Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 24, 2009

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District unveils budget savings plan for 2009-2010 school year
Tuesday night School Board members conducted a public work session to discuss the district’s 2009-2010 budget savings plan. This plan is based on a projected target reduction of $3.5 million state revenue shortfall for the 2009-10 school year. Below is an outline of the 2009-2010 Budget Savings Plan.

Key Messages
- Walla Walla Public Schools administrators and school board members have listened to input from staff, parents, students and community leaders to help make budget decisions in light of the economic recession which is resulting in state budget cuts.

- Walla Walla Public Schools Budget Savings plan calls for trimming expenditures by $3.5 million for the 2009-2010 general fund budget.

- At this time, no permanent staff will lose their jobs as a result of Reduction-in-Force action. Staffing reductions will be made through internal transfers and attrition.

- This plan limits the impact on district academic or extra-curricular programs. Student learning and extra-curricular programs remain a high priority.

- At this time, reductions have been made to teacher support staff and learning support programs to protect current class size.

- $1.1 million in revenue generated from 2008-09 school year enrollment increases will be spent down to save permanent staff positions for the 2009-10 school year, while maintaining the school board directed three to five percent unreserved general fund balance.

- Federally funded programs including Special Education, Bilingual Education, Title One/Learning Assistance Programs for schools serving families living in poverty are not paid for with state funds and do not impact the district’s “General Fund” budget. Reductions in these areas do not improve the district’s general fund deficit.

- Funding generated from school construction bonds reside in the district’s capital budget and cannot be used to off-set general fund shortfalls.

Budget Savings Plan at a glance...
How is the district proposing saving $3.5 million for the 2009-10 school year?

- Trimming staff through attrition: Positions made vacant through retirements or other reasons may not be filled. Temporary contracts are non-continuing. If the position is needed, it will be filled with the current permanent staff.

- Internal transfers: Open positions are being filled through internal transfers. This allows the district to reduce personnel expenditures, while allowing current staff to remain employed without noticeable impact to classrooms and programs. Reductions have been made to teacher support staff and learning support programs.

- Administrative cuts: Connie Taylor-Randall is transferring to the central office. This move combines two central office positions into one. The district is eliminating four administrative Dean of Students positions. The district’s former Dean of Students are returning to the classroom or filling other district positions as part of this cost savings measure.

- Out of State Travel suspended: Out of state travel has been suspended for the 2009-2010 school year. Out of State travel funded by grants may be allowed.

- Athletic Department reductions: The district’s athletic budget will be reduced by approximately $100,000. Reduction details remain pending.

- Non-employee related expenditure reductions: Costs for supplies and contractual services are being cut.

- Professional Development reductions: There will be less professional development funds allocated.

- Curriculum Adoption delays: There will be delays for curriculum adoptions.

- Internal administrative hirings: Open administrative positions are being hired internally.

- Energy Management Program: Program has cut energy consumption 25 percent to save on utilities.

- Categorical Program Maintenance fee increase: The district is increasing its “in-direct” support fees from 2% to 4% on categorical programs (Programs include: Special Education, Bilingual, Title One/Learning Assistance Program). This helps offset the district’s general fund costs to support these non-basic education programs.

- Wednesday teacher collaboration schedule combined: The district will eliminate delayed start Wednesdays for secondary schools (Pioneer, Garrison, Walla Walla High School, Lincoln Alternative High School program). All schools will follow a Wednesday early release collaboration schedule. This move cuts transportation and supervision costs.

- Lincoln Alternative High School GED prep class eliminated: The district will eliminate the Lincoln Alternative Education General Education Diploma preparatory class. This program is still available at Walla Walla Community College. District staff will work closely with WWCC to provide this service to Walla Walla Public Schools students.

- Library-Media Specialist reduced to half-time: The district will eliminate three Library-Media Specialist positions. The remaining three Library-Media Specialists will be assigned to two schools to provide half-time service at each of their schools. Elementary libraries will also receive some classified support.

- Academic coaches to return to classrooms: The district’s academic coaches are returning to the classroom or filling other district positions as part of a cost savings measure.

- Creekside Alternative Middle School eliminated: This reduction saves the district one full-time teaching position and one full-time classified support staff position.

What is the district’s philosophy and criteria for making budget decisions?
- Do not violate the law or negotiated agreements;
- Protect the safety of students, staff and community;
- Weigh the impact on our primary mission of teaching and learning;
- Take stakeholder input into account;
- Align with actions of the state legislature;
- Identify strategic savings rather than across-the-board reductions;
- Promote additional operational efficiencies;
- Consider non-employee related expenses before personnel reductions;
- Consider reducing local subsidies of state and federal categorical programs; and
- Pursue additional revenue sources.

District names Volunteers of the Year
In celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Tuesday night Superintendent Rich Carter announced James Payne, Annie Capestany, and Keith Crain as the district’s 2009 Art Regier Volunteers of the Year.

James Payne - Green Park, Pioneer and Committees
Nominators - Peggy Payne and Kay Schisler
Volunteer Highlights:
- Boundary Review and High School Facilities Task Force Committees participant
- Classroom volunteer
- Past Green Park PTA President
- Provides student presentations to discuss archaeology and history
- Provides students free passes to visit Fort Walla Walla Museum

Annie Capestany - Green Park and Pioneer
Nominators: Jean Tobin, Mari Sanders and Samuel Lopez
Volunteer Highlights:
- Offers classroom support to Green Park teachers
- Helps Pioneer PTA fundraisers
- Provides individualized support to help struggling students
- Helps organize Green Park’s Math-a-Thon and Science Fair
- Provides translating support at both Green Park and Pioneer

Keith Crain - Pioneer Middle School
Nominators: Judy Anderson, Angie Gardea and David Tegtmeier
Volunteer Highlights:
- Volunteered for all three days at Stars Camp
- Repaired, cleaned and organized fishing poles for Stars Camp students
- Served as a parent chaperone for the Natural Helpers Camp
- Involved in the fall Pioneer Power Night and Sally Foster Cookie Dough Fundraisers
- Facilitator during the 6th grade Safe and Civil Schools workshop
- Spring Power Carnival and Book Fair volunteer

Construction forces Edison student schedule change
Edison Early Release Schedule: Tuesday night Superintendent Rich Carter announced the last day of school for Edison kindergarten students will be Friday, June 5. Students of grades 1-5 will attend half-days the last week of school, June 8-12.

Staff and teachers will conduct classes in the morning and use the afternoon to pack and move materials to the new building. The adjusted calendar is needed to vacate the old Edison building scheduled for demolition immediately following the last day of school. The kindergarten portable building must be moved off the site before demolition of the main building begins.

Youth Health Fair features low cost sports physicals
Walla Walla General Hospital teams with Walla Walla Public Schools to sponsor event

Walla Walla General Hospital and Walla Walla Public Schools have teamed to host a Youth Health Fair Sunday, May 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walla Walla General Hospital.

The event features low cost sports physicals for students in grades 6-12. Sports physicals are $10 each. All proceeds will be donated from Walla Walla General Hospital to the Walla Walla Public Schools Athletic Department to pay for sports fees and equipment for students in need.

The Health Fair also features health screenings, information and educational activities for the entire family.

Event Fact Sheet:
What: Walla Walla General Hospital and Walla Walla Public Schools partner to provide a Youth Health Fair featuring low cost sports physicals - $10 each.

* (All proceeds will be donated from Walla Walla General Hospital to the Walla Walla Public Schools Athletic Department to pay for sports fees and equipment for students in need.)

When: Sunday, May 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Walla Walla General Hospital

Why: Event provides low cost sports physicals and health information to all families. The Health Fair also features health screenings, immunizations, health information and educational activities for the entire family

How: Pre-register for sports physicals; walk-ins also welcomed

For more information contact:
Sharryl Towes, Walla Walla General Hospital
E-mail: ToewsSL@ah.org

Dan Calzaretta, Walla Walla Public Schools event coordinator
E-mail: dcalzaretta@wwps.org

Personnel Report (from 4/21/09 school board meeting)
• New Hires
Administrative: Marcia Walters, Director of Special Education

• Resignations/retirements
Kathy Paddock, Para-Educator, Lincoln Alternative High School, 13 years
Lacey Milleson, Para-Educator, Wa-Hi, 4 days

• Leave of Absence
Amy Ford, Fourth Grade, Edison Elementary, 6 years
- August-December 2009, to return January 2010
Becky Rausch, Learning Specialist, Prospect Point, 26 years
- For the 2009-2010 school year

Susie Morris, Health Clinician, Walla Walla High School, 5.5 years
- April 2009 through the 2009-10 school year

District meets state performance targets
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Linda Boggs reported during Tuesday night’s school board meeting the district met or exceeded the state mandated performance target standards for Reading, Language Arts, Math and Graduation Rates. Boggs said it’s reassuring to know the district’s plan is working.
National board conference evokes passions
School board members reported Tuesday night on their recent trip to San Diego to attend the National School Board Association conference. Board members said the annual conference inspired them and provided up-to-date information on a variety of educational issues.
Culminating project allows Wa-Hi seniors to reflect on high school experiences
Walla Walla High School Associate Principal Mira Gobel reported to school board members Tuesday night on the school’s culminating project/senior presentations. This graduation requirement for high school seniors is an opportunity for students to talk about their personal lives, best school work, community service projects and high school and beyond plan.

Gobel said 243 community volunteers served on reviewing panels to judge the presentations. She reported only 11 of the school’s 450 graduating seniors have not completed the presentations and will do so in May. She said positive feedback and support from staff and the community has been overwhelming.
Bunko event brings in thousands for ailing Prospect Point father
Last weekend’s Bunko and Silent Auction for Adam Piercy generated nearly $4,000 in donations. All proceeds from this event go to help pay for Adam Piercy’s medical expenses. Adam is a single dad of two Prospect Point Elementary School boys. He is currently waiting for a heart transplant.

“Many of our Prospect Point parents were involved, the event would not have happened without their tremendous efforts, a big thank you to one and all,” said event coordinator Jodi Ferguson.

Blue Ridge dedicates Playground of Dreams in memory of Jeremy Richards

Blue Ridge staff, students and parents recently dedicated the Playground of Dreams project in memory of former student Jeremy Richards. Nearly $13,000 has been raised to develop new playgrounds at Blue Ridge. The fundraising group plans to raise approximately $100,000 to purchase the play structures and all related expenses.

Blue Ridge’s current playground equipment consists of steel and wooden structures that no longer meet the needs of the school. The new equipment is designed to peak interest and use.

“Jeremy J. Richards touched the lives of so many of our students,” said Tobi Powell, Blue Ridge PTA Treasurer and Playground of Dreams project coordinator. “Jeremy had a dream of seeing his fellow classmates play as he no longer could. We’re going to bring Jeremy’s dream to life by building the Jeremy J. Richards Playground of Dreams.”

Homelink Information meetings planned
• May 18, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - Berney Library
• May 20, 10 a.m. to 12 noon - District Office Blue Mountain Room (364 S. Park St.)

“These meetings are for parents looking for information about Homelink and K12,” said Homelink Advisor Teacher Pam Clayton. “We will have registration packets available to pick up or fill out during the meeting.”

For more information about the Homelink Program, contact Clayton at (509) 527-3010 or by e-mail: pclayton@wwps.org.

Balloons to launch from district schools Friday, May 8
Get an up-close look at hot air balloons featured in this year’s Balloon Stampede during early morning launches from district schools Friday, May 8 at 6:30 a.m. They will not launch from Edison this year due to construction. They will launch at Pioneer Park instead of Edison this year.

Balloons will also be launched from Garrison Middle School Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10. (weather permitting).
For more information about this year’s Balloon Stampede, contact the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce, 509.525.0850. Event Coordinator Susan Hall is also available at 509.629.1141.

Edison students to perform tonight in support of ‘Books for Babes’ program
“A Race to the Finish” - Based on Aesop’s fable, “The Hare and the Tortoise”
Date: Friday, April 24, 2009
Location: Edison Elementary Gym (1315 E. Alder)
Cost: FREE - No admission cost

6:30 p.m. Performance
• Performed by Mrs. Barga’s/Rossi’s 2nd Grade and Mrs. Gogl’s 3rd Grade Classes

7:15 p.m. Performance
• Performed by Mrs. Kaaen’s 2nd Grade and Mrs. Klein’s 3rd Grade Classes

Donations may be made to support our community service project - “Books for Babes”

District featured Sunday on KAPP/KVEW (ABC) television show School Scene Magazine
KAPP/KVEW (ABC) will continue airing School Scene Magazine featuring Walla Walla Public Schools the next few months. This 30 minute program features student and staff interviews showcasing district programs and activities. Prosser School District Superintendent Dr. Ray Tolcacher is the show’s host.

Walla Walla Public Schools will also post the School Scene Magazine program on its website and use it for staff recruiting, parent information meetings and community presentations.

School Scene Magazine schedule to air on KAPP/KVEW (ABC)
Sunday, April 26 - 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 9 - 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 24 - 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 31 - 9 p.m.
Sunday, June 7 - 8 p.m.
Tuesday, June 9 - 9 p.m.
Sunday, June 14 - 8 p.m.
Tuesday, June 16 - 9 p.m.

Bledsoe to appear at 2nd Annual Central Washington Football Golf Tournament at WW Country Club
Former Walla Walla High School student and stand-out football player Blaine Bennett brings the Central Washington Football Golf Tournament back to Walla Walla Thursday, May 14 at the Walla Walla Country Club.

Thursday, May 14
1:30 p.m.
WW Country Club

Event Highlights:
- 18 holes of golf (sign up today)
- Cart rental
- Lunch and dinner
- Former NFL Quarterback Drew Bledsoe guest appearance
- KP and Long Drive Award
- Silent Auction
- Sports Memorabilia
- Central Washington gear
- Meet the CWU coaching staff

Bennett is in his second year as head football coach at Central Washington University. He continues to recruit heavily in the Walla Walla Valley and is interested in building relationships in our area. Last year Bennett signed Class of 2008 student-athletes David Weisner and Michael Najera to play at Central.

Many Walla Walla Public Schools staff and influential community members are actively supporting this tournament. For information on the tournament, contact Marc Yonts at 509.540.9553 or by e-mail: myonts@wwps.org.

Classroom Close-Up features Wa-Hi teacher
This week Walla Walla High School Agriculture Education teacher Lindsey Butcher is featured as part of the district’s Classroom Close-Up series. A fun, information filled newsletter will be posted on the district website next week - (www.wwps.org). A radio spot featuring Butcher is now playing on regional stations.

Berny choir featured Sunday in event to stop child abuse
Event name: A mile in their shoes, city-wide walk
Date: Sunday, April 26
Time: 1 to 4 p.m.
Location: Walla Walla Superior Court grounds (315 W. Main St. - Walla Walla)
Website: amileintheirshoes.org

This is the first city-wide walk and informational fair in support against child abuse. Our purpose is to make the community aware of the reality and devastation of child abuse. Many organizations will be there to share important information on where you or someone you know can go for help.

Event agenda
1 - 1:10 p.m. - Introduction
1:10 - 2 p.m. - Walk
2 - 2:15 p.m. - Skit by: WWCC Theatre Arts Department
2:15 - 2:30 p.m. - Story of a survivor
2:30 - 2:45 p.m. - Berney Elementary School Choir
2:45 - 3:15 p.m. - Keynote Speaker: Janelle Carman
3:15 - 3:30 p.m. - Story of a survivor
3:30 - 3:40 p.m. - Musical Solo
3:40 - 4 p.m. - Closing remarks

- Child Abuse Council
- Children’s Home Society
- Walla Walla Community College
- Black Tie Audio and Staging