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Walla Walla County Commissioner to speak at Health Center ribbon cutting - 09/25/17

WALLA WALLA - 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. Walla Walla County Commissioner Jim Duncan will speak at the event.

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."

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THCaL-Logo-color_walla_walla_high_school_.jpg
THCaL-Logo-color_walla_walla_high_school_.jpg
The Health Center announces Ribbon Cutting ceremony to celebrate Walla Walla High School expansion (Photo) - 09/21/17

Ribbon Cutting Event:
- Tuesday, Sept. 26
- 10 a.m.
- Walla Walla High School
- WW County Commissioner Jim Duncan to speak

WALLA WALLA - 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 is 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."

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Wade_Smith.jpg
Wade_Smith.jpg
Walla Walla Public Schools laying groundwork for November 2018 bond proposal (Photo) - 09/20/17

WALLA WALLA - 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 rest at the top of 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 and 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 is 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 options which include minimal increases to current bond rates. 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, 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:
http://www.wwps.org/fp/facilities-planning

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: September 19, 2017 - 09/15/17

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: September 19, 2017

Supporting documents are available via the following link: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Regular Study Meeting: September 5, 2017 - 09/01/17

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Regular Study Meeting: September 5, 2017

Supporting documents are available via the following link: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835

Senior Citizens with Gold Cards attend Wa-Hi sports and activities free - 08/31/17

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla School District residents and Walla Walla School District retirees, 65 years of age and older, are invited to attend most school events at no charge. Get a complimentary Gold Card and see outstanding concerts, plays, musical productions, art shows, athletic events (except playoff games governed by YVIAA or WIAA regulations) and more as a district guest.

"It's a small way to acknowledge the ongoing support and many contributions our senior citizens make to the community," said Dirk Hansen, district Athletic and Activities director. "We encourage senior citizens to take advantage of the benefits of a Gold Card, and personally witness comprehensive education -- including student entertainment, athletics and art -- at its finest."

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