Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 10, 2017

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Bilingual Committee Identifies Specific Changes for Elementary Bilingual Programming

By Christy Krutulis, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning and Committee Chair

After many months of extensive work the Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee has developed four concepts with school names as a significant step toward a board recommendation on March 7. Whether or not you have a child in programming we would like your input because these concepts mean some current neighborhood attendance boundaries will be impacted.

Proposed Models
The following two concepts are being proposed as draft models for further consideration, feedback, and refinement:
· Model 1 (1-school “two-way” model): Maintain current “one-way” dual program at Blue Ridge Elementary School and establish a comprehensive “two-way” dual school at either Sharpsetin or Edison Elementary School.
o Summary: Develop a comprehensive, wall-to-wall, “two-way” dual program by consolidating dual strands over time currently offered at Sharpstein, Edison, and Green Park Elementary Schools to either Sharpstein or Edison Elementary School. In this model, Blue Ridge maintains their current “one-way” programming.
· Model 2 (2-school “two-way” model): Convert Blue Ridge and another elementary school (Sharpstein or Edison) into comprehensive “two-way” dual schools.
o Summary: Develop two comprehensive, wall-to-wall, “two-way” dual program schools by consolidating programming currently offered at Blue Ridge, Sharpstein, Edison, and Green Park Elementary Schools to two campuses (Blue Ridge and either Sharpstein or Edison Elementary School).

Parent/Community Meetings Scheduled Next Week
Please join us at your school, or one of the other locations listed below:
· Sharpstein Elementary: Monday, February 13 - 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Sharpstein gym.
· Green Park Elementary: Monday, February 13 - 7 to 8 p.m. in the Green Park library.
· Blue Ridge Elementary: Thursday, February 16 - 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Blue Ridge library.
· Edison Elementary: Thursday, February 16 - 7 to 8 p.m. in the Edison gym.
* Presentations will be provided in English with Spanish interpretation and Child Care will be provided.
* Current and future WWPS parents and community members are welcome to join the meetings
* Please take the survey posted the WWPS website from February 15-20.

Additional information:
Please read the one-page letter which came home with students on Wednesday, February 8, or visit wwps.org/programs/bilingual and click on the Committee Recommendation link.
The primary reasons for reviewing the program and why changes are needed:
1. Increase academic performance for non-English speaking students (presently being out performed by Hispanics across the state)
2. Improve problematic “traditional” classrooms in dual language schools.
3. Increasing number of Hispanic students entering kindergarten with limited Spanish skills.
4. Some students in English-side of dual struggling academically.
5. Lack of program alignment.


Draft Strategic Plan initiatives identified

District moves forward with last phase of Strategic Planning efforts
Significant stakeholder input has helped identify key initiatives the district will focus its attention on over the next five years, Superintendent Wade Smith shared with the Board of Directors at their recent work session. Four core themes have been identified as critical from staff, parents, and community including high quality instruction, aligned and coherent systems, social and emotional needs, and a safe and engaging environment. The district is developing 12 core initiatives in support of these critical themes to ensure WWPS achieves its newly-minted vision of Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.

“This marks another important milestone in the district’s Strategic Planning process,” Smith said. “We are in a position to finalize our new Strategic Plan in May and begin using this stakeholder developed plan to build on the proud tradition of excellence Walla Walla Public Schools has demonstrated throughout its history.”

Goals and Initiatives:
· Goal #1: High Quality Instruction: Supporting a district-wide culture where all instructional staff reflect on their practice, collaborate with their peers, and incorporate best-practice teaching strategies to ensure high levels of learning for all students
- Develop mechanisms to support shared organizational leadership characteristics
- Identify and support best-practice instructional strategies
- Foster a climate of collaboration and practitioner reflection

· Goal #2: Aligned & Coherent Systems: Ensuring articulated programs and systems to support a comprehensive, consistent, and responsive learning environment for all students
- Ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum through comprehensive curriculum adoption and Pre-K-12 pathway development
- Ensure technology systems alignment and support
- Continue to develop and enhance bilingual, highly capable, and special education programs to meet the needs of students
- Improve post-secondary culture and partnerships with local businesses

· Goal #3: Social & Emotional Needs: Implementing high-quality behavioral models and interventions to support the social and emotional needs of all students
- Develop and implement school-wide behavioral support models
- Implement district-wide behavioral coaching and support systems
- Enhance access to school-based health centers for medical and mental support for students

· Goal #4: Safe & Engaging Environment: Ensuring all students are engaged and connected to their school, peers, and community in a safe and secure educational setting
- Implement a best-practice safety response program to ensure student and staff safety
- Identify and develop programs to improve student engagement and involvement with their school and their peers
- Provide coordinated supports for Latino students and their families

The district is currently developing comprehensive initiative planning teams who will be tasked to research and develop cost estimates to support the initiative plans. These reports will be presented to the Board of Directors for review and consideration in March. For more information visit our Strategic Plan website at: http://www.wwps.org/a-z/s-t/strategic-plan


School board considers new middle school math curriculum

School board members received a recommendation to adopt Ready Math as the district’s new middle school math curriculum. Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Christy Krutulis reported the district piloted the curriculum this school year and received positive support from teachers, parents and the Instructional Materials Committee. The curriculum aligns with the state’s new learning standards and is more rigorous. It also has an online component which is new. If approved, the curriculum will be implemented for the 2017-2018 school year. No decisions were made Tuesday night.


Superintendent’s Patron Tour rescheduled (due to inclement weather)

Please join Superintendent Wade Smith for a behind the scenes look at district schools as part of his Superintendent’s Patron Tour program. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the new superintendent and learn more about our local schools.
• Thursday, March 16 (rescheduled from Feb. 1, which was canceled due to winter weather conditions)
• 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
• RSVP by March 10 - sgolden@wwps.org / 526-6715
• Event begins at WWPS Anne Golden Boardroom
• Tour Sites: Blue Ridge Elementary, Lincoln High School and Garrison Middle School


Graduates of Distinction nominations now accepted

Nominations are now being accepted for the prestigious Graduates of Distinction Program. Packets are due March 15. Recipients will be honored prior to the June 6 school board meeting.
- Consider nominating someone, the process is not difficult
- Honor our distinguished graduates who have made a positive difference in our world
- Nomination forms online - http://www.wwps.org/programs/graduates-of-distinction



Art Regier Volunteer of the Year nominations now accepted

The Award: The Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award was instituted in 1991 as a memorial to “Grandpa Art” Regier. Regier, a retiree who devoted years of service to elementary schools in Walla Walla, epitomized the spirit of volunteerism in education. His tireless dedication and concern for the students he served are the inspiration for this award.

Criteria for selection may include the following:
1. Exceptional service or contributions to the children of Walla Walla Public Schools
2. Unusual dedication
3. Demonstration of care, compassion and empathy

Nominations due March 15:
Forms online:http://www.wwps.org/programs/suicide-prevention
· Email completed packets to: Mark Higgins, Director of Communications
· mhiggins@wwps.org / (509) 526-6716


District develops new Suicide Prevention web page

Webpage Features - http://www.wwps.org/programs/suicide-prevention
· WWPS Policy and Procedures
· Warning Signs
· Reporting Process
· Local, regional, national resources


No School February 20 – Presidents Day Holiday

There is no school Monday, February 20 in observance of Presidents Day. Classes resume Tuesday, Feb. 21.


State Patrol inspections gives bus fleet thumbs up

Washington State Patrol officers recently visited the Southeast Area Transportation Cooperative to inspect the school bus fleet. They conducted a comprehensive inspection including brakes, leaks, tires, lights and much more. The fleet received outstanding marks as no out of service scores were found.

“It’s important to have our buses inspected to ensure they are safe and able to continue service without interruption,” said Transportation Director John Griffith. “It shows personnel take pride in their work to keep students safe.”


Whitman’s Classroom Connections showcases district

Visit the Whitman College Classroom Connections webpage to learn about exciting collaborative efforts with Whitman College students and district students.
· http://whitmanwire.com/feature/2017/02/09/classroom-connections/
· Featured: Guided Study with Wa-Hi teacher Sherry McConn


Personnel Report (from February 3, 2017 school board meeting)

EMPLOYMENT
Classified:
R. Adam Hair, Para-Educator, Pioneer Middle School
Karyn Hinz, Para-Educator (temporary), Pioneer Middle School
Amy Seymer, Para-Educator (temporary), Edison Elementary School
Amy Villanueva, Para-Educator (temporary), Edison Elementary School

RESIGNATION/RETIREMENT
Administrative:
Dan Johnson, Director of Facilities and Operations, Support Services, 32 years

Certificated
Jeanette Alvarez, Dual First Grade, Sharpstein Elementary School, 4 years
Michael Baker, Physical Education, Garrison Middle School, 26 years
John Carter, English/Language Arts, Pioneer Middle School, 10 years
Brenda Crumpacker, Reading Specialist, Green Park Elementary School, 22 years
Vanessa Glogower, Opportunity Program, Walla Walla High School, 1 year
Brenda Kirk, Bilingual First Grade, Green Park Elementary School, 20 years
Sherry McConn, AVID/Guided Study, Walla Walla High School, 27 years
Toni Lynn Palmer, Third Grade, Edison Elementary School, 28 years
Kaylie Piver, Special Education, Prospect Point Elementary School, 1.5 years
- (Kaylie also worked 2 years as a para-educator)
Debra Reeves, English, Walla Walla High School, 17 years
Doug Venneri, Social Studies/Physical Education, Pioneer Middle School, 35 years

Classified:
I. Ross Wright, Assistant Head Custodian, Sharpstein Elementary School, 5.5 years

LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Certificated:
Claudia Salazar, Dual English Language Arts, Pioneer Middle School, 8.5 years
- .5 FTE leave of absence for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year.

Classified:
Alma DeLaRosa, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary School, 10.5 years
- For the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year.


ThoughtExchange engagement seeks parent input on facilities needs

JOIN THE CONVERSATION - Share your input on facilities needs beginning Feb. 13
Walla Walla Public Schools is conducting a community engagement activity with ThoughtExchange this winter to learn more about facility needs in support of developing a long-range Facilities Improvement plan. The ThoughtExchange process is driven by thoughts and opinions of the community, to help shape the direction and priorities of the district over the next three years.

How it works...
Parents, students and community members will receive an email from ThoughtExchange announcing the opportunity to “Join the Conversation” via this confidential online learning process beginning Feb. 13 to Feb. 26. NOTE: Parents, please complete one survey for each school your children attend. Staff are directly sharing their input with Superintendent Smith. ThoughtExchange results will be shared with the public in May.


Reykdal: I Will Continue to Advocate for Public Schools and Public School Students - By OSPI Communications

This week, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and the U.S. House voted to repeal certain rules written about federal education law. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Chris Reykdal.

OLYMPIA—FEBRUARY 9, 2017—On Tuesday, Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as our nation’s 11th Secretary of Education. A few hours after the confirmation, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal certain rules for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The rules clarify how ESSA will be implemented in regard to teacher preparation programs and how schools and districts measure success.

The U.S. Senate must now vote on the repeal. It is expected the vote will not occur until next week at the earliest. If the Senate votes in favor of the repeal, the DeVos administration will write its own rules. Although we don’t know what rules the new administration will write, we do know the rules cannot be “substantially similar” to what previously existed.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is in the process of refining our state’s plan for ESSA. In January we announced that we will delay our submission to the federal government until September. This will give us time to adjust our plan to the new administration’s changes, given that we don’t know how they might adjust current ESSA deadlines.

As state superintendent, I will do everything I can to ensure that Washington state educators and our local school boards remain in the driver’s seat when it comes to education decision-making and education policy. OSPI will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Education, and we will defend the right of every child to attain a high-quality public education.

As Sen. Patty Murray said Monday on the U.S. Senate floor, “We believe that a commitment to strong public schools is part of America’s core. The idea that every student, in every community, should have the opportunities that strong public schools offer. This is a notion that is embedded in our values—it’s who we are—it’s in our blood.”

With educators, parents, students, and advocates together, we will continue to fight for what is best for our students. Public education is the great equalizer, and I will run through walls to make sure it stays that way.


School Stories
Wa-Hi Conspiracy of Hope shows (please note weather-related changes to schedule)

· 2017 Conspiracy of Hope Variety Shows presented by the Wa-Hi ASB
· Show #1 – Friday, Feb. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
· Show #2 – Monday, Feb. 13 (6 p.m.)
· Walla Walla High School Auditorium
· Admission $5
· All proceeds support the Dave Meyer Foundation and Wa-Hi ASB Winter Wish Week


SEA-TECH Health Sciences students plan Flap Jack Fundraiser Saturday

Help support SEA-TECH Health Science Careers/Pre-Nursing students efforts to compete in a state competition
· FLAPJACK FUNDRAISER
· Saturday, February 11
· 8 to 10 a.m.
· Applebee’s (1604 Plaza Way)
· Tickets are $10
· Contact Instructor Sandy Thomas for tickets: sthomas@wwsp.org / (509) 526-2018


Lincoln High School plans Drama program Hot Cakes fundraiser

- Hot Cakes Fundraiser (in support of Spring Drama Production – Little Shop of Horrors)
- Saturday, Feb. 18
- 8 to 10 a.m.
- $10 per plate
- Applebees
- Tickets: (509) 526-8514


Spanish classes and soccer top list to proposed new Middle School offerings for next year

Area middle school students and parents take notice as your high school and beyond plans begin at Garrison and Pioneer Middle Schools. In an effort to remain competitive in today’s global society and continue to offer students opportunity, challenge and adventure, several exciting new programs are being proposed for next school year, including Spanish classes for students in grades 6 to 8 and boys and girls competitive soccer.

“The demand for these programs and activities surfaced during our Strategic Plan stakeholder input gathering sessions,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “Our vision is to Develop Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.”

Proposed for next year:
- More Electives (Spanish, STEM and Technology)
- Coordinated Bilingual Programs
- Additional Honors and Advanced Classes
- Earn More High School Credits
- Competitive Middle School Soccer (Boys and Girls)

Garrison and Pioneer Middle Schools offer a comprehensive learning experience which includes a variety of exciting and challenging electives.
- Exploratory Engineering
- Band
- Drama
- Art
- Orchestra
- Consumer Science
- Choir
- AVID/Leadership
- Computer Aided Drafting

The whole child is considered at Garrison and Pioneer Middle Schools prompting the district to offer vast After School Programs:
- Academic labs
- 21st Century STEM programs
- cross country
- volleyball
- basketball
- football
- wrestling
- track
- tennis
- baseball
- softball
- soccer–proposed


Walla Walla High School to host Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Parent Night

- Monday, February 27
- 5:45 p.m. (free pizza dinner @ Wa-Hi Commons)
- 6 to 7:45 p.m. (Presentation and discussion – Wa-Hi Commons)
- Parents will learn about the classroom presentations on suicide prevention being used as part of the school’s Healthy and Safe Initiative. They will be able to engage in a discussion about how to recognize and respond to depression and suicide ideation.
- Community support organizations will be present to answer questions and provide support.



Wa-Hi ranks in Top 10 in Microsoft Office Specialist competition

More than 60 Walla Walla High School students in Gay Buissink’s Business Education classes are competing in a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) event to test their skills on Microsoft Office Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® (2013 or 2016). Walla Walla High School currently ranks 2nd in the state in pass rate and 4th in exams passed.

“Students are developing transferable skills for productivity, and they are also developing reading and critical thinking skills, as it is very difficult to be successful on the Microsoft certification exams without learning how to decipher instructions, which can be somewhat cryptic,” said Buissink. “Along with these skills, students are developing a work ethic and perseverance, which will help them in school and any career they decide to pursue.”

Buissink says Microsoft Office skills are critical to their success in a business career or a degree in business from college. She also sees Microsoft Office as the “gold standard” for productivity in the workplace.

“Our graduates should have skills beyond basic knowledge of productivity software,” Buissink said. “Over the last six years, I’ve really tried to fine tune the curriculum for student success. Passing a certification exam gives students an international, industry-recognized certification; it validates what skills they have and gives them confidence in their abilities.”


Blue Devil Resiliency Team supports campus social and emotional well being

The Walla Walla High School Resiliency Team has been formed on campus to bring awareness and help to students living and dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts, mental illness, and addiction. The group’s motto is “Remember you are never alone; you have people in your corner that you can talk to; we will always have your back.”

Students are trained and active on campus as a Peer-to-Peer group. The goal is to embrace a positive campus culture through random acts of kindness, awareness and support for others. They will also share information on avenues to support students who are having difficulties. A special thanks to ASB Advisor and teacher Arch McHie and the ASB for funding the shirts worn by team members and Peggy Needham from Trilogy/W2 for Drug Free Youth for support and training. Follow the group on social media:

BLUE DEVIL STRONG - YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
#bluedevilstrong on Twitter


Community Stories

Area musical groups come together for free community concert February 26

Walla Walla Choral Society, Walla Walla Valley Bands and Wa-Hi Chamber Singers and Belles Voix will join together for the first time to present a free community concert February 26 at 3 p.m. at Cordiner Hall. A canned food donation is requested. The concert theme is “Songs of Youth and Joy.” 


AAUW plans annual book sale this month

You and your family are invited to attend the 42nd Annual AAUW (American Association of University Women) Book Sale at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Friday, Feb 24, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m; Saturday, Feb 25, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb 26, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 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.  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. 


Registration for Great Explorations now open

On Saturday, March 11, Great Explorations in Education will present I AM STEMPOWERED, a science, technology, engineering and math adventure for 5th through 8th grade girls, at Whitman College, 8:20 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.

The highlight of this year’s event will be the appearance of Dr. Meagan Pollock, Director of Professional Development for the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, who will be the keynote speaker at 9:15 am in Cordiner Hall. Before Dr. Pollock’s presentation, girls will have the opportunity to attend three exciting workshops offering informal, hands-on experience with careers that utilize science, technology, engineering and math. A pizza lunch is included in the event fee.

Brochures with registration forms will be mailed February 10. Now is the time to send in registrations so girls are more likely to be in workshops with their friends, and so they get their first choice of workshops. The fee to attend is $5 and scholarships are available. For more information on registration, scholarships or questions, please contact Carol Morgan, pcmorgan@charter.net, 520-9977, visit the AAUW (American Association of University Women) website at www.wallawalla-wa.aauw.net, or find us on Facebook, AAUW Great Explorations Science Adventure. Everyone is encouraged “Like” us on Facebook and share. This helps spread the word about this exciting event.


City Parks & Recreation community update

Father/Daughter Ball - February 25 - $15
Warrior Soccer Academy - $48
Adult Co-Ed Soccer - 16 & Over
Adult Co-Ed Softball - 16 & Over
Men’s Softball - 16 & Over
Watercolor - Beginning/Advanced - $81/$104
Guitar Lessons - Beginning/Advanced - $40
Ukulele Lessons - Beginning/Advanced - $40
Nia - 12 & over
Bellydancing - 12 & over

Blue Mountain Girls Softball registration is open NOW
6U (T-Ball) 5-6yrs - $40
8U (Coach Pitch) 7-8yrs - $55
10U (Modified Pitch) 9-10yrs - $55
12U (Standard Pitch) 11-12yrs - $55

Veteran’s Memorial Pool Passes On Sale NOW
Youth, Adult, Senior, Veteran and Family passes available

Lifeguards wanted for summer - New Veteran’s Memorial Pool
Paid position - 15 yrs and up
To apply online go to http://www.wallawallawa.gov/images/depts/humanresources/PDF_FILLABLE_APPLICATION.pdf
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to: http://www.wwpr.us
Like us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/wallawallapr


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