Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Dec. 22, 2017

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Community Facilities Task Force recommends two options for 2018 bond consideration

Renovation plans prioritize classroom, infrastructure and safety needs
More online: http://www.wwps.org/2018bondplanning

Tuesday night, Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors accepted for further community input two bond package options prepared by the Community Facilities Task Force. These options will be discussed with the community over the next three months before the school board makes a final decision in May on which bond package option is placed on the November 2018 ballot.

Option 1 - $65.6M Bond Package (Replacement Bond - no bond tax rate increase)
• Renovations of Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School and Lincoln High School
• Select school infrastructure projects such as roofing, HVAC and school safety improvements
• $65.6M Local cost (eligible for $52.6M State Match which will all be applied to the school renovation projects)
• Tax Rate: approximately $1.23/$1,000 tax rate (Replacement Bond - maintains current bond tax rate)

Option 2 - $73.9M Bond Package (15 cent bond tax rate increase)
• Same renovations of Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School and Lincoln High School as presented in Option 1
• Approximately $8.3M of additional school infrastructure projects
• $73.9M Local cost (eligible for $52.6M State Match which will all be applied to the school renovation projects)
• Tax Rate: approximately $1.38/$1,000 tax rate (15 cent increase above current bond tax rate)

Option Details
The two options include renovations of Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School and Lincoln High School. Both packages also address select school infrastructure needs across the district such as roofing, HVAC and school safety improvements. The primary difference between Option 1 and Option 2 recommended by the Task Force is Option 2 includes additional school infrastructure upgrades identified by engineer reports and stakeholder input, including parents, staff, students and community members.

Option 1 ($65.6M Bond Package) represents a no bond tax rate increase, replacing the current tax rate of approximately $1.23 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Option 2 ($73.9M Bond Package) adds approximately 15 cents to the existing bond tax rate and includes an additional $8.3M in school-based infra-structure upgrades across six of the district’s campuses. Both options apply all of the $52.6M eligible state match dollars to the school renovation projects identified to fully fund the improvements at Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School and Lincoln High School.

About the Community Facilities Task Force
The 18-member Community Facilities Task Force was established in the fall of 2016 with a charge to prioritize educational, safety and facility preservation needs through the development of a Long-Range Facilities Master Plan. Local businessman Paul Schneidmiller serves as the Task Force chair. The Task Force met 14 times over the past 16 months, commissioned 13 studies, engaged in various interactions with staff, students, parents and community professionals and conducted multiple school visits. This work led to the formation of two options for discussion with the community for further input.

“We are committed to developing a practical plan for community consideration which focuses on renovation rather than replacing schools. In addition, we prioritized educational needs first,” said Schneidmiller. “The Task Force has keyed in on the November 2018 election because it coincides with the last remaining payment of all existing bond debt.”

Next Steps: The School Board and Community Facilities Task Force will return to the community over the next three months to seek input on the two options. A survey will be posted on the district webpage in January. Several community presentations, school tours and public meetings are also planned. The Task Force will recommend one of the two options to the School Board in April. The school board will make a final decision in May as to which bond option will be placed on the November 2018 ballot.

Information: Communications Director Mark Higgins: mhiggins@wwps.org / 509.526.6716.

Community Facilities Task Force Members:
Paul Schneidmiller, (Chair) - Business
Tony Cabasco – Higher Education
Jim Dumont – City WW
Roger Esparza – Realtor
Darcey Fugman-Small – Business Owner
Chris Garratt – Health Services
Don Holbrook – Corrections
Dean Lodmell – Local Engineer
Linda Newcomb – Local Architect
Dick Moeller – Local Contractor
Jim Peterson – Higher Education
Phil Shivell – Local Contractor
Craig Sievertsen – Finance
Casey Waddell – Finance
Jerry Zahl – Agriculture
Peter Swant – Port Commissioner
Randy Glaeser – County WW
Kara Schulke – Parent
John Keifel - Classified Representative
Keith Swanson - Certificated Representative

Winter Break Holiday schedule

- No School Dec. 25 to Jan. 5
- Classes resume Monday, January 8

District Office Winter Break schedule

- District office hours during winter break: 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 4 p.m. (closed during lunch hour)
- Office closed Dec. 25 and 26 and Jan. 1 and 2
- Regular hours resume Monday, Jan. 8

School Board members sworn into office

New School Board member Jaenemy Perez de Luengas and incumbent Sam Wells were sworn into office Dec. 19 by Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann.
Jaenemy Perez de Luengas has lived in Walla Walla her entire life. She attended Blue Ridge Elementary School, Garrison Middle School and Walla Walla High School. She graduated from Walla Walla Valley Academy in 2007. She is married to Alex Luengas. They have three young boys, including one who attends Sharpstein Elemetary School. Jaenemy is the Birth-to-Five Program Coordinator for Educational Service District 123. She is also employed by Walla Walla Community College in the Early Learning Department as an Early Achievers Coach and Parent Educator. She is a Walla Walla Public Library board member and is on the steering committee for the Walla Walla Latino Alliance.
Sam Wells was elected to the WWPS Board of Directors in November 2013. He moved to the Walla Walla valley in January 2000 and has been a financial advisor with Edward Jones since 2004. Between he and his wife, Joyce Wells, they have three children who have attended various Walla Walla School District schools and programs. He has been active with the Blue Mountain Humane Society, Junior Achievement and Walla Walla Noon Rotary.

School Board elects new officers

Tuesday night, Derek Sarley was elected to serve as President of the Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors. Sam Wells was elected Vice President. 

Personnel Report (from December 19, 2017 School Board Meeting)

Administrative: Patricia Johnston, Interim Business Manager, District Office

Certificated: J. Nicole Bunker, Special Education, District Special Education

Classified: Cheryl Bloom, Para-Educator (temporary), Green Park Elementary School
Tera Hooker, Para-Educator (temporary), Blue Ridge Head Start/ECEAP Preschool
Brandy Lafferty, Kitchen Assistant, Walla Walla High School
Chantal Ramirez, Para-Educator, Prospect Point Elementary School

Administrative: Ted Cohan, Executive Director of Business Services, District Office, 5 years
Classified: Dawn Drennen, Para-Educator, Garrison Middle School, 4.5 years

Highly Capable Referral Period scheduled for February 1 through March 2, 2018 

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. Information on Highly Capable Program services and the 2018 referral process is currently available on the district’s website. Referral forms will be available in all district schools and on the district website no later than February 1, 2018.

The annual selection process for in-district students takes place in late winter/early spring, with referral packets due back to schools by March 2, 2018 for grades K-8. Following the testing and selection process, all parents will be notified in writing of the results of the process. A child not selected one year may be referred again in subsequent years.

Parent permission forms for kindergarten cognitive abilities screening will be available at district schools in December and screening will take place in late January/early February. Parents will be notified of screening results and full referral forms will be distributed at conferences. Referred students will take the remainder of the cognitive abilities test and be reviewed for selection by the end of March so they may begin services at their home schools after Spring Break.

Universal Screening for students in Grades 2 and 5
Students in second and fifth grade will take the cognitive abilities screener following winter break and results of the screening process, along with other data points, will be used to determine which students will be recommended at conference time to participate in the remainder of the cognitive abilities test.

Referrals for All Other Students
Parents of students at other elementary and middle school grade levels should be in contact with their child’s teacher(s) to determine if Highly Capable testing is recommended. Students in grades one through eight selected for Highly Capable programming will begin services at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. For more information, please contact the Walla Walla School District Teaching and Learning office: 526-6735.

School Stories
Wa-Hi JROTC Cadets excel in Yakima drill, marksmanship meet at West Valley HS – By WWHS JROTC Public Affairs

Cadets from the Walla Walla High School drill and marksmanship teams brought home several awards in an all-services meet last weekend held in Yakima, Washington. The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps event was held Dec. 9 and included events in unarmed and armed drill and ceremony performance and air rifle marksmanship, according to a Blue Devil Battalion official.

Cadet Sergeant KaiRhea Gordon placed first in the Unarmed category, which are performances without rifles. Blue Devil Battalion precision and sporter air rifle teams captured several honors at Lebanon. The Wa-Hi precision team won second place overall. That team includes cadet First Lieutenant Brock Betzler, cadet Second Lieutenant Madeline Steinle, Cadet Captain Christopher Davin, and Cadet First Lieutenant Katherine Thompson. Individual precision honors included Betzler in third.
The Wa-Hi Sporter team also did well, according to Sgt. 1st Class Mark Mebes, rifle team coach. In the Open Class Cadet Captain Kyle Martin placed first, Cadet Sergeant Nic Carpenter placed second and Cadet Private First Class Austin Clifton placed third. In the Sharpshooter Class Cadet Master Sergeant Braden Salcedo placed first. In the Master Class Cadet Captain Gavin Acevedo placed second.
The Sporter Rifle Team captured third place overall, and includes Acevedo, Gonzalez, Cadet SFC Braden Salcedo, and Cadet Captain Kyle Martin.
Big Cheese pizza fundraiser supports Lincoln High School Drama Department
If you don’t feel like cooking dinner right after the holidays, then support the Lincoln High School Drama Department at Big Cheese Customer Appreciation Day Wednesday, December 27. Get a medium 12” cheese or pepperoni pizza for $4.99 plus tax. All proceeds support The Addams Family Musical scheduled for March 2018.

Big Cheese pizza fundraiser supports Lincoln High School Drama Department

If you don’t feel like cooking dinner right after the holidays, then support the Lincoln High School Drama Department at Big Cheese Customer Appreciation Day Wednesday, December 27. Get a medium 12” cheese or pepperoni pizza for $4.99 plus tax. All proceeds support The Addams Family Musical scheduled for March 2018.

Community Stories
Public invited to participate in Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative Survey 

The Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative Survey in now open through December 31. Community members, especially parents of students in grades 6-12, are encouraged to take this brief survey. Data will help identify adult concerns for youth around the areas of anxiety, depression, substance use and suicide.

Results from the survey are used to help secure grants and other necessary funding to support programs such as Sources of Strength Suicide Prevention, Parenting Wisely and Blue Devil Strong at Walla Walla High School.

• Contact Peggy Needham, Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative Coordinator at Walla Walla County Department of Community Health: pneedham@co.walla-walla.wa.us / 509.524.2684

Survey Links:


Spots still available for EF Tours trip to Peru Spring Break 2019

Kathryn Southwick-Hess is organizing a trip to Peru during Spring Break 2019. The trip is open to all current students in grades 6-11. She says participants will explore ancient civilizations, meet the local people and be immersed in the land and culture of Peru. She also says it is the perfect place to learn or practice Spanish speaking/reading skills. This trip is not sponsored by Walla Walla Public Schools.

For information, contact: Kathryn Southwick-Hess:
- mrstravelmama@gmail.com
- www.eftours.com/2027851vd

WWCC Winter Break Basketball Camp

• December 27 at WWCC Dietrich Dome
• Want to stay active during the holiday break? Here is your chance!
• WWCC is hosting a Basketball Camp for Elementary students on Dec. 27.
• Boys and Girls Grades 1-3: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. / Boys and Girls Grades 4-6: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
• Cost is $20. Make checks to WWCC Athletics.
• Instruction by Bobbi Hazeltine, Head Women’s Coach and her assistants and current players.
• More Information: 509-301-7948. Or go online to find a flyer: http://warriors.wwcc.edu/

Carnegie Picture Lab volunteer opportunities

Looking for a rewarding and fun way to volunteer in your child’s classroom? Become a Carnegie Picture Lab volunteer. Learn about art history, meet new people and bring smiles to the faces of elementary students.

Volunteer training workshops:
• Wednesday, January 10 - 5:30-7 p.m.
• Thursday, January 11 - 10-11:30 a,m.
• Location: Picture Lab studio at 515 E. Main Street, downtown Walla Walla
• Information: info@carnegiepicturelab.com, or visit: www.carnegiepicturelab.com

City Parks and Recreation Update

Winter Wrestling Workshop – December 26-28 – Ages 5-13 - $40
Whitman Winter Tennis Camp – January 2-5 – Ages 4-18 - $40/$60
Mother/Son Superhero Bash – February 10 – All Ages - $15
Father/Daughter Valentines Ball – February 24 - All Ages - $15
Indoor Soccer - K – 8th grade - $60
Adult First Aid/CPR – Ages 12 & Up - $70 includes materials

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