Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 16, 2010

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School Board executive session, public work session and meeting - Tuesday, April 20
5 p.m. - Executive session to review the performance of a public employee (not open to public)
6:15 p.m. - Work Session (Community Facilities Task Force report and discussion - open to public)
7:30 p.m. - Regularly scheduled meeting (open to public)
364 S. Park St. (School Board Room)
Community Facilities Task Force to address school board Tuesday
Wednesday the district’s Community Facilities Task Force met to prepare for its school board report Tuesday, April 20 at 6:15 p.m. on the group’s preliminary findings. Chair Dan Reid reviewed the facilities priorities the group has identified during its work over the past two months.

This information and scenarios for addressing these needs will be discussed Tuesday evening. The task force is also recommending the district apply for a state funded grant to conduct a facilities survey and study to identify eligible space for the state’s bond matching funds program.

Preliminary priorities to be reported to school board members Tuesday night are:

Priority #1: Grades 9 to 12 facilities improvements - Major improvements needed at both Walla Walla High School and Lincoln Alternative High School

Priority #2: Pioneer Middle School improvements - Second gym, additional classroom space, HVAC

Priority #3: Alternative space for preschool program to allow more room for Blue Ridge K-5 program

Priority #4: Develop and manage a comprehensive plan for ongoing maintenance and repairs

The Community Facilities Task Force expects to finalize its report and deliver its recommendations to the school board by the end of the school year. Community members are encouraged to attend Tuesday’s public work session.

Pioneer student wins Girls Rock the House competition
Congratulations to Pioneer Middle School 8th grade student Elli Rassbach for winning the local Girls Rock the House competition and advancing to represent Walla Walla at the district competition in May. District winners earn a trip to Washington DC. in June as part of the program.

Girls Rock the House is a national initiative for 8th grade girls in political districts represented by women of the House of Representatives. Walla Walla is in the state’s 5th District represented by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers. The program offers students a six-week hands-on learning experience about the United States political system

Rassbach’s legislative bill dealt with the problem of obesity in America by addressing changes in how “junk food” is labeled, marketed and taxed. Parents Katherine Southwick-Hess and Donna Wujek organized the effort after getting a call from McMorris-Rodgers encouraging them to get involved.

Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin, Director of the Walla Walla YMCA, Mira Gobel, Associate Principal at Walla Walla High School and Jennifer Northam, Public Relations Coordinator for Downtown Walla Walla Foundation judged the competition. Learn more about Girls Rock the House online at: http://www.girlsrockthehouse.org/.

State budget cuts prompt spending reductions for 2010-2011 school year
Walla Walla Public Schools is feeling the impact of the state’s $2.8 billion budget shortfall as legislative action taken this week reduced district funding by approximately $1.2 million for next school year.

The district has developed a budget savings plan for 2010-11 to balance the district’s general fund budget based on these new state revenue forecasts. The district anticipates a nearly $62,000,000 general fund budget for the 2010-11 school year and will carry an eight percent undesignated fund balance reserve to help offset projected state revenue reductions in coming years.

“Our continued focus for 2010-11 is to protect the classroom and the outstanding staff we have in place to do the work,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “This plan has limited the impact on district academic and extra-curricular programs and no permanent staff will lose their jobs. We are increasing our fund balance to protect the district’s future interests in light of state revenue forecasts which indicate a continued economic downturn in the next biennium.”

$1.2 million budget savings plan for the 2010-11 school year:
- Eliminate three administrative positions:
· Eliminate Technology Director (Assessment Director Ron Higgins to assume duties of the Technology Director and continue with his current duties)
· Eliminate one Walla Walla High School Assistant Principal position (Walla Walla High School Assistant Principal Brett Cox will transfer to Garrison Middle School to replace Josh Wolcott who is transferring to Edison Elementary to replace Nancy Withycombe who is retiring at the end of the 2009-2010 school year.)
· Eliminate Plant Facilities Director position (Facilities Support Director Dan Johnson will assume the responsibilities of the Plant Facilities Director position and continue his current duties beginning September 1. Current Plant Facilities Director Lowell Schneider is retiring at the end of the 2009-2010 budget year.)

- Eliminate one certificated teaching position through attrition at Garrison Middle School
- Reduce staff professional development funds
- Reduce school supplies funding
- Reduce custodian extra time
- Reduce fund balance reserve

Total budget savings = $1.2 million

Association of American University Women sponsor panel discussion on science, technology and math
- “Mentoring Girls & Women - Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering in Washington State”
- Sunday, April 18
- 9 to 10:15 a.m.
- Distinguished panel features four women with exceptional experience in these fields of study
- Program is free and open to the public
- Walla Walla Community College main dining room
- For further information contact Alice MacDonald at 522-5428.

Mr. Wa-Hi Pageant tonight
Event: Mr. Wa-Hi Pageant
Where: Walla Walla High School Auditorium
When: Friday, April 16
Time: Doors open at 7 p.m with the actual contest beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Who: 16 senior boys have chosen to compete for the title of Mr. Wa-Hi
Format: Contestants will be judged on their G.P.A., talent act that they perform, and answers to the judges questions
Cost: $3 per ticket (sold at the door)
Open to public
Senior T-shirts will be sold at the door for $12

Walla Walla High School Senior Class Officers:
- President: Angelica Garza
- Vice President: Katie Krivoshein
- Secretary: Emily Petri
- Treasurer: Janice Barlow

Choir groups to perform at regional festival
The Walla Walla High School Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and Treble Ensemble will be performing tonight at the Columbia Basin Community College Choir Festival. This event will feature choirs from across the State of Washington and include groups from as far away at Boise, ID and Casper, WY.
Homelink student places in state National Geographic Bee competition
Jacob Leinweber, an 8th grade Homelink student, tied for 7th place in the National Geographic state level Geography Bee competition in Tacoma. In the preliminary rounds, Leinweber was one of only three participants to correctly answer all eight questions. He was the only finalist from the east-side of the state.

- Winner: Alec Sjoholm from Mountlake Terrace
- 2nd place: Alex Quast from Olympia
- 3rd place: Jacob Shore from Bainbridge Island
- Jacob Leinweber tied for 7th place with Arjun Kumar of Issaquah and Shayan Nathan of Kirkland

Schilling to play football at Linfield
Austin Schilling, a 5’11 180 lb running back and linebacker this past fall for Walla Walla High School, will be attending Linfield College next fall to play football. Schilling was the 3rd leading rusher in the Cascade Division of the Big Nine Conference, amassing 928 yards on 167 carries and 9 touchdowns. He was also 4th in the division in scoring with 64 points and was named 2nd Team All-League running back.
Community Center for Youth plan 10th Anniversary celebration
Walla Walla’s Community Center for Youth has been in place for 10 years and the organization is planning it’s “Big 10” event to celebrate the milestone.
- “Big 10” Anniversary Celebration: May 14
- 5:30 to 10 p.m.
- St. Patrick’s Youth Center (408 Alder St.)
- Students will need to bring their school ID’s.
- Free food will be available, and a number of fun activities and games will take place.
- Activities include:
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. - movie and popcorn or they can play in a basketball tournament.
6:30 to 10 p.m. - carnival
7 :30 to 10 p.m. - dance
- Information: Contact Paul Rossi at 526-2571

Prospect Point PTA helps boost technology offerings
Prospect Point Elementary’s PTA recently granted the school $14,600 to support the school building technology plan. The goal of the technology plan is to increase student and staff use of current technology, and seek out technology that actively engages students, according to Principal Chris Gardea. The funds will be used to purchase eInstruction student response systems and a Mobi Teacher for 8 classrooms.

“This generous donation will greatly increase our ability to prepare students for life in a digital world,” Gardea said.

PTA president, Jeff Schulke, sees this as the first step in getting all classrooms ready for the 21st century.

“I am continually amazed by how supportive the parents are at Prospect Point,” Schulke said. “From volunteering in the classroom, organizing events for kids, and fundraising, our parents see opportunities to enhance and support what happens in the classroom, and partner with the school to make sure it happens.”

Pioneer students to assemble food packets today for hungry third world children
Today Pioneer Middle School students and families will be packaging meal packets for third world children. The project is linked to the “Children of the Nation” organization. Volunteers will be assembling food packets which will be shipped directly to Africa, the Dominican Republic and Haiti to feed hungry children.

A truck from Children of the Nations will come from Seattle with all packaging materials and supplies needed for the project. Pioneer PTA President Holly Carrera is organizing the event.

Tickets for “The Wizard of Oz” go on sale April 26
Like so many girls her age, little Dorothy Gale of Kansas dreams of what lies over the rainbow. The Walla Walla High School Drama department is delighted to bring you the musical you know and love with all of your favorite songs! According to director Brian Senter, “ This marks the first time that Wa-Hi actors have been able to fly on stage! Flying by Foy from Las Vegas will be in town to rig and fly the actors. Don’t miss Glinda’s bubble and those scary flying monkeys, not to mention the Wicked Witch of the West!”

Show times: 7 p.m. May 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 and 2 p.m. May 8 and 15
Location: Walla Walla High School Performing Arts Auditorium
Ticket Prices: $6 dollars for students and $12 for adults.

Tickets go on sale April 26 and can be reserved by calling the Wa-Hi Box Office at (509) 526-8613 Mondays through Fridays beginning April 26th between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30p.m. Order your tickets early to avoid missing the show of the season!

Orchestra Festival Tuesday, April 27
- 37th Annual District Orchestra Festival
- Tuesday, April 27
- Walla Walla High School small gym
- 7 p.m.

Application process now open for Whitman Institute for Summer Enrichment – WISE
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Whitman College is accepting applications for the Whitman Institute for Summer Enrichment (WISE) program, for Walla Walla area students entering the 8th or 9th grade. The program takes place Aug. 8-10, 2010 on the Whitman campus.

WISE is an all-expenses-paid outreach program that aims to introduce the college experience to least-advantaged local middle school students and those who would be the first in their families to attend college. It is designed to generate excitement about pursuing a college education and encourage belief in it as a possibility.

Studies show that pre-college counseling and intervention have a proportionally higher impact on students who are low-income or whose families are not college educated, and students from those groups will be given priority in selection for the
WISE program, according to Sonja Aikens, WISE Coordinator.

Students accepted into the program will live in a Whitman residence hall, and all meals will be provided. They will take classes from Whitman professors, attend workshops taught by college admission staff members, take part in fun outdoor activities, complete an art project and have the opportunity to meet current Whitman students. A workshop for parents is provided on college admission and financial aid processes.

Interested students/families need to submit an application, parent release form, teacher or counselor recommendation form and a copy of a recent report card. Those interested can contact Aikens at aikenssl@whitman.edu or (509) 527-5596. The deadline for applications is Friday, May 21, however applications will be accepted later if there are still spaces available. Preference is given to applicants whose family members have not attended college, and space is limited.
CONTACT: Sonja Aikens 527-5596 aikenssl@whitman.edu

Japanese Cultural night Monday at Walla Walla High School
Walla Walla High School is hosting 73 Yamate High School students from Japan. Monday evening (April 19), they will share their culture with the community during a public social at the Walla Walla High School’s Commons from 6 to 8 p.m.. Yamate students will display Japanese calligraphy, perform traditional dance and share other elements of their culture.
School in session Friday, May 7 - snow make-up day
School will be in session Friday, May 7 as a result of a snow make-up day. This date was originally scheduled to be a no school day, but December’s ice storm forced the district to use May 7 as a snow make-up date.

Classroom Close-Up features Green Park Teacher
This week Green Park Elementary 5th grade teacher Michelle Carpenter 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 public service announcement radio spot featuring Carpenter is now playing on regional stations.