Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 17, 2020

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Replacement Levy ballots coming to voters next week

Ballots for the proposed Replacement Education Levy will mail out to voters Jan. 22. Remember to vote. Visit the district’s website for all the details – https://www.wwps.org/levy

Levy Facts

Q: When is the election?
A: Ballots will be mailed out to voters Jan. 22 and must be postmarked by election day (February 11).

Q: Didn't we just pass a levy last November?
A: No. That was a school construction bond. Remember that bonds are for buildings, and levies are for learning. Bonds can only pay for school facility improvements. Levies must be renewed every 4 years by law, and pay for educational and program opportunities the state's basic education program doesn't provide.

Q: What will this learning levy do to my tax rates?
A: Tax rates will not go up. This is a replacement levy. The $2.50/$1,000 proposed rate replaces the expiring 2016 levy, and maintains the current tax rate we are paying now, through 2024.

Q: What does the levy pay for?
A: Levies pay for programs and learning opportunities the state basic education program doesn't fund. In Walla Walla, this funds about 1 in every 5 employees. For example, the levy pays for every Honors/AP teacher, in addition to music, fine arts, drama, PE, and many other elective teachers the state prototypical model does not fund. It provides for approximately 13 school health clinicians, 16 intervention specialists, 13 classroom/kindergarten assistants, 11 custodians, 6 school safety officers, additional front office staff, 6 technology staff, and 10 facilities/maintenance employees. In addition, it pays for our entire extra-curricular program, supplementary pay for staff, employee professional development, additional classroom supplies, the bulk of our classroom technology, and additional special education programs/staff.

Q: How long has Walla Walla maintained this "learning levy"?
A: This "learning levy" has been in place for over 50 consecutive years in Walla Walla.

Q: Do most districts have levies?
A: Levies are in place in over 290 of the 295 school districts in Washington. While many other districts also maintain technology, maintenance, and transportation levies, the Walla Walla Board of Directors is only proposing to replace the expiring four-year "learning levy" (2017-2020), with a new 4-year levy (2021-2024). Walla Walla Public Schools maintains one of the region's lowest overall education tax rates.

Q: Where can I learn more about this levy?
A: Visit our website at: https://www.wwps.org/levy
A: Watch our brief levy video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGhba3445D4
A: Contact Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith (wsmith@wwps.org / 509.526.6715) or Communications Director Mark Higgins (mhiggins@wwps.org / 509.526.6716)

District, city and county road crews help keep schools open

Thanks to district maintenance staff and city and county road crews for their hard work this week clearing roads, parking lots and sidewalks to help keep schools operational during this winter’s first significant storm. The district had a two-hour delay on Tuesday but was able to operate on time the rest of the week thanks in large part to the efforts of these dedicated professionals.

Walla Walla Public Schools officials are up early driving of local roads, studying weather forecasts, and communicating with surrounding school districts as of the decision-making process to delay or cancel school. If a decision is made to delay or cancel school, the district makes every effort to begin announcements by 6 a.m.

Announcements include:
- Media release (radio, tv, newspaper)
- SchoolMessenger automated messages to staff and parents (telephone, email, text)
- Web posting (www.wwps.org)
- Staff e-mail (Google staff e-mail)
- Enews message (sign up on the district web site)
- District Facebook page (facebook.com/wwschools)
- Twitter message (twitter.com/wwschools)
- Orange signs posted in front of schools

Wa-Hi science building project new video 

Check out the new video featuring drone footage of the Walla Walla High School Science building project. Local contractor Nelson Construction and Walla Walla’s Koncrete Industries poured the slab during winter break. Local contractor Jackson Construction Group is now busy framing walls for the new facility, followed up shortly by Walla Walla’s own Elsom Roofing who will be installing the roof system.

Drone Footage Video

Footage provided by the 21st Century Afterschool program at Walla Walla High School under the direction of Andrew Sayers.

School Board meetings Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 21
Executive Session – 1 to 4 p.m. @ SEATech (Performance of a public employee - not open the public)
Regular Business meeting – 5:30 p.m. (Open to the public – Anne Golden Boardroom – 364 S. Park St.)
Executive Session – at the conclusion of the Regular Business meeting (Performance of a public employee - not open the public)

No School Jan. 20 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday

NO SCHOOL: Monday, Jan. 20

School Stories
Youth Global Climate Change Summit 

Event Date and Time: Jan. 30, 6 to 7 p.m.
You are invited to join the 21st CCLC afterschool students from Blue Ridge, Sharpstein, Green Park, and Edison Elementary showcase their possible solutions to our global climate challenges.

This is a youth-driven and student-led event and will take place at the Reid Center Ballroom on the Whitman College Campus (280 Boyer Ave., Walla Walla, WA 99362). Food and refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact Brent Cummings (bcummings@wwps.org, 509-526-1929).

Volunteers needed to serve on Walla Walla High School Senior Culminating Project Panel

Reserve your spot now to serve on the Walla Walla High School Senior Culminating project panel to hear the stories and accomplishments from the Class of 2020. This hands-on project provides seniors a formal opportunity to demonstrate in a variety of ways their learning competencies. Students will showcase their abilities to think analytically, logically and creatively. They will also feature the importance of work and how performance, effort and decisions directly affect future career and educational opportunities.

This is a graduation requirement. Volunteers will serve on a review panel to score the presentations.

Presentation Schedule:
• March 12
• March 19
• April 21
• April 22

Presentation Times: 3:15 to 7 p.m.
Location: Wa-Hi Library (dinner provided)

Email waculmprojects@wwps.org if you are interested is serving on the Senior Project Panel or if you need additional information.

We Are Wa-Hi – Planning Your Future

• Tuesday, Feb. 25
• 5 to 7 p.m.
• Wa-Hi gym
• Registration event for students and families of current 8th-11th grade students

Join us to register for classes for next year and to learn about the many opportunities and pathways available to students. This event features an academics/course fair, information sessions and clubs and sports fair. Childcare is provided.

Community Stories
Nature Kids: Weathering a Winter Wonderland

Saturday, January 25, 10 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Walla Walla Public Library
Discover the wonders of winter through hands-on experiments that showcase how animals survive frigid temperatures, snowy landscapes, and seasonal shifts. Selected experiments demonstrate how marine animals survive frigid waters and icy landscapes and how land-based animals survive harsh winters through hibernation. Children will also have the opportunity to observe the marvels of snow up close to learn about the unique, yet delicate, structures of snowflakes.

Nature Kids events are free and open to the public. These events are casual, drop-in and enjoy events. We’re able to make accommodations for children with accessibility needs. Contact Alex James with any questions at alex@bmlt.org or 509-525-3136.

Walla Walla Symphony annual free family concert and foodraiser

The Walla Walla Symphony is excited to present “The Orchestra Moves,” our annual Free Family Concert & “Foodraiser” on Sunday, January 26 at 3 p.m. in Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College Campus. Families are invited to try out orchestra instruments before the concert with a free instrument petting zoo at 2 p.m. in the lobby of Cordiner Hall. While you’re there, take a picture with our photo cutouts featuring a conductor and a cellist!

Admission for this concert is free with a non-perishable food-item donation to benefit the Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank. This concert is a great opportunity for even the youngest listeners to experience a Symphony concert! Bring your friends, family and neighbors for a fun, free musical afternoon! Concert run time is approximately 45 minutes and this concert is suitable for ALL ages!

“The Orchestra Moves” explores musical movement by looking at the way composers use melodic direction, motif, and dynamics. The performance will be conducted by Dr. Paul Luongo and hosted by Kevin Loomer. In addition to the full rank of Symphony musicians, performers will also include a youth choir comprised of students from the Walla Walla Public Schools (WWPS) led by Lori Parnicky, Stefanie Flerchinger and Brylie Gobel; and Stefanie Flerchinger, Jeremy Irland, and Rachel Condie as song leaders. Projected images and opportunities for audience participation will also be included.

The Walla Walla Symphony began performing free concerts for families and young people in our community in 1953. Our partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) “Link Up” program represents a commitment to support music education in our community. This performance will be repeated twice on Monday morning, January 27, for over 2,700 area 3rd, 4th and 5th graders who have been working with their music teachers on the Link Up curriculum since September.

These concerts are presented in part by Key Technology, Whitman College, Tallman’s, U.S. Bank Foundation, and Walla Walla Public Schools Music Program.

Carnegie Picture Lab presents Storybook Art at the Library

Carnegie Picture Lab announces Storybook Art, a new children’s program series at the Walla Walla Public Library. The sessions will be offered once a month from 2:30 – 4:00pm on Wednesdays to provide an after-school enrichment program for elementary age students following early dismissal from public schools. Each lesson will include storytelling, Artful Thinking and art making projects inspired by and connected to the featured children’s literature book:

o January 22: The Hello Goodbye Window – Tissue Paper Collage
o February 19: Harold and the Purple Crayon – Drawing with Wire
o March 18: The Dot – Creating Dot Monoprints
o April 15: The Big Orange Splot - Creating Your Dream House
o May 13: Rainbow Weaver - Weaving Project

In her book, Through the Eyes of a Child, Donna Norton stresses “the role that literature plays in nurturing and expanding the imagination” (2010, p. 4). Children’s literature promotes the development of children’s internal imaginations; art making provides the opportunity for concrete expression of their creative imagination.

The mission of Carnegie Picture Lab is to nourish creativity by supporting and enhancing art education for elementary school children in the Walla Walla Valley. Currently delivering art education/art making lessons in 13 area elementary schools, Carnegie Picture Lab also has a five-year history of partnering with the library to present creative and innovative events for youth in our community.

AAUW announces dates for annual Book Sale

You and your family are invited to attend the 56th Annual AAUW (American Association of University Women) Book Sale at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Friday, Feb 21, 9 am – 7 pm; Saturday, Feb 22, 9 am – 7 pm; and Sunday, Feb 23, 9 am – 4 pm. Children (14 and younger) each receive one free book from the extensive children’s section (Picture and Chapter books).  There is also a Young Adult category, featuring books for 12 to 18-year-olds, with more adult themes than children’s Chapter books. The Book Sale’s approximately 40,000 books are divided into more than 40 categories.  Prices range from $.50 to $4.00 for most titles.  The Collectible Books section featuring rare, collectible books are priced individually. Credit and debit cards will be accepted, along with checks and cash.  Proceeds from the sale fund local scholarships for women returning to college, and local educational projects and events. 

City Parks & Rec Weekly Update

• The Pottery Painting Studio opens Thursdays at 5 pm.
• Blue Mountain Girls Softball – Ages 5–12 (age as of 12/31/18) - $40 - $55
• NEW Blue Mountain Pre Tee ball League – Open to boys and girls ages 3 &4 (age as of 3/30/20) - $40
• Spring Softball Skills Clinic – Ages 7-14 – March 28 – $35 - Pitching and catching clinic - $15
• Veterans Memorial Pool Passes – Youth/Senior/Veteran $55 Adult $65 Family $140. Prices will increase on February 1.
• Youth Fencing – Beginning Classes for ages 9-18. Cost is $60. Saturdays 8:50 – 9:50 and 10am – 11am. Equipment provided.
• Adult Fencing – Classes for ages 18 and up. Cost is $75. Saturdays 11:10 – 12:10. Equipment provided.
• Youth Art Class (taught in Spanish) for ages 5-13. Cost is $20. Mondays 5pm – 7:30pm.
• Mother/Son Superhero Bash – Ages 3 and up. Cost is $15. Saturday, February 8 at 6pm.
• Father/Daughter Ball – Ages 3 and up. Cost is $15. Saturday, February 29 at 7pm.
• Scholarships available for youth programs. To apply stop by the Parks and Recreation office at 55 E Moore St.

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to:
• Web: www.wwpr.us
• Like us on facebook: www.facebook.com/wallawallapr
• Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wallawallapr/

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