Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 20, 2006

In this Issue:

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District meets with Chamber board to discuss bond

This week members of the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce toured Walla Walla High School and listened to a presentation on the district’s proposed May 16 bond issue.

The 17 member board spent two hours on campus to learn more about the issues. Chamber Director Dave Warkentin said the presentation was very informative. (learn more about the bond online - www.wwps.org)

May 16 Bond Basics (learn more online - www.wwps.org)

Election date: May 16, 2006

What will the proposed 2006 bond fund?
This bond addresses the district’s most urgent needs first:
• Replacing Edison Elementary (current site)

• Replacing Paine Alternative (current site)

• Moving Support Services operations to the current
Wa-Hi CTE “vocational” building

• Modernizing Walla Walla High School

• Additional dollars at all schools for yearly facility improvements, technology and security

What will the proposed bond cost you?
99¢ per $1,000 of your property’s value
$150,000 home = $148.50 per year or about $12 per month
**(Or about the cost of a movie out and box of popcorn)

Bond Funding (2006 bond)
Local Taxpayer Contribution $53,950,000 (on ballot)
State matching dollars $33,672,000

Total Bond Projects $87,622,000

Will taxpayers have to foot the whole bill? NO
Here’s how the funding works
Local Taxpayer Contribution (on ballot) $53,950,000
* College Place funding - $8,000,000 (estimated)

Total for Walla Walla taxpayers: $45,950,000

Matching dollars available
State matching dollars $33,672,000
WW Citizens’ group (approximately) $1,500,000

More bang for your buck?
Of the 88 million in the school improvement projects…

State match, College Place funding and a significant donation from a citizens’ group offer Walla Walla taxpayers an approximate 50 percent match on all projects to vastly improve their local schools.

Walla Walla’s bond contribution will be approximately
$46 million to fund the nearly $88 million in school improvement projects proposed in the 2006 bond.

Facilities needs at a glance...

• Equity with other elementary schools
• Outdated & inefficient classrooms (no A/C)
• Safety (move entrance from Alder to Hobson)
• Space limitations (no potential for growth)

Paine School
• Building layout does not support program offerings
• Renovation triple the cost of building new
• All components (heat, electric, etc) worn out
• No A/C, no ADA provisions, seismic upgrades needed

• Safety & supervision (open campus design)
• Over-capacity
• Cramped learning spaces -- especially science labs
• Utility inefficiencies (single-pane windows, no A/C)
• Inadequate PE and athletic spaces

Support Services
• Building past useful life
• Not enough space -- especially for buses

Why is Borleske Stadium not meeting district needs?

A. Conflicting uses: Borleske currently attempts to accommodate both baseball and football on the same field causing considerable expense every year to change dirt to sod.

B. Existing conditions: The existing restrooms and concessions are undersized. Locker rooms are non-existent. The current stands have had some remedial work to the structure. The sight lines from spectator to the field for football are poor.

C. Cost: The stadium seating building scored a condition of 45% which is below the recommended score to remodel. It would be more cost effective to replace.

D. Ongoing district use and maintenance costs: The district spends up to $15,000 each year to transport students to Borleske for a variety of positive afterschool activities and $55,000 a year to maintain the aging stadium.

E. Convenience: Having the main playing field and track across town is not efficient for student use.

F. Teaching station: A PE/Athletic Facility at Wa-Hi — with an all weather track open for public use — serves as a classroom for PE teachers to better support the school’s fitness programs. This multi-use facility would also support extracurricular activities, graduation and various community activities. Athletes would also be able to practice on their own field.

G. Would private dollars help pay for the Wa-Hi PE/Athletic facility?
Yes, Wa-Hi Athletics Facility Funding Partners, chaired by Cindy Widmer, has pledged to procure funding to match funds required for the athletic facility so that bonding capacity can be available for other district priorities. With this private donation of approximately $1.5 million and state matching dollars available for this project, total cost for Walla Walla taxpayers will be less than 1 percent of all bond projects costs.

Why do all these bond projects at once?

• Equity
Not all district schools provide adequate learning environments to meet today’s educational demands and standards.
(Example: Sharpstein vs. Edison)

• Research
Local and national studies show these projects are the district’s most urgent needs.

• Time
We can’t afford to wait. The district has many more needs than the projects slated for improvement in the May 16 bond issue. Each year we wait these priorities get pushed further down the list.

• Cost
Each year we wait it will cost at least 10 percent more per year. The need doesn’t go away by not addressing it.

• Experience
The district has a proven record of successful management of capital improvement projects and has assembled a top notch, professional team to effectively manage all of these projects at one time.

• Fiscal integrity
The district has managed its last three projects (Green Park, Sharpstein, Murr Field) on/or under budget.

• Funding
Rarely has a community experienced an opportunity to have nearly a dollar for dollar match on their future investment.

Bond ‘Tidbits’ of the Week...

Did you know...
The proposed May 16 bond’s monthly increase to taxpayers who own a $150,000 home is about the cost of a movie out and a popcorn. Based on 99 cents per $1,000 of your property’s value.

Did you know...
The redesigned and improved Wa-Hi would have a separate parent drop-off area and bus service loop to improve traffic flow. The parent drop-off area would be off of Abbott Road and the bus loop off of Reser Road.

Did you know...
Members of the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce toured Wa-Hi Tuesday and listened to a presentation on the May 16 bond. When asked what the greatest concerns were for the outdated Science Labs, Science Teacher and Department Chair Rob Ahrens said student safety and inadequate teaching and learning space.

Did you know...
State match dollars, College Place funding for high school improvements and a significant donation from a Walla Walla citizens group offer Walla Walla taxpayers an approximate 50 percent match on all projects. Walla Walla’s bond contribution will be approximately $46 million to fund the nearly $88 million in school improvement projects proposed in the May 16 bond.

January is School Board Recognition Month

Your School Board is making a difference for students and the entire community. Thanks for a job well done!
Mary Jo Geidl, President
Anne Golden, Vice President
Tim Donaldson
Cindy Meyer
Toni Rudnick

Board Ongoing Committee Assignments 2006

Tim Donaldson
• Budget Committee
• WIAA Liaison
• Certificated Negotiations (with Anne Golden)

Mary Jo Geidl
• Head Start Policy Council
• Extracurricular Supervisors Negotiations
• Administrative Negotiations Committe
• Safe Schools Committee (with Toni Rudnick)

Anne Golden
• Curriculum Advisory Committee
• Instructional Materials Committee
• Certificated Negotiations (with Tim Donaldson)
• Legislative Representative

Cindy Meyer
• Explorer Advisory Committee
• PTA Council
• Classified Negotiations (with Toni Rudnick)

Toni Rudnick
• Calendar Committee
• Career/Technical Education Committee
• Classified Negotiations (with Cindy Meyer)
• Safe Schools Committee (with Mary Jo Geidl)

District continues to trim energy costs

District Energy Manager John Butenhoff delivered good news to the school board Tuesday night in his “Year Six” end of year report. Butenhoff reported the district saved more than $288,000 last year through the district’s comprehensive energy management program, pushing total savings since the program’s inception in 2000 to $1.5 million.

Butenhoff credited staff members’ energy ethics as the key to the positive results which have helped the district trim consumption by more than 25 percent. Butenhoff noted an 82 percent rise in natural gas rates, a 42 percent increase for electricity and 33 percent spike in water and sewer costs are keeping the pressure on to continue finding ways to conserve.

Butenhoff is constantly reviewing and tracking energy bills to find more ways to save. He also provides training and implements best practices for the energy saving programs. He thanked the school board for supporting the program and said it’s making a positive difference.

Superintendent Coffee Hour at Berney

Superintendent Rich Carter met with Berney parents today for his monthly Coffee Hour. Rich talked about the upcoming bond issue, curriculum issues and accessing special programs.

Personnel report (from Jan. 17 school board meeting)

• New Hires -
(Classified) Alma De La Rosa, Bilingual Para-Educator, Wa-Hi
Ron Gonzales, Bus Driver, Transportation
Linda Knowles, Bus Driver, Transportation
Kem Jones, Bus Driver, Transportation
Yara Martinez, Bilingual Para-Educator, Green Park
Armin Schulz, Bus Driver, Transportation

• Resignations/Retirements
(Certificated) Jeannie Boschker, Special Ed. Teacher, Green Park, 3 years
• (Jeannie served as an Occupational Therapist Assistant for 13 years)
Lisa Braddock, LAP Teacher, Berney, 17 years
• (Lisa is resigning .1 FTE of her position and will continue at .6 FTE)
Jim Ebding, Career Choices/Vocational Teacher, Wa-Hi, 31 years
Ken Hays, Business/Marketing Education Teacher, Wa-Hi, 1 year
Jacqueline George, Library Media Specialist, Garrison Middle School, 30 years
Shirley Hixson, Home/Family Life Teacher, Garrison Middle School, 9 years
Glen Mitchell, Director of Music/Music Teacher, Wa-Hi, 33 years
Meredith Mitchell, Music Teacher, Edison Elementary, 5 years
Stephanie St. Clair, Music Teacher, Prospect Point, 5 years
Jane Anne Warren, Speech Language Pathologist, Special Programs, 13 years

(Classified) Stephen Hagen,Transportation Coordinator, Transportation, 6 years
Miguel Martinez, Bilingual Para-Educator, Blue Ridge, 5 months
Matt Stroe, Para-Educator, Wa-Hi, 3.5 years

Transportation scores outstanding inspection

Congratulations to the Transportation Department for receiving a Certificate of Achievement from the Washington State Patrol for outstanding inspection results. Inspections occurred during the Winter and Summer months last year according to a report from Transportation Director Tom Head.

“The Washington State Patrol school bus inspection team and I wish to commend your district and those persons responsible for the maintenance of your buses for the outstanding bus inspection,” said Jan Clarence, Region IV Transportation Coordinator.

Red Cross thanks school district for support

American Red Cross Blue Mountain Chapter Executive Director Terry Hackney reported to school board members Tuesday night on the district’s successful fund-raising efforts to support disaster relief efforts. Hackney said district schools donated more than $10,000 to the cause.

Hackney will visit area schools to present Certificate of Appreciation keepsakes as a thank you for the efforts. He said he was proud of our staff and students and that the funding is making a difference.

Camp Fire Director thanks district for youth programs partnership

Walla Walla Camp Fire Council Executive Director Karen Wolf and Board President Rory McClellan reported to school board members Tuesday night on how Camp Fire programs serve district students.

Camp Fire After-school programs are available at four of the district’s elementary schools: Berney, Green Park, Prospect Point and Sharpstein. The program provides parents with affordable, safe after-school care. The program hinges on positive activities for youth with much of the supervision and instruction coming from Wa-Hi students who work part-time for Camp Fire.

Camp Fire also features a summer program at Wildwood Park, camping experiences at Camp Kiwanis and a Self-Reliance program to help young people build confidence and learn more about themselves. Wolf and McClellan thanked the school board for this partnership they said is working well in Walla Walla.

6th grade Explorers Celebrate Egypt Day

Today the 6th grade Pioneer and Garrison Explorers will celebrate Egypt Day. The celebration is a culmination of quarter-long projects and research on the topic of Egypt. Groups spent Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Social Studies periods creating maps, timelines, newsletters and even a cookbook about Egypt.

On Tuesday and Thursday the entire class researched, wrote, directed and starred in an 18-minute documentary on King Tut.

On Egypt Day students decorated the room and presented their projects to Garrison 7th and 8th grade Explorers as well as administration from both middle schools and parents. Students will then debute their documentary and enjoy an Egyptian feast. Special thanks to teacher Beth Clearman for leading all these exciting learning opportunities.

Bus drivers train with S.W.A.T team

Thursday six of the district’s school bus drivers trained with the local law enforcement S.W.A.T on school bus hostage scenarios. S.W.A.T team members -- dressed in full combat gear -- trained on how to approach and board the bus if it were under siege. They also explained to drivers what they should do if they are in this situation.

“Two of our drivers were the “bad guys” and the rest of the drivers played the part of the passengers,” Transportation Director Tom Head said. “This was a great learning experience for our drivers. Bus drivers involved in the training were able to experience first hand what would happen in this type of situation. It was also a real learning experience for the S.W.A.T. team, for they were able to discover some of the problems that they may be facing when dealing with a school bus.”

District school bus drivers participating were: Traci Munns, Linda Coffman, Mike Stroe, Anita Haws, Diane Trout and Kathy Bronkhorst.

Conspiracy of Hope concert next week

Next week is the annual Conspiracy of Hope concert. Performances are scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Wednesday, Jan. 25. Show starts at 7:07 p.m. in the Wa-Hi Auditorium. Cost is $5 per person.