||WWPS No School Days – Oct, 6, 12 and 13
- October 6 (Fall Staff Collaboration Day)
- October 12 & 13 (Parent Conferences)
||District seeks parent input through Educational Effectiveness Survey
Parent Survey Link - https://www.research.net/r/wwps-parent-2017
Walla Walla Public Schools is seeking feedback from key stakeholder groups through the Educational Effectiveness Survey (EES) as an extension of the Board of Director’s strategic planning process. This survey tool will be used annually going forward.
Next week the district will begin administering the survey to parents. Parents will have an opportunity to complete the survey using their own electronic devices. They may also take the survey when they arrive for conferences at their respective schools. Hard copies will also be available. A survey link is being posted on the Walla Walla Public Schools webpage – www.wwps.org.
Later this month students and staff will receive the survey. In addition a community telephone survey is being conducted this fall to garner feedback about the quality of education offered in Walla Walla Public Schools. The district will use the data to track progress towards its goals and initiatives.
“This survey will provide our staff and leadership valuable information and feedback about our school environments from the perspective of current parents, students, staff and community members, including those who don’t have children in our schools,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “We value your input and welcome your ideas as we strive for a world-class education for all students.”
The survey is completely anonymous and available in both English and Spanish. Survey questions were developed by the Center for Educational Effectiveness, a Washington-based educational research firm, in collaboration with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for Washington State. This survey has been used with over 750,000 educational stakeholders in the Western U.S. and provides a powerful tool for district staff to benchmark current school perceptions with high-performing schools across the nation.
||School board reviews grade 3-8 state assessment results and high school ACT performance
Superintendent Wade Smith provided the school board a comprehensive grades 3-8 Smarter Balanced Assessment and high school ACT performance review Tuesday evening from last school year’s data. Assessment results reported by Superintendent Smith reveal the district continues to lag behind state averages in both English Language Arts and math. Assessment Director Pete Peterson joined Superintendent Smith in presenting the data to school board members.
“While we are seeing some grade level and subject area success, as a system, our overall assessment results can be described as trending down while the state is maintaining or trending up,” said Peterson. “The district has invested $500,000 in new curriculum, as well as i-Ready - a systemic tool and instructional aid. We have the staff and leadership in the district to move our numbers in a more positive direction.”
Superintendent Smith also shared Smarter Balanced assessments are taken online and designed for students to demonstrate they can solve problems and utilize critical thinking skills. Smarter Balance exam results help indicate if students are college and career ready, he added. All Walla Walla Public Schools seniors have the opportunity to take the ACT. This exam measures college readiness benchmarks in English, math, reading and science. The district has set an average ACT score goal of 22 by 2021-2022. Currently the district’s high school seniors’ ACT average score is 19.3.
Superintendent Smith says the district is taking steps to improve academic achievement. He reported Professional Learning Communities are forming across the district to enhance instructional practices, review data points and strategize ways to further engage students in their learning. He also noted the new i-Ready assessment tool being introduced this year is aligned to Common Core Standards. Strategic Plan focus areas like chronic absenteeism, behavioral support and student engagement and outreach will also have a positive impact on learning.
||Superintendent Smith discusses facilities study in new Pulse video
Click below to watch the October Pulse video featuring Superintendent Wade Smith. Superintendent Smith provides updates on the Strategic plan, facilities planning and more in this brief video.
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onu9oyRuq1c&t=2s
||District joins sponsor list at annual Dia De Los Muertos event
Walla Walla Public Schools is one of several community sponsors of the annual Dia De Los Muertos event. District staff will have an information station set-up Sunday, Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the event located at the Downtown Farmers Market. There will be free activities, music, dance and theater. The district will share information about a variety of programs and activities, including:
- Dual Language Program
- English Language Development
- Middle School Spanish
- Free Middle School Sports
- Gifted Learners Program
- Advanced Placement Courses
- College Readiness Programs
||Local businesses warned of high school sports marketing scam
Walla Walla Public Schools is issuing a warning to area businesses to beware of solicitations or invoices from Sports Media. This out-of-town company has been soliciting ads for a local sports poster to area businesses for $149.
“Unfortunately the poster was never produced because it is a scam,” said Athletics and Activities Director Dirk Hansen. “Please do not pay any invoices you may receive from this company. Instead, notify the Better Business Bureau, and the local law enforcement authorities.”
Those who have additional questions as to advertising or fundraising campaigns involving Walla Walla High School, please contact the ASB office at 509-527-3020.
Article details the scam in another community:
||Community Facilities Task Force survey remains open until Oct. 11
Parents, staff, students and community members are encouraged to take the Community Facilities Task Force survey to share input on needs identified by the group. The survey remains open through Oct. 11. Following 13 months of study and extensive research, the eighteen-member Community Facilities Task Force is seeking a second round of public input on its work to date. Based on staff and community survey engagements last spring, in addition to comprehensive facility analysis performed, the committee is recommending practical renovations of Walla Walla High School, Lincoln High School, and Pioneer Middle School. Other facility needs across the district like roofing, heating and cooling systems and life safety have also been identified as priority projects. The district is eyeing November 2018 as a potential date for a bond issue and has declared this school year as one dedicated to community input and engagement.
Step one of this year’s input process begins with a survey testing the facilities improvement priorities established by the Community Facilities Task Force. Information gathered from this survey will help shape bond package options the Community Facilities Task Force will present to the school board in December. The school board will then seek further community input on these potential bond packages following winter break before making a final decision in May on a November 2018 bond proposal.
Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and share your thoughts. Hard copies of the survey are available by request at the district office. Participants may wish to preview the draft concepts prior to completing the survey. Conceptual drawings and project details for Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School, and Lincoln High School may be viewed here: (http://www.wwps.org/fp/facilities-planning).
To access the survey please visit one of the following links:
English survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GC6ZJY7
Spanish link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PV3KTM7
||District supports Realtors Care and Share Annual Food Drive
Walla Walla Public Schools is teaming with area realtors in support of the Annual Care and Share Food Drive. All proceeds support the Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank. A number of activities are planned this month to support the food drive and bring awareness to this important cause.
WWPS Food Drive Activities
Collection Barrels at Schools – Month of October
• Barrels at all elementary schools, both middle schools and the district office the month of October
“Fill the School Bus” event at area grocery stores – Saturday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Stores: SuperOne, Albertsons
Bag distribution to area residents
• Friday, Oct. 20 or by noon Saturday, Oct. 21 – Pick up on Oct. 22 (volunteers needed for a territory)
• Bags will be available at Land Title (downtown Plaza near Mill Creek)
Bag collections from area residents
• Sunday, Oct. 22 volunteers collect food (noon to 5 p.m.)
• Bags are delivered to Plaza Baker Boyer Bank (look for semi-truck)
||Personnel Report (from Oct. 3, 2017 school board meeting)
Michael Lemke, Grounds worker, Facilities and Operations
Ariana Valverde, Para-Ed, Pioneer Middle School
Students to join Great ShakeOut Earthquake drills
Walla Walla Public Schools is participating in the Great Washington Shakeout earthquake drill Thursday, Oct. 19. Students have learned to Drop, Cover and Hold in case of an earthquake. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are an annual opportunity for people in homes, schools, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes, and to improve preparedness.
||Meet the superintendent and visit Wa-Hi, Lincoln and Pioneer during Superintendent’s Patron Tour program
Join Superintendent Wade Smith for a tour of three schools and an update on the district’s Facilities Improvement Planning process, academic achievement goals and ways the district is reaching out to engage students in school activities. This is an excellent opportunity to meet Superintendent Smith and learn more about Walla Walla schools.
• Wednesday, Nov. 15 / 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
• RSVP by Thursday, Nov. 9 -- email@example.com / 526-6715
• Pioneer Middle School
• Walla Walla High School
• Lincoln High School
||Walla Walla Public Schools and United Way of Walla Walla Combine Forces to Create “Adopt-a-Blue Devil” Program
Click here to donate: http://www.unitedwayww.org/
This year when United Way of Walla Walla reaches out for donations in support of its 2017-2018 Annual Fundraising Campaign, community members will have an opportunity to check the new Adopt-a-Blue Devil program box to help support students in financial need participate fully in school activities. This exciting new program is a collaboration between Walla Walla Public Schools and United Way of Walla Walla.
“Whether a student is lacking money to pay for a pair of cleats, rent a band instrument, purchase a graduation cap and gown, or pay dues to join a school club/activity, the newly-created Adopt-a-Blue Devil Program is here to help,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “One of our four strategic district goals involves engaging students in our academic, athletic, and co-curricular programs. Unfortunately, many of our students lack the financial resources nowadays to participate. This program will serve instrumental in ensuring that no willing student in Walla Walla is turned away due to their family’s limited financial capacity.”
The Adopt-a-Blue Devil concept took shape this fall when Superintendent Smith and Executive Director of United Way of Walla Walla Christy Lieuallen met to discuss collaborative efforts between their two entities. Smith shared with Lieuallen how impactful poverty levels have become in Walla Walla as nearly 60% of the district’s students qualify for free and/or reduced lunch. This figure has jumped three times what it was 25 years ago. This school year the district lowered ASB fees and eliminated middle school pay to participate fees. Smith reports there are still significant costs related to other programming and student participation that limit involvement.
“Last school year the district’s employee sponsored United Way campaign program generated $14,000 district-wide through payroll deduction,” said Lieuallen. “We are hoping this year, with the Adopt-a-Blue Devil Program and additional support from other outside entities, we will be able to double that amount.”
All Walla Walla Public Schools payroll deductions for the Adopt-a-Blue Devil fund will be maintained and accounted for by United Way of Walla Walla. Requests to access the resources may be submitted by teachers, coaches, club advisors, and students. All funding requests will be reviewed and approved by Walla Walla school officials.
“We encourage staff to consider a $20 dollar per month pledge to give a Blue Devil or future Blue Devil (middle school student) a chance to prepare for college, learn new skills, stay engaged and make new friends without the worry of how their family will pay for it,” states Lieuallen. “However, any contribution level will help to sponsor a Walla Walla Public Schools student in need.”
||Remember to vote – November 7
- General Election: November 7
- Ballots mail out to voters October 18
||Dr. Kirby’s retirement marks opportunity to celebrate her legacy at The Health Center
By Gina Ohnstad, The Health Center Board Member
It all started in 2008 when the then-principal of Lincoln High School Jim Sporleder called Dr. Alison Kirby for a favor. He had students who couldn’t play sports because they had not had a sports physical. Jim asked Dr. Kirby if she could help. She said, “Yes, of course”. When Dr. Kirby examined the students she asked when they had last seen their pediatrician. Their answers shocked her.
“Some students said they hadn’t seen a doctor in 10 years,” said Dr. Kirby. “Others couldn’t remember ever seeing a doctor.”
Dr. Kirby had the realization that as a pediatrician, she was only seeing some of Walla Walla’s children. There was a whole population out there not getting the care they needed unless it was at the emergency room. After her reflection, Dr. Kirby she did some research about school-based health centers. She took it upon herself to write a proposal and secured a small grant for a feasibility study for a school based health center in Walla Walla.
Dr. Kirby brought on Holly Howard to do the feasibility study while Dr. Kirby biked with her family across the country. Upon her return, Dr. Kirby began working on the behind the scenes details necessary to get The Health Center up and running. Dr. Kirby recalls the journey wasn’t easy, but she was always grounded in a belief many of Walla Walla’s youth needed more healthcare options. The Health Center at Lincoln High School opened its doors in September of 2009 and Dr. Kirby has been a driving force ever since. Dr. Kirby executed her vision in her “free time” while working full-time as a pediatrician. She would spend her days off at The Health Center. On the days she worked, she would take her lunch breaks by seeing patients at The Health Center.
Now, as The Health Center expands to Walla Walla High School this school year and clinics remain open at Lincoln High School, Pioneer Middle School and Blue Ridge Elementary, Dr. Kirby says it is time to move on. This summer she retired as The Health Center’s Medical Director. Since the beginning it was her vision and passion that made The Health Center what it is today.
Those who have worked with Dr. Kirby at The Health Center say the key to its success was her heart, passion, understanding and connection with the kids, according to former director and co-founder Holly Howard.
“She can talk and be loving and caring. But she can also be honest and direct. Her communication and trust with the students at Lincoln High School were the thing that made us (at The Health Center) shine,” said Howard. “If The Health Center ran on a shoe string budget, Alison was the lace that tied it all together to keep us running forward.”
||Fall 2017 – Parent/Teacher Goal-Setting Conference Schedules
Wednesday, Oct. 11: 3:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12: 8:00 a.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Blue Ridge Elementary
Monday, Oct. 9: 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 11: 3:00- 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12: 8:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 11: 3:15 - 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12: 8:00 a.m. 6:30 p.m.
Green Park Elementary
Wednesday, Oct. 11: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Prospect Point Elementary
Monday, Oct. 9: 3:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 11: 3:30 - 7:15 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 10: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 11: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Garrison Middle School
Wednesday, Oct. 11 (Classrooms): 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 (Classrooms): 7:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 (Arena): 3:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Pioneer Middle School
Monday, Oct. 9 (Drop In): 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 11 (Drop In): 3:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 (Scheduled): 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Lincoln High School
Tuesday, Oct. 10: 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 11: 3:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Walla Walla High School
Wednesday, Oct. 11 (Drop In-Arena): 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 (Classrooms): 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
SEATech Skills Center
Wednesday, Oct. 11 (Drop In): 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 (Scheduled): 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
||Wa-Hi Football team supports Coach To Cure Muscular Dystrophy Foundation
The Walla Walla High School football team is supporting the Coach To Cure Muscular Dystrophy Foundation for the 7th consecutive year during the Oct. 13 game against Richland. The Wa-Hi football team will have three honorary captains, along with our “player captains” who will be part of the coin toss to start the game. The honorary captains will also be at practice with the team during the week, run a play with the team and score a touchdown. There is no cure for this disease which only inflicts boys. Learn more about Duchenne MD here:
“We have at least two families in the Walla Walla Valley affected by this terrible condition and they are both active members of our campaign against Duchenne MD every year,” said Coach Eric Hisaw. “The Wa-Hi ASB is helping coordinate this event to make it as successful as possible.”
||Elementary wrestling program returns in October
Following last year’s success, Walla Walla High School wrestling coach Jacob Butenhoff announces the return of the Elementary Wrestling program for boys and girls in grades 4-6. The program runs Oct 9 to 25 in district schools. Practice is one hour after school three days a week. Butenhoff says the program is an excellent opportunity to learn the basics, build confidence and have fun. Look for flyers in schools. Contact Coach Butenhoff for more information: (509) 521-0068 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
||Blue Mountain Community Foundation awards grants to schools
Thanks to the Blue Mountain Community Foundation for its generous $2500 donation from the Phoenix Fund.
- $1000 for students and families in need at Edison Elementary
- $1000 for students and families in need at Prospect Point Elementary
- $500 for students in need at Lincoln High School
||October is Resilience Awareness Month!
The Fifth Community Awareness Campaign is underway to promote resilience in area children and the community to create a brighter future for all. The City has proclaimed October as Resilience Awareness Month. By understanding the impact trauma has on our health and development, we can help buffer negative experiences by building resilience strategies.
The month-long campaign includes:
- “Got Resilience?” Yard Signs, Posters, Banners and Flags throughout town
- “Heart Matters: What is your emotion?” display at Land Title Plaza
- Art Extravaganza: Expressing our Emotions through Art. October 24, 6-8pm, Edison Elementary, Pizza & Salad & Art Fun! Discover how art helps us express our feelings!
- Resilience (Oct. 17) and Paper Tigers (Oct. 19) screenings, 7pm, Maxey Hall@Whitman
||City Council Candidate Forum
Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a City Council Candidates Forum Thursday, October 12 at the Courtyard by Marriott Walla Walla to hear from candidates in the running for seats on the Walla Walla City Council.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Forum starts at 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Those interested in doing so may submit questions for the candidates in advance by emailing Brian Duvall at email@example.com.
||City Parks and Recreation Update
Pumpkin Carving Contest - October 27 - Ages 3-12 years - Free
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to http://www.wwpr.us
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