Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Jan. 16, 2015

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School board work session and meeting Tuesday, Jan. 20
A

- 5:30 p.m. Public Work Session: Review the district Strategic Plan: Goal 1, Strategies 1 & 2
- 6:30 p.m. Regular School Board meeting
- Meetings location: 364 S. Park St.
- Both meetings are open to the public


No School January 19

- Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
- Classes resume Jan. 20


School board members adopt schools

School board members are beginning a new Adopt-a-School program to get them in buildings more often. This program is part of a new outreach plan school board members have developed. The Adopt-a-School program will allow directors to develop deeper and closer relationships. They may attend activities and receive briefings on their adopted schools.

Adopt-a-School Assignments:
• Anne Golden - Edison Elementary and Prospect Point Elementary
• David Hampson - Sharpstein Elementary, Pioneer Middle School, SEA-Tech
• Ruth Ladderud - Blue Ridge Elementary, Garrison Middle School, Preschool
• Cindy Meyer - Green Park Elementary and Lincoln High School
• Sam Wells - Berney Elementary and Walla Walla High School, Opportunity


Wireless project helps students access technology 

Walla Walla Public Schools recently completed its districtwide wireless network project. This project provides a wireless infrastructure in every school to support current and future use of mobile technology needs in the classroom. The school board approved this one-time budget request in June 2014.

“The WiFi project was wrapped up over the holiday break – ahead of schedule and within budget – and is now being used by students and teachers daily,” said Technology Director Forrest Baker. “This is a significant building block in the foundation of education technology for our Walla Walla Public Schools and is aligned with our strategic plan goals.”


Transportation Director receives county safety award

Congratulations to Transportation Director Steve Olson for receiving the 2015 Traffic Safety Super Star Award for the Educational Outreach category. Olson will be recognized at the Walla Walla County Traffic Safety/DUI Task Force Safety Awards Program January 21.

Steve Olson manages the Southeast Area Transportation Cooperative which provides bus maintenance and repair service to Walla Walla Public Schools, Prescott and Dixie School Districts. WWPS has 41 buses and 15 vans. Prescott has nine buses while Dixie has six. The Walla Walla Public Schools bus fleet logs more than 350,000 miles annually which includes daily routes and extracurricular trips. He manages a staff of nearly 50 employees, including bus drivers, mechanics, substitutes and support staff.

Steve is charged with overseeing the maintenance to ensure the entire fleet meets Washington State Patrol standards. These vehicles can be inspected at any time and will be expected to pass. These inspections include tires, brakes, lights, running condition and other aspects of the fleet. For more than 10 years the district has received excellent ratings on the bi-annual state fleet inspections.

Steve Olson also coordinates bus driver training, which includes slick road conditions, congested traffic and emergencies. He has also embraced the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to improve student behavior and school bus climate. PBIS encourages proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments.

The Southeast Washington Transportation Cooperative also saves partner districts approximately 50 percent on bus maintenance and repair service which further promotes safety. A well serviced fleet also saves taxpayer money over time. He also is the primary technical expert for the district when it comes to making a decision to close or delay schools due to weather.



Open enrollment and kindergarten registration dates set for the 2015-16 school year

There will be two open enrollment registration periods for enrollment in Walla Walla Public Schools during the 2015-16 school year.

Open enrollment for secondary (middle and high) schools will be February 2 through 27, 2015. The schools will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first registration day, February 2, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of the month.

Secondary parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up an Open Enrollment application at their attendance area school or a release form from their current school district office during normal business hours beginning January 26; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, February 2.

Fall 2015 open enrollment for elementary schools and kindergarten registration is Monday, April 20 to Friday, May 1, 2015. Schools will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first registration day, April 20, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through May 1.

Kindergarten registration forms will be available at the schools beginning April 13. Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to an elementary school outside of their attendance area may pick up an Open Enrollment application at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning April 13; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, April 20.

Open enrollment requests at Walla Walla Public Schools will be granted according to priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 which will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available for public viewing at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office. School Board policies are also online at http://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/policies.

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all schools, the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street, and online at www.wwps.org. Click on the District A to Z link and then click on Boundary Map.


School Stories
Seahawks roll out red carpet for Garrison student

If Garrison Middle School student Devon Adams wasn’t a Seattle Seahawks fan for life, he is now after the Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline invited him to Centurylink Field to perform at a game. Adams is in the school’s autism program and was declared blind at birth but has regained some vision. He has a passion for music and plays drums in the Garrison Middle School band. He also loves the Seahawks.

Devon’s uncle Eric contacted the Blue Thunder drum major and showed him a video of Devon playing the drums. Once his story surfaced in the circles of the Seahawks organization, he was invited to the game where he played along side members of the drumline. Star running back Marshawn Lynch, who is known for not speaking with the media or signing autographs, heard about Devon’s story and proceeded to give him a signed jersey. Devon said he loves the Seahawks, loves his school and is thankful for all that he has in life.

Click on the link below to watch a video of Devon’s experience with the Seahawks:
http://youtu.be/5mKugD0k8wc


Pioneer's National Junior Honor Society organize local hunger-relief charity

Pioneer Middle School students in the National Junior Honor Society will be participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring Bowl-a-Thon event February 7. Souper Bowl-a-Thon is a national movement of young people working to fight hunger and poverty in their own communities around the time of the Super Bowl football game.

“In the weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, young people take up pledges, giving 100% of their donation directly to the local hunger-relief charity of their choice,” said NJHS Advisor Alba Biagi. “NJHS will be bowling to donate funds raised to the Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank to tackle hunger in our community.”

Those who would like to contribute may do so through a Pioneer NJHS member or by stopping by Pioneer's Main Office. Contributions are tax deductible. Make checks payable to Pioneer Middle School NJHS.


Walla Walla High School student accepted to Westpoint rifle team - By Wa-Hi JROTC Program

Walla Walla High School Senior Cadet Captain Nathan Brewer officially signed his Letter of Intent for the US Military Academy at Westpoint to shoot on their 2015 NCAA Division I Rifle Team.

“This young man has done a tremendous amount of work to get to this point.” said Rifle Coach Mark Mebes after the signing. “In addition to the untold hours spent on rifle ranges across the country, he has had to discipline himself both physically and mentally in order to earn this appointment.”

Although the 2014/15 high school rifle season is less than halfway through, Brewer has been grabbing headlines in the sport since last year. Last June, he competed on the Walla Walla High School Precision Rifle Team that traveled to the Junior Olympic National Championship in Camp Perry, Ohio. There he gained the attention of Rick Johnson, the assistant rifle coach at Westpoint.

“Rick seemed immediately impressed with Nathan” said Mebes “When we got back to Walla Walla, they began an almost weekly dialog by email. Every time he had an exceptional practice, or competed in a match Nathan would send him the scores.”

The US Military Academy receives over 10,000 applications each year. Only about 1 in 10 cadets are accepted. Even recruited NCAA athletes must be top scholars and submit an extensive application packet that details their academic achievements, volunteer work, athletic resume, leadership experience and extracurricular activities. Additionally, cadets must complete a fitness assessment, a medical evaluation, security clearance background check and receive a nomination from their US Congressional Representative.

“I found out that I received my nomination from Cathy McMorris Rodgers on December 24, ” Brewer said. “That was quite a Christmas surprise.”

Once Brewer notified the rifle coach at Westpoint that he had received his nomination, the final pieces fell quickly into place with his official offer of appointment arriving on January 10.

“This may be the first Wa-Hi rifle athlete to shoot at Westpoint” noted Mebes after the signing. “It will be a challenging four years at the academy, but I am confident that Nathan will represent our program well and pave the way for other prospective athletes from here.”


New Garrison Middle School website keeps pace with technology advancements

The district has launched a new website for Garrison Middle School -- http://www.garrisonmiddleschool.org. It has been several years since most district schools sites have been updated. Last summer the district updated Wa-Hi and now Garrison is completed.

"We are striving to work our way around the district to update these sites to keep pace with changing technology and communications needs," said Communications Director Mark Higgins. "Thanks so much to everyone involved in updating the Garrison site, especially Conor Fish and our local provider Walla Walla Webweavers. This is a huge undertaking and we appreciate the support and cooperation in completing this project."


Prospect Point students show off free throw shooting skills 
Congratulations to Dane Gardea and Zoe Taylor for placing at the Elk's Hoop Shoot Regional Competition in Moses Lake this past weekend. Taylor earned second place in the 8/9 year old girls division by making 12 of 25 free throws. Gardea made 23 out of 25 free throws to win the boys 8/9 year old division. Gardea will advance to the State Competition, which is held at St. Martin's University February 21.  

Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association Scholarships available

Available:
- Two $1200 scholarships
- Scholarship grants are given to prospective teachers and/or candidates in other school related fields that will student teach or do internship experience in an educational setting.

Requirements:
- Graduate of high school in Walla Walla or Columbia County
- Student teach/internship between September 2015 and June 2016
- Applications due March 1

Contact:
Mardel Bierwagen: 525.6117 or gbierwagen6117@charter.net


Miss Washington to meet with Garrison Middle School students
Kailee Dunn, current Miss Washington, is spending the day at Garrison Middle School February 4. Dunn will be speaking to students in all physical education classes regarding drug/alcohol prevention. She is also speaking to student leaders about leadership and making good choices. 
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Workshops

- January 21 and 28
- 5:30-7 p.m.
- Walla Walla High School

Walla Walla High School and WSU GEAR UP are holding workshops for Walla Walla High School seniors and their families to provide one-on-one support in filling out and filing their Free Applications for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is the universal document required for college financial aid including grants, federal student loans, work study, and scholarships.

All workshops will take place in the Wa-Hi library and will consist of open computer time with trained GEAR UP staff available to walk families through the online process of filing this important document. Parents need to bring their 2013 tax statements (2014 taxes are not needed in order to complete the FAFSA process). Please contact the GEAR UP office or the Career Center at Walla Walla High School for a complete checklist of the information needed to properly file the FAFSA.

Washington State University GEAR UP, which is located on campus at Walla Walla High School, involves a variety of innovative partnerships and initiatives to support students in college and career readiness skills.

For more information contact Becky Schwartz at the Wa-Hi GEAR UP office.
- Becky Schwartz
- 509-526-8621
- bschwartz@wwps.org
- www.yourcollegeandcareer.org


Community Stories
Walla Walla Dance Company presents: The Three Little Toymakers

- Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m.
- Cordiner Hall (Whitman College)

The Three Little Toymakers is a charming, heartwarming tale of three girls who, though poor, live with a loving, happy family. One Christmas, after all the other children have opened all their gifts, the girls find some old discarded toys the other children threw out. The little girls dream of fixing them and bringing them to life! They want children everywhere to enjoy the special toys they will create with their imagination and ingenuity.

Sadly, not all toys are perfect. One of the clowns wreaks havoc in the toyshop! Not everything goes as planned. But the little toy soldiers and the sassy nurse dolls bravely come to the rescue. They help the toymakers fix the toys good as new and in the nick of time too! Just then the judges roll into town for the Great Toy Contest! Guess who wins the title Best of the Best? Toys that can dance!


Tours of Memorial Pool January 19
The REBUILD MEMORIAL POOL community group is planning tours of Memorial Pool, Monday, January 19 at the current Veteran’s Memorial Pool site from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. There will also be information about the February 10 bond proposal to rebuild the pool. Ballots for the proposal mail out Jan. 23 and must be postmarked by Feb. 12, 2015.
Register now for Law Enforcement Citizens Academy 

The Walla Walla Police Department is pleased to announce its next Law Enforcement Citizens Academy, which will begin February 3, 2015. Participants will spend about 3 hours in a class room once a week for approximately 11 weeks.

The class is FREE and will take place at the Walla Walla Police Department, Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile Justice Center, Walla Walla County Superior Court building, Emergency Management and WESCOM 911 Communication Center.

The Law Enforcement Citizens Academy classes are presented by veteran Law Enforcement personnel. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with the Chief of Police and various other staff members and are encouraged to ask questions and express ideas and concerns.

Participants in the Academy are selected through an application process. Enrollment is limited to thirty students. A background check will be conducted on all participants who sign up. Applicants must be 18 or over. Forms must be submitted by January 20. Potential candidates must meet the following criteria:

- Must be a minimum of 18 years of age
- Must live or work in the Walla Walla Valley
- Must have NO felony convictions
- Must have no misdemeanor convictions within one year of application.

To learn more or register for the next Academy, go to: https://secure.wallawallawa.gov/depts/police/crimeprevention/citizensacademy .

For more information contact Vicki Ruley at (509) 529-2231 or e-mail vruley@wallawallawa.gov


AAUW announces date for Great Explorations

Mark your calendars for March 14, that’s 3.14 15, or “Pi Day” for American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) Great Explorations, a day of science adventures for girls grades 5-8 at Whitman College.

“Just like the number Pi, the possibilities for science investigations are infinite,” said Sue Parrish, AAUW organizer. “Over two dozen hands on science adventures are scheduled: everything from 3-D printing, to Robotics, to investigations with the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum from McMinnville Oregon.”

All workshops are led by women scientists, and support STEM educational principles. An informational flyer will be mailed home in February, and information will be presented in area classrooms.


The Moms’ Network sponsors a Free Day at the Walla Walla Children’s Museum

Need a little break during this cold and rainy season or looking for a fun way to keep your kids busy? Courtesy of the Moms’ Network of Walla Walla on Saturday January 17 the Children’s Museum is open and free to all families in the Walla Walla community.

The museum has fun interactive early learning opportunities for kids of all ages. “The Moms’ Network believes in supporting the Children’s Museum. By sponsoring a free community day we are providing families of our area a fun, safe, educational place to play.” states Beth Swanson, President of The Moms’ Network.

The Children’s Museum will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17. The Moms’ Network will also have available information about a wide variety of local resources in the community. For more information about the promotion or about the Moms’ Network contact Beth Swanson at 509-301-7471 or beth@themomsnetworkww.com



Carnegie Picture Lab Family Night

Free Carnegie Picture Lab Family Night: Carnegie Picture Lab presents the 2015 Family Fun Night Premiere event Saturday, January 17 from 12 noon to 2 p.m.. A live drawing demonstration from local artist Todd Telander begins at noon at the Walla Walla Public Library, with live birds from the Blue Mountain Wildlife Center - including a peregrine falcon, a great-horned owl and a red-tailed hawk. Children's art activities take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. This event introduces the activities featured at Carnegie Picture Lab's free Family Fun Nights, which the nonprofit organization brings to each Walla Walla Valley elementary school.

For additional information, contact Program Director Tracy Thompson:
- (509) 526-6921
- www.carnegiepicturelab.com


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