Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - (October 19, 2007)

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Support Services property up for sale
A public hearing on the sale of the district’s Support Services building/property was held Tuesday night per a legal requirement to put it on the real estate market.

YMCA President Mark Graves went on record stating the Y’s interest in paying full market value for the property. Graves also said the YMCA would be willing to allow the district to continue using the property until the district’s new site west of 13th Avenue is developed.

Board members later officially put the property at 325 S. Park St. on the market for sale. The property could be sold as early as the Nov. 6 school board meeting.

Garrison students support riparian restoration project at WWCC
Garrison Middle School students in Sue Parrish’s Science class recently participated in a hands-on learning project to support a riparian restoration project at the new William A. Grant Water and Environmental Center at Walla Walla Community College. Governor Gregoire recognized their efforts at last week’s dedication ceremony.

Approximately 130 Garrison 7th grade students planted more than 200 different native plants to help restore the riparian area at the new center before it was to be dedicated Friday, Oct. 12.

“Since they were going to plant native plants, and we study invasive species vs. native plants in our 7th grade ecology unit, I thought it would be some good field experience for the kids,” Parrish said. “It was fun for all the kids to get out, learn how to plant a start, see native plants, and do some hands on learning.”

The students were also invited to attend the dedication and meet Governor Gregoire.

JROTC Cadets launch program to honor veterans from Wa-Hi
The Walla Walla High School JROTC cadets are asking for your help to find any veteran with a tie back to the high school here.

“We’re trying to find anyone who ever attended or graduated from Wa-Hi who served in any branch of service, whether active, Guard or Reserve,” said Cadet Lt. Col. Cody Nordheim, cadet battalion commander. “It’s part of a project we’re doing to honor military veterans who were ever part of the student body here.”

The cadets have a short biographical information sheet for anyone who fits the category to be enshrined in the Wall of Honor at WWHS. The cadets also need a photograph of the veteran in a candid shot taken during service time. They’d prefer no portrait-style images. They would rather have a picture of veterans doing their jobs during their service.

“These cadets want to honor veterans and have taken on a tremendous project to achieve that,” said Master Sgt. Gerry Taylor, JROTC advisor. “For this effort, it doesn’t matter when the veteran served and doesn’t only mean combat veterans. We’re looking for maximum participation and want to have as many as possible to display by Veterans Day, Nov. 11.”

For more information about this program to honor veterans from WWHS, call the JROTC department at 509-527-3035. Photos received will be returned to the senders, if requested.

JROTC cadets learn military history, precision drill and ceremonies, marksmanship and leadership skills. The Wa-Hi “Blue Devil” Cadet Battalion competes in drill and ceremony and marksmanship events around the region.

Wa-Hi Band students selected to perform with honor band
Five Walla Walla High School students were selected to to perform at the 2007 Western International Band Clinic Honor Band Festival Nov. 16-19 in Seattle. The students submitted MP3 recorded audition selections to earn the spots.

Congratulations to:
Anna Tupper-Bridges, Flute
Emily Crouter, Clarinet
Cassandra Abernathy, Clarinet
Jared Barr, Clarinet
Emma Burgess, Clarinet

Approximately 1000 students from the U.S. and Canada audition each year with approximately 600 students selected to rehearse and perform in four separate concert bands.

Blue Devil student-athletes receive academic performance awards
All 14 of Walla Walla High School’s fall sports teams recently received WIAA Scholastic Awards for outstanding academic performance. The awards are based on the grades from the previous semester.

“This is an outstanding accomplishment by some outstanding young men and women,” District Athletic Director Don Wilkins said. “It also is a tribute to our coaches and the emphasis they put on academic success, citizenship and teamwork and a tribute to the excellent teachers that have helped guide these young people as they progress through our system.”

The following are the teams that received the recognition from WIAA:

Outstanding Scholastic Award (team GPA of 3.5 and above)
Varsity Boys Cross Country - 3.769
Varsity Volleyball - 3.703
Frosh A Volleyball - 3.665
Frosh B Volleyball - 3.636

Distinguished Scholastic Award (team GPA of 3.0 to 3.499)
Varsity Girls Swimming - 3.478
Sophomore Volleyball - 3.469
Varsity Girls Soccer - 3.434
Varsity Girls Cross Country - 3.356
JV Boys Cross Country - 3.341
JV Volleyball - 3.308
JV Girls Swimming - 3.298
Varsity Football - 3.152
JV Girls Soccer - 3.085
Frosh Football - 3.039

Wa-Hi Blue News editor needed
An editor is needed for the Walla Walla High School ‘Blue News’ Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) newsletter. This is a valuable communications tool for the staff and parents. For more information on this position, please contact Danielle Swan-Froese at swandr@whitman.edu.
Munns named new Transportation Coordinator
Congratulations to Traci Munns for being hired as the district’s new Transportation Coordinator. Munns, a school bus driver since 1995, started her new position this week. Her duties include scheduling routes, training and dispatching buses.
Simple Majority Fact Sheet (ballots expected to mail out today)
EHJR 4204 on ballot November 6

Questions & Answers – EHJR 4204

How does Washington’s current school levy system work? Currently, local school levies must receive both a 60% supermajority approval and meet the 40% validation requirement to pass.

What would EHJR 4204 do? EHJR 4204 would amend the Washington State Constitution and would provide that a simple majority of voters (50% + 1) could authorize local school district levies. The amendment also removes the 40% election validation requirement for levy elections. It does NOT apply to school bond elections. EHJR 4204 will be on the November 6 ballot.

What do school levies pay for? Local levies support school needs. Our levy pays for approximately 14 percent of the District’s operating budget. In Walla Walla, the M&O levy helps to support education programs and school operations such as:
• approximately 30 additional teachers
• approximately 50 additional non-certified staff
• school safety staff
• elementary music specialists
• health clinicians
• library-media specialists
• elementary physical education specialists
• school supplies
• building maintenance
• technology
• athletics
• transportation for school activities

What happens if school levies don’t pass? Some school levies have failed because they do not meet the supermajority requirement. Levy failures can result in budget cuts, which require program cuts, teacher and staff layoffs, and other disruptions.

Elections cost money. If school districts need to run a subsequent election for the same levy, it will take money away from educational programs. It cost our district approximately $40,000 to run the most recent levy election.

Do all types of levies require a supermajority to pass? No, they do not. Regular tax levies do not require supermajority approval. Public hospital districts, metropolitan park districts, and other taxing jurisdictions can pass levies to operate hospitals, parks, and other facilities with a simple majority vote. School districts are held to the supermajority standard to pass a local levy.

Report threats on Safe Schools Tipline
Break the silence and help keep our schools safe. If you hear a threatening rumor, put a stop to it now. We take all threats very seriously. Call TipLine and report it anonymously. No one will know who’s calling.

TipLine Telephone Number: (509) 526-6789

Free - Confidential - Available 24/7

Personnel Report (from 10/16/07 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Classified) Janice Baker, Para-Educator, Special Programs
Rebecca Baugher, Para-Educator, Prospect Point
Jon Carle, Bus Driver, Transportation
Kasey Hooter, Para-Educator, Edison
Elizabeth Leon, Para-Educator, Sharpstein
Karen McDaniels, Para-Educator, Berney
Janette Polley, Health Clinician, Green Park
Amory Price, Bus Driver, Transportation
Itandehui Trejo, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Special Education Preschool Program
William van Dyke, Para-Educator, Sharpstein
Alma Vargas, Kindergarten Home Visitor, Sharpstein

• Resignations/Retirements
(Classified) Doug Tucker, Custodian, Various Locations, 2.5 years

‘Life’s a Dance’ — Musical anti-bullying program set
“Life’s a Dance, Rhythm of a Caring Community,” is coming to the Walla Walla Community October 22 through 26. Nationally recognized singers/songwriters Monte Selby and Steve Seskin will join a number of Walla Walla organizations and businesses and the Walla Walla Public Schools to help build community awareness about the issues of bullying and harassment.

The celebrities will meet with students during the week at various local schools, culminating in a community concert Thursday, October 25 at 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College Campus.

Students at several Walla Walla schools will have the opportunity to meet with Seskin, who wrote the Grammy award-nominated song “Life’s a Dance,” and foremost educational entertainer Selby. They will examine all sides of bullying and harassment and write songs, sing, and learn about how these behaviors affect everyone. The purpose of this community collaboration is to emphasize kindness, courtesy, making friends and having fun.

‘Life is easier for everyone if we can dance through it together,’ state the program’s information materials.

“We are very excited to bring a program of this quality and scope to the community,” says Pioneer Principal Dana Jones.

The Pioneer staff has been instrumental in putting this program together for our students according to Jones.

“We truly thank our community partners who are making such a positive program possible through donations of money, services and goods,” Jones said. “The impact it will have on our children will last a lifetime.”

Edison value engineer report helps find ways to trim costs
Edison Project Architect John Evans reviewed the project’s recently completed Value Engineering report with school board members during a public work session Tuesday night.

The report, prepared by independent firm Roen and Associates, is a state requirement to receive matching funds. The focus of the study is to closely review architecture designs to find ways to save money.

Evans’ firm Architects West then studies the Value Engineering report and makes recommendations to the district as to which areas should be accepted, modified or rejected. Evans said value engineering recommendations will be considered throughout the duration of the project to help provide additional oversight. Architects West has agreed with some of the recommendations which are expected to trim project costs.

No final recommendations were approved by the school board.
Wa-Hi Drama Department fall play set for November
This fall the students involved in Walla Walla High School’s THEATRE ARTS PROGRAM are working on two plays, “Courtship” and “1918” in Horton Foote’s Orphans’ Home Cycle, a nine play epic.

Show dates:
November 8, 9, 10 (7 p.m.)
November 15, 16 (7 p.m.)
November 17 (2 p.m.)

Horton Foote has been called “The Supreme Musician” of American playwrights, along with Tennessee Williams. The plays take place in small town, turn of the century Texas, and are loosely based on Foote’s own family. Never vulgar, but plumbing the depth of human experience through humor and tragedy, themes that flow throughout the piece are love, forgiveness, honor and sorrow. At its center is a love story and an exploration of the intricacies of family life. Tickets are $8 adults and $6 for seniors & students.

Please call the ticket office at 526-8613 for reserved seating.

Regional college fair comes to Wa-Hi
Walla Walla High School is hosting a Regional College Fair Thursday, October 25 in the gym from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. More than 50 colleges/trade schools from across the nation are scheduled to attend this free, public event.

“More registrations are arriving every day,” said Wa-Hi Career Information Specialist Pat Hanford. “This is the occasion to ask questions of admission representatives about applying, deadlines, essays, SAT/ACTs, costs, financial aid, scholarships, majors and campus life. Twenty four area high schools have been invited to attend as well.”

Classroom Close-Up features Lincoln’s Natalie Allen-Tibbling
This week we will visit Lincoln Alternative High School Teacher Natalie Allen-Tibbling’s classroom via the Classroom Close-Up feature series. Learn what subjects are being studied and what are some of the learning objectives. You will also hear about the strategies being used to enhance achievement and how technology is linked to classroom lessons.

Look for her fun, photo-filled newsletter and 60 second radio spot to be posted the following week on the district’s website (A to Z area — Classroom Close-Up).

Next we’ll travel to Edison Elementary school and learn more about how Dave Larson is helping students learn.

Fundraiser set for Wa-Hi graduate recovering from car accident
Class of 2007 graduate Dylan Worsech was involved in a one car accident on Oct. 3 that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
“His recovery is going to be a long haul,” Lincoln Para-Educator Shelly Phipps said in an e-mail sent out to all district staff this week. “He is expected to be in Portland for another six to eight weeks.”

A fund raiser is scheduled at the Wa-Hi Homecoming game on Friday night. A tailgate party will be set up near the pool area from 5:30-8:30 p.m. with BBQ burgers, beverage, and dessert for $8. Once a Blue Devil Always a Blue Devil t-shirts with Dylan’s #78 on them will also be sold. All of the proceeds will be given to the Worsech family to help with Dylan’s expenses. There are more ways to help on the WA-HI football web page.

“Please join us at the homecoming game for the tailgate party,” Phipps said.

Donuts for Dads a hit
Friday the district’s annual Donuts with Dads event was another smashing success around the district. Dads packed into schools to enjoy treats and read with their children (or nephews, nieces, grandchildren).

At Edison more than 35 dozen donuts were served. A photo of Edison parent Patrick McKeown and his son is on the district’s website.

“In my opinion, this is one of the two best events Title 1 sponsors at Edison,” Edison Title 1 Teacher Kit Chryst said. “The other one of course is Muffins with Moms in March. Seeing families enjoy a donut and read at 7:30 in the morning is a tribute to the dedication of our dads (families) to be the primary teacher in their child’s lives. Kudos to them!”