|| School board puts Wa-Hi Bond on hold
No timeline on table for next ballot measure
School members unanimously voted Tuesday, March 5 to not place a Walla Walla High School bond on the April 23, 2013 ballot. School Board members Max Carrera and Dan Hess were not present. The district would have been required to have a resolution on file by Friday, March 8 for an April bond. No timeline has been set for the next bond election.
School Board President Anne Golden said the district will conduct more public meetings and work sessions to gather input and study additional options for modernizing the 50-year-old school.
"We need to put the Wa-Hi bond on hold and take in more input, said Anne Golden, School Board President. "We need to find out what people would like us to do and how much it is going to cost. We want the support of the community for Wa-Hi."
The Feb. 12 Wa-Hi bond measure received a 53 percent yes count, falling short of the 60 percent Supermajority requirement for approval.
|| Walla Walla Public Schools plans Skills Center public groundbreaking ceremony
from Leone and Keeble, Inc. have started work on the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center on the campus of Walla Walla Community College. The building is expected to be completed March 2014 with classes beginning Fall of 2014.
The district is planning a
public Groundbreaking Ceremony Monday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. at the site. The Skills Center will offer high school courses in construction trades, welding, renewable resources and health occupation programs. Partnering districts include Dayton, Waitsburg, Touchet, Prescott, and College Place.
Date: Monday, March 25
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Location: Site of SEA-TECH Skills Center Site (on the campus of Walla Walla Community College)
|| Board pushes legislators to adequately fund schools
School board members urged state elected officials to address K-12 funding by approving Resolution #05-2013. School districts across the state are taking similar action challenging legislators to fully fund basic education. School board members and Superintendent Miller will be in Olympia this weekend to address these issues with regional and state legislators.
|| No Wa-Hi Early Release Wednesday, March 13
There will be no Early Release for Walla Walla High School students Wednesday, March 13 due to state High School Proficiency Exam testing. Wa-Hi students will attend school the entire day to meet the testing schedule.
Elementary schools, Pioneer and Garrison Middle Schools and Lincoln High School will have early release Wednesday, March 13 as normally scheduled. Only Wa-Hi will suspend its early release Wednesday, March 13 for HSPE testing. Contact your student’s school if you have additional questions.
|| No School Friday, March 15
Schools are closed Friday, March 15 for Staff Professional Day. Classes will resume Monday, March 18.
|| School Zone Law Enforcement emphasis to begin after spring break
City and County law enforcement officers will conduct a School Zone Law Enforcement Emphasis beginning Monday, April 8. Officers will be issuing tickets for infractions. This effort is to remind community members to use caution in school zones, especially as the weather improves and more youth bike and walk to school.
|| Kindergarten and Open Enrollment Registration dates set for 2013-14 School Year
Walla Walla Public Schools Kindergarten and Open Enrollment registration period is Monday, April 22 to Friday, May 3. 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 your child’s school beginning April 15. However, the completed registration forms will not be accepted until April 22.
Open Enrollment and Kindergarten Registration Hours:
- Monday, April 22: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- April 23 to May 3: 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 forms at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning April 15; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, April 22.
If there is space available to accommodate open enrollment requests, then priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available for public viewing at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office. School Board policies are also online at http://www.wwps.org/leadership/board.htm#11.
Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all schools, the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street, and online at www.wwps.org . Click on the District A to Z link and then click on Boundary Map.
|| Enrollment remains below budget targets
Chief Financial Officer Pat Johnston updated the school board on district enrollment and finances last night. Johnston reported the district is 29 students below beginning year budget projections. The greatest dip is in grades 1-3. She said revenues are up approximately $162,059 due to other state and federal factors not related to student enrollment. She said the district will use this year’s reduced enrollment figures to set budget targets for next year. The district maintains a 10 percent fund balance reserve despite the lower enrollment.
|| Classified Employees Week: March 11-15
Next week is Classified Employees Week and a time to say thank you to the district’s 391 support employees. Superintendent Mick Miller read a proclamation from Governor Inslee. Miller said we could not operate without classified employees.
Excerpt from Governor Inslee’s Proclamation:
"Classified employees are involved in nearly every aspect of education, including maintaining school building and grounds, providing secretarial and clerical assistance, preparing and serving meals, providing safe transportation, keeping school facilities clean and orderly, assisting in the classroom, providing a secure environment and many other specialized services."
||Superintendent Miller visits Edison Elementary for new "Pulse" video
This month Edison Elementary is featured by Superintendent Mick Miller in his "Pulse" video series. Principal Josh Wolcott, teacher Kay Barga and 5th grade students Mason Eacker-Rude and Lee Katsel from Judy Peasley’s class are featured on camera. Please take a few minutes to learn more about Edison Elementary School by visiting the district web site (www.wwps.org) or YouTube page.
|| Personnel Report (from March 5, 2013 school board meeting)
Cami Baker, Physical Education, Pioneer Middle School, 6 years
* Cami has been on a leave of absence for the 2012-13 school year
Kay Barga, Second Grade, Edison Elementary, 22 years
Annie Boyd, School Psychologist, Special Programs, 7 years
* Annie has been on a leave of absence for the 2012-13 school year
Craig Buchanan, Auto Mechanics, Walla Walla High School, 9 years
Audra Cummings, Language Arts, Garrison Middle School, 9 years
* Audra has been on a .5 FTE leave of absence for the 2012-13 school year and will continue as a .5 FTE teacher at Garrison
Marilyn Day, Head Start/ECEAP, Blue Ridge Elementary, 25 years
Carol Franklin, Counselor, Walla Walla High School, 28 years
Karen Fuller, First Grade, Edison, 36 years
Eileen Greenwalt, Speech Language Pathologist, 25 years
Robert Gregoire, ESL Coordinator, Green Park, 15 years
Louise Johnson, Kindergarten, Edison, 11 years
Christine Lowry, Fourth grade, Berney, 23 years
* Christine has been on a leave of absence for the 2012-13 school year
Sandra McCoy, Head Start/ECEAP, Blue Ridge, 11 years
Erika Montgomery, Second grade, Sharpstein, 1 year
Mary Schumacher, English, Walla Walla High School, 24 years
* Mary has been on a leave of absence for the 2012-13 school year
Marcia Clausen, Assistive Technology Assistant, Special Programs, 28 years
Ashia Jordana, Head Start/ECAP Family Advocate, Green Park, 2.5 years
Nicole Miller, Intervention Specialist, Special Programs, 4 years
* Nicole has been on a leave of absence for the 2012-13 school year
Hilary Tinnesand-Darnold, Para-Educator, Prospect Point, 3 years
* Hilary has been on a leave of absence for the 2012-13 school year
Leave of Absence
Lucas Hamada, Science, Garrison Middle School, 6 years
* For the 2013-14 school year
|| Walla Walla High School choral students to perform in regional contest Saturday
On Saturday, March 9, more than 70 singers from Walla Walla High School will be participating in the Columbia Basin Music Educators Regional Solo-Ensemble Contest held at Pasco High School. Students will be performing in a wide variety of solo and ensemble categories. Performances will begin at 9 a.m. and finish at 5 p.m. The event is free to the public.
The students have been working for months on these entries. Students will be adjudicated by professional educators on range of musical and vocal elements. Eight soloists and six ensembles will be selected to represent the CBMEA at the State competition in April.
"We are fortunate to have so many wonderful accompanists and parents to support our students’ efforts. Please come join us for a day of exciting music," said Wa-Hi Choral Director Norbert Rossi.
|| What does the sequester mean to district preschool? - By Director Kerri Coffman
Currently, Walla Walla Public School’s Head Start/ECEAP preschool serves 217 of our community's most at-risk 3 and 4-year-old learners, 136 of these children are funded by Head Start dollars. With the proposed 5.3% across-the-board cuts in the federal budget, $398 million would be cut from Head Start. Head Start is a federal program for preschool children from low-income families.
According to the Washington State Association of Head Start/ECEAP, nearly $9 million, or at least 1,000 children, would be eliminated from Washington State Head Start programs.
Walla Walla Public Schools could experience a reduction in funding of over $50,000. The potential impact to the WWPS Head Start/ECEAP preschool could result in the closure of an entire classroom, which equates to the loss of early learning opportunities for up to 17 children as well as reductions in staff. This would increase numbers of the already long waiting list we maintain throughout the year. Many children qualify based upon income and family need, but lack of funding from the state and federal government already hinder the number of children we can provide preschool services for. Funding losses will further prohibit our program from meeting the needs of our valley’s young learners.
If cuts do go into effect, they would not likely affect our current program year as we are considered a 2012 funding year with a September 1 start date. This would give us time to plan for a smaller program next year if the government shut down does indeed happen. This will be a sad day in our community as these families and students desperately need our services.
I encourage our elected officials to work together to minimize the negative impact this sequestration would have in our community.
|| ESD 123 Superintendent’s High School Art Show 2012-13 Award Winners
- Honorable Mention: Emma Johnston - "Lil Fella"
- Judges Choice: Carissa Weis - Untitled
- Honorable Mention: Salvador Rubio - "Christina"
Media Technology (3D Modeling)
- Honorable Mention: Grecia Rojas - "City Scape"
- Judges Choice: Haylee Martinez - Untitled
- Honorable Mention: Libby Allsop - Untitled; Natalie Funk - Untitled
|| Providence St. Mary Medical Center physicians support Edison’s "Heart Day"
Edison Elementary second grade students participated in Heart Day this week to learn more about how human and animal hearts work. Dr. Bruce, Dr. Billingsley and Dr. Barga from Providence St. Mary Medical Center taught the students about heart anatomy, eye anatomy and defibrillation.
The physicians used hearts and eyes from cows as part of the lessons. Students were able to touch and feel the animal parts as part of the experience. The students also colored drawings of the circulatory system, made mock blood and crawled through a maze simulating a heart. Many parent volunteers supported the activity. Thanks to Kay Barga for organizing the event.
|| District students invited to show films at The National Film Festival for Talented Youth
The National Film Festival for Talented Youth, the largest youth film festival in the world, has announced their selection of films. The Pioneer Middle School Explorers classes had three films accepted.
The films are:
- Music to Our Ears (documentary) by Tori Matlock, Anna Moore, and Emma Wenzel (7th graders)
- A Bread Life (documentary) by Seamus Duffy, Scott Golden, and Trevor Kytola (7th graders)
- Accepting (short film) by Emily Coleman and Sophia Gregoire (8th graders)
In addition, former Pioneer Explorer student and current WaHi senior Peter Tucker had his animated film "A Troubled Cow Confides in You" accepted. The Pioneer documentary "A Bread Life" was shot and edited using only an iPad2. "Music to Our Ears" was shot on the iPad2 and edited on a Mac. iPads were purchased through a grant from CenturyLink.
Over the last three years Pioneer has sent some of the youngest students to the festival. Most films accepted to the festival are made by college and film school students. NFFTY receives over 700 films and chooses about 200. The festival will be held in Seattle April 25-28. In addition to showcasing student films, NFFTY has seminars given by producers and film makers from around the world, including Hollywood. Pioneer Middle School submitted 17 films to the NFFTY festival this year, more than any previous year.
|| February 2013 WWHS JROTC Cadet of the Month announced
The Walla Walla High School JROTC "Blue Devils" Cadet Battalion has selected its Cadet of the Month for February 2013. She has been rewarded for her achievement with an immediate promotion. Cadet Corporal Gabrielle Niebel, a 15-year-old freshman, was promoted to this new rank after she won the top spot, according to the presiding official on the board.
The top cadet was selected from three candidates who were inspected and examined in oral interviews by a board of four advanced cadets, according to Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, Senior Army Instructor for the Walla Walla High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Niebel said that she joined JROTC because she wanted to become a better citizen. She plans to go to college and become a detective. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, playing in the computer and doing drill in JROTC.
"Her strongest competitive category was her military bearing," said Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Brandon Webster. "This competition was close since the Cadets’ performances were outstanding."
First runner up was Cadet Corporal Paige Jones, a 16-year-old junior, whose strongest suit was military knowledge. Second runner up was Cadet Pvt. 1st Class Kenneth Bowen, an 18-year-old senior, whose strongest suit was his personal appearance.
"This was one of the closest competitions in a long time. Two of the candidates were tied after the interview phrase. The tie breaker score was earned during a uniform inspection. All candidates really put forth their best effort and truly represented their representative companies superbly. Newly promoted Cadet Cpl. Niebel really had to work hard to win this one," said Bialozor.
|| JROTC Cadets excel at Medical Lake drill meet
On February 23, 23 Cadets from Walla Walla High School JROTC traveled to Medical Lake, Wash. to compete in a drill meet that decided which teams would be advancing to the championships in North Salem on March 9.
Walla Walla High School’s Cadet Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Brandon Webster, a 17-year-old senior, placed 3rd in the Armed Drill Team Commander category. Cadet 1 LT. Sara Beko, a 17 year old junior, and Cadet Staff Sgt. Mattie Bialozor, a 15-year-old sophomore, took 2nd place in Dual Unarmed Exhibition Drill, securing their spot in the championships. Also performing at the championships will be Individual Armed Exhibition Drill (IAED) performed by 17-year-old Cadet Capt. Chris French. Also competing in the championships will be Wa-Hi’s Precision Rifle team, Sporter Rifle team, Color Guard 2, and Armed Drill Team.
|| Healthy Family Workshop Series – Diabetes Proof Your Child
The Moms’ Network and Adventist Health will be offering the third program in the Healthy Family Workshop Series on Tuesday March 12 at the YMCA at 6:30 p.m. Certified diabetes educator Margaret Caicedo, ARNP will lead a discussion about the prevention of diabetes for local families.
"Because the number of American children taking diabetes medication for Type 2 diabetes more than doubled from 2002 to 2005 we feel this is a very serious community concern" states Beth Swanson, President of the Moms’ Network. "We believe educating parents is the first step to a healthy family and that is why we are providing free educational events."
The Diabetes Proof your Child program is free and open to the community. There will be free child care and Spanish translation available. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. Check in at the front desk of the YMCA located at 340 S. Park Street. For more information, please contact Beth Swanson at (509) 301-7471 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|| Altrusa and the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce presents the 6th Annual Spelling Bee
Altrusa International of Walla Walla and the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce will host the 6th Annual Spelling Bee, Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds (Community Center) during this year’s Balloon Stampede presented by Gesa Credit Union. Students in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades will spell their way to a Spell-off by grade. The top four students from each grade will be awarded prizes for their spelling proficiency.
Altrusa International of Walla Walla is a group of women working together to provide service to our community through leadership and service, promoting education and literacy.
For further information regarding the Spelling Bee, please contact Linda Thorson at 509-522-0812, email@example.com.
|| Youth volunteers needed for Whitman College for cultural diversity study
Whitman College senior psychology students are looking for 10 to 11-year-old children to participate in their thesis. This study examines how kids’ school and family experiences influence their views of cultural diversity. As part of the study, kids will play a picture guessing game similar to Guess Who? and will answer questions about friendship. We can come to your home to play these games right at your kitchen or dining table, or, if you prefer, you can come to the lab. The games are fun for kids to complete and usually take less than 15 minutes. Your child will receive a nice Whitman pencil for participating and you will be entered into a drawing for a Starbucks gift card. If you would like to volunteer or would like more information, please e-mail Professor Erin Pahlke at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, March 8th. Thank you for your consideration!
|| Elementary students visit Whitman College to celebrate with college mentors
On March 1, the long anticipated annual event, Whitman Mentor's "Mentee to Campus Day" brought nearly 150 local students, K-8, from Blue Ridge, Edison, Green Park, Pioneer Middle School, Prospect Point, and Sharpstein to the Whitman College campus for a carnival that celebrates the friendships built between Whitman Mentor volunteer students and their "mentee", or friend. Whitman Mentors spend time with their mentee on a weekly basis during lunch and recess at their respective public school.
The Mentees await the once a year opportunity to go to their Mentor's school...Whitman College. It is a long-standing tradition to show these students the Whitman campus in a fun and inviting way. The afternoon included a bouncy house, face painting, bowling, Sweet Putt golf, sack races, and paper airplane contests, to name a few examples of the available activities that kept energy high for the two-hour event. Special performances by the Whitman Dance Crew and the band, Human Beings, rounded out the afternoon. Whitman Mentor Student Interns, Nathan Sany '14, and Allison Burns '13, thank the Walla Walla Public Schools for their continued partnership in bringing local students to the College for this memorable event each year.
|| College Rodeo comes to Walla Walla March 8-10
Walla Walla Community College Rodeo, in partnership with the Exchange of Walla Walla and the Walla Walla Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse, is March 8-10 at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds. Tickets are available at several Walla Walla business outlets. For a complete schedule of events, visit the WWCC Athletic Department website: http://www.wwcc.edu/CMS/index.php?id=1715
|| Registration for Great Explorations Due by March 18
On Saturday, March 23, the Walla Walla branch of the American Association of University Women will present Great Explorations, a science, technology, engineering and math adventure for 5th through 8th grade girls, at Whitman College, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Registration forms should be mailed by March 18. The sooner the registration form is sent in, the more likely it is that girls can be in workshops with their friends. Also, early registrations are more likely to get first choice of workshops.
Girls will have the opportunity to attend three workshops offering informal, hands-on experience with careers that utilize science, technology, engineering and math. These workshops will give the girls an opportunity to meet and form personal contacts with women in these exciting careers. There will be 24 workshops to chose from, with intriguing titles such as Neigh, Moooo, Ruff, Meow; Snakes for Supper?; Sealed with a Kiss; The Telltale Heart; Yum! Gum!; and Fun with Geo-Goo. Topics include ecology, geology, engineering, neurobiology, math, chemistry, astronomy, genetics, nursing and many more.
The highlight of this year’s event will be the appearance of real-life CSI investigator, Jody Wolf, Assistant Crime Lab Administrator for the Phoenix Police Department, who will be the keynote speaker at noon in Maxey Hall. Jody will also lead one of the workshops on how DNA helps solve mysteries.
The fee to attend is $5 and scholarships are available. For more information on registration, scholarships or questions on any of the events, please contact Carol Morgan,