||District expands STEM offerings at both middle schools
Walla Walla Public Schools will be expanding Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) electives at the middle schools next fall. The additional CTE funding will allow Pioneer and Garrison Middle Schools to enhance elective offerings which may include coding, robotics, engineering, medical detectives, science of technology and green architecture.
Middle school students may also earn high school credits in algebra, geometry and Spanish to allow more flexibility in pursuing advanced and honors classes at the high school level. Middle school participation fees for afterschool activities, including all sports, have been eliminated to reduce barriers. Competitive boys and girls soccer was added at both middle schools last year and Spanish is now offered in grades 6-8. Walla Walla Public Schools is a Google school district and middle school classrooms feature Google services and Chromebook electronic devices to support today’s learning. Band, orchestra, choir and highly capable programs are available at both middle schools, as well as dual language bilingual programs, college prep and 21st Century Afterschool programs.
||School board meetings March 20
• March 20 - School board regular meeting @ 5:30 p.m. (open to the public)
• March 20 – School board executive session – immediately following regular meeting (not open to the public)
• Walla Walla Public Schools District Office
||Superintendent’s Patron Tour March 21 – 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 21 / 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
• RSVP by Monday, March 19 -- email@example.com / (509) 526-6715
• Pioneer Middle School
• Walla Walla High School
• Lincoln High School
||District names new Director of Fiscal Services
Walla Walla Public Schools Fiscal Manager Nancy Taylor has been promoted to Director of Fiscal Services. Taylor replaces Pat Johnston who came out of retirement to serve an interim role to allow time for an extensive search process. Taylor has been employed by Walla Walla Public Schools for 11 years. Prior to her fiscal manager position, She most recently served as the district’s fiscal coordinator. Prior to Walla Walla, Taylor was employed in the Issaquah School District for 14 years in various business and operational administrative support positions.
“Nancy has been an integral part of the Business Office for many years,” said Pat Johnston, Interim Business Manager. “Her knowledge and skills have served the District well and she is the best person to take over the leadership of this important function for Walla Walla Public Schools.”
Taylor will begin the transition to her new role immediately, assuming full responsibility in May.
“We are so fortunate to have someone of Nancy’s caliber already on staff and who is eager to assume the awesome responsibility expected from the position,” notes Superintendent Wade Smith. “Nancy’s expertise, ethics, and career demonstrate a commitment towards transparency and accountability in safeguarding the public’s resources.”
||Strategic Plan provides framework for addressing Every Student Succeeds Act success indicators
This week, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released the names of the schools identified for additional school accountability support as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In December of 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law to replace No Child Left Behind (NCLB). This new Washington State and federal accountability system, ESSA, uses nine indicators to measure school success. Each indicator score is based on the three most recent years of data.
All schools in the state received an overall composite school score, as well as composite scores for student subgroups. The elementary and middle school scores include English Language Arts (ELA) and math growth and proficiency, English Language (EL) Learner progress, and school attendance. At the high school level, scores include ELA and math proficiency, EL learner progress, graduation rates, 9th grade on-track, and advanced course-taking.
Comprehensive Support Criteria
• Comprehensive supports are developed with schools that fall into the lowest performing five percent for all schools across the state or have a graduation rate below 67 percent.
• Schools in Comprehensive status will receive additional support, which may include enhanced state funding, coaching, site visits, and additional resources.
• Schools in Comprehensive status will remain in this category for three years. Schools may exit after two years if the criteria is met early.
Targeted Support Criteria
• Targeted supports are developed with schools that have three or more student groups who fall below the five percent threshold set by all schools.
• Schools that have one or two student groups that fall below the five percent threshold will receive a suite of self-directed supports to help spur continuous improvement in their schools.
• Schools in Targeted status will remain in this category for three years. Schools may exit after two years if the criteria is met early.
“Washington State’s approach to working with identified schools is a more supportive model under ESSA, rather than punitive models in the past under No Child Left Behind,” said Christy Krutulis, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. “The district’s recently adopted five-year Strategic Plan is aligned with OSPI’s identified success indicators which help ensure Walla Walla students have the support they need to be college and career ready. Our reading growth this year shows we are on the right trajectory.”
In Walla Walla, the following schools were identified for Comprehensive support based on 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 school year combined data: Alternative Education Program (managed by Walla Walla Community College), Blue Ridge Elementary, Lincoln High School and Opportunity Youth Reengagement. The following schools were identified for Targeted support: Berney Elementary, Green Park Elementary, Prospect Point Elementary, Sharpstein Elementary, Garrison Middle School and Pioneer Middle School.
“With the intentional focus we have put on high quality instruction and data review, we expect to witness student academic growth,” said Krutulis. “Teachers are already working collaboratively to support student growth toward meeting the expected standards and are committed to providing their students the best education possible.”
||A Teacher with a Broom – Pioneer Middle School Head Custodian named regional Classified Employee of the Year
News Release from ESD 123
PASCO, WA -- After competing against a pool of highly-qualified nominees across seven counties, Brent Bieloh, the Head Custodian for Pioneer Middle School in Walla Walla, has been named the Regional Classified Employee of the Year by Educational Service District (ESD) 123.
The Classified School Employee of the Year program recognizes excellence in the work of public school employees, including paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians, food service workers, and others. Anyone may nominate a classified public school employee for this award, which is overseen by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). All completed nominations are sent to the regional coordinator at each ESD, who in turn selects a regional winner. Bieloh is one of nine regional winners who will go on to compete for the State Classified Employee of the Year award.
Bieloh has worked in the Walla Walla Public Schools for 26 years, and has been the Pioneer Middle School Head Custodian since 2014. In addition to his regular duties maintaining a safe and functional school environment, Bieloh leads a program for at-risk students, in which struggling students work alongside him for an hour a day. Through Bieloh’s mentorship and the positive relationships he fosters with students, the program has helped reduce absenteeism and improve academic performance.
“I am very proud to be thought of as a Pioneer Middle School Staff member and not as just ‘the custodian,’” says Bieloh. “I feel as though I am a teacher with a broom.”
ESD 123 Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Troy Tornow, says that, while the 2018 classified employee applicant pool was very competitive and difficult to narrow down, Bieloh’s nomination and recommendations stood above the rest.
“Classified employees play a very important role in providing high quality educational experiences for students,” says Tornow. “All of the nominees this year should be proud of their contributions to their school and district.”
After advancing on to the statewide competition, regional finalists will be recognized by OSPI at an annual award ceremony in Olympia (date TBD), where OSPI will announce their selection of the State Classified Employee of the Year. For more information on these awards, contact OSPI Recognition Coordinator, Hilary Seidel, at 360.725.6117.
||Superintendent Smith addresses school safety in new Pulse video
Superintendent Wade Smith discusses district emergency preparedness in the March Pulse video series. Superintendent Smith also discusses school safety improvements being proposed in the bond planning process.
Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP3UjDs1zDs&t=3s
- No school April 2-6
- District office hours: 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 4 p.m.
||SEATech Health Science Careers students advance at state competition
Congratulations to seven SEATech students in the Health Science Careers program involved in the HOSA-Future Healthcare Professionals organization for advancing to the second round of State Competition in Spokane. Students are required to sit for proctor testing to be able to attend the second round at state. HOSA has over 2,000 students in the state of Washington participating this year. All students will be attending even if they did not make the second round as there will be professional speakers and hands on workshops for everyone during State.
2nd Round to State qualifiers:
1. Lydia Bradley
2. Isaiah Demaris
3. Monica Ibarra
4. Dharmaykaya Mendoza
5. Alejandra Meza
6. Jealousy Snell
7. Marisa Zavala
8. Brianna Manyrath
HOSA is an international student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of ACTE. HOSA’s two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. HOSA’s goal is to encourage all health science instructors and students to join and be actively involved in the HSE-HOSA Partnership.
||Lincoln High School Drama presents – The Addams Family
Show dates: March 22, 24, 29, 31 (7:30 p.m.) and March 25 (2 p.m.)
Location: Village Hall Theater at Walla Walla University (204 S. College Ave.)
Suggested donation: $10 adults and $5 students
Information: Riki Wauchek - firstname.lastname@example.org
||FFA Fundraising dinner and auction Saturday
The Walla Walla FFA Alumni and Friends Annual Fundraising Dinner and Auction is Saturday, March 17 at the Fairgrounds Community Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. All proceeds support the amazing Walla Walla FFA programs.
• Tickets are available at the door
• Staci Humphreys
• (509) 527-3098
||City of Walla Walla plans Isaacs Avenue Reconstruction, Phase 2 Public Open House
• When: 3:30 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 21, 2018
• Where: Green Park Elementary School Library, 1105 East Isaacs Avenue, Walla Walla
• What: The City of Walla Walla will be constructing street, water, sewer, and stormwater improvements on Isaacs Avenue from Division Street to Tausick Way (Isaacs Avenue Project, Phase 2). The project design is now 75 percent complete and the City will be holding a Public Open House to discuss construction phasing/sequencing and traffic control. The City will seek input on beginning construction in the fall of 2018 with completion in the fall of 2019 or beginning construction in the spring of 2019 with completion in the summer of 2020.
• For more information please feel free to contact:
- Adam Schmidtgall, P.E., Anderson Perry & Associates, Inc., 529-9260
- Monte Puymon, P.E., City of Walla Walla Engineering Division, 524-4513
||Picture Lab invites featured artist to present at WW Public Library
Columbia River artist Lillian Pitt, one of Picture Lab’s featured artists for school year 2017-18, will visit Walla Walla on Saturday, March 17 to make a presentation at the Walla Walla Public Library at 11 a.m.
Ms. Pitt will share images of her work and relay history and legends of her ancestors, “My people are Warm Springs, Wasco (Watalas) and Yakama (Wishxam) — the River People ... Native peoples who lived and traded along the Big River, known today as the Columbia.”
Now based in Portland, OR, Ms. Pitt is known as a sculptor and mixed media artist -- her lifetime of work includes printmaking, wearable art and sculptures in clay, bronze, and most recently, glass. Her art has been exhibited throughout the Pacific Northwest, nationally and internationally.
“I use the ancient stories of my ancestors as a basis for the imagery I create. By doing this I maintain the memory of an ancient culture and keep the beliefs of my people alive.”
Following the presentation, children of all ages will have the opportunity to create a multi-media mask. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact email@example.com
||Camp Invention returns to Walla Walla with FAST FORWARD program July 16-20
In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Berney Elementary School is pleased to offer the nationally acclaimed Camp Invention program to children entering grades K-6. It’s an exciting, weeklong summer adventure with lessons that explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation.
Here is how young innovators will be spending their time:
• Dreaming up and designing their very own futuristic smart home filled with gadgets, LEDs, technology and innovation
• Using tools to take apart robotic dogs and compare their inner mechanics to the anatomy and physiology of a real dog
• Designing tracks for their Optibots to follow while exploring different modes of transportation
• Exploring chemistry, non-Newtonian fluids and magnetism as they investigate magnetic slime
Register using promo code Ideas25 to save $25 (expires 3/23) and Ideas15 to save $15
(expires 5/4) off the camp cost of $225. Availability is limited, so visit www.campinvention.org or call 800.968.4332 to secure your child’s spot today. For more information about the camp or to inquire about scholarships, please contact Camp Director Jen Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org
||City Parks and Recreation Update
Spring Softball Skills Clinic – Ages 5-13 - $35 Pitching/Catching - $15
Blue Mountain Girls Softball – Ages 5-12 - $40/$55
Warrior Soccer Academy - Ages 5-11 - $48
Adult Softball League – Ages 16 & up - $870 per team
Adult Soccer League – Ages 16 & up - $422 per team
Yoga (Buti & Hatha) - Ages 12 & up
Guitar/Ukulele Lessons – Ages 12 & up - $40
Adult First Aid/CPR – Ages 12 & Up - $70 includes materials
Lifeguard Certifications – Ages 15 & up - $150
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us.
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We are hiring!
Be a softball umpire for 10U & 12U! Paid position or volunteer. Contact WW Parks & Recreation, Clay Lindsey email@example.com or 509-526-4527.
Cashiers & Lifeguards for Veterans Memorial Pool – apply at https://www.wallawallawa.gov/depts/humanresources
||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
Want a T-Shirt, but don’t want to run…Volunteer!! Every volunteer will receive an event T-Shirt! Various shifts available.
For more information or to register please visit www.wwpr.us.
Contact Michael Bumgardner at 509-527-4527 for event/volunteer information.