Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Jan. 25, 2019

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Superintendent Smith testifies before Senate Education Committee urging McCleary fix for District

Superintendent Wade Smith traveled to Olympia this week to advocate for essential McCleary School Funding fixes following changes the legislature made recently through HB2242/6362, intended to fully fund basic education. Central to the state’s McCleary solution which relied on raising the state tax rate 90 cents per $1,000 assessed, while capping local levies at either $1.50/$1,000 or $2,500 per student, whichever is less. While this change results in a substantial tax savings for local Walla Walla residents, the state failed to appropriately backfill the lost local revenue as initially promised. In addition, reductions in the state’s historic local effort assistance (LEA), monies used to offset property-poorer districts like Walla Walla, were also affected. Both of these issues, if not addressed, will likely result in reduction to programs and staff Walla Walla parents and students have come to expect with prior levy dollars.

During his lengthy address to the Washington State Legislature Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, Superintendent Smith, alongside Washington State Superintendent Chris Reykdal, pointed out that while some school districts received substantially more revenue to put towards staff salaries and programs for students, others like Walla Walla were left detrimentally impacted with far less comparable operating revenue.

“Clearly, this result was not what the legislators meant to have happen when they passed the two educational funding bills in 2017, but they have created the problem, and now they need to fix it,” said Smith.

Superintendent Smith is working with the Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors, WWVEA President Keith Swanson, PSE President BJ Colvin, and local elected officials to draft proposed legislative language to address the unintended and disproportionate affects McCleary has had on districts like Walla Walla.

“Our collective efforts are making headway and our disproportionate funding situation is being recognized,” said Smith. “I had the privilege of being the first superintendent to address the committee, and was allowed 10 minutes to share our circumstance and provide input and solutions on proposed legislation.”

Click HERE to view Superintendent Smith’s testimony.


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 4 School Board meeting.

Purpose of the Award
The purpose of the Walla Walla Public Schools Graduates of Distinction program is to provide an avenue for recognizing high school graduates of Walla Walla Public Schools who have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers; and to honor the Walla Walla Public Schools staff members who were the most inspirational in the lives of those individuals.

Who may nominate?
Anyone interested in Walla Walla Public Schools.

Eligibility for nomination
• Must have graduated from high school in the Walla Walla Public Schools at least 10 years prior to nomination.
• Need not be a current resident of Walla Walla.
• Need not be present to accept the award, but will make a concerted effort to be present or send a representative to accept the award.

How to nominate?
Forms: Fillable PDF nomination and supporting letters forms are available online at: www.wwps.org (Graduates of Distinction page) or in hard copy at the District Office, 364 S. Park St. - Walla Walla, WA 99362. Mail or hand deliver the completed hard copy nomination form and three supporting letters by March 15 to:

Walla Walla Public Schools
Attn: Mark Higgins, Director of Communications
364 S. Park Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362


January Pulse video includes bond updates

Superintendent Smith welcomes everyone back from the winter break in the January Pulse video. He provides timely bond updates, honors a staff member for receiving a local award and praises school board members for their service.
Click HERE


Winter Parent Conferences Scheduled

BERNEY
Tuesday, February 12 from 3:30-7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, February 13 from 3:30-7:15 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 from 8:00 am -3:30 p.m.

BLUE RIDGE
Tuesday, February 12 from 3:30-7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 13 from 3:30-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 from 8:00 am-3:30 p.m.

EDISON
Wednesday, February 13 from 3:15 -7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 from 8:00 am -7:00 p.m.

GREEN PARK
Wednesday, February 13 from 3:15 -7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 from 8:00 am -7:15 p.m.

PROSPECT POINT
Tuesday, February 12 from 3:30-7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, February 13 from 3:30-7:15 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 from 8:00 am -3:30 p.m.

SHARPSTEIN
Tuesday, February 12 from 3:00-7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 13 from 3:00-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 from 8:00 am – 3:00 p.m.

GARRISON
Tuesday, February 12 - Arena style conferences in both gyms from 3:45-7:15 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 – Classroom drop-in conferences from 7:45 am-3:15 p.m. (lunch break from 11:30 – 12:00)

PIONEER
Wednesday, February 13 - Classroom drop-in conferences from 3:30 pm-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 - Scheduled conferences from 7:45 am - 3:15 p.m.

LINCOLN
Tuesday, February 12 - Classroom drop-in conferences from 3:15-7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 13 - Classroom drop-in conferences from 3:15-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 - Classroom drop-in conferences from 3:15-7:00 p.m.

WA-HI
Wednesday, February 13 - Drop-in conferences in the gyms from 3:30-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 - Scheduled conferences and GRCs from 7:45 a.m.-3:15 p.m. (lunch break from 11:30-12:00)

SEATECH
Wednesday, February 13 – Drop-in conferences from 3:30-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 - Scheduled conferences from 7:45 a.m.-3:15 p.m. (lunch break 11:30-12:00)


Open Enrollment for the 2019-20 School Year

Walla Walla Public Schools will hold open enrollment for elementary and secondary schools during the same time period for the 2019-20 school year. For the past five years secondary open enrollment has occurred during the month of February. To provide families a better streamlined experience, we will be returning to one open enrollment period for all levels. Open enrollment forms will be available starting the week after Spring Break, April 8-12, and will then be accepted at the receiving schools starting Monday, April 15.  Additional details will be posted in mid-March. Students who are currently open enrolled in one of our high schools may select their high school courses for the 2019-20 school year.  Following the open enrollment period and approval, class schedules will be confirmed.


Teachers volunteer to join book study to enhance culturally responsive teaching strategies

A group of 23 teachers has gathered for a semester long book study of Zaretta Hammond’s Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. Organized by Amy Reed and Erin Dorso, the group’s goals are to explore the ideas in the book related to engaging in personal reflection, self-assessment, and dialogue about teaching practices (and the brain science behind them) to address the opportunity gaps that exist for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. These teachers are volunteering their time and their hearts to learn more about engaging students and building rigor to support ALL students. The National Equity Project says, “Leadership is taking responsibility for what matters to you” and these teachers have taken the reins as leaders in our district around building equitable classrooms.


Highly Capable Referral Period scheduled for February 1 through March 1, 2019 

Walla Walla School District’s Highly Capable programming provides students of high academic and intellectual ability with designated time to explore concepts in greater depth. The goal of the Highly Capable Program is to encourage the development of higher level thinking skills.

Information on Highly Capable Program services and the 2019 referral process is currently available on the district website. Referral forms are available in all district schools and on the district website. The annual selection process for in-district students takes place in late winter/early spring, with referral packets due back to schools by March 1, 2019 for grades K-8. Following the testing and selection process, all parents will be notified in writing of the results of the process. A child not selected one year may be referred again in subsequent years.

Kindergarten
Parent permission forms for kindergarten cognitive abilities screening is taking place in January. Parents will be notified of screening results and full referral forms will be distributed at conferences in February. Referred students will take the remainder of the cognitive abilities test and be reviewed for selection by the end of March so differentiated programming can be reviewed and planned for at their home schools in the spring.

Students in 2nd and 5th grade will take the cognitive abilities screener in January and results of the screening process, along with other data points, will be used to determine which students will be recommended at conference time to participate in the remainder of the cognitive abilities test. Parents will be notified of screening results and full referral forms will be distributed at conferences in February. Referred students will take the remainder of the cognitive abilities test and be reviewed for selection by the end of March so differentiated programming can be reviewed and planned for at their home schools in the spring.

Parents/guardians of students in 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th grade should be in contact with their child’s teacher(s) to determine if Highly Capable testing is recommended.

Students in grades one through eight selected for Highly Capable programming will begin services at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. For more information, please contact Christy Krutulis, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. ckrutulis@wwps.org or 526-6733.


School Stories
Garrison Middle School plans parent night January 29 to empower families for success

Families of 5th-8th graders are invited to Parent Night at Garrison Middle School Tuesday, Jan. 29 to learn more about the amazing opportunities for their child at Garrison Middle School. Free dinner will be served from 5 to 5:30 p.m. in the cafeteria with the program to follow from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Join in any of these informative sessions:
- How to Check Grades and attendance
- STEM Class Showcase
- Trooper Flex Time Explained
- Showcase of Clubs
- i-Ready! What is it?
- Academic Support Options


GEAR UP plans series of events

February 1 – Walla Walla Community College Try-A-Trade: Available to all Wa-Hi students on a first come first serve basis. Explore opportunities and programs available at WWCC with hands-on activities with college instructors. Field trip paperwork required. Visit the GEAR UP office or the Career Center for more information.

February 8 – Freshmen Parents and Pastries Drop-in Friday morning from 7-8:30 a.m. for an informal meet and greet. Find out what’s happening on campus and get information on services and resources available to families at Walla Walla High School. Starbucks coffee and local pastries will be available.

February 15 - WSU SOLES Latino Student/Parent Conference. Sponsored by the Wa-Hi CTE Department and WSU GEAR UP this event is for students and their parents. This conference is a unique program for Spanish-speaking parents and students who are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math (STEM). This conference is conducted entirely in Spanish. Visit the GEAR UP office or the Career Center for more information.


Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame Induction ceremony Saturday night

The Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame is welcoming four new standout athletes during its annual induction ceremony Saturday night at halftime of the boys basketball game. Four inductees will be introduced: John Crudup (Class of 1964), Chris Katon (Class of 1989), Michael Weisner (Class of 2010), and Gary Winston (Class of 2010).


Wa-Hi Choir plans Silent Auction fundraiser

Wa-Hi Choir is holding our annual silent auction fundraiser.
• February 2 @ 6 p.m. in the Walla Walla High School Commons
• Dessert and entertainment provided
• Tickets will be sold at the door


Whitman College teams with district to once again teach Civil Rights history in local classrooms

Whitman College, in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project and Walla Walla Public Schools, has launched its latest initiative to teach civil rights in local schools this week through Whitman Teaches the Movement.

Founded in 2011, the program will send 85 student volunteers from Whitman to lead conversations this year about civil rights and social justice with about 1,200 students in the community. An art show with the theme of community and identity will follow on Feb. 12, showcasing K-12 artwork at the Walla Walla Public Library.

Lessons vary by age and the Whitman volunteers attend trainings to prepare for their roles as educators. Below is the curriculum intended for each grade level.

• Kindergarten: “Identity and Inclusion.” A story about how skin color is only one facet of a person’s identity. Students think about what it means to be left out or included and how they are different from one another. Students then explore the many identities in their classroom by creating a puzzle with pieces made by everyone.
• First grade: “The Story of Ruby Bridges.” Students explore the meaning of equality and its importance in the lives of young people. They will explore how segregation affected everyday life and discuss the impacts of inequality.
• Second grade: “Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins.” Students learn about the effects of segregation on a child’s family and daily life. Students then explore nonviolent responses to injustice by creating their own picket signs.
• Fourth grade: “Immigration.” A story about a girl who moves to the United States from the Dominican Republic. Students role play in pairs as a reporter and Julia and then switch roles to contemplate how this kind of life transition might feel.
• Fifth grade: “Jackie Robinson Taught Us More Than Baseball.” Students use the story of Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey and PeeWee Reese as a framework for discussing the importance of friendship, teamwork and standing up for what is right.
• Ninth grade: “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Students read and discuss this important text by Martin Luther King, Jr., its connection to current events and its application to principles of civil disobedience and nonviolence.



Middle schools roll out 5th grade transition plans

Garrison Middle School Principal Robert Elizondo and Pioneer Middle School Principal Kris Duncan have been busy planning for 5th grade transition as they prepare to serve next year’s 6th graders. Parent nights, school visits, peer mentoring and other events highlight the plans. See more details below.

Garrison MS 5th Grade Transition Plan Outline:
Important Dates:
• 1st Friday of each month: Coffee w/ Principal
• March 18: Parent Night @ Prospect Point
• March 19: Parent Night @ Blue Ridge
• March 20: Parent Night @ Sharpstein
• June 3: Step Up Day - 5th graders visit Garrison

Transition Highlights for February, March and April:
• Garrison Middle School administrators, counselors and leadership students will visit elementary schools to provide information to 5th grade students about their transition to middle school.
• Information letters and registration forms will be mailed home to parents/guardians.

At Garrison Middle School, students can:
• Earn high school credit in Spanish, Algebra, Geometry and Dual Language
• Explore and perform in band, choir & orchestra
• Compete in sports with no pay to play fees
• Join after-school programs (Millennials, GM Success, STEM & intramural soccer)
• Explore STEM and computer literacy courses
• Take a full range of Honors level courses
• Benefit from interventions and support in Reading, Math and English Language Development

Pioneer MS 5th Grade Transition Plan Outline:
Important dates:
• March 11: Parent Night @ Berney | 6-7 p.m.
• March 12: Parent Night @ Edison | 6-7 p.m.
• March 13: Parent Night @ Green Park | 6-7 p.m.
• June 3: Step Up Day - 5th graders visit Pioneer

Transition Highlights for February, March and April:
• Pioneer Middle School administrators, counselors and leadership students will visit elementary schools to provide information to 5th grade students about their transition to middle school.
• Information letters and registration forms will be mailed home to parents/guardians.

At Pioneer Middle School, students can:
• Earn high school credits in Spanish, Algebra and Geometry
• Explore and perform in band, choir and orchestra
• Participate in a full range of sports (no cost)
• Enjoy a number of after-school programs, including Latino Club and intramural soccer
• Explore STEM and computer literacy courses
• Take a full range of Honors level courses
• Benefit from interventions and support in Reading, Math and English Language Development


Volunteers needed to serve on Senior Culminating Project presentations panel

Wa-Hi graduating seniors each year are required to complete a culminating project as a graduation requirement. In order for students to complete this important and mandatory assignment, Wa-Hi relies on the support of community members to serve on culminating project panels as judges to score the presentations.

This is a wonderful opportunity to see what our students’ school year experiences have been and what their hopes and dreams are for the future.

The presentation dates are:
• Tuesday, March 12
• Wednesday, March 13
• Wednesday, April 17
• Thursday, April 18
• All Presentations: 3:15-7:30 p.m.

Please contact Jennifer Davis at 526-8649 / jdavis@wwps.org or call Walla Walla High School if you are interested.


Community Stories
United Way seeks input on community Early Learning Center concept

Please help make an important decision for our community!

A task-force of early learning supporters needs your help as they discuss plans to establish a community early-learning and service center dedicated to the well-being of young children and families in the Walla Walla Valley and surrounding communities.

Please take this brief survey to help inform their decision-making.

English: https://www.unitedwayww.org/content/pre-k-survey
Spanish: https://www.unitedwayww.org/content/encuesta-pre-kinder-de-padres

Additional questions or information:
Renée Harms, Development Director United Way of Walla Walla County
509-529-1183 office


Walla Walla Symphony free Family Concert and Foodraiser Sunday

• Walla Walla Symphony FREE Family Concert & Foodraiser
• Join us for a free, family-friendly concert. “The Orchestra Swings” explores the elements that contribute to that magical moment when the orchestra starts to swing. Dr. Paul Luongo, conductor, Kevin Loomer, host Clairdee, Jazz vocals
• Admission is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item. A free Instrument Petting Zoo begins at 2 p.m. and gives kids the chance to explore the instruments of the orchestra.
• Sunday, Jan. 27
• 3 to 4 p.m.
• Cordiner Hall (Whitman College)
https://www.wwsymphony.org/20182019-symphony-season/2018/3/28/free-family-concert-foodraiser


Tickets for annual Children’s Home Society SweetHearts Luncheon now on sale

Give your heart to support children and their families in the Walla Walla community during the SweetHearts for Kids benefit luncheon.
• Wednesday, February 20
• Noon -1 p.m. (Doors to luncheon open 11:30 a.m.)
• Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center (6 W. Rose St., Walla Walla)
• Tickets are $40 per person
• Register online: https://www.childrenshomesociety.org/wallawallasweethearts/
• For more information contact Candi Walmsley at 509-529-2130 ext. 8126 or Candice.Walmsley@chs-wa.org


Student Debt Crisis presentation featured at January 31 AAUW-Library Big Idea Talk

The Walla Walla Public Library and the local branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will host a free public discussion of the student debt crisis on Thursday, January 31, 7-8:30 p.m., at the Library, 238 E. Alder. Presenters are Marilyn Ponti, Director of Financial Aid, Whitman College; Amanda Fleck, Associate Director, Student Loan Center, Walla Walla University; and Debra Erikson, Director of Workforce Education Services at Walla Walla Community College. For more information, contact Twila Johnson-Tate, Walla Walla Public Library, (509) 524-4443; or Marilyn Hawkins, AAUW, (509) 876-8202.


Big Cheese Fundraiser for Spring Break 2019 trip to Ecuador 

Kathryn Southwick-Hess announces a Big Cheese Fundraiser this month to help fund a youth trip to Ecuador during Spring Break 2019. She is taking pizza coupon pre-orders now. Coupons are $15. Five dollars from each coupon sale goes to support student travel. The $15 coupon allows the purchaser to buy a Big Cheese large, gourmet pizza at a $6+ savings per pizza. The coupons are good for one year.

Email orders to: mrstravelmama@gmail.com
- Include school location to help with deliveries

This trip is not sponsored or affiliated with Walla Walla Public Schools.



City Parks & Rec Update

Scholarships available for youth programs. To apply stop by the Parks and Recreation Office at 55 E Moore St.
Youth and Adult Art Classes taught in Spanish - $12 - $80
Father Daughter Ball - Ages 3 years and up - February 2 - $15 per Father – Space is limited
Mother Son Super Hero Bash – Ages 3 years and up – February 9 - $15 per Mother - Space is limited
Walla Walla Shootout Soccer Friendlies (9v9) – Birth Year 2007 – 2010 - $300 per team
Blue Mountain Girls Softball – Ages 5 – 12 (age as of 12/31/18) - $40 - $55
Spring Softball Skills Clinic – Ages 5 – 13 - Sunday, March 23rd – see website for times - $35 - $15 for pitching and catching clinic
St. Paddy’s Day Dash 5k/10k - Sunday, March 17 @ 10am - $12
2019 Veterans Memorial Pool Passes are on sale!

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