||Walla Walla High School threat tip recap – By Superintendent Wade Smith
I just returned from another great Wish Assembly at Walla Walla High School! A special thank you to Mr. McHie, the leadership students, and many talented acts for their incredible efforts and support in organizing such an amazing program.
Just prior to the start of the assembly school officials were informed by a parent of a possible threat that they overheard from their student. This tip was immediately investigated in cooperation with our local safety officials, resulting in the slight delay to the start of the program. The source of the rumor was quickly ascertained and we learned that no threat was ever made. I want to commend Principal Higgins, SRO Deputy Thonney, and others on site who handled the matter professionally and promptly. In addition, I want to especially thank Sheriff Turner, Chief Bieber, and members from both of their departments who immediately responded and remained on site during the assembly so that everyone felt safe despite there being no risk.
These are incredibly sensitive times for all of us; students, staff, parents, and our community all mourn the recent loss of life in Florida and no doubt worry about the safety of each other locally. In matters such as these, we will always place the safety of our students and staff first, and today was no different. We have an incredible partnership with our local safety officials and first responders, and today’s actions highlighted the incredible collaboration, cooperation, and safety protocols in place among our entities.
Even though we discovered there was no actual threat, I want to commend those who reported the message to us so we could immediately respond and confirm the safety for all. This was exactly the right thing to do and I would encourage all of us to reinforce this message to students and staff alike. Whether it be a potentially unsafe condition, rumor, or the potential of someone harming him/herself, it is critical to report the information so that we can ensure our campuses remain a safe and welcoming environment for all.
||School board meetings Feb. 27
• Feb. 27 - School board regularly scheduled meeting @ 5:30 p.m. (open to the public)
• Feb. 27 – School board Executive Session @ approximately 7:40 p.m. (meeting not open to the public)
• Walla Walla Public Schools District Office
||Public invited to November 2018 bond planning informational meeting
• Thursday, March 1
• Walla Walla High School Commons (800 Abbott Road)
• Food and Social: 5:30 to 6 p.m.
• Program: 6 to 7 p.m.
• WWPS Bond Planning Information: http://www.wwps.org/2018bondplanning
Join members of the Community Facilities Task Force, School Board representatives and Superintendent Wade Smith for a public informational meeting on the district’s 2018 Bond Planning work. The panel will discuss the process to develop a long-range facilities plan, the facilities improvement options being studied for consideration on the November 2018 ballot, answer questions and take input.
||2018-2019 Kindergarten Dual Language Program Parent Informational Nights
Walla Walla Public Schools Bilingual Education Department is hosting a series of Dual Language Program Kindergarten Registration Parent Information Nights. Parents will learn about the registration process and more about dual language programs offered at Edison and Blue Ridge Elementary Schools. The district office will begin accepting applications for the Kindergarten Dual Language Program for the 2018-19 school year starting March 5, 2018.
Kindergarten Informational Nights
• Wednesday, February 28 - Sharpstein Elementary School at 6 p.m.
• Thursday, March 1 - Carrie Community Center at 5:30 p.m.
If you have any questions about these events, please contact the Bilingual Education Department at 526-6784.
||District emergency procedures focus on student safety
Walla Walla Public Schools is committed to maintaining schools that are free from violence, intimidation, threats, harassment and fear. A safe school creates the most favorable condition in which to learn and thrive. The district’s Emergency Planning process is anchored by three core components: Crisis prevention, Crisis management and Crisis recovery. Risk Management Specialist Mark Thompson, Sheriff Deputy and SRO Allan Thonney and Counselor Angie Gardea help lead these divisions.
The district works diligently to meet the state requirements of RCW 28A.320.125 (Safe School Plans) which requires districts to conduct emergency drills, facilitate training, maintain emergency plans, develop specialized emergency teams based on the Incident Command System, log drill activity and more. Walla Walla Public Schools has a Safe Schools Committee consisting of district leaders, first-responders, county emergency management and agency representatives who specialize in emergency procedures. This committee meets twice a year and assists with training and drill support. Walla Walla Public Schools also has a 24/7 Tip Line for reporting bullying, harassment, drug use, suicide, vandalism or any safety issue.
School safety remains the top priority of the school district.
To learn more about the district’s Emergency Planning Procedures visit the Safe Schools webpage: http://www.wwps.org/programs/safe-schools-program
||Walla Walla Public Schools recognized nationally for college prep course offerings and success
OSPI - More Washington Schools offer College Prep courses. The College Board estimates an increase in access to and student success on Advanced Placement exams in Washington state.
OLYMPIA — February 22, 2018 — During the past decade, Washington students have demonstrated continuous improvement on Advanced Placement (AP) test scores, according to a new report by the College Board.
For the past three years, Washington has ranked in the top 20 for high-performing students passing AP tests. Passing means achieving a score of 3 or higher, which typically qualifies for college credit.
“We are excited to see more students passing AP exams,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “A large part of this success comes from the growing number of schools that offer AP opportunities, granting students access to valuable college prep skills and cost savings for the future.”
One example of increased access to AP courses in Washington is in computer science. Ninety-five Washington schools offer AP Computer Science Principles courses; 32 of those courses were started this school year.
Advanced course-taking is one of the indicators the state will focus on as OSPI partners with schools on continuous improvement efforts.
In economic terms, the College Board reports that Washington students and families could potentially save more than $50 million on post-secondary tuition as a result of earning college credit while in high school AP courses.
More about the report
The College Board offers AP exams in 38 subjects. Students take the tests in May and receive scores on a scale from 1 to 5. Washington’s participation rate continues to rise, along with the number of students who score at least a 3 on an exam. The College Board’s report shows that 22.9 percent of Washington graduates in 2017 scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam during their high school career. In 2017, most exams in Washington were taken in English Language and Composition, U.S. History, and World History.
Honor roll districts
The College Board’s AP Honor Roll recognizes school districts that increase access to AP coursework and the percentage of students who score a 3 or higher.
Washington’s 2017 public school honor roll districts include:
• Arlington Public Schools
• Everett Public Schools
• Lake Washington School District
• Longview Public Schools
• Orcas Island School District
• Peninsula School District
• Shoreline School District
• Walla Walla Public Schools
“Congratulations to this year’s honor roll schools,” said Reykdal. “Thank you for offering your students opportunities that will impact their futures and raise the bar for future generations in public education.”
||Virtual tours allow public to look inside schools proposed for facility improvements
Everyone is encouraged to view the amazing virtual tours students in the 21st Century After School Program completed on Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School and Lincoln High School. Special thanks to Director Brent Cummings, Coordinator Andrew Sayers and other 21st Century team members for exposing district students to leading-edge technology.
“Over your computer, phone or other electronic devices, you can take a comprehensive, self-guided tour of any one of the three campuses currently being identified for varying levels of renovation on the upcoming Nov ‘18 bond,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “I urge you take some time to see firsthand the three primary facilities being proposed for upgrades: (Lincoln High School -1927 original building with a gym addition in 1964), (Wa-Hi-1963 main campus with 1984/1990 additions), and Pioneer Middle School (1950 campus with partial renovations in 1990 due to a fire).”
Click below to take a virtual tour of their current status and learn more about the renovations proposed by the 18 member task force and site-based committees at each of the three campuses.
||Graduates of Distinction nominations now accepted
Nominations are now open for the district’s prestigious Graduates of Distinction program. Nominations for this year’s recipients will be accepted through March 15. Please consider nominating an outstanding graduate or encouraging someone you know to submit a nomination. Recipients will be honored prior to the June 5 School Board meeting.
Information and the nomination forms are online:
||Volunteer of the Year nominations now accepted
Nominations are now open for the Art Regier Volunteer of the Year awards. Please consider nominating one of Walla Walla Public Schools’ outstanding volunteers. Recipients will be honored at the April 17 School Board meeting. Contact Communications Director Mark Higgins for additional information – email@example.com.
Nomination form: http://www.wwps.org/images/parents/Art_Regier_Nomination_Form.fillable_pdf.pdf
||Superintendent’s Patron Tour March 14 – Visit Wa-Hi, Pioneer MS and Lincoln HS
Join Superintendent Wade Smith for a tour of three schools and an update on the district’s 2018 Bond Planning work. This is an excellent opportunity to meet Superintendent Smith and learn more about Walla Walla Public Schools.
• Wednesday, March 14 / 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
• RSVP by Friday, March 9 -- firstname.lastname@example.org / (509) 526-6715
• Pioneer Middle School
• Walla Walla High School
• Lincoln High School
District seeks historic Walla Walla High School yearbook
Walla Walla Public Schools is seeking a copy of the 1934 (1933-34 school year) yearbook for Walla Walla High School. District staff will scan the book to add to the school’s digital library. If you have this yearbook, please contact Susie Golden at 509-526-6715 or email@example.com.
Walla Walla High School team takes first place in Ag Tech and Mechanical competition
Walla Walla High School FFA recently hosted a district Agriculture Technology & Mechanics Career Development Event (CDE). Five schools competed in the CDE and Wa-Hi FFA had a successful day. The team of Leighton Dorman, Colby Ray, Mikaela Forcum, Louis Jausoro and David Brewer placed first, with three team members placing in the top three individually. The team of Emerson Bennett, Jaden Juhasz, Jared Kelnhofer and Christopher Moniz placed third in the first competition in which these students have ever competed. Thank you to the Walla Walla FFA Alumni and Friends, Oxarc and CHS for helping make this event a success. The Agriculture Technology & Mechanics Career Development Event helps students develop their technical skills and knowledge, and their ability to work with others to solve complex problems.
||Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps announce student honors
By Wa-Hi JROTC Public Affairs
Cadet Corporal Annie Young from Alpha Company was named Cadet of the Month. This competition includes a uniform inspection and interview.
“My brother Alex is the battalion executive officer and he told me JROTC was fun and it looked cool,” said Young. “During my senior year I hope to follow in my brother’s footsteps.”
The battalion has also announced that Cadet Corporal Emily Jerald, from Echo Company is the January 2018 Marksman of the Month winner.
“I joined JROTC because I already enjoyed shooting rifles, and I believed this class would enhance my shooting abilities, which it has,” Jerald said. “After I finish high school, I want to go to a veterinary school, or work in the zoology field.”
Cadets from the Walla Walla High School drill and marksmanship teams excelled in an all-services meet held recently in LaPine, Ore. The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps event was held Feb. 3 and included events in unarmed and armed drill and ceremony performance and air rifle marksmanship, according to a Blue Devil Battalion official.
“We were one of 13 schools representing the four different branches of service competing at this drill meet,” said Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Ben Bialozor. “We had outstanding performances in several individual and team categories.”
Cadet Lt. Col. Melinda Locke won individual third place honors in the best unit commander category. Cadet Maj. Alex Young placed third overall in the drill team category. Color Guard 1 placed first. Wa-Hi cadets also competed in the Individual Armed Exhibition Drill category. Cadet Sgt. Jarek Hamm finished in first. Blue Devil Battalion precision and sporter air rifle teams captured several honors. The Wa-Hi precision team won first place overall, which included team members Cadet 1st Lt. Brock Betzler, Cadet 2nd Lt. Madeline Steinle, Cadet Capt. Kyle Martin, Cadet Capt. Christopher Davin, and Cadet 1st Lt. Katherine Thompson. Individual precision honors included Steinle in third place.
The Wa-Hi Sporter team also did well, according to Sgt. 1st Class Mark Mebes, rifle team coach. In the open class Cadet Corporal Landon Grimm placed first and Cadet Sgt. Ryan Weese took second. In the Marksmanship class Cadet Corporal Emily Jerald placed second. In the Expert Class Cadet Sgt. Jose Gonzalez placed first and Cadet Master Sgt. Braden Salcedo took third. The Sporter Rifle Team captured third place overall, and includes Cadet First Lieutenants Gavin Acevedo and Shane Schoessler, along with Gonzalez and Salcedo.
||Conspiracy of Hope Talent Show tonight
• Wa-Hi Auditorium
• Friday, February 23 at 6 p.m.
• All donations support the Wa-Hi Winter Wish Week and Dave Meyer Foundation
• Don’t miss this amazing show featuring Wa-Hi’s talented students
||Volunteers needed to serve on Senior Culminating project panel
Volunteers are needed to serve on the Walla Walla High School senior culminating projects review panel.
• Wednesday, March 21
• Thursday, March 22
• Tuesday, April 17
• Thursday, April 19
• 3:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. (each night)
• Information: Assistant Principal Stacy Estes – firstname.lastname@example.org / 509.527.3020
Blue Ridge students raise money for Humane Society
Blue Ridge Elementary students demonstrated their love for animals by raising nearly $500 for the Blue Mountain Humane Society. Students collected change the past few weeks to donate to the Humane Society. Students in classrooms who raised the most money had a special school visitor from a cute and cuddly dog. Thanks to Liza Jacobson and Blue Ridge for supporting this event which has raised a total of $3,000 over the past several years.
||Dr. Seuss Day at the Library Saturday
• Dr. Suess Day
• Saturday, Feb. 24
• 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• City of Walla Walla Library (238 E. Alder)
• Crafts, reading and special performances of the Cat in the Hat
• All families go home with a free book to read
||Teddy Bear Tea & Show
• Saturday, Feb. 24
• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• St. Francis Social Hall (722 W. Alder St.)
• Fun for all ages
• $6 donation
• Event presented by the Walla Walla Columbia County School Retirees
• All proceeds benefit the organization’s scholarship fund
• Children’s activities: coloring table, story corner and silent auction
||Tabitha’s Closet place to borrow formal wear for school events
• Tabitha’s Closet (1420 S. 2nd Ave.)
• Non-profit established for area students to borrow formal wear for Homecoming, Prom and Military Ball
• Open by appointment only – Monday-Friday
• Dry cleaning fee is less than $20
WorldStrides Educational Student Travel trip to Florida planned
Pioneer Middle School teacher Angie Butler is organizing a trip through WorldStrides to take a group of scientists to Florida to visit the space center, kayak through the ecosystems of Florida and study the physics of roller coasters at Disney World. Reserve your spot now as places go quickly - email@example.com. This is not a WWPS sponsored event.
||Hosts needed for Sister City guests from Japan
Walla Walla will be hosting 11 guests from its Sister City in Sasayama, Japan. Nine of the guests are Japanese high school students and the other two are their chaperones, a teacher and a city employee from Sasayama. Guests will arrive from Sasayama on Monday March 19 at 6:19 p.m. Guests will depart from Walla Walla on Saturday March 31 at 11:39 a.m.
Host families will be requested to provide breakfast and dinner and weekend activities for the guests. Also, hosts are requested to provide transportation on weekdays to and from Pioneer Park’s Garden Center. Sister City committee members will provide entertainment, tours and activities for guests during the weekdays. If host family members want to attend the events and activities they are welcome. If you have an interest in hosting a student or an adult, please contact Chairman Franklin Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, Mr. Dean has information for students who are interested in a home-stay at our Sister City in October 2018. The Home stay will be about 14 days in mid October. This program has been going on for 45 years. Students will get the chance to visit 1,000-year-old temples and shrines, a 400-year-old castle, Samurai quarters and a variety of other cultural activities, like tea ceremony, Martial Arts, Japanese music, etc. Please contact Dean for more information.
||City Parks and Recreation Update
Blue Mountain Girls Softball – Ages 5-12 - $40/$55
Girls Softball Clinic – Ages 5-13 - $35 Pitching/Catching - $15
Warrior Soccer Academy - Ages 5-11 - $48
Adult First Aid/CPR – Ages 12 & Up - $70 includes materials
Lifeguard Certifications – Ages 15 & up - $150
St Patty’s Day Dash 5K & 10K
• Saturday, March 17
• Ages 10 & Up
• Cost - $12-$25
• Fort Walla Walla Park
• All paid/registered participants will receive an event shirt
• Volunteers needed
• For more information or to register please visit www.wwpr.us.
Contact Michael Bumgardner at 509-527-4527 for event/volunteer information
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to http://www.wwpr.us
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