Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 3, 2017

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

Fall Back: Daylight savings time ends Nov. 5

Remember to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed Saturday night. Daylight savings ends Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 a.m. 


School Board meetings Nov. 7

- Tuesday, Nov. 7
- 5:30 p.m. (regular study meeting – open to public)
- 7 p.m. (executive session – not open to public)
- Location: Anne Golden Boardroom (District Office – 364 S. Park St.)


Green Park Elementary Bus Loop Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Walla Walla Public Schools invites you to come celebrate the grand opening of the Green Park bus loop during a ribbon cutting ceremony.
- Wednesday, November 8
- 11:00 - 11:15 a.m.
- Green Park Elementary, 1105 E. Isaacs Ave. (bus loop area next to Isaacs Ave.)

Superintendent Wade Smith will address how the new bus loop improves safety and traffic flow and how the partnership with the City of Walla Walla’s Isaacs Ave project helped reduce costs and improve project efficiency since contractors were already on site and the street was under construction.


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 parent feedback through the Educational Effectiveness Survey (EES) as an extension of the Board of Director’s strategic planning process. The district will use the data to track progress towards its goals and initiatives. The deadline to complete the survey is Nov. 30.

How to take survey:
• Survey posted on district webpage - www.wwps.org
• Use your own electronic device - https://www.research.net/r/wwps-parent-2017
• Hard copies available in schools and the district office
• Survey is completely anonymous
• Available in both English and Spanish
• Please take a separate survey for each child’s school

Survey Topics:
• School Leadership
• Teaching and Learning
• Communication
• Safety and Security
• School Culture and Climate


No School Friday, November 10 – Veterans Day Holiday

There is no school Friday, November 10 in observance of Veterans Day. Thanks to all of our veterans for their service and sacrifice in the name of freedom. 


Thanksgiving Break Holiday Schedule

- Early dismissal Wednesday, November 22
- No school Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24


Remember to vote – November 7

- General Election: November 7
- Please remember to vote


Nearly $1 million awarded for Washington State Computer Science Education; Walla Walla receives $40,000

Almost $1 million in grants were awarded to improve access to computer science and related educational programs in Washington state. The Washington State Legislature made $1 million available for computer science education grant funding through OSPI in 2017. Walla Walla Public Schools was awarded $40,000. The grants allow the school district to train teachers, provide and upgrade technology, and expand access to girls, students from underrepresented populations, and communities who have historically been underserved.


Winter weather school delay or closure procedures

As winter weather forecasts begin to appear, Walla Walla Public Schools reminds everyone safety is the primary factor for for delaying or canceling school due to inclement weather. Driving of local roads, studying weather forecasts, and communicating with surrounding school districts are components included in this thoughtful process. Decisions to delay or close school usually are made by 5:30 a.m. or earlier. This triggers the district’s comprehensive school closure/delay announcement plan. The district makes every effort to begin announcements by 6 a.m.

Announcements include:
- Media release (radio, tv, newspaper)
- SchoolMessenger automated messages to staff and parents (telephone, email, text)
- Web posting (www.wwps.org)
- Staff e-mail (Google staff e-mail)
- Enews message (sign up on the district web site)
- District Facebook page (facebook.com/wwschools)
- Twitter message (twitter.com/wwschools)
- Orange signs posted in front of schools


Report It! SafeSchools Alert system allows anonymous reporting of bullying, safety concerns and more

Safety is one of the district’s top priorities. To help safeguard our school community, Walla Walla Public Schools uses SafeSchools Alert, a tip reporting service for students, staff, and parents to submit safety concerns to the administration four different ways:
1. Phone: 1-855-4ALERT1, ext. 1057
2. Text: Text #1057 @tip + your tip to ALERT1 (253781)
3. Email: 1057@alert1.us
4. Web: http://1057.alert1.us

Report tips on bullying, harassment, drugs, vandalism, or any safety issue you’re concerned about through SafeSchools Alert. When you submit a tip, be sure to use our district’s identification code: 1057 in your communication. Every tip SafeSchools Alert receives about our district is immediately logged in the system and the administration is notified so they can investigate and take appropriate action. And, tips may also be submitted anonymously if you prefer. Together, using SafeSchools Alert, we can make our district a safer place to work and learn!


Download WWPS Mobile App (school closure information, jobs, calendar and more)

Download Walla Walla Public Schools mobile app. Android users visit Google Play and iPhone users go to the Apple Store and type Walla Walla Public Schools in the search window. It’s free and easy to install.

Mobile App features
- School closure and emergency notifications
- News, events and calendar
- Jobs postings
- WWPS social media links


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 -- sgolden@wwps.org / 526-6715

Tour Sites:
• Pioneer Middle School
• Walla Walla High School
• Lincoln High School


School Stories
Wa-Hi Jazz Band receives Outstanding Band Award 

Congratulations to the Wa-Hi Jazz Band for receiving an Outstanding Band award at the WSU Jazz Festival. The band competed against 16 bands and was one of only three groups to receive the award. This is the Jazz Band’s 5th consecutive year to win this award.

The Jazz Band will perform Tuesday, November 7 as the “opening act” for the jazz themed Walla Walla Symphony concert at Cordiner Hall. Contact the Walla Walla Symphony box office for tickets. They are planning to perform several numbers from the festival and also one with the symphony’s guest vocalist Clairdee and guest clarinetist Ken Peplowski.


Wa-Hi JROTC selects Holgate October 2017 cadet of month - Story courtesy of Blue Devil JROTC Public Affairs

The “Blue Devils” of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Walla Walla High School has selected the next Cadet of the Month.

Cadet/PFC Braden Holgate, Co. B, received an on-the-spot promotion to his current rank on Oct. 25. He won the honor by scoring 461 points of a possible 606 total.

Cadet Pvt. Cade Garza, Co. D, finished in second place with 305 points and c/Pvt. Owen Wooster, Co. F, came in third at 296 points.

Cadets from each company compete each month by undergoing a thorough uniform inspection conducted by the battalion command sergeant major. The inspection is followed by a question and answer interview to test their military knowledge.

“This competition allows newer cadets an opportunity to prove how much they’ve learned and improved as members of Wa-Hi’s JROTC program,” said cadet Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Bialozor. “The cadet with the highest score is immediately promoted to their new rank and awarded the Cadet of the Month ribbon.”

Cadets take part in the JROTC program to develop strong leadership skills and good citizenship traits to carry forth into the community. In addition to attending regular JROTC classes, many cadets also compete on special teams for drill and ceremony, rifle marksmanship, and physical training. These cadets often travel to compete in drill meets and rifle matches with other schools in the Cascade Division, including Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy JROTC Programs.


Bilingual Department promotes cultural awareness by sponsoring students to attend Villalobos Brothers concert 

Last Saturday evening, 30 orchestra students from Pioneer, Garrison and Walla Walla High School attended the Villalobos Brothers concert at the Gesa Powerhouse Theater.

“These amazing musicians played traditional Mexican folk tunes, as well as many original compositions,” said Orchestra teacher Julia Woods.”They were also kind enough to take a picture with the group, sign autographs, and encourage students in their musical pursuits.”

This event was sponsored by Dr. Victor Vergara and the Bilingual Education and Latino/a Outreach Department. Music teachers Caleb Condie and Julia Woods and Pioneer Middle School Intervention Specialist Javier Hernandez accompanied the students.


Bleedingham Horror Short Film Festival welcomes film produced by SEATech Audio & Video Production students 

One of two films made by the June 2017 Filmmakers Boot Camp students was accepted in competition at the Bleedingham Horror Short Film Festival in Bellingham, WA. The film is titled “The Wisdom They Bring,” and is a science fiction tale developed by the 21 students and three interns at the summer program.

The film (in a running time of 5:43) offers a glimpse of an unsettling future in which the process of education -- and even the process of communicating face-to-face -- look very different. The film can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/223921735

Five of the students and one of the interns attended the festival Oct. 28. Their film had scored so highly with the judges at Bleedingham that it was not entered in the student category, but rather in the main event alongside 17 other short films made by Pacific Northwest filmmaking professionals, according to SEATech Audio & Video Production instructor Jeffrey Townsend.

“This unusual showing for a high school program led to a lot of attention for the students during the reception at the Pickford Film Center; the judges and festival organizers sought out the students and peppered them with questions about the film and its development,” said Townsend.

Townsend also points to the swift expansion of the filmmaking part of the social media content-creation field as the primary rationale for teaching students how to quickly break down a story and produce media-rich content on a tight budget and with short deadlines.

“We want hiring content producers to start wondering if there’s something in the water in Walla Walla!” Townsend jokes. “Students know that it’s not enough to have only an intuitive understanding of kinetic media. They need a portfolio of work that shows that they are mastering the skills whether they’re headed to a four-year college, a year or two of technical training, or right into the job market.”


SEATech Health Sciences students compete against Moses Lake program

SEATech students in the Health Sciences program hosted students from Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center (Moses Lake) for a skills competition. Walla Walla Community College second year nursing students served as the evaluators for the competition. Instructor Sandy Thomas says this competition will help prepare students for the Certified Nursing Assistant exam later this school year. 


Veterans Day Assemblies – Thursday, Nov. 9

8 a.m. - Blue Ridge
8:10 a.m. - Garrison Middle School
9 a.m. - Edison
9:20 a.m. - Walla Walla High School
10 a.m. - Berney (A-L)
12:45 p.m. - Green Park
1 p.m. - Sharpstein
1:30 p.m. - Berney (M-Z)
1:30 p.m. - Prospect Point
2 p.m. - Pioneer Middle School


Wa-Hi JROTC invites area veterans to attend annual Veterans Day Assembly

The Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devils” Cadet Battalion and the Associated Student Body (ASB) will host an assembly to honor all veterans on Thursday, Nov. 9 in the main gym.

“The ASB and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets have an extensive ceremony planned including a distinguished guest speaker and other activities. Veterans and their guests are invited to arrive at 9 a.m., with ceremonies to begin at 9:20,” said cadet Lt. Col. Melinda Locke, the battalion commander. “Veterans of all periods and conflicts, including the Cold War, from all branches ... Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and all their components active, reserve, guard, and retired will be recognized for their service to the nation.”

Special parking has been arranged and assistance will be available for those with limited mobility between the small gym and the tennis courts, according to a battalion event-planning official. There will be coffee before the event and light refreshments provided immediately following the assembly.

“This event is free and open to veterans, their families, survivors, friends of veterans, and the general public. All are welcome to attend. Please share this with every veteran you know in our community,” added Locke.

For more information call the WWHS JROTC department at 509-527-3035, or email to wwhs_rotc@wwps.org .


Edison students step up for Puerto Rico

Edison students, with the support of staff, families and the Edison Shocker Student Council Dream Team, collected 1,108 for Puerto Rico, in partnership with the Salvation Army.  “We are so proud of our school's efforts to reach out to others in need, specifically focusing on improving the lives of students whose schools were damaged and destroyed by Hurricane Maria,” said Principal Dr. Julie Perron. “Congratulations, Shockers!”


Wa-Hi JROTC to host regional air rifle match Saturday

The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets at Walla Walla High School will host the United States of America JROTC Air RIfle Match or USAJARC Saturday. This event includes marksmanship teams in both Sporter and Precision levels.

The first relay will commence at 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, and competition will be held in the small gym and rifle range at Walla Walla High School. Relays will continue through late morning. Competing teams confirmed to attend include Walla Walla, Colville and Spokane. This event will also help determine qualified competitors for other national and all-service JROTC events later in the 2017-2018 competitive season.

Competitors use .177 caliber air rifles, quite similar to those used at the Olympics, and fire on targets the size of quarters at 10-meter distances. Wa-Hi has consistently produced local, regional, national and all-service champions for many years. This event will be another opportunity to showcase the program excellence that has resulted in marksmen winning scholarships and service academy appointments.

For more information please contact Lieutenant Colonel Bill Bialozor, who is the JROTC Senior Army Instructor, or Sergeant First Class Mark Mebes who is the JROTC Army Instructor and rifle team coach. Email wwhs_rotc@wwps or call 509-525-3035.


Football team raises $2100 through Coach to Cure campaign

Congratulations to the Walla Walla High School football team for raising $2100 in support of the Coach To Cure Muscular Dystrophy Foundation. This is the 7th consecutive year the team has supported the cause. The Wa-Hi football team had three honorary captains along with "player captains" who were part of the coin toss to start the Oct. 13 Richland game. The honorary captains also practiced with the team, ran a play with the team and scored a touchdown. There is no cure for this disease which only inflicts boys. Coach Eric Hisaw says there are at least two families in the Walla Walla Valley affected by this condition and they both have been active members of the football team's campaign against Duchenne MD.


Public invited to Walla Walla Youth Speaks event

- Walla Walla Youth Speaks event
- Free, open to public
- Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 12 noon
- WWCC Performing Arts Center

Students in the 7th and 8th grade Advanced Writing Projects classes at Pioneer and Garrison have spent the last several weeks researching a topic of importance to them. Their culminating project is an oral presentation modeled after TED Teen Talks. Thanks to the generosity of Walla Walla Community College, all participating students from the classes of Mrs. Clearman, Mrs. Wooters, Mrs. Cabasco, and Ms. Palmer will convene at the Performing Arts Center for the Walla Walla Youth Speaks event.


Amvets Post 1111 honors Sharpstein student

This week, Richard Bardsley and members of Amvets and the Ladies Auxiliary presented Sharpstein student 2nd grade Alula Spradlin  with a certificate and American flag for taking 2nd place in the youth coloring contest. The award was part of the Amvets Americanism Contest which promotes civics and the important role veterans have in our country. Alula’s teacher is Claudia Saldivar. 


Community Stories
Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner

- Tuesday, November 21
- 4 to 6 p.m.
- Desales High School

Sponsored by St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army with the help of numerous churches, community organizations and private donations. If you have questions, please call Kay Barga 529-3527 or St. Vincent de Paul 525-3903.


City Parks and Recreation Update
Winter Wrestling Workshop - December 26-28 - Ages 5-13 - $40
Lacrosse Fundamentals Clinic - January 20-27 - Grades 1-4 - $15 including equipment
Adult First Aid/CPR - Ages 12 & Up - $70 includes materials

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to http://www.wwpr.us
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