||Successful Bond Sales Saves Walla Walla Taxpayers Millions
Walla Walla Public Schools sold bonds from the successful November 6 General Election Thursday in Seattle that resulted in millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Favorable market conditions, coupled with the district’s strong Aa3 underlying credit rating, generated robust interest from investors. The competitive 3.2% overall rate, nearly 1% less than preliminary estimates, represents an extremely low borrowing amount, shaving over two years off of bond payments, saving taxpayers over $13.4M in interest payments over the life of the bonds. Superintendent Wade Smith, accompanied by Board Vice President Sam Wells and Bond Oversight Committee Chair Scott Morasch were all smiles following a successful morning on DA Davidson’s sales floor in Seattle.
“Today was a real win for our community,” said Smith. “Not only will we be able to pay these bonds off years earlier, the projected bond rate taxpayers will be paying will be the lowest in 10 years.”
Earlier this week, the district advertised for the General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) for the Walla Walla High School project. General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM), often referred to as a "collaborative delivery model," permits the district to hire the general contractor early on in the design phase, capitalizing on their ability to participate and partner through the pre-construction and design programming, rather than bringing on the firm after the design work is complete.
Superintendent Smith will soon be visiting with the Bond Oversight Committee to seek a representative to serve on the screening and interview committee as the district proceeds through the GC/CM process that allows it to select the contractor to deliver on the district’s flagship project, Wa- Hi. Community Facilities Task Force member Dean Lodmell has agreed to serve as a representative from the Community Facilities Task Force.
“We have also been busy with our preparation work so that we are ready to break ground on the Wa-Hi science complex next fall,” said Smith. “We went out to bid and successfully contracted with two local firms (Anderson Perry and PBS Environmental), who are busy performing site survey work and required geotechnical studies.”
In early January, Wa-Hi science staff will visit Pullman High School, North Central High School, and Ferris High School to glean ideas and concepts from these brand-new science facilities.
For more information about the bond program:
• Visit the bond website at www.wwpsbond.org
• Follow progress updates on Twitter @bondwwps
||Bond Thank You video
Walla Walla Public Schools staff and students are featured in a recently released video saying thank you to the community for supporting the Nov. 6 bond election. Thank you Walla Walla!
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCZ1cerZgrE
||December Pulse Video – Bond Planning Updates
Superintendent Wade Smith provides a comprehensive update on bond planning work to date on the December Pulse video. Voters approved the November 6 Replacement Bond proposal with nearly a 73% yes vote. Superintendent Smith discusses bond project timelines and design preparation strategies. He also shares other timely updates.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx9mx9py5cA&t=4s
||Annual parent survey closes today
Parent Survey Link - https://www.research.net/r/wwps-parent
Walla Walla Public Schools is seeking parent feedback through the Educational Effectiveness Survey (EES) as an extension of the Board of Director’s strategic planning process. The district will use the data to track progress towards its goals and initiatives. The deadline to complete the survey is today.
How to take survey:
• Survey posted on district webpage - www.wwps.org
• Use your own electronic device - https://www.research.net/r/wwps-parent
• Hard copies available in schools and the district office
• Survey is completely anonymous
• Available in both English and Spanish
• Please take a separate survey for each child’s school
• School Leadership
• Teaching and Learning
• Safety and Security
• School Culture and Climate
||Scholarships help classified staff pursue careers in Bilingual Education
Walla Walla Public Schools Classified Staff Bilingual Scholarship Committee has awarded $1500 scholarships to Jose Maya, Marilyn Melgoza, Ana Diaz and Araceli Garcia thanks to a $34,000 grant from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. This new district scholarship program helps Walla Walla Public Schools’ classified staff pursue careers in Bilingual Education. The district is also using the state grant funds to offer five, $1500 non-renewable scholarships to current seniors attending Walla Walla Public Schools who plan on becoming teachers. Student recipients will be announced in March.
“We are excited to announce two of our candidates will be student-teaching for us this spring, one will be doing their counseling internship next year and the fourth candidate will be attending WSU Tri-Cities this summer,” said Dr. Victor Vergara, Director of Bilingual Education and Latino Outreach. “The grow your own effort is a positive step forward as we continue to invest in our employees.”
||Winter Concert Schedule 2018 (remaining)
December 17 Wa-Hi band concert, Wa-Hi Auditorium 7 p.m.
December 18 Prospect Point program, K-1 9:15 a.m.; 2-3 10:30 a.m.; 4-5, 1 p.m.
December 18 Sharpstein program, K-1 10:15 a.m.; 2-3, 9 a.m.; 4-5, 1 p.m.
December 18 Wa-Hi choir concert, Wa-Hi Auditorium 7 p.m.
December 19 Blue Ridge Preschool Winter Concert – Morning classes @ 10 a.m. / Afternoon class @ 2 p.m.
December 19 Wa-Hi orchestra concert, Wa-Hi auditorium 7 p.m.
December 20 Berney Holiday program, K-2 12:30 p.m.; 3-5 1:30 p.m.
December 21 Pioneer music assembly – 9 a.m.
December 21 Blue Ridge winter program K-2, 10 a.m.; 3-5, 1 p.m.
SEATech takes top honors in annual Parade of Lights
Congratulations to SEATech for winning the Grand Prize in the Macy’s Parade of Lights with its Enchanted Winter Palace float. The float featured spectacular castles and lights. It was constructed under the guidance of instructor Eric Matson. Wa-Hi FFA earned Top High School honors for its “Wings Over Walla Walla” themed float. Great job students!
||Winter Break Holiday Schedule
- No School: Dec. 24 to Jan. 4
- Classes resume Monday, Jan. 7
Local police officers share prevention strategies
As part of Goal 4 of the Strategic Plan which focuses on Safe Schools, City of Walla Walla Police Gang Unit Officers Saul Reyna and Ignacio Colin shared prevention strategies with district leaders and local emergency preparedness experts during a recent Safe Schools meeting. They stressed the importance of establishing positive relationships with students, reducing barriers to accessing district programs and parent communication. Thanks to our local law enforcement officers for partnering with the district to enhance school safety.
||Dill named Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year
Walla Walla High School Sports Medicine Teacher and Athletic Trainer Kelsey Dill was named Educator of the Year by the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce during its 136th Annual Community Awards Banquet. Kelsey graduated from Monroe High School and attended New Mexico State University where she competed in volleyball and track and field. She is in her fifth year at Walla Walla High School.
“She is a tireless and devoted employee,” said Human Resources Director Liz Campeau. “She is bright, energetic, honest and always doing what is best for students.”
Kelsey brings her curriculum to life with a multifaceted approach, engaging students about the science behind injury prevention, intervention, and recovery. She educates students about state and federal laws, the history of Sports Medicine, and common sense practices. Kelsey continues her work as an educator in her role as athletic trainer. She connects the work in the classroom with the work on the fields and in the gym. Kelsey’s sports medicine students are able to serve as sports medicine student aides, providing them with hands-on experience and real world application of what they are learning in the classroom.
Kelsey is credited with starting Wa-Hi’s free Physical Round-up to allow students to obtain the necessary medical clearances needed to participate in sports. In her nomination packet, fellow Wa-Hi teachers and coaches had a plethora of accolades to share about Kelsey Dill. Amy Hisaw appreciates Kelsey’s communication skills and says she loves kids and does everything in her power to get them back playing as quickly as she can. John Golden said Kelsey is an excellent listener and in-tune with what student-athletes tell her about their injuries. For Tracy Rotert, it is Kelsey’s devotion that stands out. Tracy notes that Kelsey is always present and engaged. She also said Kelsey takes time to follow-up with athletes after their injuries have healed to determine if additional after-care is needed.
In April a Wa-Hi student athlete experienced a cardiac emergency following his event at the Blue Devil Invitational Track Meet. Kelsey’s quick and decisive actions saved this young man’s life. His condition was worsening despite the first aid actions being implemented when she decided to use the school’s AED to resuscitate him. It worked and soon local emergency personnel were on the scene to provide additional support and aftercare. He is now back in class and resuming his school experience.
“Kelsey Dill is an outstanding educator and a hero, and Walla Walla Public Schools is proud to call her one of our own,” said Campeau.
||Garrison Middle School Lego Robotics team advances to state
Congratulations to Garrison Middle School’s FIRST® Lego League robotics team for placing in the top six during a regional competition on Saturday, December 8 in Pasco. As a result, the students have been invited to attend the Eastern Washington State championship in Spokane. The “Cod3breakers” also received the “Core Values Award” trophy for the student’s “Gracious Professionalism” which was judged throughout the tournament.
Since last summer, the team of nine students has been meeting regularly with instructor Mike Bertram in order to build and program robots, learn about teamwork and develop a project for competition.
Each fall, FIRST unveils a new “mission” which includes a robot challenge and associated research project. This year’s challenge, “Into Orbit” included navigating space-themed obstacles. Students built and programmed their Lego robots and also researched a problem that astronauts might encounter during an extremely long space journey. The team learned that with “Gracious Professionalism,” fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST is more than robots. FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21st century work-life skills.
||Wrestling program plans barbeque fundraiser
• Blue Devil wrestlers will be hosting a BBQ event with your choice of a pulled pork or a brisket plate
• Thursday, December 20
• Wa-Hi Commons
• Food served beginning at 4:30 p.m.
• Tickets cost $20 per adult or $25 for an adult and one or more kids. This ticket includes your meal and admission to the match.
• The Blue Devil wrestling team will square off against Richland at 7 p.m.
*In conjunction with the Walla Walla High School Wrestling Program, the Walla Walla Wrestling Club (not affiliated with WWPS) will be hosting a silent auction for those looking for last minute gifts.
||1999 State basketball championship team returns to Wa-Hi
The Walla Walla High School Hall of Fame Association will be recognizing the 1999 State Boys Basketball Champions Saturday, Jan. 5 during halftime of the boys game that night versus Kennewick. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Coach Jim Thacker and several members of the championship team will be in attendance.
- Jim Thacker (Head Coach)
- Earl Streufert (Assistant Coach)
- John Golden (Assistant/JV Coach)
- Kyle Bankhead
- Jeff Bennett
- Jon DeWolfe
- Bryan Erlebach
- Jeremy Harper
- Matt Hamlin
- Thomas Kelati
- Pat Kjack
- Pat McConn
- Shawn Reese
- Andy Thompson
- Joe Wilkins
Latino Club honors Transportation Department for parade support
Walla Walla High School Latino Club Officers Kalea Soto and Kaysa Villigomez presented a certificate of appreciation to Transportation Director John Griffith for allowing the Latino Club to build their parade float at the Southeast Washington Cooperative facility. The Latino Club participated in the Macy’s Parade of Lights and the College Place Winterfest parades during the past week.
||Edison Honor Choir performs for area senior citizens
Edison Elementary Honor Choir students in Sara Pinkerton’s music program performed at Whitman Place, Eagle Springs, and Brookdale College Place as part of their annual holiday tour. During our visits, 47 students from fourth and fifth grades sang Christmas songs for the residents and concluded the performance by delivering cards to each resident that were created by Edison students in Kindergarten through fifth grade.
“The residents loved having our students perform,” said Pinkerton. “Some were brought to tears when we sang White Christmas, remembering Christmases past. It was a fabulous experience for both students and residents.”
||Professional Development offered to support School Garden program
Area K-5 teachers are invited to join a professional development series about using school gardens. Each session focuses on a Crosscutting Concept of Next Generation Science Standards.
**Walla Walla Public Schools STEM clock hours available **
(All area teachers are welcome - $2/clock hour earned charged for out of district teachers)
Walla Walla Valley Farm to School Professional Development Series:
• January 15 – Crosscutting Concept – Cause and Effect
• February 19 – Crosscutting Concept – Systems and System Models
• March 19 – Crosscutting Concept – Energy and Matter
• April 23 - Crosscutting Concept – Structures and Function
• All sessions are from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Participation in all workshops is not required, but participation in at least two is required to receive the minimum three clock hours.
Registration required - https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080545A4AC22A1F58-teacher1
(limited to 15 spaces)
||Walla2Hoops AAU basketball club announces “Tournament of Hoops” Feb. 23-24
Walla2Hoops announces its “Tournament of Hoops” AAU Basketball Tournament Feb. 23-24 in Walla Walla for boys and girls grades 2-8. Cost is $230 per team. A discount of $30 per team is offered to non-profit basketball clubs.
Teams are guaranteed four games. Team pool schedules and brackets are available via Tourney Machine. Event t-shirts and concessions will be available for purchase on site. Entry include a complimentary coach gift pack for each team. Champion and finalist t-shirts for each grade level will be awarded to players. There is no cost for Walla2Hoops Club teams. Walla2Hoops is partnering with the Walla Walla YMCA to maximize local gym space and event coordination. A portion of the tournament proceeds will be donated to support the Y’s youth basketball program.
Register online: www.w2hoops.com
“We are excited to welcome teams to Walla Walla for a fun and competitive tournament,” said Walla2Hoops Club President Matthew Price-Huntington. “This is also a great opportunity to visit historic Walla Walla and enjoy our award winning downtown.”
Walla2Hoops is a 501C3 Non-Profit basketball club which operates under the umbrella of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Walla2Hoops provides an enriched basketball environment with a mission to create a positive competitive culture focused on developing character and basketball fundamentals.
||City Parks and Recreation Update
• Scholarships available for youth programs. To apply stop by the Parks and Recreation office at 55 E Moore St.
• Youth and Adult Art Classes taught in Spanish - $12 - $80
• Indoor Soccer - Grades K- 8 - Cost is $60 – Last day to register is December 21
• We are hiring Indoor Soccer Referees! Paid position or volunteer. Contact WW Parks & Recreation, Clay Lindsey firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-526-4527
• 2019 Veterans Memorial Pool Passes are on sale!
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to http://www.wwpr.us
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