Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - August 20, 2010

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School starts Tuesday, August 24
Visit the district website for back-to-school information. Let’s make it a great school year!

District budget maintains healthy reserve
Staff praised for commitment to trimming costs
As some school districts in the state teeter on the verge of insolvency by witnessing their cash reserves fade away, Walla Walla Public Schools is on solid financial footing this school year following the adoption of the 2010-2011 Annual Budget at the August 17 school board meeting.

This year’s $62,116,176 general fund maintains approximately an 8% unrestricted reserve. Chief Financial Officer Pat Johnston says a larger cash reserve is needed in these uncertain economic times.

“It has been a cooperative effort from everyone to be in this positive financial position,” Johnston said. “There are many district’s in the state struggling to make payroll and pay all of the bills. Thanks to our district’s team approach to developing the budget we have put ourselves in a position to survive during this recession.”

District administrators, with the input and assistance of staff, developed a nearly $1 million Budget Savings Plan for 2010-11. Despite the funding reductions, class size levels will remain the same this year, there will be limited impact on student programs, and there were no layoffs for permanent staff. Three administrative positions were cut representing a 7.5% reduction to administration. School supplies budgets were reduced by 5%, staff professional development funds were reduced $60,000 and custodian overtime was trimmed.

School board members have studied the budget for the last few months during special budget work sessions and meetings prior to adopting the budget last night. Details of the budget will be posted on the district website soon.

2010-2011 Budget Basics
- General Fund: $62,116,176
- Budget Enrollment Projections: 5,900 FTE (up 100 students from last year)
- District Fiscal Year: September 1 to August 31

Meet new Superintendent Mick Miller at the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days
New Superintendent Mick Miller will be at the school district information booth Thursday, Sept 2 and Friday, Sept. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Walla Walla Fair and Frontiers Day.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet the district’s new superintendent and let him hear your priorities for a quality school district. Mick Miller is excited to meet staff, parents, students and community members. Please join us in welcoming Mick Miller to Walla Walla.

District not printing Book Calendar this school year
This year the district is not producing a printed Book Calendar as part of an effort to trim costs, encourage the utilization of the district’s electronic tools and protect the environment. The elimination of the Book Calendar will save the district nearly $10,000 annually.

Calendar information is available online (www.wwps.org). All students and parents will receive a one-page printed calendar at the start of the school year. One-page printed calendars are also available at all schools and on the district website.

School board meetings to start at 6:30 p.m.
School board meetings will start at 6:30 p.m. beginning in October. Superintendent Mick Miller recommended starting the meetings one hour earlier to better meet the needs of staff, parents and students.

He said this change will allow parents and staff to be home earlier to get their children ready for bed or to complete their studies. School board members last night said they welcome the change.

Head Start preschool still accepting registrations
WWPS Head Start/ECEAP Preschool is taking applications for 3 and 4 year old children. Head Start/ECEAP is an early learning opportunity for qualifying families.

Applications can be picked up at Blue Ridge Elementary School, 1150 W. Chestnut. Please call Ginger at 526-1786 if you need more information.

Personnel Report (from 8/17/10 school board meeting)
Sarah Rathbun, 1st Grade Dual Language, Edison
Amanda Bess, Bilingual First Grade, Green Park

Joaquin Avalos, Para-Educator, Pioneer Middle School
Karen Bannerman, Custodian, Walla Walla High School
Wendy Jones, Health Clinician, Pioneer Middle School
Karene Gonzalez, Assistant Secretary (temp.), Special Programs
Vickie Rogers, Health Clinician, Walla Walla High School
Ruthell Martinez, Intervention Specialist (temp.), Sharpstein

Floyd E. Bloom, Bus Driver, Transportation, 12 years
Annette Holden, Para-Educator, Prospect Point, 3 years
David Schaub, Bus Driver, Transportation, 6 years

Leave of Absence
(Classified) Pamela Elia, Food Services Assistant, Sharpstein, 5 years

Staff Transfers
- Luz Phillips will transfer from Edison to Sharpstein to teach 4th grade dual language.
- Claudia Saldivar will transfer from Green Park to Sharpstein to teach 2nd grade dual language.
- Denise Ongers will transfer from Lincoln Alternative High School as a Para-Educator to Blue Ridge Preschool Programs to serve as Assistant Secretary for the preschool programs. Denise will continue to work part-time as a para-educator at Lincoln after her day at Blue Ridge.

Chamber Singers retreat promotes team-building
This week the Walla Walla High School Chamber Singers participated in a retreat at Westminster Woods Camp in Meacham Oregon. The prestigious singing group worked on music, singing, team-building and fun events, according Director of Choral Activities Norb Rossi.

District Facebook excellent way to keep up with district news
Walla Walla Public Schools has started a Facebook page to enhance district communications. Click on the icon on the district website homepage (www.wwps.org) to visit the WWPS Facebook page.

Send district photos, information and items of interest to Communications Director Mark Higgins for posting on the district Facebook page.

E-mail information to:

Walla Walla Public Schools special guests for WSU vs. USC Trojans football game
Take advantage of significantly discounted tickets for the WSU vs. USC Trojans football game Saturday, Sept. 25 at 12 p.m. (noon) at Martin Stadium in Pullman by participating in the Walla Walla Public Schools football group outing.

Through this special group offer, staff members, family, friends, parents and students can purchase sideline seats for $25 (regular price $50) or end zone seats for $15 (regular price $35). One person will be randomly selected to win two field passes for the game through the Walla Walla Public Schools group offer.

Here is how to get your tickets:
1. Click on wsucougs.com login to the WWPS special offer.
2. Use the following login information:
ID: WWPS
Password: COUGS
3. Purchase your tickets!

The group ticket window expires Sunday, Sept. 12 at midnight.

For more information:
Adam Ganders
Assistant Ticket Office Manager
Washington State University
509.335.0215 (Phone)
509.335.8585 (Fax)

Pioneer 8th grade students plan car wash to fund east coast learning adventure
A group of Pioneer Middle School 8th grade students are planning a car wash Sunday, August 29 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Elks Lodge (351 E. Rose St.) to earn money for a once in a lifetime learning trip to Washington D.C and Gettysburg. The car wash is free, but students hope to collect donations to help fund the trip.

The students plan to take the trip during Spring Break 2011 and will be chaperoned by Dan Calzaretta and Kathryn Southwick-Hess. Special thanks to students Brelynn Hess and Kurt Funk for helping organize this car wash fundraiser.

Walla Walla High School football team plans annual Blue/White Scrimmage August 28
Saturday, August 28
5 p.m.
WWHS Practice Fields - Walla Walla High School
Varsity vs Varsity, JV vs JV, and FROSH vs FROSH.
“Annual Watermelon Relay” & Watermelon Feed arranged by senior moms and dads