Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 22, 2016

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Ballots for February 9 levy are in the mail

Ballots for the proposed Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy were mailed out to voters Thursday and must be returned by Feb. 9. This proposed levy would help maintain the current level of teaching and educational programs. This is not a new tax, but a continuation of local operating funds for the district. The state only funds approximately 70 percent of the district’s General Fund budget for Walla Walla Public Schools. This proposed Replacement Levy impacts nearly all aspects of district programs and services by funding 20 percent of the district’s General Fund. Federal dollars make up the remaining 10 percent of the district’s budget. The voter-approved 2012 Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy expires in December 2016 and this Levy would replace it.

Proposed Election Details
- Election date: February 9, 2016 (Four-year levy)
- Ballots mail out to voters January 21, 2016
- 50% + 1 vote required for approval

Summary of 2016 Levy Proposal
2017 - $11,234,122 (projected rate $3.70 per $1,000)
2018 - $11,458,504 (projected rate $3.73 per $1,000)
2019 - $11,687,674 (projected rate $3.77 per $1,000)
2020 - $11,921,427 (projected rate $3.81 per $1,000)
These rates are based on per $1,000 of assessed property value.

What does the levy fund? The following programs and services were funded by the Educational Programs and Operations levy during the 2014-2015 school year.

Program / Staff Estimated % of Levy
- 33 Extra teachers - including: 39%
1. Teachers to reduce class size
2. Music and PE Specialists
3. Fine Arts (Music and Drama)
4. AP, Honors, 6th and 7th periods @ Wa-Hi
- School Health Clinicians (K-12) 2.5%
- Highly Capable (Gifted) Program 3-8 grades 2%
- Extra-curricular (music, athletics, drama, FFA) 13%
- Educational Assistants (Para-Educators) 2.5%
- Intervention Specialists 3.5%
- Special Education Programs 6%
- Bargaining agreements for certificated and classified staff 13%
(staffing salaries and benefits above state funded levels)
- Utilities 6%
- Facilities Maintenance/Custodial Services 8.5%
- Technology (Chromebooks, infrastructure, training) 4%

What will the proposed levy cost you? Proposed rates are similar to those approved in 2012
(Below is the 2017 estimated tax bill for the proposed levy)
Home Value:
- $175,000 - 2016 (current): $640.50 / 2017 (proposed) $647.50 (estimated $7 increase annually)
- $250,000 - 2016 (current): $915.00 / 2017 (proposed) $925.00 (estimated $10 increase annually)
- $350,000 - 2016 (current) $1281.00 / 2017 (proposed) $1,295.00 (estimated $14 increase annually)

Election Information
- Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan at 526-6714 or e-mail: bjordan@wwps.org
- Communications Director Mark Higgins at 526-6716 or e-mail: mhiggins@wwps.org
- Online: www.wwps.org


School Board Appreciation Month Salute - By Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan

January is School Board Appreciation Month and a time to recognize the critical role our Board of Directors have providing a quality education for all Walla Walla students. Our school board members deeply care about children. These dedicated volunteers base all of their decisions on what is best for our students.

Board members volunteer countless hours each school year. They believe all children should have the opportunity to meet their full potential and realize their dreams. The school board is responsible for employing the superintendent, developing and adopting policies, curriculum, and the budget; overseeing facilities issues; and adopting collective bargaining agreements. They are also our community’s education watchdog, ensuring Walla Walla taxpayers get the most for their tax dollars. They do an excellent job representing the values of our community.

This month, more than any, is a time to salute our school board and let them know how much they are appreciated. Our democracy depends on a strong public school system and the leadership from the school board guides the way. It has been an honor and privilege to serve alongside these outstanding public servants.


Staff gather to discuss hot topics during Strategic Summit

More than 100 staff members, administrators and school board members convened at the Reid Center on the campus of Whitman College Thursday evening for the district’s Staff Strategic Summit. Participants voted in real time on the topics to be discussed. The group selected Facilities Planning, Superintendent Search and Adverse Childhood Experiences as the featured topics. Groups of eight per table discussed these issues in detail. All the information was captured by table notetakers to be shared at a later date. Whitman College senior and Walla Walla High School graduate Marcos Medina delivered the event’s keynote address. He shared how support from his family and school district, especially the AVID program, has helped him be successful at Whitman College where he is majoring in business. The event was a follow-up to a similar community event held in September. The purpose of the event was to gather input, build relationships and improve communications. 


School board approves 2016-2017 school year calendar; School to start August 23

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors unanimously approved the 2016-2017 school year calendar. The first day of school is August 23, 2016 and the last day is June 8, 2017. The approved calendar features a two week winter break, Spring Break the first full week in April and a possible school make-up day May 12. Visit the district website for a printable copy of the calendar – www.wwps.org.

The district had considered starting school the day after Labor Day per perpetual calendar language developed by the 2011 and 2013 Calendar Committees, but this calendar option would have school getting out June 20 which was too late according to surveys completed this winter.

“The district and the Walla Walla Valley Education Association agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding for the 2016-2017 school year calendar to approve this one-year option and revisit the perpetual calendar language this summer as part of the collective bargaining process,” said Chris Gardea, Executive Director of Human Resources. “Our leadership team has an important role of ensuring the calendar meets the needs of our educators and this approval represents the collaborative spirit
we have developed in Walla Walla.”


School Performance Reports available online

School Performance Reports for the 2015-16 school year have been completed and are now available online. They also are available in limited quantities at all schools. Each district is required to provide these reports annually to give parents and community members easily understandable information on educational programs and assessment results.

Each report includes a brief statement of the mission of the school, enrollment statistics, expenditures per student for the school year, student attendance and graduation/dropout rates, historical information on the school building and an invitation to all parents and citizens to participate in school activities. They also list district and building goals as well as highlights from the previous school year.

Each report also specifically directs the reader to the appropriate pages of the Washington State Report Card website which shows current and historical state and national assessment scores, teacher information and much more specific student demographics. We hope you take time to read the reports and see what is happening in our buildings.



Personnel Report (from January 19, 2016 School Board meeting)

EMPLOYMENT
Certificated: Kristopher Bland, Special Education (temporary), Lincoln High School
Kaylie Piver, Special Education (temporary), Prospect Point Elementary School

Classified: Henry Allen, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School
Scott Brashear, Campus Security Assistant, Walla Walla High School
Matthew Buckingham, Para-Educator, Pioneer Middle School
Jessika Chapman, Para-Educator (temporary), Pioneer Middle School
Sean Healy, Para-Educator (temporary), Lincoln High School
Katie Henry, Para-Educator, Prospect Point Elementary School
Juan Hernandez, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op
Jennifer Lopez, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School
Marvin Musselman, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op
David Spurlock, Custodian, Walla Walla High School/Green Park/Sharpstein/Prospect Point
Douglas Tash, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op

Coaching: Arch McHie, Head Girls’ Softball Coach, Walla Walla High School

RESIGNATION/RETIREMENT
Administrative: Connie Taylor-Randall, Principal on Special Assignment, Walla Walla High School, 37.5 years
- Effective December 31, 2016
Judy Gwinn, Fiscal Manager, Business Office, 32.5 years
- Effective February 29, 2016

Certificated: Jeanne Schmidt, Special Education, Garrison Middle School, 26 years
Jeanne will complete the 2015-2016 school year
Classified: Brad Nelson, Technology Specialist, District Office Technology Department, 3 years
Kaylie Piver, Para-Educator, Lincoln High School, 2 years
David Sumpter, Head Custodian, Sharpstein Elementary School, 27 years
Rebecca VanDewark, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School, 4 months

LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Classified: Kristopher Bland, Para-Educator, Lincoln High School, 2.5 years
- For the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year


District Registration and Open Enrollment Dates Set For the 2016-2017 School Year

There will be two registration periods for enrollment in Walla Walla Public Schools for the 2016-2017 school year. The first will be for secondary (middle and high) schools. It will run from February 1 through 29, 2016. The schools will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first registration day, February 1, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of the month.

Secondary parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up an Open Enrollment application at their attendance area school or complete a release form from their current school district office during normal business hours beginning January 25; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, February 1. The second period for Kindergarten and Fall Registration for elementary schools will be from Monday, April 18 to Friday, April 29, 2016. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school. Parents wishing to pick up the kindergarten registration information may do so at their child’s school beginning April 11. However, the completed registration forms will not be accepted until April 18.

Kindergarten/Elementary Registration Hours:
- Monday, April 18: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- April 19 to April 29: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up Open Enrollment application or release forms at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning April 11; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, April 18. Open enrollment requests at Walla Walla Public Schools will be granted according to priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 which will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available online at http://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/policies. Please contact your attendance area school for more information.


County awards district for traffic safety awareness campaign

Walla Walla Public Schools received a 2015 Media Outreach Award from the Walla Walla County Traffic Safety/DUI Task Force Thursday night at the Walla Walla Police Department Fulton Community Room. The district was recognized for its efforts to promote school zone safety through the use of television, radio, print and electronic media. The district works in collaboration with the Safe Travels Alliance, chaired by Kathryn Southwick Hess, to increase safety awareness and education.


School Stories

Wa-Hi Girls Varsity Softball coach named

Walla Walla High School Career and Technical Education (Agriculture) teacher Arch McHie has been named the Girls’ Varsity Head Softball coach. McHie served as an assistant to Jerry Humphreys for eight seasons, including the State Championship season in 2011. McHie said he is anxious to build on the proud tradition in place at Walla Walla High School and is excited to get started.


Community members encouraged to serve on Culminating Project Senior Presentations panel

Community members have an opportunity to serve on a reviewing panel during the Walla Walla High School Culminating Project Senior Presentations. Volunteer panelists will hear the personal stories of seniors, see their best school work, learn of their volunteer service and listen to their post high school plans. Senior presentations are February 9 and 10 and March 8 and 9 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Walla Walla High School. The culminating project and high school and beyond plan are graduation requirements for Walla Walla High School students.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to celebrate 13 years of work and accomplishments as these seniors prepare to transition to life after high school,” said Walla Walla High School Assistant Principal Stacy Estes. “These outstanding young men and women appreciate the opportunity to share their dreams and plans for the future with the community.”
For more information, contact Walla Walla High School Assistant Principal Stacy Estes at (509) 527-3020 or sestes@wwps.org.


College Conversations program helps Wa-Hi students prepare for higher education

College Conversations, a new resource for students in Walla Walla High School library, is a unique and accessible service for students who want to become college ready. The program is partnering with local and regional colleges, trade programs and universities and includes guest speakers, workshops, how-to's and even some fun snacks! Through this, students can begin to mold their high school career towards post-secondary education and gain insight into college life.

College Conversations will be open Monday-Thursday after school in the Academic Lab located in the Wa-Hi library (7th and 8th periods.) It is staffed by GEAR UP College Entrance Assistants; Blue Devil class of 2011, Samantha White a Lewis-Clark State College graduate with a major in English minor in Spanish and Blue Devil class of 2010 Gary Winston, Jr. a Portland State graduate with a Social Science and Criminal Justice degree. WSU GEAR UP is excited to offer this service in partnership with Walla Walla High School and College Access Corps a division of Americorps.


Community Stories
Pizza fundraiser helps fund Education First trip

Dan Calzaretta and Kathryn Southwick Hess are planning an Education First trip to Belize over spring break. They are selling Big Cheese pizza coupons to raise funds for the trip.

“Many of you have been asking if we were going to offer these again, and I am happy to say the Big Cheese is once again making them available to us,” said Calzaretta.

- Cost: $10
- Good for five months
- Can be used for a large gourmet or specialty pizza
- $3 per coupon goes to the group
- Please contact Kathryn Southwick Hess at mrstravelmama@gmail.com to purchase a coupon


Retirement Planning Seminar

- Thursday, February 4. 2016
- 6 to 9 p.m.
- Walla Walla Public Schools Boardroom

Do you have questions about retirement? Required paperwork, financial decisions, health insurance
Do you want information on the following topics?

A representative from the State HCA will be presenting:
- VEBA
- PLANS I, II, & III

Anyone considering retirement in the next few years is invited to attend this free seminar. Preregistration recommended. It would help if you would send an e-mail that you are planning to come so we have a count estimate wallawalla529@gmail.com

Co-Sponsored by
- Walla Walla School District #140 and
- Walla Walla – Columbia School Retirees Association
- Questions? Contact Leslie Stockton at 529-7167 wallawalla529@gmail.com or Nancy Taylor at 526-6722


Carnegie Picture Lab offers family event at public library Saturday

Carnegie Picture Lab presents Explore, Discover, Create with Carnegie Picture Lab. This family friendly afternoon is free and takes place at the Walla Walla Public Library on Saturday, January 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The program will include a live sculpting demonstration by local artist Brad Rude at 11:00 am, musical interludes performed by the Walla Walla Youth Symphony Brass Quintet at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., with corresponding art activities for children of all ages.


Whitman Symposium features civil rights lawyer

The 2016 Whitman Power and Privilege Symposium invites you to hear from powerful Civil Rights speaker, Constance Rice.
Rice is a civil rights lawyer and co-director of Los Angeles' The Advancement Project. Nationally, The Advancement Project provides training, networking, and resources to extend racial justice lawyering. Rice and her team use strategic methods of communication to influence the public opinion on issues of race and injustices. This project has raised over $15 billion to help even the odds in the LA community. Rice will speak on Wed., Feb. 17 in Cordiner Hall at 7 p.m. on the Whitman College Campus. This event if free and open to the public.


Local educators to present Changes and Challenges in K-12 Education in Washington State

- Monday, February 1 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
- Olin Hall, Olin 130 920 E Isaacs, Walla Walla, WA
Join four local and regional education professionals, whose work spans pre-K through high school to talk about changes and challenges in education in Washington State. This event is sponsored by the Whitman College Pre-Education Advising Program.

- Darcy Weisner was a teacher for twenty years at the secondary level with a focus on American history and contemporary world affairs, and then spent three years as an assistant principal in Spokane, four years as the principal at Walla Walla High School, and four years as superintendent in Clarkston, Washington. Darcy is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Support at ESD 123 in Pasco Washington.

- Samantha Bowen is Director of Early Learning at Educational Service District 123 as well as Director of Early Childhood and Parenting Education at Walla Walla Community College.

- Erin Dorso holds a MA in English Language Arts Education and has taught grades 6-12 English Language Arts in Florida, Japan, and Washington. She now supports schools across southeastern Washington in literacy instruction in her role as a Regional Literacy Coordinator.

- Sergio Hernandez, a retired school superintendent has worked in education for 47 years and currently is the Equity and Access Coordinator for Walla Walla Public Schools.



Women's Conference "Broth on a Rock" hosted in Walla Walla January 29-31, 2016

A three-day event starting Friday evening (January 29) with a keynote presentation at Trinity Baptist Church, and ending Sunday morning (January 31) with a breakfast keynote at the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel in downtown Walla Walla. The conference features live speakers bringing inspiration from their experiences all over the GLOBE. There will be 4 challenging and insightful breakouts from finding the right college to successfully conquering anxiety and depression, laughing while grieving and using your stories to impact other’s lives. Registration is inclusive of all meals and refreshments!

"What you’re going through in this life is meant to change not only you for the better but also the people in your path."

Please register now at brothonarock.org. For questions and to view the full conference schedule go to brothonarock.org, check us out on Facebook (Broth on a Rock) or call Chris at 541.861.1201


WWCC Diversity Committee invites you to attend the presentation of Paper Tigers

- Date: Tuesday, January 26
- Movie Time: 1:30 p.m. (Discussion Time: 3:15 p.m.)
- Location: WWCC Performing Arts Center
- Students, staff, faculty and community members welcome!
- Trailer: http://www.papertigersmovie.com/
- ACES: http://www.resiliencetrumpsaces.org/
- Resources to view: http://www.resiliencetrumpsaces.org/our-work-and-resources/resources


Walla Walla Valley Farm-to-School Fundraiser

Maple Counter Cafe is hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to benefit Walla Walla Valley Farm to School (WWVF2S) programs.
- When: Thursday Jan. 28
- Seating anytime between 5 to 8 p.m.
- Where: Maple Counter Café - 209 E. Alder St.
- Price: $13/adult $8/child under 12

WWVF2S provides coordinated leadership and support of programs that explore food and agriculture in school gardens, on farms and in school kitchens. This not only inspires healthy eating habits, but stimulates curiosity and critical thinking skills for students of all learning styles.


Brother, I’m Being Deported: The Dominican Republic Deportation Crisis and What We Can Do About It

A videoconference between human rights lawyer Brian Concannon and author Edwidge Danticat.
- Tuesday, January 26 at 4 p.m.
- Olin Hall, Olin 130
- 920 E Isaacs, Walla Walla, WA

The forced departure of tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic is both a tragedy and an opportunity. Edwidge and Brian will discuss the humanitarian crisis and its deep-rooted causes, as well as the promising movement - fueled by social media and new models of human rights advocacy-- to address both the crisis and its underlying causes. Brian Concannon, Jr. is a lawyer who directs the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. Mr. Concannon is an O’Donnell Visiting Educator this Spring. Edwidge Danticat is an author and human rights activist and was this year’s Summer Read author.


The Walla Walla Dance Company presents "Space Princess" an original production written by Nancy Wells

It is a story of a little princess who lives in a snow globe with her guardian angels. She loves her little home but dreams of space travel, exploring the universe, and meeting new friends. She visits Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn, and Mars. She is surrounded by stars and entertained by the Sun. There are Aliens, Martians, Jammin Jupitarians, with Rings and Sisters of Saturn. Of course she is thrilled to meet the cutest critters ever on Pluto, the animal planet!


Moms’ Network presents documentary featuring struggles women face balancing work and family

The Moms’ Network in partnership with Williams Team Homes and Child Care aware is excited to announce the documentary film “Having It All” by director Vlada Knowlton is coming to Walla Walla on January 24 for a free screening at the Gesa Powerhouse Theater.

“Having It All” vividly shows the struggle women face to balance work and family in today’s world. The intent behind this documentary project is to offer insight from real and personal experiences of women and their partners as they attempt to navigate through the most trying years of this challenge: the time when a working couple tries to start their family, thereby adding parenting to the jobs they already have.

The documentary film will be shown on January 24 at 1 p.m. Following the film director Vlada Knowlton will join a panel of local working moms to discuss the film and what having it all means to them and how it impacts their families and career.

“What does having it all mean and is that even a possibility? This question is why I am excited to be a part of the panel and sponsor this important film” states Laura Billingsley, agent at Williams Team Homes. “In recent years, the struggle women face to balance work and family has been a recurrent topic in news and entertainment. It is exciting to bring this film to Walla Walla to discuss how working women in our community are impacted by this struggle.”

The showing and the discussion are free. For more information visit www.themomsnetworkww.com or www.havingitallfilm.com


Parks & Recreation’s Winter/Spring 2016 programs are LIVE! 

http://www.ci.walla-walla.wa.us/depts/parksrecreation/recreation/

Check out the list of fun activities:
Youth: https://secure.rec1.com/WA/walla_walla/
- Fencing Lessons - Ages 9 - 17 - $38/$48
- Warrior Soccer Academy - Ages 5 - 11 - $48
- UK International Soccer Summer Camp - Ages 4 - 18 http://www.uksocca.com/Online/WebFlyer.php?c=72993611&f=7&t=0 - $89-$189
- All-Comers Track & Field Meet - Ages 12 & under - $3/$5
- Blue Mountain Girls Softball Association - Ages 5 - 18 - $40/$50
- Mother & Son Superhero Bash - Ages 3 & up - $15.00
- Father & Daughter Valentine Ball - Ages 3 & up - $15.00

Adult Programs: https://secure.rec1.com/WA/walla_walla/
- Relationship Classes - Ages 18 & up - $10
- Adult Co-ed Soccer - Ages 16 & up - $422 per team
- Adult Co-ed & Men’s Softball - Ages 16 & up - $1,020 per team
- Ukulele Lessons - Ages 12 & up - $40
- Guitar Lessons - Ages 12 & up - $40
- Beginning Watercolor Painting - Ages 16 & up - $81
- Intermediate/Advanced Watercolor Painting - Ages 16 & up - $104
- Gentle Yoga with Yoga Nidra- Ages 12 & up - $51/$91
- Nia Fitness - Ages 12 & up - $40
- Pottery Painting Studio - OPEN to Public Thursday - Sunday http://www.ci.walla-walla.wa.us/depts/parksrecreation/recreation/potterypaintingstudio

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us. Like on Facebook! www.facebook.com/wallawallapr


Girls Council plans Open House

Girls Council sends an invitation to the community to attend our Open House at our new headquarters located at 401 W. Main Street, Suite 104, Walla Walla. It will be held Wednesday, January 27 from 5:15 to 7 p.m.

Girls Council provides gender-specific programming for girls and their Mom/main caregiver. We serve girls from 4th through 12th grades through age-appropriate weekly groups, monthly activities, weekly mother-daughter groups as well as provide homework help and assist girls to prepare for attending college. We will have information about our offerings and be taking sign-ups for the groups we offer. Come meet our board members and volunteers while sharing refreshments and learning more Girls Council. We can be reached by telephone for more information at (509) 524-8845.


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