Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 9, 2006

In this Issue:

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School Board appears ready to approve Edison bond
School board members Tuesday night during a public work session inched closer to putting Edison Elementary on a bond measure to go before voters in February.

Board members said unless there is overwhelming public concern against the measure in the next two weeks, they will take action to approve a resolution at the Nov. 21 school board meeting.

They have scheduled another public work session on Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. to give community members another opportunity to weigh in on an Edison bond measure.

Public comments on this issue are to be directed to Communications Director Mark Higgins at 526-6716 or mhiggins@wwps.org.

Below is a summary of the suggested Edison proposal:

Election date: Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Scope of project: Replace existing 70-year-old Edison Elementary on an expanded current site with a 63,000 square foot school designed to serve approximately 450 students to meet district growth demands.

Project Cost: $19.5 million (estimated)

Cost per $1,000 (estimated): The Edison bond will be repaid over an 11 year period and is estimated to increase the current bond rate 36 cents per thousand of assessed valuation. This breaks down to an average of $4.50 per month on a $150,000 house.

NOTE: The new total bond rate proposal would be about $1.39 per $1,000, which is less than the current total rate of $1.50.

State Matching Dollars: $3.4 million (estimated)
(Board is proposing using some of this funding for a Support Services facility.)

Public Work Session Scheduled
Tuesday, Nov. 21
6:30 p.m.
District Office Board Room (364 S. Park St.)
Open to public

No School - November 8 to 10
Conferences: November 8 & 9
Veterans Day Holiday: November 10

Classes resume Monday, November 13.

Blue Mountain Community Foundation provides grant for “Books for Babes”
The “Books for Babes” project recently received a check for $3,000 from The Blue Mountain Community Foundation. This funding will help purchase more books for more babies, according to Edison Second Grade Teacher Kay Barga who helps coordinate the program.

Books for Babes program was created to promote literacy with Walla Walla families who have newborns. Each year Edison elementary students deliver book bags to St. Mary Medical Center and Walla Walla General Hospital to be sent home with mothers who recently had babies.

Personnel Report (from 11/7/06 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Classified) Tanya Hoffman, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School
Cynthia Johnson, Food Service Assistant, Berney
Nikki Phillips, Food Service Assistant, Walla Walla High School

• Resignations/Retirements
(Classified) Teresa Weaver, Health Clinician, Blue Ridge (2 months)

• Leave of Absence
(Certificated) Mindy Meyer, English Teacher, Wa-Hi (15 years)
• Mindy has a .6 FTE teaching position - she is requesting a .5 FTE leave of absence for 2006-07 to serve as New Teacher Project Coordinator for CSTP (Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession). Mindy will serve as a .1 FTE Professional Certification contact for Walla Walla Public Schools.

November Staff Spotlight employee of the month -- Penny Knight
Staff member name: Penny Knight

Place of work: Pioneer Middle School

Job Title: Paraprofessional

Years in District: 19

Birthplace: Walla Walla

High School & College: Wa-Hi grad (1974); attended CWU 2 years

Favorite food: pizza

Favorite movie: You’ve Got Mail

Favorite band (or music): Oldies; BeeGees

Favorite book: 1984

What do you love most about your job? I love it that not only do I get to be a part of my students’ education, but I get the chance to nurture the students and form lasting bonds with them.

Hobbies: Cooking, spending time with my husband, and people-watching

Most memorable life experience: The birth of my three daughters AND becoming a grandma!

Tell us something about yourself that nobody else would know: I had the opportunity to sing in two different bands years ago but declined in order to go to college.

Technology continues to improve support
Technology and Library-Media Director Janis Barton reported to school board members Tuesday night how the “School Dude” work scheduling tool and the addition of Software Support Specialist Carlos Caicedo is helping her department better support staff and students.

Barton said since introducing “School Dude” to the department this fall, nearly 1,400 work order requests have been processed and completed. She said about 10 to 12 percent remain open on any given day, about half from this time last year.
Her department is now focusing on updating and developing a three-year technology plan per a state requirement. The plan is due to OSPI in April.

Pioneer PTA begins holiday Coffee & Cashews fund-raiser
Pioneer Middle School PTA annouces its holiday fund-raiser featuring a special roast of Pioneer’s own Middle School Mania coffee, along with fresh, tasty cashews straight from the roaster.

Cashews and coffee are available from November 3 to November 17 (limited supply). Please place your requests early! This is the only PTA fundraiser this year (50% of funds from your purchase stay with the PTA)
- 1 lb. Fresh Roasted Cashews, Salted = $8.00
- 1 lb. Coffee (Ground, Whole bean, or Decaf) = $10.00 -OR-

Purchase any combination of 2 pounds or more and receive a $.50 discount per pound!

Coffee & Cashew Combo (1 lb. Each) = $17.00
2 lbs. Coffee = $19.00
2 lbs. Cashews = $15.00

Make checks payable to Pioneer Middle School PTSA

Orders will be accepted in the lobby on the last school day of each week (November 3, November 7, and November 17) Filled orders will be available the following Mondays (November 6, November 13, and November 20). We will also have items available during the arena conferences, November 7. Back orders will be filled no later than December 6.
Orders will be taken until November 17.

Wa-Hi Drama Department presents “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Show dates: November 9, 10, 11 and 16, 17 at 7:00 p.m. and November 18 at 2:00 p.m.
Location: Walla Walla High School Auditorium.

Smokey Joe’s Café features a rich and eclectic collection of 1950’s and 60’s songs written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, who somehow seemed to have written every hit of their era. These finely crafted tunes represent a wide variety of rock genres from doo-wop to gospel and country Western to rhythm-and-blues. Hits such as “Hound Dog” and “Poison Ivy” are intermixed with less famous numbers in this show which has been often called a revue, but which contains no commentary or dialogue.

Instead of the traditional book music, this production presents a story, or mini-play, within each of the songs. As the show progresses, the energy builds, and the audience can’t help but become part of the music, clapping hands and bouncing knees in remembrance. This is a show that appeals to audience members of all generations!

Celebrate American Education Week -- Visit school of your choice
Community members invited to go back to school
Thursday, November 16
10 a.m. to Noon
Visit the school of your choice

Join us in celebrating American Education Week!
• Tour the school of your choice
• Learn more about our success stories and challenges
• Interact with students and staff
• Review school improvement efforts
• Experience our future
• And we’ll treat you to lunch!

Please contact Communications Director Mark Higgins at 526-6716 or by e-mail at: mhiggins@wwps.org if you are interested in participating.


Superintendent Rich Carter salutes educators for American Education Week

Dear Walla Walla Public Schools Staff:


November 12-18 is American Education Week, a time to recognize all who contribute so much to the education of our public school students. I am proud to honor every employee of this district for their valuable contributions every day to the students of the Walla Walla School District, each in his or her own unique way: classroom teachers; support professionals -- bus drivers, food service staff, secretaries, maintenance people, health clinicians, para-professionals, coaches, and many, many others; substitute educators; parents; and school board members.


Everything that our team does and the decisions the School Board makes all contribute to our students and their achievement and success. Thursday, November 16 during American Education Week, is our special day when we invite community members to tour our schools, visit classrooms and programs, and have school lunch with the students. Please contact me to sign up to visit the school of your choice. We'll be glad to see you.


I am proud to be a part of the Walla Walla Public Schools team and I thank and commend every one of you for your role in ensuring the health, safety, well being, and education of our students.