacher Bob Maib
“We appreciate your help with the school float this year. It was a great success. Vocational and Technical Education gave out 4,000 candy canes to the youth of Walla Walla. Because of the Community’s involvement with our “Parade of Lights” float project, we were able to bring holiday cheer and great P.R. to thousands of Walla Walla residents.

“From all of us in the Vocational and Technical Education department, we thank you and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”