Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - June 6, 2008

In this Issue:

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Last day of school - Thursday, June 12
Thursday, June 12 is the last day of the school year. Contact your local school to learn more about summer programs.

End of Year Ceremonies (remaining)

Garrison Middle School
8th Grade Recognition
Cordiner Hall
Wednesday, June 11 - 7 p.m.

Pioneer Middle School
8th Grade Recognition
Wa-Hi Large Gym
Tuesday, June 10 - 7 p.m.

Walla Walla High School
Friday June 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Walla Walla High School Commencement tonight
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 morning, June 6)
• 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

“Boundary Committee to study input and make revisions’ -- By Co-Chairs Chris Gardea and Dana Jones
Thank you for taking time to provide input on the district’s boundary study. We want to work in partnership with parents and the community throughout this process.

We understand this is an emotional issue and we are sensitive to the impact this may have on families. The recent public meetings were just one step of a long process of getting input from families before making revisions to our current proposals.

We will now reconvene the Boundary Review Committee and carefully review the input we received. It is apparent there are pros and cons with all three proposals we presented. We heard many great suggestions and constructive input during our public meetings and on the website.

This was a necessary step as we strive to create a boundary adjustment which best serves the entire district. Your feedback will be helpful as we move forward. We plan to come back out to the schools with new information once we are ready. We’ll make sure you have plenty of notice in advance.

Thanks again for your support and involvement.

Chris Gardea, Co-Chair
E-mail: cgardea@wwps.org

Dana Jones, Co-Chair
E-Mail: djones@wwps.org

Boundary Review Committee Next Steps:
• Reconvene committee and study input
• Use input to make revisions to current proposals
• Conduct public meetings to discuss revised proposals

Boundary Review Committee
Dana Jones, Co-Chair
Chris Gardea, Co-Chair
Roger Bairstow
Dondi Cortinas
Anne Golden
Kurt Hoffman
Mike Lambert
Katrina Manning
Tim McCarty
Steve Olson
Donna Painter
James Payne
Laure Quaresma
Julie Sievertson
Peter Swant
Staci Wanichek
Nancy Withycombe

Boundary Information Online
Visit the District Website for
boundary adjustment maps
• www.wwps.org -- Boundary Study (A to Z section)

PLEASE NOTE: No decisions have been made regarding Options A, B, or C. Modifications to the proposals are expected based on feedback received online and at the public meetings. The district seeks a boundary adjustment which best serves the entire district.

“Edison Project fully funded” -- By Superintendent Rich Carter
I want to once again thank our community for approving a bond measure to modernize Edison Elementary. The new Edison promises to be a school to meet our educational needs for years to come.

There does seem to be some confusion revolving around the state matching money generated from the Edison project. Recently the district’s Facilities Task Force chaired by Dan Reid of Opp and Seibold Construction recommended the district use the approximately $3.4 million in state matching funds to develop a new Support Services facility.

The state matching dollars process can be difficult to understand. Here is how it works. The state rewards communities who support their schools through successful voter approved local bond measures by distributing state matching dollars. From the start, state matching dollars were never figured into the Edison project budget. State matching dollars can be, and often are in communities throughout the state, used to improve other district facilities. This is the practice Walla Walla has successfully used for years.

The $3.2 million in state matching money from the Sharpstein project was used to install new HVAC at Prospect Point. We also completed roofing, paving and irrigation projects throughout the district. State matching funds generated from the Green Park project in the mid-90s were also used throughout the district to improve our facilities. The decision to use the state matching funds from Edison for the Support Services complex makes sense, follows the recommendation of the community led Facilities Task Force and of the “Listening” survey responses, is good for taxpayers, and is an investment we’ll continue to see returns on for years.

The Support Services facility has been studied by local and national groups and continues to be rated the district’s building in most dire need of replacement. Come visit if you need to look for yourself. This facility is located across from the YMCA and houses maintenance, grounds, warehousing, transportation, food services, and the print shop. School board members understand the times we are living in and have heard the message loud and clear from taxpayers to limit taxes and bond measures. This plan allows the district to improve its most antiquated facility without having to ask taxpayers for additional dollars.

Keep in mind, taxpayers voted to rebuild and modernize Edison Elementary by approving last year’s bond measure. All voter approved bond dollars remain committed for the Edison project. The dollars necessary to complete the Edison project have not been compromised by the school board’s decision to use state matching funds for the Support Services facility.

Thanks again for your support helping Walla Walla children get a quality education.

Transportation route changes to improve service and efficiencies
Soaring diesel costs are fueling a restructuring of school bus routes to improve efficiencies. Transportation Director Steve Olson says the changes set to take effect this fall will also improve service.

“In an effort to better serve students and improve efficiencies, the Transportation Department will be restructuring school bus routes this summer to take effect at the start of the 2008-09 school year,” Olson said. “Upon review and evaluation of the current school bus route system, the district has made the decision to restructure the route system to improve service, and, with today’s soaring operating costs, gain efficiencies where ever possible.”

Possible changes include:
• Neighborhood bus stop locations
• Student pick up and drop off times
• Route number changes
• School drop off and pick up times

Information pertaining to new route schedules will be available the second week in August. Routes will be listed on the district web site (www.wwps.org) by clicking on the Transportation area. Both AM and PM routes will be organized by schools on the website.

School building secretarial staff and the Transportation Department will also have information readily available on site and by telephone. New bus routes will also be posted on the doors of each school at least two weeks prior to the start of school.

Graduates of Distinction honored
The 2008 Graduates of Distinction were recognized Tuesday night during the annual induction ceremony. This recognition program also pays tribute to school staff members who provided positive school experiences, and who were inspirational in the lives of these outstanding graduates.

John E. (Jack) Pelo - Class of 1974
Inspirational Staff - Bill Bieloh, Math teacher and coach

Claro E. Bergevin – Class of 1941
Inspirational Staff - Chester Lybecker, FFA teacher, (deceased) and Bess Kirk, Algebra teacher (deceased)

Gretchen Miller Kaufory - Class of 1959
Inspirational Staff - Russell Larsen, band teacher, (deceased) and Fay Hamm, English teacher (deceased)

Garrison student wins state Future Problem Solvers competition
Garrison Middle School 8th grade student Mac Clifton took first place at the Washington State Competition for Scenario Writing at Future Problem Solvers (FPS) this Spring. Scenario writing is a part of the Future Problem Solvers program in which participating students write a short story, or scenario, in which some sort of futuristic setting is demonstrated.

Clifton is enrolled in the district’s Explorers Program for gifted learners. He wrote about the future colonization of the universe from the point of view of two of the first explorers from Earth to a different planet. Explorer Middle School students were glad to cheer him on as he took the prize and read his scenario aloud during the state award ceremony.

Roof repairs scheduled to fix wind storm damage
School board members Tuesday night approved a recommendation from Plant Facilities Director Lowell Schneider to accept the insurance settlement payment for damages to the roofs of district school buildings during the severe wind storm in January.

Schneider said the coverage is fair and allows the district to move forward with scheduling roof repairs at Walla Walla High School and Pioneer Middle School. Schneider says the district intends to upgrade the quality of the roofing materials for longer life and durability.