|Levy ballots due February 9
Ballots for the proposed Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy must be post marked by Tuesday, Feb. 9 to be counted in the election. 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)
- 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)
- $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)
- Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan at 526-6714 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Communications Director Mark Higgins at 526-6716 or e-mail: email@example.com
- Online: www.wwps.org
|School board announces superintendent semi-finalist candidates
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors named seven semi-finalists to compete for the open superintendent position. The semi-finalist candidates will be invited to participate in interviews with the school board Wednesday, Feb. 17 and Thursday, Feb. 18 at the district office boardroom.
- Susan Bell, Superintendent – Touchet School District; Touchet, WA
- Jared Hoadley, Executive Director Student Services – Mead School District; Mead, WA
- Dr. Kent Kultgen, Superintendent – Helena School District; Helena, MT
- Dr. Mark Mansell, Superintendent – La Center School District; La Center, WA
- Kevin McKay, Superintendent – Zillah School District; Zillah, WA
- Dr. Molly Ringo, Asst. Superintendent for Teaching and Learning – Everett Public Schools; Everett, WA
- Wade Smith, Deputy Superintendent – Hermiston School District, Hermiston, OR
The Walla Walla School Board will conduct finalist interviews Feb. 29, March 1 and 2. Public meetings will be held on these dates at 5 p.m. at the district office (364 S. Park St.) for community members to learn more about the candidates and share their feedback. Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan is retiring June 30. The new superintendent will begin July 1.
|Fully funding public education hot topic at 2016 Legislative Conference
Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan and School Board President Cindy Meyer and Director Ruth Ladderud attended the 2016 Legislative Conference in Olympia last weekend. Hot topics for the conference included providing additional enhancements in the Supplemental Budget to address underfunding of basic education. Legislators were also urged to enhance the state’s investment in K-12 construction by increasing the formulas for the Construction Cost Allowance and Student Space Allocation to ensure funding more closely reflects actual construction costs and educational space needs. They also discussed the statewide teacher and substitute shortage and the need to pass legislation to secure the elimination of the Biology End of Course exam as a high school graduation requirement effective with the Class of 2017. There were also talks about the need to amend the constitution to authorize school district bonds to be approved with a simple majority.
“We are urging our legislators to fully fund basic education as stipulated by the McCleary Decision,” said Meyer. “The current system for funding our public schools and compensating our staff is not sustainable and it is time for our elected officials to take action in support of our staff, students and families.”
School board moves March school board meeting date
The Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors voted to move the March 1 regularly scheduled school board meeting to Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the district office (364 S. Park St.). The March 1 meeting date and time conflicted with Superintendent finalist interviews. The March 3 meeting is open to the public.
|Facilities & Operations Department announces construction projects list
The Facilities and Operations Department staff will be busy working on several major projects from now through the summer months. The projects are part of the district’s commitment to providing quality learning spaces for staff and students.
Projects list highlights:
- Garrison, Pioneer, Prospect Point and Berney restroom upgrades
- Wa-Hi small gym energy-saving upgrades (lighting and boiler replacement)
- Lincoln portable renovation to a daycare facility
- Completion of the new Wa-Hi track and storage shed.
Facility and Operations orders for the month of December:
- Open/new: 96
- Closed: 276
Walla Walla sends team to National Title I Conference
Walla Walla Public Schools sent a team of educators to the National Title 1 Conference in Houston, Texas. The National Title I Association is dedicated to improving and implementing the Title I program so that more children reach their academic potential. The Association provides educational leaders at the state and local levels with the opportunity to work together to share ideas on effective and innovative programs, identify problems and solutions, and represent the needs of Title I families. The keynote speaker was LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow, Star Trek, and Roots. Robert Elizondo, Shelly Crump and Kim Ramsey had the chance to meet Burton and get a book signed.
|Personnel Report (from February 2, 2016 School Board Meeting)
Deborah Adamson, Kitchen Assistant, Berney Elementary School
Michael Erickson, Para-Educator, Lincoln High School
Teresa Henry, Kitchen Assistant, Prospect Point Elementary School
Nancy Taylor, Fiscal Manager, Business Office
Administrative: Dr. Bill Jordan, Superintendent, District Office, 2 years
- 26 previous years of WWPS experience
Cheryl Herr, Science, Pioneer Middle School, 25 years
John Herr, Drafting/Applied Math, Walla Walla High School, 32 years
Sarah Kapocias, First Grade, Green Park Elementary School, 9 years
Wes Sanders, First Grade, Green Park Elementary School, 13 years
Andrea Sundberg, Math, Pioneer Middle School, 9 years
Angela Queen, Kitchen Assistant, Blue Ridge Elementary School, 1 year
Lori Storey, Kitchen Assistant, Sharpstein Elementary School, 2 years
Maria Tiscareno, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Elementary School, 12 years
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Mikayla McFetridge, Second Grade, Edison Elementary School, 6 years
- For the 2016-2017 school years
Daniel Ojcius, Spanish, Walla Walla High School, 23 years
- For the 2016-2017 school year
|School Board announces sites for Adopt-A-School Program
Dr. David Hampson
- Garrison Middle School
- Green Park Elementary
- Lincoln High School
- Sharpstein Elementary
- Berney Elementary
- Blue Ridge Elementary
- Edison Elementary
- Pioneer Middle School
- Prospect Point Elementary
- Walla Walla High School
School board members will attend special events and have lunch with students at these schools on occasion. They will also attend PTA meetings occasionally and report highlights during school board meetings on activities at these schools.
|Highly Capable Referral Period scheduled for February 16 – March 4, 2016
Information on the Highly Capable Program referral (nomination) period is currently available on the district website. Referral forms will be available in all district schools and on the district website no later than February 11, 2016. Parents will be able to contact their child’s teacher or school learning specialist/counselor for more information. Walla Walla School District’s Highly Capable Program provides students of high academic and intellectual ability with designated time to explore concepts in greater depth. The goal of the Highly Capable Program is to encourage the development of higher level thinking skills. Students learn to become responsible for their own learning, develop their creative thinking and critical reasoning power and strive to reach their potential. Students in kindergarten through second grade, identified as Highly Capable, are served through the Response to Intervention (RtI) model in their home schools. The elementary principal or designee will work with classroom teachers to provide appropriate accelerated/enhanced learning opportunities. K-2 classroom/program options could include, but not be limited to: alternative activities, enrichment activities, flexible group learning, independent projects, online or supplemental instruction.
For grades three through five, Highly Capable students may be served by Explorers, a pull-out program focusing on enriched Science and Mathematics academic experiences. Students may also be served under the RtI model (described above) at their home schools. The middle school Highly Capable (Explorer) Program focuses on the subject areas of English, Language Arts and Social Studies. This middle school program is incorporated into the school day through separate self-contained Explorer Program classrooms. Students are involved in inquiry- based lessons, group problem-solving settings, independent investigations, and group discussions. Middle school Highly Capable students have an opportunity to take different levels of mathematics classes, based on their ability and test scores. This same opportunity is extended to all students in grades six through eight at both middle schools.
Students previously identified as Highly Capable and transitioning to ninth grade will meet with high school counselors (or principal’s designee) for the purpose of course selection and access to advanced instruction. Teachers of high school Highly Capable students will know who has been identified and will be provided with professional development and/or instructional suggestions through the high school RtI team. Services for high school students can include, but are not limited to, honors or Advanced Placement classes, Running Start, independent study or online classes.
The referral deadline this year for students in grades one and above will be March 4, 2016. All referred students will be screened using norm-referenced standardized tests and those who qualify for further testing will participate in cognitive abilities testing at their home schools. In all cases, parents will be notified of the results of the process and a child not selected one year may be referred again in subsequent years. For more information, please contact the Walla Walla School District Teaching and Learning office: 526-6735 or 526-6723.
|2016 School Board Ongoing Committee Assignments
- Community Facilities Task Force
- Health & Nutrition Task Force
- Safe Schools
- Bilingual Study/Dual Language
- Certificated Negotiations (with Derek Sarley)
- Community Facilities Task Force
- Head Start Policy Council
- Children’s Resilience Initiative
- Classified Negotiations (with Sam Wells)
- Legislative Representative
- Certificated Negotiations (with Ruth Ladderud)
- Community Outreach
- Equity & Access Committee
- Explorer Advisory Committee
- Career/Technical Education
- Classified Negotiations (with Cindy Meyer)
- Technology Task Force
|Secondary open enrollment period continues this month
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 continue through Feb. 29. The schools will be open 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.
|Wa-Hi cadets win big at Oregon drill and marksmanship meet
Cadets from the Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devil” Cadet Battalion traveled to La Pine, Oregon January 23 to compete in a Cascade Mountain League drill meet. They competed in Marksmanship and Drill meet last weekend and brought home several awards for their efforts.
Cadets from the Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps took several top honors in individual and team categories. The Blue Devil Battalion competed against 11 other schools and more than 350 Cadets in 8 different competition categories.
“Our Cadets worked hard and competed well and earned trophies, medals and ribbons for their efforts,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, who coaches the Walla Walla drill teams and serves as Senior Army Instructor for the Wa-Hi JROTC program. “Among the many categories where our students excelled, for example, Cadet 1st Lt. Adam Grau came home with 1st place for his performance in the individual armed exhibition drill."
Additional honors earned at the event: include Unarmed Drill Team took 3rd place and Cadet Capt. Meagan Dodd took 2nd place for Unarmed Drill Team Commander. The Armed Drill Team took 5th place and Cadet Sgt Maj. Savannah Brown took 4th place for Armed Drill Team Commander. Color Guard 2 took 2nd place. Battalion Executive Officer (XO) Cadet Maj. Zachary Cobb taking 6th in the male category of the fitness test.
“My Color guard performed very well and again came away as one of the top teams in the league” said Color Guard One commander Cadet Maj. Zach Cobb. Unarmed Drill team Commander Cadet Capt. Meagan Dodd said “I am so proud of the way my team did today. We really performed our routine in unison and earned that exhibition top spot.”
The Wa-Hi “Blue Devil” Cadet Battalion competes in drill and ceremony and marksmanship meets in Washington and Oregon around the region. The second to last meet near the end of next month will take place at East Valley in Yakima, Wash. Six of the eight teams have already qualified for the league championship meet in March and hope to earn the last two spots for the last two teams in Yakima.
|Garrison Middle School student earns state scholastic writing award
Congratulations to Garrison Middle School 8th grade student Luci Sullivan for receiving a State of Washington Scholastic Writing Silver Key Award for her science fiction submission “Destiny’s Fate.” Sullivan is in Beth Clearman’s Explorer Highly Capable class. Her work was recognized by a panel of creative professionals as the most outstanding work submitted among her peers. An awards ceremony to honor Sullivan’s accomplishment is being planned at the state level with more details to come soon.
“This is a remarkable achievement,” said Jonathan Lindsay, Scholastic Art and Writing Awards - Washington region. “The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers is pleased to honor your creative talents.”
|Annual Music Booster Citrus Sale
If you are interested in purchasing a case (or half case) of delicious fruit please ask a 6th-12th grade Band, Choir or Orchestra student for more information. This is the only fundraiser the Music Boosters do each year. The funds go to help support district music programs and students.
- Orders are due February 17
- Fruit arrives March 21
- Information: Laura Duncan, Music Department Secretary: (509)526-1916 / firstname.lastname@example.org
CTE Director receives regional honor from agriculture educators
District Career and Technical Education Director Dennis Matson was selected as the Washington Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE) District 6 Administrator of the Year. Matson was nominated based on his support and advocacy for all CTE programs in the Walla Walla School District. He will be recognized and receive his plaque at the WAAE Conference in Pasco at the end of June. There are 18 schools in the WAAE district. Matson was hired in February 2014. He also directs the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center. Matson was principal at Newport High School, Newport, WA for four years prior to coming to Walla Walla. He was also a Marketing and Business Education teacher for 10 years at Deer Park High School and served as the Deer Park CTE director from 2007 to 2010. Matson’s career also includes 15 years of experience in sales, marketing and management.
Pioneer Middle School gears up for SOUPER BOWL-A-THON to fight hunger
Pioneer's National Junior Honor Society will be participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring Bowl-a-Thon event February 20. Souper Bowl-a Thon is a national movement of young people working to fight hunger and poverty in their own communities around the time of the Super Bowl football game. In the weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, young people take up pledges, giving 100% of their donation directly to the local hunger-relief charity of their choice. NJHS will be bowling to donate funds raised to the Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank to tackle hunger in our community. If you would like to contribute, stop by Pioneer's Main Office. All contributions are tax deductible. Please make checks payable to Pioneer Middle School NJH.
Wa-Hi art students display work at downtown location
Walla Walla High School art teacher Julie Laufenburg is proud to announce self-selected Wa-Hi art students will be showing drawings and paintings at Cafe Mosaic through February 20. Cafe Mosaic is located at 23 S. Spokane St. Stop in and take a look at the creative work of these amazing students.
|Meet the Garrison Principal for Coffee sessions planned this month
The Moms’ Network is excited to announce the February coffee meetings at Garrison Middle School with Principal Robert Elizondo. The December meetings will concentrate on SBAC test scores and a safety presentation from the Walla Walla Police Department.
The Wednesday, February 10 event will be in Spanish and the Friday, February 12 event will be in English. Both coffee meetings begin at 8 a.m. at Garrison and will be in room 171. Please check in at the front desk to get a visitors badge and directions. These events will be held monthly during the school year. All parents and guardians are invited to participate including 5th grade parents of students who will be attending Garrison in the fall of 2016. For more information or to suggest a topic please contact Armida Contreras at email@example.com
AAUW annual Book Sale this month
Don’t miss the 41st Annual AAUW (American Association of University Women) Book Sale at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Friday, Feb. 19, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 20, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please note the new earlier start time on Friday. Children (14 and younger) each receive one free book from the extensive children’s section. The Book Sale’s approximately 40,000 books are divided into more than 40 categories. Prices range from $.50 to $4 for most titles. A special book section featuring rare, collectible books are priced individually. Credit and debit cards will be accepted this year, along with checks and cash. Proceeds from the sale fund local scholarships for women returning to college, and local educational projects and events.
|Energy Detectives - Kids Energy Learning Workshop Saturday
The Sustainable Living Center is teaming up with the Walla Walla Public Library to bring energy savings concepts to kids. We invite you to bring your kids to our hands-on and interactive workshop with activities and crafts to help them learn about some of the many aspects of energy and its use in our world. From building a solar array to power a fan, powering and comparing light bulbs, to building a windmill, six stations of learning are sure to spark your child’s interest and imagination. All activities will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Walla Walla Public Library is located at 238 E. Alder St. in Walla Walla
For more information contact Erendira Cruz via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone: (509)524-5228
|Parks & Recreation update
- Mother & Son Superhero Bash - Ages 3 & up - $15
- Father & Daughter Valentine Ball - Ages 3 & up - $15
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us. Like on Facebook! www.facebook.com/wallawallapr