Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - September 22, 2017

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Walla Walla Public Schools laying groundwork for November 2018 bond proposal 

Superintendent Wade Smith reported the district is looking at November 2018 as a potential date for a bond measure during his September 19 update to the school board on the progress of the Community Facilities Task Force. Renovation of Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School and Lincoln High School top the needs list. The Community Facilities Task Force has determined renovation of these three facilities rather than tearing them down and building new is the best solution for Walla Walla. Other critical facilities needs identified at the other district schools include roofing, HVAC, life safety improvements and communications systems. These are also are being carefully studied for possible inclusion in a bond proposal.

“This has been a long journey thus far, beginning last September with the development of our 18-member Community Facilities Task Force,” said Smith. “Last year we focused on technical analysis, information gathering and research; this year we will shift our attention to stakeholder engagement to ensure we develop the best proposal possible to meet the needs of the district and community.”

Superintendent Smith reported the district’s existing bond debt will be paid off in December 2018. Options being considered for a potential bond proposal by the Community Facilities Task Force include no increases to local bond rates by replacing the existing bond rate with new projects to include one with a minimal increase. The district is also in a position to receive nearly a dollar-for-dollar state match on the three priority projects identified to further ease the impact on local costs. All state match funding will be applied to the projects identified in the bond proposal.

“The stars have truly aligned for us as, for the first time in recent history, we will have completely paid off all outstanding debt,” said Smith. “With our bond debt completely paid off, we have the capability to raise more than $65 million dollars locally by replacing our current bond rate and keeping bond property tax rates flat.”

The Community Facilities Task Force will release a survey next week to help determine if it is going in the right direction regarding its needs priority list. In December, the Community Facilities Task Force will propose options to the school board for further review and community engagement.

“We need everyone to carefully scrutinize the proposed solutions and be sure to complete the survey,” Smith said. “It will take all of our thinking, ideas, and teamwork in order to identify the best solution; a solution that balances the needs to support quality and lasting instructional learning environments, with the desires of our community.”

School board members are expected to make a final decision on a bond proposal option in May for the November 2018 General Election ballot. For more information and to view the proposed rough draft concepts, click here:

First enrollment count on budget target

Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan reported the first official enrollment count for the 2017-2018 school year is on target to meet the district’s General Fund budget target of 5630 FTE. September enrollment figures do not include Alternative Education Program (AEP) or Running Start programs at Walla Walla Community College. Enrollment counts from these WWCC programs are tallied in the October enrollment report. Cohan said he will closely monitor enrollment figures each month.

Personnel Report from September 19, 2017 board meeting

Griselda Aceves, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Preschool
Elisabeth Ammerman, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School
Nadia Chavez, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Preschool
Dakotah Fryatt, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School
Christian Fuentes, Para-Educator, Prospect Point Elementary School
Sara Huxoll, Health Room Assistant, Garrison Middle School
Esperanza Martinez, Health Room Assistant, Blue Ridge Elementary School
Emma Massie, Para-Educator, Prospect Point Elementary School
Michelle Paine, Para-Educator (temporary), Prospect Point Elementary School
Mindy Postlewait, Assistant Secretary, Walla Walla High School
Estrella Ramirez, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary School
Armando Rubio, Bus Assistant, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op
Kara Schulke, Library Technician, Garrison Middle School


Jesse Torres, Bilingual First Grade, Sharpstein Elementary School, 1 year
- Jesse also worked 13 years as a para-educator

Brittany Ayers, Para-Educator, Pioneer Middle School, 3 years
Yesenia Trujillo, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary School, 3 years

School Zone Safety reminder from Safe Travels Alliance

Walla Walla High School Class of 2015 graduate Brelynn Hess (Parents Mark and Kathryn Hess) and her niece Evelyn Hess (Parents Peter and Amy Hess), a first grader at Sharpstein Elementary, helped promote school zone safety this fall by producing a radio spot, YouTube video and message to parents.

School Zone Safety Reminders
• Slow down and obey speed limit
• Don’t use cell phones/text while driving
• Watch out for pedestrians in crosswalks

Safe Travels Alliance Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D4y-DCFhVQ

School Stories
The Health Center announces Ribbon Cutting ceremony to celebrate Walla Walla High School expansion

The Health Center Board of Directors is planning a Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the new Walla Walla High School clinic Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. Tours of the facility will follow the brief ceremony. The new Walla Walla High School student-based health center opened the first day of school with a focus on mental health services. Significant funding for the expansion was made available through Walla Walla County. Funds were allocated from the county’s one-tenth of one percent of sales tax revenue which specifically called for the expansion of mental health services in the area. The $400,000 county allocation ensures services are in place at Walla Walla High School for at least the next five years.

The Health Center clinics provide no cost primary care, care coordination and behavioral health services focusing on mental health support. The Health Center clinics started operations in Walla Walla Public Schools in 2009 at Lincoln High School. Expansion continued at Blue Ridge Elementary in 2012. Pioneer Middle School was the organization’s most recent expansion in 2016.

Walla Walla Public Schools continues to emphasize the importance of social and emotional well-being, a key component of its new strategic plan. Superintendent Wade Smith has advocated for this expansion since assuming his duties in July 2016.

“The Health Center services directly support the district’s new Strategic Plan as we further address the social and emotional needs of our students,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “Issues like chronic absenteeism, mental health and lack of access to quality health care are embedded in the mission these school-based health centers.”

The Executive Director and The Health Center Board extends its heartfelt gratitude to Walla Walla County Commissioners Jim Johnson, Jim Duncan and Todd Kimball for recognizing the organization’s work and making it possible to reach even more students with these funds.

“We appreciate the support of the Walla Walla County Commissioners and are excited to provide quality services in support of these well documented mental health needs,” The Health Center Executive Director Stan Ledington said. “We know quality health care supports academic achievement and student success.”

Lincoln High School students give back to community

Once a quarter, Lincoln High School students volunteer in our community. “Giving back to your community” is one way to build resilience, according to Principal Marci Knauft.

Today, Lincoln students volunteered at the following locations:
Christian Aid Center
Lincoln Health Center
Fort Walla Walla Park
Blue Mountain Humane Society
Serving lunch to veterans with city firefighters at the fairgrounds
Refurbishing science kits for elementary schools
Neighborhood clean-up around Lincoln
Making dog treats for the Blue Mountain Humane Society

SEATech Health Sciences students provide medical support at Gran Fondo race 

SEATech Health Sciences instructor Sandy Thomas and students in her pre-nursing program are volunteering at Providence St. Mary’s Gran Fondo race event tomorrow. These students will be taking blood pressure readings and supporting the First-Aid station at the event from 9 a.m. to noon.

Stu Cabe featured speaker at Wa-Hi Big Blue Weekend 

Walla Walla High School is bringing back a school favorite as Big Blue Weekend is scheduled for Oct. 28-29. Juniors and seniors have the first opportunity for spots. After today, the event is open to all grade levels. Donations are being accepted for scholarships to pay for students in need. Send money to Wa-Hi ASB.

Quick facts about the BBW event
- October 28-29, 2017
- Capacity: 250 students (all grade levels can attend)
- Location: Camp MiVoden, Hayden Lake, ID
- Cost: $110/person. Includes transportation, housing, 3 meals, programming, speaker, sweatshirt. You also need an ASB Card which is $10
- Speaker: Stu Cabe
- Activities: Camp fire on the beach, canoeing, 3 small group sessions, trust building activities, beach volleyball, cornhole, swimming, indoor and outdoor games, music, and free time.

Community Stories
Friends Free Family Fun Festival September 30

Join Friends as it helps kick off Resiliency Month (October).
- Saturday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Gesa Power House Theatre
- Fire Department Trucks and Ambulance
- Bicycle clinic and helmet give away
- Whitman basketball clinic
- Izzy the Camel
- Treats, community information and activities
- Entertainment: Switchgrass Band, Ballet Folklorico, Rock Camp Bands

Ballet Week comes to Walla Walla

Danza Classica Ballet Foundation (DCBF) is inviting students to experience “Ballet Week” at The Dance Center of Walla Walla, October 2-4. DCBF is a nonprofit organization created to promote the art of ballet, particularly youth ballet, through the valley. All students with an interest in ballet are invited to join an age appropriate class at the Dance Center. Class times, days, and age levels are as follows:

Monday 4-5pm – Pre-ballet, ages 4-6
Monday 5-6pm – Ballet 2, ages 8-10
Tuesday 4-5pm – Ballet 3, ages 10-12
Wednesday 4-5pm – Ballet 1, ages 6-8
Wednesday 5-6pm – Ballet 2, ages 8-10

On Saturday, October 7, it’s Dancing with Dad from 1-3pm where you and dad can enjoy ballet together.

Classes take place at The Dance Center, 129 E. Alder, Suite B, Walla Walla.
Questions: Christine Janis, 525-8586

Free Sheep to Shawl event September 30 at Kirkman House

- Saturday, September 30
- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Don’t miss this annual event which is held at the Kirkman House Museum, 214 N Colville Street, Walla Walla.
- Admission for the entire family is free and includes self-guided tours of the museum.
- You’ll enjoy meeting the sheep dogs and watching sheep being sheared.
- Demonstrations include wool carding, felting, spinning and weaving.
- Enjoy hands-on activities including: Wheat Weaving
- “Accidental Color” ice dyeing (from 10:00 to 1:00)

Car seat checkup September 23

This is National Child Passenger Safety Week. The Traffic Safety Task Force will be hosting a car seat checkup event on Saturday, Sept. 23 at WW Fire District 4 Station on south Howard.  Information: Nancy McClenny-Walters. Coordinator, WW County Traffic Safety Task Force, (509) 524-4425 office.

2017 Ability Walk and Roll September 30

The Walla Walla Valley Disability Network presents the 2017 Ability Walk and Roll Saturday, Sept. 30 at Eastgate Lyons Park from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Join individuals with special needs and/or disabilities and those who love them during this walk and roll along Mill Creek to Tausick Way and back (approximately 1 mile). Lunch, medal and activities are included as part of the registration fee of $10 per person. Children under the age of three are free. For more information and registration forms, visit: www.wwvdn.org.
City Parks and Recreation Update

Pumpkin Carving Contest - October 27 - Ages 3-12 years - Free

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to http://www.wwpr.us
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