Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 23, 2008

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No School Monday -- Memorial Day Holiday
There is no school Monday as the district celebrates the Memorial Day Holiday. Classes resume Tuesday, May 27. Have a safe and fun holiday weekend.
Board approves use of Edison state matching funds for new Support Services facility
School board members Tuesday night took action on a recommendation from the Facilities Task Force to commit state matching funds from the Edison Elementary project to develop a new Support Services complex.

Longtime Facilities Task Force chair Dan Reid of Opp & Seibold General Construction said using the approximately $3.4 million in state matching funds for a Support Services facility would be a great investment in the district’s future.

Reid said Facilities Task Force members understand no specific plans for a Support Services facility have been developed at this stage. He said the vote was unanimous and all 16 members enthusiastically supported building a new facility for Support Services.

School board member Mary Jo Geidl said she has been waiting for this for years as she joined the board in approving the action request to commit funds. Superintendent Rich Carter said this action sends a message to the district’s support staff members that relief is on the way.

“They have had to put up with unsatisfactory facilities for so many years,” Carter said. “This move shows them we are serious about developing a quality facility to help them do their jobs.”

This action also sends a message to taxpayers that the district will not be seeking a bond to improve the Support Services facilities, according to School board President Anne Golden.

“This is a way to build the facility without having to go out for a bond,” Golden said.

State matching funds from the Edison project are expected to begin coming in this fall.
New Wa-Hi website launched
Thursday Walla Walla High School launched a new school website: http://www.wahibluedevils.org. The new site is a comprehensive overview of the school and features student, parent, and staff resources.

“The school website is our primary tool for communications, so we have upgraded the site to better meet the needs of our stakeholders,” Principal Darcy Weisner said. “This site is a work in progress and we will continually update it to meet our needs. Thanks for your support as we strive to become the best.”

For more information on the Wa-Hi website, contact Sarah Stone at sstone@wwps.org.

Board oks funding for Transportation “Co-Op” facility preliminary designs
Superintendent Rich Carter reported to school board members it’s time to develop preliminary plans for a possible regional Transportation “Co-Op.”

Board members Tuesday night approved the commissioning of Architect John Evans from Architects West to begin designing a Transportation facility. Carter said the facility design will help Walla Walla Public Schools better detail costs and make it easier to explain the program to potential regional school district partners.

The Transportation “Co-Op” in Walla Walla would provide regional school districts lower bus maintenance and parts fees, according to Carter. State funding is available for facility development for these types of operations. Carter said this is in the preliminary stages of planning but is targeting a November timeline to put together a funding proposal for state legislators to consider.
Walla Walla High School Commencement details
Walla Walla High School Commencement ceremony is Friday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m. on campus near the Commons Building. This year nearly 400 graduates are expected to walk with their class.

Walla Walla High School Commencement details:
• Date: Friday, June 6
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Location: Walla Walla High School campus (Commons area)
• Commencement seating area opens at 5:30 p.m.
• Tickets are required to enter the main seating area
• Each student is allotted six tickets for the main seating area
• Tickets for the main seating area will be distributed to seniors following the Commencement AM practice (Friday, June 6 – morning)
• No tickets are required for the commons and the bleachers located on the north-side of the creek
• Wheelchair access and seating area is located directly in front of the commons and handicapped parking is located near the tennis courts (east of the main gym)
• No personal or folding chairs are allowed within the main seating area
• Personal or folding chairs may be used outside the main seating area.
• Guests are asked to remain for the entire ceremony
• Those who must leave early are asked to choose a seat nearest the exit so as to keep any disruption of the ceremony to a minimum.

For increased security and safety:
• All bags will be checked at the gates
• No coolers or large totes are allowed on the grounds
• No alcoholic beverages or tobacco products are allowed on the Walla Walla High School campus

League changes bring back Big Nine Conference
Walla Walla High School Athletic Director Don Wilkins reported to school board members Tuesday night the Big Nine Conference is returning after a two year stint as the Columbia Basin League.

Wilkins said the 4A conference will be split into two divisions (see below) and consist of 15 teams. Three 3A schools (Hanford, West Valley, Sunnyside) were allowed to join for scheduling purposes, but will compete in 3A post season tournaments.

Three 3A teams (Kamiakin, Kennewick, Southridge) have opted to “play up” and will compete as 4A equal members.
Wilkins reported the newly formed league will cut down travel time, allow student-athletes more time in class and maintain traditional rivalries.

“It was a long process, but we have schedules for the next two years,” Wilkins said. “These are positive changes.”

Cascade Division
Hanford (3A)
Kamiakin (3A - Opt up)
Walla Walla
West Valley (3A)
Chiawana (opens 2009)

Columbia Division
Kennewick (3A - Opt up)
Moses Lake
Southridge (3A - Opt up)
Sunnyside (3A)

Personnel Report (from the 5/20/08 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Certificated) John Carter, Alternative Middle School Teacher, Creekside
Michelle Cooke, Physical Education Teacher, Berney
Michael Garcia, Bilingual 2nd Grade Teacher, Blue Ridge
Ryan Kauffman, Physical Education Teacher, Prospect Point
Tressa Baker, Second Grade, Green Park
Lance Hamma, Fourth Grade, Blue Ridge
Danae Jacky, Kindergarten, Sharpstein
Denise Jausoro, First Grade, Prospect Point
Ilana Miller, Fourth Grade, Berney
Andrea Sundberg, Math Teacher, Pioneer

• Resignations/Retirements
(Classified) - Kim Conde, Para-Educator, Wa-Hi, 1.5 years
Randy Hussey, Bus Driver, Transportation, 17 years

• Leave of Absences
(Classified) Jesus Lomeli, Para-Educator, Pioneer Middle School, 4 years
Alison Spencer, OT Para-Educator, Special Programs, 1 year

Becky Fink will transfer to Garrison Middle School as Head Secretary when Karen Sippert retires in June 2008.

Yvon Barber will transfer to the Head Secretary position at Pioneer Middle School when Jane McKern retires in the fall of 2008.

Upcoming School Board Meetings
• July 22
• August 19
• September 2 and 16
• October 7 and 21
• November 4 and 18
• December 16

All board meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. unless changed by the school board. Meetings are held at 364 S. Park St.

Walla Walla Autism Spectrum Program plans rummage sale
Walla Walla Autism Spectrum Program (WWASP) is having a huge rummage sale to raise funds for purchasing specialized equipment designed for sensory integration, fine and gross motor development, assisted communication as well as community living skills and social skills.

So, if you are cleaning out your garage, attic, closets and more, we would be happy to take extra items off your hands. We will gladly accept donations of clothing, household items, toys, furniture, sporting goods and anything else in good condition. Contact Teacher Kathleen Gilmore for more information: kgilmore@wwps.org.

Berney Elementary School Gym
Donations Accepted
Friday, June 6
12:30 – 6:00

Saturday, June 7
7:30 am – 3:30 pm

Retirement Celebrations 2007-2008 (remaining)

District Office
Marilyn Brown
Thursday, June 5
4 to 5:30 p.m.
Board Room

Garrison Middle School
Karen Sippert
Wednesday, May 28
Garrison Library
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Green Park
Kathy Rudell
Wednesday, June 4
3:30-5:30 p.m.

Prospect Point
Evie Dutton
Cheryl Ford
Jani Kay
Rick Nebeker

Thursday, May 29
4 to 6 p.m.
Whitman Cellars
1015 W. Pine

Sharpstein’s Family Pajama Party promotes reading
Thursday evening students, parents and staff cuddled up for an hour with their favorite book as part of a literacy awareness event. This year’s twist included wearing pajamas to the party. Student writing projects were also on display in the cafeteria. Special thanks to Title One Manager Kerri Coffman for organizing the event.
District names Graduates of Distinction Honorees
Walla Walla Public Schools names this year’s honorees for the Graduates of Distinction program. Honorees are: Claro E. Bergevin, Class of 1941, Gretchen Miller Kafoury, Class of 1959, and John E. (Jack) Pelo, Class of 1974.

These individuals have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers and continue to bring honor to the district. Celebrate alongside these distinguished alumni at a reception in their honor on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 (details listed below). Listen to their stories and hear who helped shape their lives during their school years.

Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Time: 6:15 to 7:30 p.m.
Place: Walla Walla School District Board Room

Classroom Close-Up features Green Park teacher
This week Green Park Fourth Grade Teacher Jean Tobin is featured on the district’s Classroom Close-Up weekly series.

A 60 second radio spot highlighting Tobin is playing on several stations. A fun, photo-filled newsletter and the radio spot will be posted on the district website (www.wwps.org — A to Z section) next week.