Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - (October 26, 2007)

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High School Facilities Task Force continues to seek answers
Members of the High School Facilities Task Force met Thursday evening to continue a community-based study of high school options for the future. Last month task force members were divided into subcommittees to research future College Place high school possibilities, district maintenance records, safety and how facilities impact learning.

During Thursday’s meeting subcommittee leaders reported summary findings from their research. These reports are now being compiled and organized for public view by High School Facilities Task Force co-chairs Cindy Meyer and John Rowley. Look for these reports later this school year.

Task Force member were then reorganized into new subcommittees to further research high school issues.

Subcommittee Assignments:

• Quality Schools
Linda Newcomb, leader
Ruth Russo, reporter
Jody Schneidmiller and LaDessa Smelcer, presenters
Scott Krivoshein
John Butenhoff

• Small Schools/Learning Communities
Jim Sanders, leader
Lawson Knight
Mike Pettyjohn
Carina Stillman
James Payne

• Career Technical Education:
Ruth Ladderud, leader
Jim McCarthy
Jim Hayner
Rob Ahrens
Everett Knudson
Nanqi You

• Alternative Education:
Dick Cook, leader
Max Carrera - co-chair
Cindy Widmer
Clint Gabbard
Mindy Meyer
Dave Warkentin

‘Life’s a Dance’ — Musical anti-bullying program a success
This week nationally recognized singers and songwriters Monte Selby and Steve Seskin brought their “Life’s a Dance, Rhythm of a Caring Community” concert series to Walla Walla to address the issue of bullying in schools. Special thanks to the numerous Walla Walla organizations and businesses for their support to help bring this powerful message to Walla Walla Public Schools students, parents and staff.

The celebrities met with students during the week at various Walla Walla schools, culminating their visit with a free community concert Thursday evening in Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College Campus.

This educational series allowed students to examine all sides of bullying and harassment through song writing, singing, and talking about how these behaviors affect everyone. The purpose of this community collaboration was to emphasize kindness, courtesy, making friends and having fun.

Special thank also to Pioneer Principal Dana Jones and members of her staff for organizing this program for district students.

Wa-Hi students named to honor choirs
Congratulations to fiveWalla Walla High School students for being selected to perform in the ACDA-All-Northwest Honor Choirs in Vancouver, B.C., Canada February 20-23.

Honor Choir Students:
Justin Buley - Tenor 2
Malia Millgard-Lewis - Soprano 2
Michael Bell - Bass 1
Sierra Tinhof - Soprano 1
Stephanie Juergensen - Soprano 1

“The selection process involves hundreds of students from the six Northwest states of the United States,” Wa-Hi Choir Director Norb Rossi said.

Singers are selected from a taped audition and will learn the music in advance of the performance.

“They will travel to Vancouver and rehearse for three days with internationally renowned conductors to prepare for the final performance on Saturday, February 23,” Rossi said.

Garrison Night School Conversational Spanish Class scheduled
Registration has begun for Garrison Night School Conversational Spanish class. The fee for the Spanish class is $246.90 and is offered for 3 credits through Walla Walla Community College. Classes begin Monday, November 26, 2007, and end Thursday, February 28, 2008. Spanish for native English speakers will be taught on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. Register now at Walla Walla Community College or at Garrison Middle School Monday, Nov. 19, and Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Garrison Night School is an adult education program offered in a partnership between Walla Walla Community College and the Walla Walla Public Schools. Classes are held at Garrison Middle School (906 Chase St.) in Walla Walla. Additional classes offered this year include General Education Diploma (GED) preparation, four levels of English as a Second Language (ESL), and a Job Psychology class. Traffic Safety is offered from 5 to 6 p.m. as well as Citizenship and “How to Start Your Own Business in Washington State”.

A $25 registration fee which covers all classes taken is required for the GED, ESL, citizenship, traffic safety, job psychology and how to start a business in Washington classes. Some scholarships are available as is free child care.

The mission of Garrison Night School is to promote the education of Hispanic parents by connecting them to the school community, preparing them for a General Education Diploma and facilitating their enrollment in college, thus raising the educational level and standard of living of the family.

For additional information regarding the Garrison Night School, contact Program Coordinator Esteban Florian at (509) 527-3040 or by e-mail at eflorian@wwps.org.

Program Location – Garrison Night School is located at 906 Chase Street.

Wa-Hi Key Club sponsors ‘Trunk or Treat’ Halloween event
Parents looking for a safe and fun place for their children to trick or treat are encouraged to attend the Wa-Hi Trunk or Treat event.

Event details:
- Date: October 31
- Time: 5-7 p.m. (or whenever the candy is gone!)
- Location: Wa-Hi Academic Parking lot at the corner of Fern and Abbott Roads
- Activities: Going from Trunk to Trunk getting candy. So far 11 clubs are participating.
- Two cans of food are required for entrance on Abbott Road.
- Canned food will be donated to the various Food Banks in the Walla Walla Valley

Prospect Point students to volunteer at humane society
Animals at the Blue Mountain Humane Society get extra care and love Saturday as Prospect Point 5th grade students in David Parodi’s class are volunteering service for Make a Difference Day. Students will work from 9 a.m. to noon doing a variety of house-keeping jobs and care for the animals. This is the second consecutive year Parodi has organized this activity.

“Students will be giving back to a community that provides so much for us,” Parodi said.

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.

Agencies team with district to curb truancy
The message is “truancy hurts everyone.” And, Walla Walla police, courts services, and agencies are teaming with the school district to put a stop to it.

This week an inter-agency meeting was held to further coordinate services, build relationships and develop action plans to help get students back in school. Garrison Principal Gina Yonts is leading efforts on truancy for the school district.

Simple Majority Fact Sheet (ballots must be postmarked by midnight Tuesday, Nov. 6)
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 change? EHJR 4204 would amend the Washington State Constitution and 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 ongoing 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-certificated 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 to the educational process.

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.

Wa-Hi Drama Department fall play set for November
This fall 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 depths 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.