Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 17, 2015

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Special School Board work session and meeting Tuesday, April 21

- 5:30 p.m.: Work Session - Agenda: Teacher/Principal Evaluation Process
- 6:30 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting
- District office Board Room (364 S. Park St.)
- Both meetings open to the public


Recruitment team travels to Spokane to meet new teacher candidates

Human Resources Director Chris Gardea led a team of district leaders Tuesday at the Spokane New Teacher Career Fair. The purpose of the fair was to meet potential teacher candidates to fill open positions anticipated for next school year. Many of the districts from throughout the state were represented in Spokane. Bilingual and Special Education teachers were in the greatest demand based on feedback at the fair from other district representatives.

“It is important to put Walla Walla on the map with these new teachers as we begin the hiring process for next year,” said Gardea. “It is getting more competitive each year to recruit teachers and with pending lower class size legislation the task may get even more difficult. It is critical we recruit and hire high quality teachers for Walla Walla Public Schools.”

Walla Walla Public Schools also conducted campus visits to Whitworth and Gonzaga Universities to meet with students in their Education Departments as part of the Spokane visit.


SEA-TECH Open House Monday

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


Kindergarten registration and open enrollment continues through May 1

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:
- Now through May 1: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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.


State Superintendent Randy Dorn releases plan to fully fund basic education - Source: OSPI

OLYMPIA - State Superintendent Randy Dorn at a press conference Tuesday released a complete plan to fulfill Washington’s constitutional and moral responsibility to fully fund basic education. The plan will ensure that every student in the state has an equal opportunity to a basic education.

The State is currently under a court order to produce a complete plan showing how it intends to achieve full state funding of K-12 basic education without the use of local funding. To this point, neither the Governor, nor the legislature has introduced such a plan.

“I’m pleased that the House and Senate budget proposals fund many important items,” Dorn said, “such as statewide full-day kindergarten; lower K–3 class size; materials, supplies, and operating costs; and transportation.

“Now let’s finish the job. I have worked with my staff and have conferred with experts and education stakeholders to develop a plan showing how the State can achieve full funding of basic education.”

Dorn’s plan makes two significant modifications to current law regarding full funding: 1) It reduces class size in grades 4 through 12, but not as much as voter-approved Initiative 1351; and 2), It extends the timeline for achieving full funding from 2018 to 2021. The extension is a realistic timeline to hire more teachers and build more classrooms to accommodate the new class-size limits.

For the 2015-17 biennium, Dorn’s plan totals $2.2 billion in new spending. That total, however, could be lowered if local levy money currently being used to fund basic education programs is transferred into the general fund.

Seven major elements comprise Dorn’s plan. The State must:
- Complete the funding of HB 2776,
- Reduce class size in grades 4–12,
- Hire additional support staff,
- Fund more teachers and more classrooms,
- Reform the compensation system,
- Reform the levy system and
- Review and update education provisions regularly.
- Details for the elements can be found at http://bit.ly/DornPlan.

The Supreme Court is not likely to tolerate further delay in the development of a real comprehensive plan to fully fund all schools, and neither should the people of the state of Washington. Now is the time to finally meet the state’s paramount duty.



Mark Your Calendars! End of Year Celebrations

Opportunity Program Graduation
- Thursday, June 4 / During school day / Opportunity Program (1917 E. Isaacs Ave.)

Lincoln High School Graduation
- Thursday, June 4 / 6 p.m. / Marcus Whitman Hotel

Walla Walla High School Commencement
- Friday, June 5 / 7 p.m. / Commons Grounds

Pioneer Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
- Wednesday, June 10 / 7 p.m. / Walla Walla High School Gym

Garrison Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
- Thursday, June 11 / 7 p.m. / Walla Walla High School Gym


School Stories
SEA-TECH offers free summer courses

Health Summer Program
- June 15 to July 2
- 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday
- FREE
- Nutrition and wellness for life, personal and family health, CPR and First Aid, Health Careers
- Satisfies the .5 high school graduation requirement for health
- Instructor: Victoria Reardon

Introduction to Manufacturing Summer Program
- June 15 to July 2
- 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday
- FREE
- Exploratory course in the area of manufacturing: drafting/CAD, welding, CNC plasma cutting, shop safety, career options
- Manufacturing summer course satisfies the .5 FTE CTE or elective credit
- Instructor: James Polson

SEA-TECH Summer School Parent Information Night, Tuesday, April 28 from 6 to 7 p.m. @ SEA-TECH (525 Campus Loop)


Walla Walla High School recipient of 2014 Washington Achievement Award for reading and math gains

Walla Walla High School is a recipient of the 2014 Washington Achievement Award. Washington Achievement Award winners are selected using the State Board of Education Revised Achievement Index and are based on statewide assessment data for the three previous years. The award is given in six categories: Overall Excellence, High Progress, Reading Growth, Math Growth, Extended Graduation Rate and English Language Acquisition. Walla Walla High School is being recognized for “High Progress.” This award represents the fifth consecutive year Walla Walla High School has received a Washington Achievement Award.

High Progress Definition
Schools qualify for recognition if they are in the top 10% of schools making the most progress in the performance of the all students group over three years. The Progress Score (PS) is computed by adding an Achievement Score (A) and an Improvement Score (I). Therefore, PS=A+I. Reading and math achievement are combined.
Progress is determined in two ways:
1. Achievement Score - The Achievement Score is an average of proficiency rates in both reading and math for the past three years. Schools must have tested students in both reading and math for each year. Reading and math are weighted equally.
2. Improvement Score - The Improvement Score is an average of improvement trends from year to year for the past three years (2010 to 2011; 2011 to 2012; and 2012 to 2013). Schools must have tested students in both reading and math for each year. Reading and math are weighted equally.
Schools with significant achievement gaps across subgroups that are not closing and schools identified as Priority, Focus or Emerging are not eligible for High Progress.

“This award reflects the dedication that our staff puts forth every day to improve our students education and their futures,” said Principal Pete Peterson. “This simply reinforces that we will continue to make improvements in our instruction and do everything we need to make sure every student graduates from Wa-Hi college and career ready.”


JROTC travels to Ellensburg for spring camp

Cadets from the Walla Walla High School JROTC program traveled to Ellensburg recently to participate in their annual Spring Camp. Blue Devil cadets joined with Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps peers from West Valley High School to complete a series of leadership and team building exercises. While at camp, the Blue Devils cadet battalion commander, Mattie Bialozor, was selected among the other cadet seniors to be Camp Commander and was promoted to the rank of Cadet Colonel.

The cadets at camp were led through a series of challenging exercises. Cadets hiked up Manastash Ridge and completed a high ropes course, then tackled the indoor climbing wall on the Central Washington University campus. Camp concluded with a Leadership Reaction Course which tested teamwork and communication during a seven-event, round-robin competition.

"Every cadet made it to the top of Manastash Ridge. That has never happened before," said cadet Col. Bialozor. "I am so proud of the effort all the cadets from our two schools put forward to accomplish some pretty physically challenging events."

Following the camp, several Wa-Hi cadets were recognized with promotions for going above and beyond expectations. These were: 2nd Lt. Chance Addington; Sergeants 1st Class Madeline Erickson, Danielle DeSalvo, and Dominick Mullins; Cpl Brighlee Ferguson, and Pvt. 1st Class Kiara Wilhelm.


Sirmon to compete in track and field at Utah State
Walla Walla High School senior Madelyn Sirmon signed her National Letter of Intent Thursday to compete on the Women's Track and Field Team at Utah State University.  Madelyn narrowed her list to Washington State, University of Montana and Utah State.  USU's outstanding facilities, academics, and coaching staff really impressed Madelyn.  Madelyn is an honors student and will be earning her 12th Varsity letter this Spring. Madelyn is the daughter of Thad and Tami Sirmon.
2015 Altrusa Spelling Bee results

The 8th annual Altrusa Spelling Bee was held Saturday, March 28, at the SEA-TECH Skills Center on the WWCC campus. Seventy-seven spellers participated in the competition for third, fourth and fifth graders. Students represented public and private elementary schools in the Walla Walla Valley, including Milton-Freewater and Vista Hermosa.

There were two sessions for each grade, with the top two spellers from each session competing for the championship in a spell-off. The top four finalists for each grade received prizes for demonstrating their spelling skills after going through most of the words from a study list and then moving on to challenge words that they had not seen.

Winners were as follows:

Fifth Grade
First Place: Trent Crudup, Edison
Second Place: Mary Elizabeth Balof, Assumption
Third Place: Hope Knowlton, Freewater
Fourth Place: Raj Patel, Green Park

Fourth Grade
First Place: Summer Kelnhofer, Liberty Christian
Second Place: Cesar Meza, Freewater
Third Place: Trace Floch, Davis
Fourth Place: Emmett James, Berney

Third Grade
First Place: Henry Sharon, Prospect Point
Second Place: Vincenzo Aveni, St. Basil
Third Grade: Meg Hokanson, Prospect Point
Fourth Place: Ezekiel Durand, Davis

Altrusa International of Walla Walla is a service organization that focuses on building a better community through literacy and leadership. Walla Walla Public Schools was one of the event sponsors.



Walla Walla High School student receives national Dell Scholarship

Walla Walla High School senior Andrea Lamadrid Torres was named a Dell Scholar. She will receive $20,000, a laptop, textbook credit, and other supports to attend college. Torres is a senior AVID student who is taking three Advanced Placement classes. She was recognized as one of 300 Dell Scholars nationwide. Wa-Hi teacher Sherry McConn submitted the recommendation. Andrea plans to Gonzaga University next fall.

Dell Scholar Criteria (Source: Dell Scholars Program)
Dell Scholars are students who demonstrate their desire and ability to overcome barriers and to achieve their goals.
- Individual determination to succeed
- Future goals and plans to achieve them
- Ability to communicate the hardships you have overcome or currently face
- Self motivation in completing challenging coursework
- Demonstrated need for financial assistance


Whitman College sponsors Bilingual Family Fun Night at Green Park

Wednesday, approximately 100 Green Park Elementary parents, students and staff joined Whitman volunteers who tutor K-3rd grade students on a weekly basis in both math and language arts to celebrate bilingual education and the learning that has occurred this past year. About 30 Whitman students who are proficient in the Spanish language walk or bike to Green Park Elementary school for one or two hours of tutoring each week.

“They have found it to be a satisfying way to use their language skills while offering support to local students who are learning in both English and Spanish, said Whitman Student Engagement Coordinator Susan Prudente. “The program is in it's second full year of outreach and looks forward to a bright future.”

An evening of food provided by La Cocina de la Abuela, crafts, family photos, a Pioneer Middle School’s Ballet Folklorico performance and building community among those involved in the program were highlights of the evening. Special thanks to Whitman Green Park Bilingual Intern, Elissa Picozzi, who had the courage and vision to make this evening happen.


Whitman College Mentee to Campus Event brings Walla Walla students to campus setting
Friday, April 17,  the Annual Mentee to Campus Day Carnival brought  nearly 100 K-5 Walla Walla Public School students to the Whitman College campus. Mentors, mentees and WWPS Intervention Specialists invaded the Reid Campus Center and Side Lawn for a carnival, singing and dance performances, a huge group picture and a celebration of friendship.  Whitman volunteers are paired with a local elementary student at one of the six local schools and commit to meeting with them each week, all year long, during the lunch and recess hour.  Consistency and positive role modeling are the essence of this outreach that impacts both the kids (mentees) and college students (mentors) alike.  The Whitman Mentor program is in its 21st year of partnering with Walla Walla Public Schools for which the College is grateful. Special thanks to Whitman mentor interns Leslie Rodriquez and Rina Wulfing for a tremendous job leading this program with excellence this year.
Walla Walla High School Class Officer for 2015-2016 

Senior Class Officers
JC Wicklund, Senior Class President
Jared Funk, Senior Class Vice President
Kaley King, Senior Class Secretary
Whiteny Enriquez, Senior Class Treasurer

Junior Class Officers
Selina Atkinson, Junior Class President
Poppy Small, Junior Class Vice President
Alex Meliah, Junior Class Treasurer
Bryar Jensen, Junior Class Secretary

Sophomore Class Officers
Daisy Schonder, Sophomore Class President
Jordan Wicklund, Sophomore Class Vice President
Kiran Maini, Sophomore Class Treasurer
Emma Case, Sophomore Class Secretary


Journalism students make national honor roll - By Wa-Hi Journal

The National Scholastic Press Association released the National Journalism Honor Roll for 2014-2015, which includes six Wa-Hi students. Seniors Seth Chapman, Jennifer Cho, Madyson Gabriel and Hannah Mitchell, junior Ryan Manny and sophomore Cameron Peters were inducted.

The NSPA Honor Roll recognizes student journalists who have served on a journalism staff for a minimum of two years and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.75.


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.”

Visit the WWPS website (www.wwps.org) to see a video Public Service Announcement. Allison’s younger brother Jack, a Prospect Point 4th grade student, produced the video for Blue Day to raise awareness about juvenile arthritis.


Walla Walla High School science teacher to study safe design of chemicals at national workshop 

Walla Walla High School Science teacher Mary Burt was selected, along with two other Washington state teachers, to attend the MoDRN (Molecular Design Research Network) workshop this summer at Baylor University in Waco, TX. During this workshop, teachers will engage with researchers from MoDRN to develop and conduct research related to the topic of safer design of chemicals. They will also align the projects with educational standards and collaborate on developing activities for use in their classrooms. The workshop is sponsored by the Department of Ecology.

“This workshop will provide the opportunity for me to do hands-on "green chemistry" research for two weeks with a team of teachers and faculty in a top-notch university setting,” Burt said. “We'll start by researching and asking questions on our topic, designing our research project, and then presenting our findings to our peers.”

Burt says this opportunity will allow her to put into practice the same skill sets she wants her students to master.

“In addition, the chemicals in our environment and consumer products is a topic that is typically pretty engaging to students and I look forward to learning more on the subject as a way to get students excited about chemistry,” Burt said.

For more information about the research network, click on the link below:
http://modrn.yale.edu/


Head Start/ECEAP applications now accepted

The WWPS Head Start/ECEAP preschool program is now taking applications for the 2015-2016 school year. The program provides free preschool classes for qualifying children in Walla Walla County. Families are encouraged to apply for children who will be 3 or 4 years-old by August 31, 2015.  Applications are available at Blue Ridge Elementary and on the Walla Walla Public Schools website.


Community invited to Wa-Hi Farm Days today

Bring your kids for a free, fun day of learning and interacting with farm animals!
- Friday, April 17
- 4 to 6 p.m.
- Walla Walla High School FFA Barn (near the science parking lot)


FFA Plant Sale later this month

The FFA Plant Sale will start at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29 and conclude on Friday, May 1. The sale is outside the CTE building on Abbott Road. The FFA has added a few new varieties this year along with many of its traditional annuals.


Explorer students ace national math competition

The 4th grade Explorer class placed first in its region, and tied for second nationally in the CML (Continental Mathematics League) competition.   This competition consists of five problem solving math tests. Teacher Mary Cortinas reports there were 194 teams in the competition this year. Congratulations to Mrs. Cortinas and the students. 


Community Stories
Parenting Wisely sessions continue - Free childcare and meal included

A second session of Parenting Wisely will begin at Lincoln High School on April 23, 2015. Free dinner and childcare will be provided with the meal being served at 5:30, classes starting at 6 p.m.

The goal of the Parenting Wisely curriculum is to equip parents with the skills they need to improve family interactions. This interactive parenting program has been proven to reduce teen alcohol and drug use, reduce aggressive behavior and improve family communication. If you are looking for more strategies to work with your teenager, register now with Casey Cramer, ccramer@wwps.org or call him at Lincoln High School 526-8518.


PictureLab showcases student artwork at public library

The Walla Walla Public Library hosts The Carnegie Picture Show  - an exhibit of student artwork from Carnegie PictureLab classroom lessons, now until April 25. On Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be a variety of art activities for all ages. At noon, there will be a dance performance by Walla Walla's traditional Mexican folk troupe Ballet Folklorico. The event is free to the public. Carnegie PictureLab is a nonprofit organization that presents art history and art creation lessons in every elementary classroom in the Walla Walla valley three times each school year. Help fund arts education now by visiting  www.carnegiepicturelab.com/donate-now.


Town Hall meeting venue for release of Healthy Youth Survey data

W2 for Drug Free Youth will be hosting a Town Hall Forum on April 28 at 7 p.m. at the Walla Walla High School Auditorium. Come hear the results of both the W2 for Drug Free Youth Community Survey and the 2014 Healthy Youth Survey completed by 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grade students in Walla Walla.

Meeting topics
- What are the top concerns of our youth? Alcohol? Drugs? Depression? Violence? Homelessness?
- What do kids like best about living in Walla Walla?

A question and answer period will feature middle school and high school principals, Trilogy Recovery Community and Walla Walla Youth Alliance. Local resources and information will be available for both parents and youth.

For more information contact:
Peggy Needham, Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative Coordinator
Trilogy Recovery Community
515 West Poplar
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 876-4525


City Parks and Recreation Update

Women's Self Defense
- Registration is now open for ages 12 and up
- Cost - $50
- Dates - April 19 - April 26 - Every Sunday 6 to 7:30 p.m.
- Location - Carnegie
- These sessions are geared for ALL WOMEN...you will leave feeling more confident in your ability to be your own ADVANTAGE!

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 Meeting - 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 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


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