Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 21, 2017

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
District in final stages of developing new Five Year Strategic Plan

Superintendent Wade Smith is finalizing measurement strategies and tools for monitoring progress of the district’s new five-year Strategic Plan. He plans to reveal this information to the school board and public during the May 2 school board meeting. This marks the final stage of a six month process to develop a long-range strategic plan. The process included an extensive listening campaign, multiple public school board work sessions, surveys and focus group meetings. Once adopted, detailed management plans will be honed to put the goals and initiatives into operation.

2017-2022 Strategic Plan Overview

Vision: Developing Washington’s most sought-after graduates

Mission: Walla Walla Public Schools ensures all students receive high quality instruction in an aligned and coherent system while addressing their social and emotional needs in a safe and engaging environment.

Beliefs Statement - We believe:
· in challenging and supporting all students
· quality instruction is critical to student success
· in investing in staff to ensure excellence
· in maximizing the impact of our resources
· in collaborative and transparent operation
· in the importance of family and community
· diversity is a strength

Goal 1
High Quality Instruction: Supporting a districtwide 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

Shared Organizational Leadership
· Development and Support for School-based Instructional Leadership Teams
· Continued Use and Support for Board and District Committee Structures

Support for Best-practice Instructional Strategies
· Identification, Training and Implementation of Best-practice Instructional Strategies

Climate of Collaboration and Practitioner Reflection
· Fostering a Productive Climate of Collaboration (PLC’s) Where Staff are Encouraged to Take Risks, Share Successes/Failures, and Explore New Practices in Order to Improve Student Learning

Goal 2
Aligned & Coherent Systems: Ensuring articulated programs and systems to support a comprehensive, consistent, and responsive learning environment for all students

Guaranteed & Viable Curriculum
· Comprehensive Curriculum Adoption & Support Program
· PK-12 Pathways

Technology Systems Alignment
· Technology Program Development and Implementation

Bilingual, Highly Capable & Special Education Programs
· Bilingual / Highly Capable / Special Education Program Support and Coordination

Enhancing Post-Secondary Culture
· Expanding Partnerships with Community, Business, and Outside Resources to Engage and Support Students with Post-secondary Options

Goal 3
Social & Emotional Needs: Implementing high-quality behavioral models and interventions to support the social and emotional needs of all students

Schoolwide Behavioral Support Model Development
· Development and Implementation of Site-specific Models

District-wide Behavioral Coaching & Support
· Development of a District-wide Behavioral Support Program

School-Based Health Centers
Support and Expand Student Access to School-Based Health Centers

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

District-wide Safety
· Ensure Best-practice Safety Response Program, Implement Reporting and Training Criteria, and Identify Physical Plant Improvements to Support Student, Staff, and Patron Safety

Student Engagement Program Enhancement
· Identification and Development of Programs to Improve Student Engagement and Involvement with School and Peers.
· Coordinated Support for Latino Students and Families


School Board invests in Strategic Initiatives

Tuesday night marked a significant milestone in the development of a new five-year Strategic Plan as school board members approved a budget framework to address critical needs determined throughout the planning process. The School Board directive authorizes increased funding in curriculum, technology, safety, behavioral support, student engagement and Latino student and family outreach.

The Board of Directors directed Superintendent Wade Smith to strategically spend down about 1% of the district’s ending fund balance reserve to target programs, activities, and enhancements next school year and beyond. These strategic investments were a direct result of the feedback from staff, parents, students and stakeholders during the near-six-month listening campaign that helped inform the strategic direction and plan.

The four consistent themes of high quality instruction, aligned and coherent systems, social and emotional needs and safe and engaging environments which surfaced to anchor the district’s new Mission Statement are embedded in the funding decision.

2017-2018 Strategic Plan Investment Summary:

Goal 1 Additional Resources - High Quality Instruction
· Guaranteed resourcing to support the adoption and professional development of no less than one major curriculum per year. Over the next five years, WWPS will strive to ensure all of its curricula is updated to support teachers with the best instructional materials available.

· Additional resources to support high school science materials/consumables and lab material supports.

· Additional resources to help support fine arts and physical education, instrument/equipment replacement cycles.

Goal 2 Additional Resources - Aligned and Coherent Systems

· Implement a best-practice technology replacement and enhancement program that includes:
- providing 40 additional classrooms with interactive technology next year
- implement a 7 year replacement cycle for desktop and 5 year replacement cycle for Chromebook systems to ensure the equipment remains in good working condition and replaced when needed.
- provide additional support through the acquisition of a .5 FTE technology coach.
- provide additional access to Chromebook carts at all levels, ensuring there is at least one cart for every elementary grade level team and at least one cart for every four classrooms at the secondary level.

Goal 3 Additional Resources – Social and Emotional Needs
· Add one additional certificated behavior specialist
· Add two assistants to the behavior specialist next year to assign schools with specific supports for immediate response to students
· Add one highly-skilled mental health professional who will address prevention, student crises response, training, student support, establish community wrap-around resources, and provide targeted interventions to students and families.
· Resources to support schools with requested professional development, curriculum, and implementation of their individual building-specific behavior models.
· Continued support to expand school health centers across the remaining campuses in partnership with The Health Center.

Goal 4 Additional Resources - Safe and Engaging Environment
· Latino Outreach
- Funds to support LEAP and LaCima programs for Latino high school students
- Hire a district Latino liaison to facilitate community engagement and resourcing to support Latino families
- Expand partnership with the Friends program to recruit additional Latino mentors
- Expand resources to support cultural celebrations across all schools
- Expand resources to improve communication with Latino families (for example Spanish radio time, additional school signage in Spanish)

· Student Engagement
- Additional open gym opportunities offered after school, during breaks, and during summer months (select sites to be determined)
- Implement modest uniform and equipment rotation for athletic programs
- Incentivize new student club start-ups with $500 start-up grants
- Implement competitive soccer at both middle schools
- Eliminate middle school pay to participate fees
- Implement elementary after school programs (select sites to be determined)

· School Safety
- Modest school camera upgrades across various campuses
- Provide an additional campus safety guard so that each middle school will have a full time guard
- Provide additional resources for staff/student training on suicide, crises, response.


Clean audit reinforces sound district business practices

State Auditors completed the district’s annual audit this week and the news is good. For the second consecutive year auditors found no deficiencies or material weaknesses in district accounting practices. Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan says this indicates the district has sound internal controls in place and is using state and federals funds as they are intended. 


Highly Capable Recommendation Committee putting final touches on plan

Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea reported the district’s Highly Capable Recommendation Committee is nearing the end of its work as it eyes May 2 to present program recommendations to the school board. Conceptual plans are being tested by parents and staff centered on participant identification, professional development, communication and coordination, experience enhancement and offerings. Once the conceptual plans are approved by the school board, staff in the Teaching and Learning Department will work to put the ideas into operation. Stakeholder feedback from the study will be used to help drive decisions. No action was taken Tuesday night.


District names Art Regier Volunteers of the Year

In celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Superintendent Wade Smith is proud to announce Sharon Gerbino, Karen Kelly, Rhonda Applebee, Sharon Carter, and Chrissty Cason as the district’s 2016-2017 Art Regier Volunteers of the Year. 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

Sharon Gerbino – Volunteer site: Berney Elementary (four years)
Nominators – April Brown, Stacy Morrison and Kathy Kellie
· Sharon is known as the “Grandma” of first grade at Berney
· She comes once a week and rarely misses her afternoon session with students
· She organizes art projects and provides snacks and always refuses reimbursement for the supplies
· Sharon helps organize daily folders, preps for lessons and is known for her kindness and generous spirit

Nominator Stacy Morrison said: “Once a month she plans a big art project for all three classes. She provides the supplies, teaches the lesson and cleans up. Sharon is definitely all about kids.”

Karen Kelly – Volunteer site: Multiple district schools in support of the district’s music program (13 years)
Nominators: Stefanie Flerchinger, Roger Garcia, Caleb Condie, Maria Garcia and Lori Parnicky
· Karen provides free piano support to accompany music students across the district
· You’ll see her supporting students singing in choirs and playing piano in the pit for drama productions
· Karen is also willing to travel at her own expense to support state solo and ensemble contests
· Her commitment to the music program requires countless hours of practice to prepare for performances

Nominator Roger Garcia said: “Karen is a prime example of the quality people that surround our students in the Walla Walla School District. This helps us turn our students into world class musicians and more importantly helps us Develop Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.”

Rhonda Applebee – Sharpstein Elementary (five years)
Nominators: Maria Garcia and Sharpstein PTA Board
· Rhonda has served on the Sharpstein PTA board for four years, two as secretary and two as president
· She has assisted with garden lessons, helped with school-wide vision testing and supported afterschool programs, including the Garden and Science Clubs
· Rhonda has helped coordinate PTA sponsored events including the Miles Club, School Carnival and Family Nights
· She manages the Sharpstein Cares program in support of food and clothing drives and Adopt-a-Family holiday campaigns

Maria Garcia and PTA Nominators said: “Rhonda’s willingness to step up and take on new projects, her enthusiasm for helping our children and her positive attitude are inspiring and exemplify the traits we believe an Art Regier Volunteer of the Year should have.”

Sharon Carter and Chrissty Cason – Berney Elementary (3 years)
Nominators: Jennifer Holbrook, Michelle Carpenter and April Brown
· This grandmother and mother team make quite a dynamic duo at Berney Elementary
· Each Friday they volunteer in Jennifer Holbrook’s class where they take on jobs big and small
· They team to create beautiful bulletin boards in the hallways and develop fun art projects and never accept reimbursement for the supplies they purchase
· Sharon and Chrissty collect canned food for the food drive and support all school fundraisers
· They also stepped up to help coordinate and support this year’s book drive

Nominator April Brown said: “I do not have their granddaughter/daughter in my class anymore and they still come by my classroom and offer their help. They do my team’s bulletin board each month and always help with decorating for our programs. These ladies are quite a duo and help with anything and everything.”



Energy Management program trims thousands in utility costs 

Energy Management Program Coordinator John Butenhoff reported to the school board Tuesday night the program helped the district save nearly $500,000 in utility costs this year. The program is now in its 17th year and has helped the district save nearly $6 million over the years. Core strategies of the program are behavior based and aim to limit energy use when spaces are not occupied, and closely monitor systems and procedures linked to energy usage. 


Meyer announces retirement from school board

School board member Cindy Meyer reported Position #2 on the school board will be open in the November General Election as she is retiring after 12 years of service. Her term expires in November. Board member Sam Wells reported he plans to run for election again for Position #1. Contact the Walla Walla County Elections Department for more information on the election process – (509) 524-2530 or https://wei.sos.wa.gov/county/wallawalla/en/elections/Pages/default.aspx

Wells was elected to the WWSD Board of Directors in November 2013. He has been a financial advisor with Edward Jones since 2004. Wells has served on the board of the Blue Mountain Humane Society and was board president from 2009-2011. He also has been active with Junior Achievement and the Walla Walla Noon Rotary Club.

Wells serves on the following District Committees:
· Administrative Finance Committee
· Career/Technical Education
· Classified Negotiations
· Explorer Advisory Committee
· Instructional Review Committee
· Technology Task Force

Meyer is a longtime district volunteer and fourth generation school board member. She was elected to the school board in 2005. Meyer has a B.A. in Geology from Oregon State University. Her husband, Joe Meyer, is a hospitalist at Providence St. Mary Medical Center. They have two grown daughters, both graduates of Walla Walla High School. Meyer currently serves on the nominating committee for the Washington State School Directors’ Association and on the Innovative Schools Task Force.

Meyer serves on the following District Committees:
· Administrative Negotiations
· Administrative Finance Committee
· Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee
· Children’s Resilience Initiative
· Classified Negotiations
· Legislative Representative


Elementary open enrollment and kindergarten registration period ends April 28

Kindergarten and Open Enrollment for elementary schools continues through Friday, April 28, 2017. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school.

Kindergarten/Open Enrollment Hours:
- 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Open enrollment requests at Walla Walla Public Schools will be granted according to priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 which will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available for public viewing at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office. School Board policies are also online at http://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/policies.

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all schools, the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street, and online at www.wwps.org . Click on the District A to Z link and then click on Boundary Map.


School Stories
Dave Klicker Track Dedication Saturday

ALUMNUS, COACH, GENTLEMAN
Honoring a lifetime of athletic and educational excellence in support of Walla Walla students and athletes.
· Dave Klicker Track Dedication
· Saturday, April 22
· 10:30 a.m.
· Klicker Track complex (campus of Walla Walla High School – 800 Abbott Road)
· Inaugural 12 team Blue Devil Invitational Track meet to follow dedication ceremony (Food trucks all day!)

Mr. Dave Klicker - Class of 1953
· Wa-Hi track hurdles state champion
· Wa-Hi Athletic Hall of Fame charter member
· Whitman College hurdles national champion
· U.S. Navy Veteran
· Teacher, mentor and friend
· 43 years of community service


District partners with City of Walla Walla Police drug dog unit to ensure campus safety

Walla Walla Public Schools continues to work closely with the City of Walla Walla Police Department to ensure district campuses continue to remain safe places. Today the district is partnering with WWPD Officer Gunner Fulmer and his drug dog to complete an exercise at Walla Walla High School. Fulmer is walking the drug detecting dog through locker areas, lobbies, and other common areas. This deterrent activity serves as an important prevention strategy to ensure safe and drug-free school campuses.


Fort Walla Walla site for Special Family Day event April 30

WWPS is partnering with Fort Walla Walla to provide Blue Ridge, Sharpstein and Edision families a Special Family Day! Families will be given a presentation on the new Latino art exhibit, have the opportunity to visit the other museum exhibits with Latino Club members offering translations to families, Drama Club members will be on hand to provide living history interactions, family games will be taught by Latino Club and Drama Club members, and elementary students who participate in the art contest “What is My Heritage” will have their artwork displayed at the museum and three winners will be chosen from each school and announced during the event. Families from Blue Ridge, Sharpstein and Edison are invited for this special day.

When: Sunday, April 30
Time: 12 noon – 3 p.m.
Where: Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road
Cost: Free Admission and Lunch
Lunch is at noon and provided by El Sombrero, courtesy of WWPS.


FFA Plant Sale next month

- Sale dates: May 3, 4 and 5
- 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
- Contact Advisor Arch McHie for an order form (amchie@wwps.org)


Community Stories

Anti-racism activist to speak at Walla Walla University

Anti-racism activist Tim Wise will speak at Walla Walla University April 25 at 6 p.m. in Village Hall. His free, public lecture, “White LIES Matter: Race, Crime and the Politics of Fear in America,” will address contemporary race relations and how to progress racial justice.


Public Invited to Share Their Priorities at Non-Motorized Trails & Transportation Workshops

Blue Mountain Region cities, counties, health departments, ports, state and federal resource agencies, and additional entities are working together to develop a regionwide non-motorized trails and transportation plan. Assisted by the National Park Service - Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program, a first round of workshops was conducted in January and February at which time the public provided input on desired connections and destinations throughout the region.

Since then, the project team has mapped and analyzed all public feedback, identified additional needs within and in between communities, and in collaboration with regional jurisdictions endeavored to find routes on public lands and publicly-owned rights-of way for the desired non-motorized connections. Now, the planning team is again asking for assistance from the public. Please tell us which connections are most important to you at one of the identical public workshops, which will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at each site:
· May 1, 2017 in Dayton: Columbia County Fairgrounds Pavilion - 102 Fairgrounds Lane
· May 2, 2017 in Walla Walla: Community Building WW County Fairgrounds - 363 Orchard Street
· May 3, 2017 in Milton-Freewater: Community Building - 109 NE 5 th Street
· May 4, 2017 in Burbank: Columbia Middle School Commons - 755 Maple Street

At the public workshops, a brief overview will be given of the project activities to date. The majority of the time will be spent on reviewing the conceptual regionwide, non-motorized trails and transportation system, and workshop participants will have the opportunity to give their input related to which connections are important to help inform priorities for future implementation. If you would like more information about the Blue Mountain Region Trails – Ridges, Towns, and Rivers project, please go to bluezonetrails.org.


Whitman College presents Immigration Week activities

Borders as Method (BAM) presents Whitman College’s second annual Immigration Week. Each event includes Spanish translation and the schedule of the events is as follows. For more details on the presentations, contact Cassandra Otero at oterocm@whitman.edu.
· Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at Whitman College Olin Auditorium; Panel featuring Kamau Chege and Ray Corona
· Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Sanctuary of First Congregational Church; Jennicet Gutierrez
· Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at Whitman College Hunter Conservatory; Robert Romero


Children’s author Kathryn Dennis makes appearance at local library Saturday morning

Kathryn Dennis remembers being a kid who asked a lot of questions and she still asks a lot of questions! Kathryn grew up in Walla Walla and graduated from Walla Walla High School. She attended Whitman College and graduated from the University of Washington. She completed her education at The Art Center and put her talent to work as an art director. Kathryn was looking for new creative outlets when she discovered writing for children.

Please give Kathryn a hometown welcome, at the Walla Walla Public Library on Saturday, April 22, at 10 a.m. for a fun filled family morning as she explores her newest title “Too Many Questions!” showing kids and parents how to turn every question into an opportunity.


GIRLS COUNCIL Mother-Daughter Circle event planned

This is for all moms with a daughter in your life - and girls with a mom in your life - and who would like to strengthen your skills to build better trust between the two of you, learn ways to communicate under stress and just enjoy each other’s company.
GIRLS COUNCIL is holding another Mother-Daughter Circle beginning Tuesday, May 2nd from 6 - 8 pm. Enjoy weekly dinners with the group and learn about each other in a safe, caring environment. The Walla Walla Noon Rotary Club has generously provided funds for this Mother-Daughter Circle so there is no cost to participants.

Call today to sign up - 509-524-8845.



Tabitha’s Closet provides formal wear for school events

Tabitha’s Closet is a place to borrow formal wear for Homecoming and Prom for students attending schools across the Walla Walla valley.
- Open by appointment only, Monday through Friday
- Call (509) 525-0092 to make an appointment
- Located at 1420 S. 2nd Ave


Battle of the Badge basketball game Saturday

The 5th Annual Battle of the Badge Law Enforcement versus Fire basketball game is Saturday, April 22 at the Wa-Hi gym at 7 p.m.
· Tickets are $8 and children 3 and under are free.
· Law Enforcement team will be playing for Big Blue Boosters
· Fire will be playing for WW Catholic Schools
· Information: Amy Harris at (509) 524-4557 or aharris@wallawalla.gov


City Parks & Recreation community update

Warrior Soccer Academy - $48 - Ages 5-11 – now through May 11
All Comers Track & Field Meet - $3.00/$5.00 - 12 & under - Sunday, May 7
Fall Soccer Registration is now open - $50 - Ages 5-14

Veteran’s Memorial Pool Passes On Sale NOW - Passes will be full price starting May 1
Youth, Adult, Senior, Veteran and Family passes available

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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