No School Monday – Memorial Day Holiday
There is no school Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day. The last day of school is Wednesday, June 14 (early dismissal).
||Save the Date: Graduates of Distinction Ceremony
- Tuesday, June 6
- 5 p.m.
- Anne Golden Boardroom (WWPS District office – 364 S. Park St.)
- Honorees: Bruce Hunt (Class of 1974); Jeanne Eggart Helfer (Class of 1977); and Dr. Richard Simon, Jr. (Class of 1968)
||Spring Focus on Education Community newsletter
This week the district published its Spring 2017 Focus on Education community newsletter.
Stories this issue includes:
- Partners of the Year
- Dave Klicker Track Dedication
- Girls’ League makes comeback
- WWPS Heritage
- Washington state Counselor of the Year
- New Strategic Plan
- Farm life inspires Case to excel
- Latino outreach boost
- Middle school options expand
- Health Center comes to Wa-Hi
||Reykdal Unveils Long-Term Vision for K-12 Education and McCleary Framework
Ample and equitable education funding is the foundation, but we must think about the big picture, Reykdal said.
OLYMPIA — May 24, 2017 — Today, Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal outlined his long-term vision for K-12 education and framework for meeting the state Supreme Court’s decision in McCleary v. Washington at a press conference in Olympia.
“The goal of our education system is to prepare all of our students for post-secondary aspirations, careers, and life,” he said. “In the ongoing struggle to amply fund our schools, I fear we have lost this larger vision.”
Reykdal’s vision identifies the McCleary court case – in which the Supreme Court ruled that the state isn’t adequately funding basic education – as a starting point.
“We’ve talked about McCleary for several years now,” Reykdal said. “But too often, people see meeting the court’s mandate as the final destination. I believe our students and educators deserve so much more than just the bare minimum.”
Reykdal’s vision is set forth over three phases – each lasting two years – from small improvements to a full redesign of the K-12 education system. They are as follows:
Phase I (2017-19): Performance Improvements and McCleary Framework
- To prevent a “McCleary II,” the Legislature must decide on a clear definition of basic education and the state’s portion of compensation for our educators, Reykdal said.
- Beyond that, the state will need to provide targeted support beyond basic education for schools with large performance gaps between student demographics. Reykdal has consistently said that we will not shy away from data that expose where we are lacking because it’s what will help move the needle for our most vulnerable students.
- Additionally, Washington is one of few states that still require students to pass a single exam to graduate. Reykdal’s framework moves the 11th grade assessment to the 10th grade so test results will inform students’ graduation pathway. But in an immediate step, we should stop using standardized exams as a filter on who graduates, Reykdal said.
Phase II (2019-21): Research and Policy Transition
- “This is where the long-term vision begins to take form,” Reykdal said. That includes creating meaningful pathways to high school graduation, paying all dual credit fees for our students, and creating more opportunities for parents and guardians to engage in their child’s education, particularly with key investments in technology.
Phase III (2021-23): Comprehensive K-12 Redesign
- The final phase of Reykdal’s vision includes large transformational changes. These include dual language acquisition beginning in kindergarten, longer K-8 school days and a longer school year, longer lunch breaks, adequate recess times, and universal early learning access, among others.
“I know these are bold goals that will require additional investments by the state,” Reykdal said. “But when looking at how much of our state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the total dollar value of all the goods and services we produce – we reinvest in education, Washington ranks 46th nationally. We can do much, much better than that.”
Reykdal predicted additional funding for education would amount to about $4 billion a year. “The Legislature has the opportunity to make enormous progress this year when they come to an agreement,” he said. “But we must focus on the education system we need, and not settle for the one that our political climate will tolerate in the short term.”
“McCleary has given us a chance to take a deep look at how we educate our children so they are successful in their lives and are active contributors to society,” he continued.
Superintendent Reykdal understands his long-term vision is bold, audacious, and to implement, will require the support of parents and guardians, educators, policymakers, and the public. “If we are serious about our children being able to compete on a national and global scale, it’s time we look at our education system in a new way,” he said.
“Our system redesign can only claim success if it truly provides equal opportunity and an unprecedented embrace of individual learning pathways for each student,” Reykdal said. “We hope you will join us on this transformation.”
||Explorer student aces Continental Math League competition
Explorer program student Kia Lincoln recorded a perfect score on all Continental Math League (CML) competition exams. This is the second consecutive year Kia scored perfect marks. As a third grade student, he only missed two problems. The CML competition involves a series of meets where students compete against grade level peers. The 4th-5th graders have five meets throughout the year, and 3rd graders have three meets.
During the meet, each student is given the same six very challenging math questions that involve problem solving skills. Each grade has a different math league test. The questions are designed to be challenging so not all students will be able to solve every question. Kia is a 5th grade student at Edison Elementary. His parents are Justin and Mayumi Lincoln.
“In my nine years teaching Explorers, I have never had a student get perfect scores two times,” said Explorer teacher Mary Cortinas. “In addition to his achievement in the CML competition, Kia also won the Walla Walla Valley math competition in March.”
||Wa-Hi English teacher writes grant to support Professional Learning Community
Walla Walla High School teachers, in the group “Claim-Evidence-Reasoning Professional Learning Community Superheroes,” will have more opportunities to collaborate, examine student work and analyze data thanks to a $5000 grant for the 2017-2018 school year. English teacher Lindsey James successfully wrote the grant to fund the PLC’s work in support of Goal One of the new strategic plan which focuses on high quality instruction. The majority of the funds will be used to pay for class release time to align teaching practices.
“One of our primary goals has been to develop common language and a common process for teaching evidence-based writing,” James said. “We will also spend time collaboratively evaluating student writing, so we can refine and strengthen our common practices.”
||Softball team wins first game of state tournament
Congratulations to the Walla Walla High School Girls Softball team for defeating South Kitsap 6-4 in round one of the 4A State Championship tournament at the Dwight-Merkel Sports Complex in Spokane. The team advances to second round play at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 1320 AM and 92.9 FM. Also listen online: https://kgdcradio.com/
The team is coached by Arch McHie. Go Big Blue!
||Imagine Tomorrow Inspires Student Inventors
Imagine Tomorrow Girls Program students performed strong at the Inventors Competition at WSU. This year, 13 Wa-Hi girls competed in the event aimed to develop engineers and leaders. Thanks to 21st Century Program coordinator Andrew Sayers for challenging to these students to dream bigger.
Click here for more: http://www.wwps.org/news/spotlight/4060-imagine-tomorrow-inspires-student-inventors
||2017 Graduation Events
Lincoln High School
Thursday, June 1
Cordiner Hall (Whitman College)
Walla Walla High School
Friday, June 2
Walla Walla High School Commons area (800 Abbott Road)
Pioneer Middle School 8th Grade Graduation
Monday, June 12
Walla Walla High School Large Gym (800 Abbott Road)
Garrison Middle School 8th Grade Graduation
Tuesday, June 13
Walla Walla High School Large Gym (800 Abbott Road)
||Wa-Hi Senior Signing Day
School spirit was on full display during the Wa-Hi Senior Signing Day all school assembly. Seniors were able to showcase their plans for next year by holding up college, military and career pathway signs as they flowed into the main gym for the event. Academic and activities awards were presented to the seniors during the assembly. The Commencement Valedictorians and Salutatorian were also announced. Commencement is Friday, June 2 at 7 p.m. near the Commons area on the campus of Walla Walla High School. Congratulations Class of 2017!
- Ashley Halazon
- Hannah Cabasco
- Cameron Peters
- Erika Leinweber
- Krystal Roberts
- Marygrace McKeirnan
Blue Ridge Celebrates Hero Day
Blue Ridge Elementary recently had School Hero Day to honor cafeteria staff, custodians, nurses, and the district’s library cataloger, Toni Groff. These staff members were presented with a t-shirt and celebrated throughout the day with cookies and treats as well as handwritten notes and posters from the entire student body.
||Go Fund Me account set-up to support son of Berney teacher
Berney 2nd grade teacher Kim Kearbey and her family are going through an extremely difficult time as her son Miles was recently diagnosed with Leukemia. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help off-set expenses. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kim and her family.
Kearbey Go Fund Me Page: https://www.gofundme.com/rzmzk-miles-kearbey-leukemia-fund
||JROTC Cadets host 98th Annual Pass in Review
Wednesday Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Adam Grau relinquished command of the Blue Devil Battalion to newly promoted Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Melinda Locke. The ceremony occurred during the JROTC Annual Review held at the Wa-Hi
Soccer Field. This was the 98th Annual Review held to recognize the achievements of the Cadets as well as welcome in the new commander.
Several students received awards during the ceremony. Dakota Buman was awarded most improved Unarmed Team Member and Color Guard 1 member. Alex Young was the top Color Guard 2 member. David Garza showed the greatest improvement on the fitness team. Jarek Hamm was recognized as the most valuable Armed Team commander. Earlier in the day, Sydnee Walker beat 80 other Cadets to earn the top Unarmed Drill Down award.
In attendance were Superintendent Wade Smith and School board members Cindy Meyer and Ruth Ladderud and about 50 members of the community. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Bravo Company commanded by Cadet Alex Young earned the Best Drill Company and Best Pass in Review company awards for their performance during the review.
The Walla Walla High Army JROTC program has about 135 Cadets focused on skills to assist them in becoming better citizens. The Annual Review is the culminating unit project and represents over 70 individual events that Cadets participate in during the school year from competitions to community service projects.
“I am so proud of the hard work our students. They put in countless hours supporting our program, their teams, and the community,” said Lieutenant Colonel Bill Bialozor, Senior Army Instructor, Wa-Hi JROTC. “This ceremony is our way of recognizing their efforts.”
||Walla Walla High School musical Big Fish nominated for 5th Avenue awards
Congratulations to Drama Director Kristin Glaeser and the entire Walla Walla High School Drama program as the spring musical Big Fish was nominated in several categories for the annual 5th Avenue High School Musical Awards. The 5th Avenue Awards honors outstanding achievement in high school musical theater and celebrates the hard work and dedication students and educators put forth to make their school productions a success. This program was created to shine the spotlight on musical theater similarly to the way sports are regularly celebrated in schools. Award recipients will be announced June 12 in Seattle, WA.
“This is huge deal and I am extremely proud of our students, said Glaeser. “Over 100 schools competed in 122 adjudicated productions, and we made the top EIGHT in eight different categories, with several honorable mentions in the top 16. This is a difficult feat for an eastern Washington high school.”
Walla Walla High School’s Big Fish Nominations:
- OUTSTANDING OVERALL MUSICAL
- OUTSTANDING DIRECTION
- OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION- Honorable Mention
- OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY
- OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRA
- OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN
- OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN- Honorable Mention
- OUTSTANDING STAGE CREW- Honorable Mention
- Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Ensemble Role: KATY PAYNE - The Witch
- Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Ensemble Role: PETER HOFFMAN - Ensemble
- OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A CHORUS
||Donations fully fund Pioneer’s Book Nook
Pioneer Middle School’s library will feature a Book Nook reading area thanks to staff and local donations. The project also received a boost from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation & Think It Up.
“Needless to say the students and I are ecstatic,” said Library Media Specialist Sara Strickland. “We can’t wait for our furniture, rug, lamp, and two pillows to be delivered so we can set up the Book Nook and put it to good use and comfortably read to our hearts’ content.”
||The Great Newspaper Fort Challenge tests STEM skills
Pioneer Middle School Library recently hosted The Great Newspaper Fort Challenge. The activity featured students building newspaper forts. The structure was required to stand on its own and team members had to fit inside. Prizes were awarded for the most geometrically/structurally sound, most aesthetically pleasing, and the best theme.
”Students put their STEM skills to the test by creating structures out of newspapers,” said Sara Strickland.
||Blue Ridge students rally to raise funds for Health Center
Congratulations to Blue Ridge Elementary students on a successful fundraising campaign in support of The Health Center. Friday students donated $503.76 to the Health Center. For the past 10 days, students brought in change and cash to raise money in support of the Health Center. Student Jose Alvarado earned a gift certificate to Dairy Queen following his $50 donation.
The Health Center clinics provide 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. A clinic will also open this fall at Walla Walla High School. More information may be found on The Health Center website: https://thehealthcenterww.org/
||Key Washington Mason visits Wa-Hi JROTC, talks values & history, presents commendation
Story by: Masonic PR Committee
Walla Walla High School Junior ROTC cadets hosted a guest speaker recently to learn about the role of values-based organizations in American history, and to present a letter of commendation to a cadet who applied lifesaving lessons learned in the program.
“Patriotism and people of great conviction and strong values have always been key to the growth of our great nation,” said Warren Schoeben, the second-ranking Freemason in Washington. “Programs like the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps help participating cadets become better citizens and future leaders.”
He discussed the historic comparison between the values and virtues expressed in the cadet’s code, Army Values taught in the JROTC program, and the direct similarity to those virtues expected of Masons everywhere.
Schoeben, whose official title is the Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington, traveled from the Grand Lodge office in University Place to be here for the visit. He is in line to become the next leader of the historic Fraternity. The organization will have its annual session in Yakima in June. His visit exemplifies Masonry’s ongoing commitment to community outreach, history and education.
Following his short prepared remarks, Schoeben answered questions from the seniors in the program. The cadets learned about the civic service commitments, philanthropy, values and virtues and how they parallel between organizations like JROTC, which helps cadets develop good citizenship in their communities, and Freemasonry whose historic leaders help give birth to America. He also advised the cadets of scholarship programs available through Freemasonry and stressed the importance of education to individuals and the resulting benefit to communities after they receive their higher education degrees.
Before leaving, Schoeben presented a Washington Grand Lodge letter of commendation to Cadet Major Mariam Hart for her quick and lifesaving actions in March, when she applied the Heimlich maneuver and rescued a choking teacher on campus.
Garrison Middle School students build pet shelters for Humane Society
Garrison Middle School students demonstrated their love and care for animals recently by teaming with the Blue Mountain Humane Society to construct pet shelters. Seventh and eighth grade students in Chad Hulett’s class constructed 20 pet shelters with materials provided by the Humane Society in collaboration with ProBuild. The project helped students develop skills and provide service to the community.
Graduation Balloon Bouquets help fund national FBLA trip
Graduation balloon bouquets are available at the Devil’s Den at Walla Walla High School. The store will be open from 3 to 6:45 for snacks, beverages, and spirit gear on June 2 prior to graduation. The funds raised will help to send FBLA students to Nationals in Anaheim, CA this summer.
||Summer Kids Sports Camps
Walla Walla High School coaches are supporting numerous youth camps this summer to help students improve their skills. This is an excellent opportunity for kids to have fun this summer, play sports, and support Wa-Hi Athletics.
- Boys Basketball
- And more to be announced…
Summer Sports Camps Schedule and Registration:
||BDAD (Blue Devil Athletic Development) 2017
· June 26 to August 3, 2017
· Weekly (Monday- Thursday)
· 9-12 graders: 8-9 a.m. or 10-11 a.m.
· 5-8 graders: 9-10 a.m.
· $40 per person
· ONE WAY TO REGISTER- TWO WAYS TO PAY: Register on FamilyID and pay online via InTouch (intouch.wwps.org), or pay in the ASB Office.
· Please note: There is a registration cut-off this year. Registration and payment must be received no later than June 23, 2017 at 3 p.m.
||Whitman College School Outreach Newsletter features Walla Walla Public Schools
Click on the link below to read the Whitman College School Outreach Newsletter. This publication focuses on how the Whitman College School Outreach program supports local students. Thanks to Science Outreach Coordinator Heidi Chapin for all her support this school year.
||Free event focuses on strength-based strategies to improve youth outcomes
The Children’s Resilience Initiative has invited Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg to Walla Walla for a free public event Wednesday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Cordiner Hall (Whitman College) to discuss how strength-based strategies build resilience in children and improve youth outcomes. Spanish translation and free child care is provided. Visit the event Facebook page to learn more.
||Exchange Club names 2016-2017 Youth of the Year recipients
The Walla Walla Exchange Club has named Waitsburg High School senior Jacob Dunn and Touchet High School senior Faith Dowsett Youth of the Year recipients for the 2016-2017 school year. Each student received $1000 checks to help support their higher education plans.
Dunn and Dowsett were selected among a pool of representatives from high schools throughout the Walla Walla valley. Participants are seniors selected by their local high schools to represent their schools in the Exchange Club’s Youth of the Month program. A selection committee of Exchange Club members reviews the Youth of the Month nomination packets and selects two seniors to receive Youth of the Year awards. This year’s program theme was “Inspiring Communities to become a Better Place.” Participants write essays related to this theme and share them with club members during luncheons at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center. They also document their school activities, volunteer efforts and academic achievement success. Mark Higgins is the program chair. Dunn also received the Exchange Club Northwest District Youth of the Year award and another $1500 to offset college expenses.
Dowsett plans to attend the University of Washington in the fall in pursuit of a business degree. She is the daughter of Chris and Robin Dowsett. She has been a member of Touchet’s School system since kindergarten and is currently attending the Running Start program at Walla Walla Community College. She holds a 3.96 GPA and will earn her Associates degree and high school diploma in June. She enjoys serving as President of her Future Business Leaders of America Club, teaching community ukulele lessons with the National Honors Society, volunteering through clubs and her church, and playing the bass guitar.
Dunn plans to attend Washington State University in the fall and study architectural engineering. His parents are Martin and Rebecca Dunn. He maintains a 3.9 G.P.A. at Waitsburg High School. Dunn was a scholar athlete in football, basketball and baseball in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Knowledge Bowl and Student Council. He has received academic awards in math, science, agricultural science and an Outstanding Community Service award in 2014.
||City Parks & Recreation community update
Registration for all summer programs is now open.
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