Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 3, 2015

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School board approves temporary waiver from high school graduation requirements

Monday during a special meeting, the Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution for a temporary waiver for the new high graduation requirements. School board member Dr. David Hampson was not present. A resolution from the local school board is required by the State Board of Education as part of the waiver application process.

The State Board of Education is increasing the number of credits required to graduate to 24, up from the previous state requirement of 20 credits. Walla Walla Public Schools currently requires 22 credits to graduate. The new high school graduation requirements are set to take place for the Class of 2019, this year’s 8th grade students. Walla Walla Public Schools is seeking a two year waiver which will impact the Class for 2021, this year’s 6th grade students.

“We anticipate losing 300 plus students over the course of the next three years as College Place High School comes on board,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan. “Our staffing will be reduced accordingly and this additional two years will allow adequate planning time for this transition.”

A waiver will also allow the school board time to explore and implement more opportunities for students to earn high school credit. These include options such as College in the High School, adoption of new courses, offering high school level courses in the middle school, as well as time to further develop Career and Technical Education equivalencies within our high school curricula.

“Delaying the implementation will also allow our district to provide professional development to our teaching and counseling staff as it relates to the 24 credit graduation requirement,” said Jordan. “The additional time provided by this waiver allows us to develop a comprehensive communication plan to share the new graduation requirements with students, families and the community.”

The district’s waiver action plan will include:
1. The high school principals and district Career and Technical Education Director will collaborate to develop new courses and course equivalencies consistent with our district goals.
2. Principals and staff will develop relevant summer coursework for both initial credit opportunities and remediation.
3. Principals and staff will explore options for changes in the school day district-wide so as to allow students more flexibility.
4. The entire teaching staff, community stakeholders and students will be made aware of the changes coming to the graduation requirements for the Class of 2021.
5. The school board will hold a series of meetings to explore all of the possible course equivalencies and options for high school level credit.


Kindergarten registration and open enrollment for the 2015-16 School Year

Kindergarten and Fall Registration for elementary schools is scheduled from Monday, April 20 to Friday, May 1, 2015. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school. Parents wishing to pick up the kindergarten registration information may do so at their child’s school beginning April 13. However, the completed registration forms will not be accepted until April 20.

Kindergarten/Elementary Registration and Open Enrollment Hours:
- Monday, April 20: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- April 21 - May 1: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up Open Enrollment application or release forms 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 School Board Policy No. 3130 and its procedures 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.


Special School Board meeting Monday, April 6

- Agenda: Personnel Report and Erate bid acceptance
- 12 noon at district office Board Room (364 S. Park St.)
- Meeting open to the public


Public invited to SEA-TECH Open House

Members of the community are invited to the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center (SEA-TECH) for a public open house Monday, April 20 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. This is a drop-in event so people are welcome to attend whenever it is convenient during the six hour block designated for the open house.

High school students taking classes at SEA-TECH located on the campus of Walla Walla Community College are immersed in the latest technology and trends in the world of Digital Media, Manufacturing and Welding, Sustainable Energy Technology specializing in Electrical Systems, and Health Sciences. SEA-TECH is a branch campus of the Kennewick School District’s Tri-Tech Skills Center. Students from Walla Walla and the partner districts consisting of Dayton, Waitsburg, Touchet, Prescott and College Place attend a three hour morning or afternoon block schedule at SEA-TECH.

SEA-TECH Public Open House
- Monday, April 20
- 12 noon to 6 p.m. (drop-in when convenient)
- 525 Campus Loop (on the campus of Walla Walla Community College)
- Information: Erin Roach, (509) 526-2000 / eroach@wwps.org
- SEA-TECH video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hr3xVtHxqE
- SEA-TECH – Your Pathway to a Career


City plans public meeting to discuss Isaacs Avenue road construction project

- Isaacs Avenue Corridor Study
- Public Open House #1: Explore the Alternatives
- Tuesday, April 14, 4 to 6 p.m.
- Location: Green Park Elementary School - Library, 1105 E Isaacs Ave
- Project information: gowallawalla.us

Do you drive, walk, bike, take the bus, live or shop on Isaacs Avenue? If so, please consider attending the first major public event on the project. The meeting will discuss project goals and explore alternatives for future improvements to the design and condition of Isaacs Avenue between Rose Street and Wilbur Avenue. If you have questions or are interested in joining the email list, please contact Monte Puymon with the City’s Engineering Division at mpuymon@wallawallawa.gov or at 509-527-4537.



District to attend Spokane teacher recruitment fair

Walla Walla Public Schools plans to attend the Washington School Personnel Association Career Fair at the Spokane Convention Center April 14. Human Resources Executive Director Chris Gardea is coordinating the activity. The district is excited to meet with potential new teacher candidates. Teacher candidates who would like to register to attend the Spokane Career Fair may sign up at http://www.wspa.net/teacher-job-seeker. See you in Spokane!


Spring Break Schedule

• April 6 to 10 (NO SCHOOL)
• Classes resume Monday, April 13


School Stories
Pioneer Middle School student aces Elks statewide essay contest

Pioneer Middle School 6th grade student Carolyn Bergman won first place in the state of Washington in the Elks USA Americanism Essay contest. Her submission in the "What the Pledge of Allegiance Means to Me” contest earned top honors among students in her grade level. The Elks contest was established to promote patriotism among young people. Carolyn is in Richelle Palmer’s class.

“I learned if you have a strong educational system and the right government and are willing to work together, you can have a great country and world,” Bergman said. “The skills you develop by doing this contest will help you with writing and expressing your views.”


Drew Bledsoe returns home in support of national youth program

The 2015 Inaugural Celebrate Junior Achievement Breakfast was held Tuesday morning at the Reid Center on the campus of Whitman College. Walla Walla High School graduate and former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe was the keynote speaker. Pioneer Middle School student Katelyn Pitzer and Wa-Hi sophomore Poppy Small also addressed the packed ballroom about how Junior Achievement has had a positive impact on their school experiences. Pioneer Middle School Assistant Principal Ron Higgins is a JA Board member and challenged the group to empower the future by supporting Junior Achievement. Junior Achievement is a volunteer-delivered, kindergarten-12th grade program which fosters work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills.

“I consider it a privilege to have grown up in Walla Walla,” Bledsoe said. “There are so many people who cared about me as I was growing up and to be able to come back and be part of this community again is a great feeling.”


Pioneer Middle School filmmaker earns national medal 

Pioneer Middle School student Wren Chapin won a gold key at the regional level of the 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.and a gold medal at the national level for his film "Secret Life of a Spy." Wren was one of only seven middle school students in Washington state to receive a national medal, according to his teacher Dan Calzaretta.

“This year, 300,000 works of art and writing were submitted and only the top one percent were recognized at the national level,” said Calzaretta. “ Wren has been invited to attend a ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York on June 11.”

In total, 14 Pioneer Middle School students have been recognized for outstanding writing and filmmaking through the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program.

“We also had two students who won silver keys at the regional level for their short story writing,” said Calzaretta. “They are Drew Hollopeter for his story A Kick in the Ash and Alaina Tucker for her story Tall Tales.”

Finally, we had 11 students win honorable mention awards for short stories, said Calzaretta. They are:
Hana Bobrow-Strain
Fionn Ensor-McDermott
Raegan Figgins
Renee Kelly
Kelli McKern
Cassie Pascual
Jacob Pribilsky
Rebecca Schmidt
Nels Gregoire
Rachel Prull
Lili Reiter


Sharpstein Elementary teams with community agencies for weekend sack lunch program

Sharpstein Intervention Specialists, Magali Hernandez and Jennifer Matson, have teamed up with United Way, BMAC, and volunteers from Liberty Christian School to provide a weekend sack lunch program for students in need.

“Donations from the Sharpstein staff and PTA have helped get this program into place for the remainder of the school year,” said Matson.

Approximately 10-15 students are currently being served each week. Bags provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for students until they return to school on Monday morning. United Way has graciously donated the bags students are using to take the food home each week, according to Matson.


Mark you calendars for WEAR BLUE DAY May 1

Staff and students across the district will be supporting Wear Blue Day to raise awareness about Juvenile Arthritis May 1. Student Allison Wanichek established this annual event several years ago.

“Wearing blue is great, but I want to make sure people know WHY they are wearing it — which is to raise awareness about Juvenile Arthritis,” said Wanichek, who was diagnosed with this disease as a young girl. “Look for posters, public service announcements and more information as the May 1 date draws near.”



Senator Maria Cantwell visits Walla Walla to participate in STEM activity

Senator Maria Cantwell visited Pioneer Middle School Thursday afternoon to meet with students in the 21st Century Community Learning Centers After-School Program. An all-girls group of middle and high school students conducted a science experiment using balloons. They completed hands-on demonstrations on the properties of air. They filled the balloons with helium and launched the balloon clusters in front of school. This activity was a planning step in the process of launching a real weather balloon later this year. Cantwell said she was impressed with the students and program.

“This is a winner because it combines an afterschool program with STEM and we need more young women interested in these activities,” said Cantwell. “You can see from these young women here they are enthusiastic about their learning.”

About 21st Century Community Learning Centers
This program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.


Former Edison teacher offers youth cooking classes to make Mother’s Day brunch

Longtime Edison teacher Kay Barga is offering a children’s cooking class at the Salvation Army Saturday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The class is open to all children ages 5-12 in Walla Walla. Call The Salvation Army at 529-9470 to make a reservation.

“Our little cookers will be learning and then teaching children from the community to make a Mother's Day brunch,” said Barga. “Students from Edison and Sharpstein will meet the week before the event and learn how to prepare different dishes, write up the recipes and practice presentations.”

On the following Saturday, children from the community are invited to The Salvation Army to prepare meals after the students give their presentations.

Youth Cooking Event
- Saturday, May 2
- 10 a.m to 12 noon
- Salvation Army Center (827 W. Alder Street)
- Walla Walla, Wa 99362
- Information: 529-9470


Community Stories

Public invited to Gesa Power House Theatre for free film on early childhood development

"The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation" is an acclaimed, new documentary exploring the science of how our earliest experiences literally shape our developing brains. Please join the members of the Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition for this FREE event - tomorrow, Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Gesa Power House Theatre."


“Creating Global Citizens: World Language Education and College and Career-Ready Students”

Wednesday, April 8
7 p.m.
Whitman College campus, Olin Hall 221

Christine Lanphere is an award-winning French teacher from Sacramento. As the 2007 National Language Teacher of the Year (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), she acted as a national spokesperson for language education, attending regional and state conferences and speaking to local, state, and national leaders about the importance of language education. She has been active in curricular matters, teaching training, and materials acquisition at the state level in California. Her talk will address the role of world language in the evolving landscape of secondary education, including the Common Core standards.

This lecture is open to the public. For questions and accommodations, please contact Jack Iverson (iversojr@whitman.edu; 526-4750)


City Parks and Recreation Update

Warrior Soccer Academy
- Registration is now open for youth ages 5-11
- Cost - $48
- Dates: April 20 to May 21
- Location - Walla Walla Community College

No Smoking in the Parks Community Meetings - Open to the Public
- Join us for this informational meeting. We would appreciate feedback from the community on this topic.
- All meetings begin at 5:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 7 - Walla Walla School District - Board Meeting Room, 364 South Park Street
- Tuesday, April 21 - Berney Elementary Gymnasium, 1718 Pleasant St

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


Exchange Club Easter Egg Hunt Saturday

The Walla Walla Exchange Club is holding its 56th Annual Children’s Easter Egg Hunt on April 4, 2015 at 9 a.m. at Pioneer Park. This year’s Easter Egg hunt features 26 prizes, including three bicycles, which will be awarded in categories, 1-3 years old, 4-6 years, 7-10 years and special-needs. The event is free and open to the public.

The event is a long standing community event that was started by the Walla Walla Exchange Club in 1959. The hunt was held in Wildwood Park until 1999 when the location was changed to Pioneer Park. There are approximately 40,500 individually wrapped chocolate Easter eggs weighing in at about 480 pounds which make up the hunt. The prize collection takes up approximately five shopping carts. Special thanks to sponsor Alexandria Communications and volunteer Master of Ceremonies Jim Bock. Also thanks to The men of Beta Theta Pi from Whitman College, the City of Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Department, Main Street Starbucks, Walmart, Poplar Donuts and the Walla Walla Fire Department.

About the Exchange Club:
The Walla Walla Exchange Club started on Saturday, March 26, 1949, in the Georgian Ballroom of the Marcus Whitman Hotel. The club sponsors a variety of activities that support and draw attention to our central mission, which is the prevention of child abuse here in the Walla Walla Valley. Our main fundraiser to help the children in our community is the Baker Boyer Ducky Derby coming up on May 16, 2015.

For more information call Kim McDaniels at 509-200-0983.


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