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

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District Stories

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Community Stories

District Stories
School board approves plan to move the Dual Language program to Edison Elementary 

The Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors voted 4-1 to approve a recommendation from the Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee (BERC) to improve the district’s Bilingual Education program to better meet the needs of students. Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Christy Krutulis presented the recommendation to the school board Tuesday evening following a year and a half of committee work, a dozen parent meetings in English and Spanish, hundreds of survey responses from staff, parents and community members, and multiple classroom visits. School board members Cindy Meyer and Ruth Ladderud served on the committee.

“After a very extensive process and deep commitment from committee members, the School Board was presented with a recommendation that puts Walla Walla Public Schools on track to provide the best possible bilingual programming for its students,” said Krutulis. “This also includes the addition of Spanish language classes at both middle schools.”

The final approved recommendation to the School Board included the following:

Model Recommendation
· The One School Model was selected to be part of the recommendation.
· The One School Model includes the opportunity to focus on success at one wall-to-wall dual program while maintaining current programming at Blue Ridge Elementary.
· One of the caveats of the committee’s recommendation is that future expansion be considered at Blue Ridge for a two school model if student enrollment and learning outcomes warrant such enhancement.

School Recommendation
· Edison was selected as the site for wall-to-wall dual programming. Edison has a higher Latino population, additional physical space and technology for supporting the success of acquiring a second language, and should Blue Ridge be added will provide a two way dual program on each end of our district.

Roll Out Recommendation
· The slow roll out model was unanimously selected by the committee. The slow roll out allows students the opportunity to finish their elementary career in their current elementary school.
· The slow roll out will mean that all four kindergarten classes at Edison will be allocated for dual programming starting with the 2017-18 school year. Sharpstein and Green Park will have English only kindergarten classes with continued English language support for students not in dual programming.

Dual Language Program Enrollment Procedures
· In the next week specific information regarding enrollment procedures and timelines will be published to ensure families desiring dual programming for their kindergartener for the 2017-18 school year have information about placement notification before the district open enrollment period begins.

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.


Snow day cancelations push last day of school to June 14

Extreme winter weather conditions forced the cancelation of six school days this school year prompting the school board to unanimously approve a calendar revision pushing the last day of school to Wednesday, June 14. The last day of school will be an early dismissal.

Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency for Walla Walla County for missed days which landed within January 10 to 20, 2017. The district conducted extensive research to determine if it was eligible for a state waiver. Upon close review, it was determined the district did not meet the waiver criteria.

Initially, we thought we would be able to apply for a waiver for the two days missed in January since school was canceled during the designated two week period,” Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea reported to the school board. “Before you can apply for a waiver for missed school days due to the winter weather, you must make a reasonable effort to make up the missed days as per WAC 392-129-105 and RCW 28A.150.220(2). School district’s must make up at least three days and extend its school year to and through June 14 to be granted a state waiver. Therefore, since we are able to complete the snow make-up days by June 14, we are not eligible for a state waiver.”

Walla Walla High School and Lincoln High School’s originally scheduled graduation dates remain the same under the approved calendar revision. Lincoln High School’s graduation is Thursday, June 1 and Walla Walla High School’s graduation is Friday, June 2. Seniors will make up the three canceled days on Saturdays; April 29, May 6 and 13. These 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday learning sessions will include Advanced Placement test preparations, post high school planning, financial management instruction and career counseling. Finals schedules for seniors will remain as originally planned, May 30 to June 1. Finals for students in grades 9-11 will be held the last three days of school, June 12-14.

Additional Information:

Six snow make-up days (school in session on these days):
· March 2, 2017
· May 12, 2017
· June 9, 2017
· June 12, 2017
· June 13, 2017
· June 14, 2017 (early dismissal)

Six school cancelation days:
· Dec. 12, 2016
· Dec. 15, 2016
· Dec. 16, 2016
· Jan. 11, 2017
· Jan. 18, 2017
· Feb. 9, 2017


Pioneer Middle School Principal accepts new position; job posting now open

Pioneer Middle School Principal Mira Gobel has accepted the Director of Teaching and Learning position at ESD 123. Her last day with the school district is June 30 after 29 years of service. The district wishes Mira well in her new position and extends a heartfelt thank you for her years of service as a teacher and administrator.

The Pioneer Middle School Principal position is currently posted and closes March 27. Click on the link to learn more about the position: http://www.wwps.org/district/employment


Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday

Daylight Saving Time (DST) will begin Sunday, March 12 at 2 a.m. and end Sunday, Nov. 5. Please remember to set your clock ahead one hour for the change.


Personnel Report (from March 7, 2017 School Board Meeting)

EMPLOYMENT
Classified: Gary LeValley, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op

RESIGNATION/RETIREMENT
Administrative: Mira Gobel, Principal, Pioneer Middle School, 29 years

Certificated:
Madeline Dinsmore, Kindergarten, Berney Elementary School, 1 year
Audrey Schmid, Speech Language Pathologist, Special Education, 11 years
- Resigning .2 FTE – will continue as a .8 FTE SLP

Classified:
Laurie Ferraro, Bus Assistant, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op, 7 years
- Was on a leave of absence for the 2016-2017 school year
Monique Morris, Para-Educator, Sharpstein Elementary School, 7 years
- Was on a leave of absence for the 2016-2017 school year
Jazmin Ornelas, Assistant Secretary, Edison Elementary School, 3 years
- Was on a leave of absence for the 2016-2017 school year
Tami Shelton, Para-Educator, Edison Elementary School, 19.5 years
- Was on a leave of absence for the 2016-2017 school year



Walla Walla Employees Volunteer to Support Citizenship Classes for Community 

Approximately 55 Latino community members enrolled in an eight week Citizenship Preparation class. This class is designed to prepare participants for taking the Civics portion of the Citizenship exam. Walla Walla Public Schools is sponsoring the program by providing classroom space at Garrison Middle School. Green Park teacher Yazmin Bahena and district Equity and Access Coordinator Sergio Hernandez are volunteering their time as instructors in support of this program. Community member Lupon Perez is also volunteering as an instructor.

“The students are very grateful for what the district is doing on their behalf,” said Hernandez. “At our last session, April 24, we will hand out voter registration cards so participants can vote after becoming citizens.”


Spring Break schedule

- No school Monday, April 3 to Friday, April 7
- Classes resume Monday, April 10


Deadline to sign up for Superintendent’s Patron Tour Monday

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 13 - sgolden@wwps.org / 526-6715
• Event begins at WWPS Anne Golden Boardroom (364 S. Park St.)
• 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 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/parents/more-parent-resources/volunteering
· Email completed packets to: Mark Higgins, Director of Communications
· mhiggins@wwps.org / (509) 526-6716


Volunteers needed to support Farm to School program

Walla Walla Valley Farm to School (WWVF2S) will help the WWPS Nutrition Services Department highlight a regular Harvest of the Month with special table displays and tasting of locally grown food. To do this, WWVF2S is seeking volunteers to oversee a table display once a month during lunch at an elementary or middle school. The local foods, educational materials and instructions will be provided.

If you believe in supporting local farmers and in sharing the flavor of seasonal, local foods with students, please contact Beth Thiel at beth.wwvf2s@gmail.com.


Maple Counter Café hosts Spaghetti Dinner to benefit Walla Walla Valley Farm-to-School

Nationwide 88% support farm to school programs according to a 2015 WK Kellogg Foundation survey. Walla WallaValley Farm -to- School (WWVF2S) supports food and agriculture education in school gardens and kitchens and on area farms.

School gardens are an exceptionally effective and exciting space for learning. In 2016, WWVF2S supported over 1,200 students and teachers utilizing school gardens in a meaningful way. We are gearing up for another productive spring with WWVF2S Americorps member Hannah McCarthy coordinating garden classes at Sharpstein and Edison, program manager Beth Thiel at Green Park and Prospect Point and garden coordinator Joy Bader at Berney.

While easy to build, it takes considerable coordination and time to utilize school gardens effectively. Thanks to the following contributors: Maple Counter Café, Blue Valley Meats, Hayshaker Farm, Walla Walla Bread Company, Grocery Outlet, Albertsons, and Super One.

You can support WWVF2S Thursday March 16 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Maple Counter Café. Arrive anytime 4:30-7:30 p.m. No tickets required. All proceeds will support WWVF2S programs.


School Stories
Camp Invention makes summer learning fun and challenging

Get ready to launch your imagination! Berney Elementary will be hosting Camp Invention July 10-14 for incoming 1-6th graders in the Walla Walla area. Students are presented with fun, hands-on challenges that encourage creative problem solving, teamwork, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

During the course of the week, students will:
- Create their own personal, ultimate Spy Gadget Alarm Box by taking apart and upcycling everyday machines.
- Launch water rockets, build Bubble Blasters, and engineer giant castles.
- Explore a distant new exoplanet and design inventions to create the next Earth.
- Design duct tape products and pitch them to mock investors.

To sign up, visit the Camp Invention website at http://campinvention.org/
Contact Director Joy Bader joygbader@gmail.com for more information.


District artists receive regional recognition

Superintendent Wade Smith is proud to announce the following students have received recognition at the ESD 123 Superintendent’s Art Show.

2016-2017 Award Recipients
Cleo Castaldo –Lincoln junior, Honorable Mention, clay piece – “Geode”
Joe Arrelleno - WaHi senior, Superintendent’s Choice Award, Pottery
Tristan Tyrrell - WaHi sophomore, Judges Choice Award Pottery – “The Batcave Drum”
Sydnee Walker – WaHi senior, Honorable Mention, Pottery/Sculpture – “Grundy the Horse”
Elizabeth Baez – WaHi senior, Honorable Mention, Painting - “Who We Are”
Keldan Swant – WaHi sophomore, Honorable Mention, Digital Photography


Wa-Hi JROTC hosting two-state championship March 11

The Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devils” cadet battalion will host the Cascade Mountain League drill and marksmanship championship meet on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

This two-state event kicks off at 8 a.m. and wraps up at 4 p.m. Competitors will represent Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps drill and marksmanship teams from 14 schools in Washington and Oregon. These cadets participate in programs from all four military services. The awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m.

Competition will be held in the large and small gyms at Walla Walla High School, 800 Abbott Road. The gyms are off Reser Road, on the south end of the campus. This event is open to the public and free of charge.

The “Blue Devils “will host hundreds of cadets representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. This event is free and the public is welcome. Competitors will go head-to-head in dress uniforms for drill and ceremony, inspection, sports training gear for physical fitness and in specialized competitive gear for air rifle marksmanship. Cadets in JROTC programs learn military history, precision drill and ceremonial marching, marksmanship and leadership skills.

“We want to welcome the community to attend and learn more about JROTC in general, and here in our battalion,” said cadet Lt. Col. Adam Grau, the cadet battalion commander. “This is a great opportunity for people to observe the skills and values cadets learn through the program.”


Seattle artist uses talents to create amazing experience for Green Park students

This week Seattle-based artist Adream Valdivia visited Green Park Elementary to work with students in creating a colorful mural for the school’s lobby near the gym entrance. The project was made possible by the Green Park PTA. PTA leader Troi Coram says they wanted to provide more opportunities for art education through the project. Students donned aprons and brushes to add their personal touches on the canvas which captures a message of hope and inspiration. The students also painted a special bench to go beneath the mural. District carpenter Kevin French assisted in the project by building the frames and supporting the installation.


Future Farmers of America students earn state degrees

Five students have earned their state FFA degrees which will be awarded at the Washington FFA State Convention in May. These students are Maddie Fenton, Tristan Case, Emma Drivdahl, Jessie Eastman and Ally Newton. This requires students to have earned their greenhand and chapter FFA degree, be enrolled in at least two years consecutively of agriculture education classes, be active FFA members and invest/earn at least $1,000 from their Supervised Agriculture Experience Project (SAE). All students enrolled in agriculture education courses must complete an SAE project, and projects can vary in size, scope and type. These students can apply for their American FFA degree in the next two years. The American FFA degree is the highest degree and award an FFA member can attain.

Maddie and Tristan also won awards for their SAE projects at the state FFA level. Both students completed an application which details their SAE project including goals, challenges, lessons learned, impacts for their future, connections to AFNR education standards and detailed financial records of their project. Maddie placed first in the Goat Production category, and Tristan placed first in Diversified Agriculture Production. Both received cash awards and will submit their applications to the National FFA Organization. The applications will be scored in June and if they place in the top four in the nation in their category, they can attend the National FFA Convention in October to compete for awards at the national level.

Maddie is also a finalist for the Washington FFA Star in Agribusiness award. This award is also based on her SAE award and her state degree application. The star awards are the highest honor for FFA members at the state level. Maddie can also compete for the Star in Agribusiness Award at the National level, if she is chosen as the state winner.



Walla Walla FFA Alumni and Friends plan annual fundraiser March 18

Tickets for the Annual FFA Alumni and Friends Fundraising Dinner and Auction are on sale for the Saturday, March 18 event at the Fairgrounds Community Building. All proceeds support the amazing Walla Walla FFA and activities students do in the community! Former Walla Walla FFA Advisor Mike Martin will be at the event. Auction highlights include tickets to the Pendleton Roundup, passes for Silverwood and Triple Play, and much more! The last day to buy tickets is March 12!  Purchase them online, or call/email Staci Humphreys: wallawallaffaalumni@gmail.com, or 509-386-3484. Social hour at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. Event webpage: http://wallawallaffaalumni.weebly.com/tickets.html


Police and firefighters team to conduct drug and alcohol awareness parent meeting

Date: Wednesday, March 29
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Walla Walla High School Commons

City of Walla Walla police officers and firefighters/paramedics will lead a parent discussion about communicating with children about drugs and alcohol use. These local experts will offer strategies for holding children accountable for their actions, how to spot indicators the child is using alcohol or drugs and what drugs are currently trending on the streets of Walla Walla. All the presenters are currently working the streets of Walla Walla and see firsthand how drugs and alcohol are negatively impacting the community and homes.


Wa-Hi JROTC selects February 2017 Cadet of the Month, Athlete of the Month

Two Cadets in the Walla Walla High School JROTC Battalion have been selected for their performance in the Cadet and Athlete of the Month for February 2017

Cadet Corporal KaiRhea Gordon from Company B, one of six Cadet of the Month candidates, won with 486 points out of a possible 606. For her achievement, Gordon received an on-the-spot promotion to her new cadet rank.

Some of her hobbies include drawing, playing videogames, and hanging out with friends and her dad. Gordon joined the JROTC Program because her mother had been in the same program and had convinced her that it was fun. She considers her time in the program to have yielded some the best memories she’s created, partly because being a part of the JROTC makes her feel connected to her mother. After high school graduation, Gordon plans to go to a four-year college to become a videogame developer. If all else fails, she plans to become an artist.

In second place was c/PFC Joshua Grau from Company D with a score of 473 points, and in third place was c/PFC Robert Walker of Company A, who scored 425 points.

The Cadet of the Month competition allows new cadets a chance to prove how much they’ve learned in the program by testing their military knowledge and bearing in front of the six Cadet Company First Sergeants and the Cadet Command Sergeant Major after a uniform inspection. The Cadet with the highest score is immediately promoted and awarded the Cadet of the Month ribbon.

The highest scoring cadet in the February Athlete of the Month competition was c/Cpl. Grace Anderson from Company D. She earned a total of 255 points out of 300 possible.

Anderson’s plans for high school are to make the Rifle Sporter Team either by this year or the next, then to become a member of the Precision Team. She also wants to graduate high school with a 3.5 GPA or higher, and to be elected Wa-Hi’s ASB President. After high school, she is thinking about being a lawyer, medical professional, an astronaut, or even the President of the United States.

Anderson loves being in the JROTC Program. She joined the Rifle Marksmanship class because she wanted to try something new, and she is so glad she did because it is her favorite class.

In second place was c/Pfc. Robert Luther from Company E with a total of 221 points, and c/1Sg. Ben Bialozor from Company B won third place with 218 points.

The battalion fitness officer c/Cpt. Michael Walters said “the Athlete of the Month competition gives cadets goals to strive for and helps to improve their physical fitness and self-discipline. To achieve that, we test their strength and endurance through push-ups, sit-ups, and a mile-run.”

Wa-Hi JROTC cadets are taught to develop strong leadership traits and to become good citizens in the school, community, country, and the world. In addition to attending regular classes, many compete on special teams in drill and ceremony, rifle marksmanship, and physical training. Many of these cadets earn the opportunity to travel and compete in drill meets and air rifle marksmanship matches with other schools in the Cascade Division, including Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy JROTC programs.


WSU GEAR UP plans Spring campus visits over Spring Break

ATTENTION ALL Walla Walla High School Seniors - Spring campus visits for admitted students over Spring Break! This is a great way to learn essential details about housing, meal plans, deposits, orientation, placement testing, financial aid, and extracurricular activities.

Spring Break Visit Schedule:
- April 1: Experience WSU - Participating students receive a $1000.00 scholarship upon enrollment in WSU Pullman
- April 2-3: Admitted student day University of Washington Seattle. This is an overnight trip, all expenses are covered by GEAR UP
- April 7: Admitted student day Eastern Washington University
- April 8: Wildcat day for admitted students Central Washington University
All transportation is covered by WSU GEAR UP and parents/guardians are welcome to attend with their student.


Community Stories

Ballet classes available for area youth

Ballet Immersion Classes will be given as part of this year’s Tutus and Tapas fundraising event for the Danza Classica Ballet Foundation. The classes will be held on stage at the Gesa PowerHouse Theatre on Saturday, March 25, 2017. The class for 4 and 5 year old boys and girls will be at 1 p.m. and the class for 6-8 year olds will be at 2:30 p.m. Reservations for the classes can be made by calling The Dance Center at 509-525-0815 - please leave your name, child’s name and age, and phone number. Cost - $25 per child.


City Parks & Recreation community update

Washington Angels Softball Clinic - March 18 - 5-13yrs - Wa-Hi
Fielding & Hitting Clinic - $35
Pitching & Catching - $15
Space is limited and filling up fast!

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to: http://www.wwpr.us or like us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/wallawallapr


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