Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 25, 2016

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

Spring Break April 4-8 - NO SCHOOL

Schools are closed April 4-8 for Spring Break. Classes resume Monday, April 11. Have a safe and fun break.


Community Facilities Task Force meets with Walla Walla High School staff

This spring members of the Community Facilities Task Force are meeting with staff at a number of schools to get input on facility improvement issues. Local businessman Paul Schneidmiller and Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan are co-chairing the task force. The charge of this group is to develop a long-range facilities improvement plan. Last week, task force members traveled to Walla Walla High School to meet with staff members. Larger classrooms, better climate control, technology enhancements and security were themes from the Wa-Hi staff that surfaced during the meeting. This input will be used during this fact finding stage to support the facilities improvement planning process. Task force members are scheduled to meet one more time at Wa-Hi this spring. They are also scheduled to visit Lincoln High School, Pioneer Middle School and Blue Ridge Elementary and Head Start/ECEAP before the end of the school year.


School district teams with city police for emphasis patrol campaign

City of Walla Walla police officers will be patrolling in school zones more frequently this spring as part of an emphasis patrol campaign. The emphasis patrol campaign will operate from April 11 to June 9. The district is contracting with off-duty officers to provide this service. Police officers will be enforcing the posted speed limits, watching for distracted drivers and looking for other careless driving offenses. This safety awareness campaign is part of the district’s School Zone Safety Program.

“Student safety is at the top of the list of our priorities,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan. “As the weather improves and more children are walking and riding their bikes to school, we need to do our part to help keep everyone safe.”


ThoughtExchange Spring engagement begins; stakeholder input needed

This week staff, parents, students and other stakeholders were asked to participate in the Spring 2016 ThoughtExchange Community engagement. The “Share Phase” is open through March 31. This round focuses on strategic planning as the district prepares to begin a process later this summer. Stakeholders will be asked to weigh in on what are some ways the district can grow or improve in the next three years. The process will also seek to gain examples of what the district is doing well that should continue to be a focus in the next three years. Participants will also be able to ask clarifying questions about the strategic planning process. Results will be available before the end of the school year. This week parents and staff members received an email seeking their involvement. Community members and students have an opportunity to self-register via the district’s website -- http://wwps.thoughtexchange.com/invitation/


State Testing, a Key Measure of Student Progress, Now Underway - By OSPI Communications Department

Resources on standards, testing and preparing for college available
OLYMPIA—March 24, 2016—Knowing which students are ready for career, college and life, and how well our schools are preparing all students, is an important part of our state’s accountability system. State testing, which is now underway, provides a key measure to help education leaders, teachers and parents improve student learning.

In spring 2015, students in the state’s 295 school districts took the computer-based Smarter Balanced Assessments in math and English language arts (ELA) for the first time, outperforming initial projections against tougher college and career ready learning standards. In grades 3-8, Washington students performed at or near the top in most grade levels and subjects compared to other Smarter Balanced states.

More than 50 percent of 11th graders refused to take Smarter Balanced tests in spring 2015. But 74 percent of 10th graders who took the Smarter Balanced ELA test passed at a college- and career-ready level – and 82 percent met the graduation requirement threshold. In eight states, including Washington, the high school Smarter Balanced tests serve as college placement exams and can help students avoid remedial courses in college if they score a Level 3 or 4.

“State testing helps districts determine if they are meeting the needs of all their students equitably and fairly, or if they should make adjustments,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “It helps families know how their child is doing in school and whether he or she needs more help or more academic challenges. Testing also gives us another piece of information – just like discipline and attendance rates – to determine the health of our public school system.”

Ready Washington released three new videos today that provide the basics on 2016 state testing, WA’s learning standards and the State Board of Education’s 95/10 Challenge. The videos are available at www.youtube.com/ReadyWA.



School Stories
Lincoln High School drama presents Alice In Wonderland 

Performance dates:
- Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m.
- Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- China Pavilion - WWCC campus
- Children who attend Saturday's 2 p.m. performance will have a chance to get their picture taken with their favorite characters
- Tickets are pay what you will and donations are appreciated.
- Information: Jeremy Gradwohl at 526-8516 or jgradwohl@wwps.org


Pioneer Middle School student invited to participate in Puget Sound Junior Achievement event

Congratulations to Pioneer Middle School 7th grade student Audrey Wells for being invited to introduce one the the key laureates at this year’s Puget Sound Junior Achievement Hall of Fame in Seattle. Wells will introduce banking leader Deanna Oppenheimer at the event. The invite comes at the recommendation of Junior Achievement President David Moore who heard Audrey speak recently at a Junior Achievement event. He was impressed with her enthusiasm and knowledge. Wells talked about her experience at BizTown and the learning opportunities she has had in the classroom through Junior Achievement including tax education, budgeting and checkbook management. 


Edison production supports Books for Babes program

The drama club of Edison Elementary is putting on this production “Stone Soup” to sponsor their community service project, Books for Babes.
- Thursday, March 31
- Drama Production: Stone Soup
- 7 p.m.
- Edison Elementary Gym
- Donations welcome


Pioneer and Garrison Millennials Indoor Soccer clash

This week students poured into the Pioneer Middle School gym for a Pioneer versus Garrison Afterschool Indoor Soccer event. This World Cup like atmosphere match happens twice during the school year, once at Pioneer and once at Garrison. Approximately 150 to 175 students and staff participate. Pioneer and Garrison Indoor Soccer players are held to high standards, according to Martin Fortney, 21st Century Afterschool program site coordinator at Pioneer Middle School.

“This program is great for our students, said Fortney. “They are required to pass weekly grade checks and weekly discipline reports to participate. We at Pioneer and Garrison try to make this program something students will excel at, not only in the program, but outside of program as well.”


Berney plans garden work party

- Saturday, April 2
- 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Tasks: Fence building, preparing the beds for spring planting, and expand the flower beds
- Come join us for a short time, or for the whole time
- Bring basic tools if you have them
- Questions: Contact our Garden Coordinator, Joy Bader, at joygbader@gmail.com



W2 for Drug Free Youth Participated in Southeast Washington Regional Action Conference

Walla Walla High School students Valeria Alonso, Mariana Enriques and Noemi Sarmiento and W2 for Drug Free Youth Coordinator Peggy Needham participated in the Southeast Washington Regional Action Conference at Walla Walla Community College on March 19, 2016. Youth from around the region were fortunate to have nationally known speaker and magician Brad Barton and Susan Newton of Development Strategies Plus provide a day of magic, inspiration, and empowerment to local youth.
Youth and adults also received on overview of ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and participated in games developed by the students at Lincoln High School. This training was provided by the Dayton Coalition for Youth and Families and Walla Walla Community College.


JROTC Drill & Marksmanship meets update - By JROTC Blue Devils Public Affairs

Wa-Hi Cadets win big at North Salem Drill & Marksmanship Meet
Cadets from the Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devil” Cadet Battalion traveled recently to Salem, OR, to compete at the North Salem High School Marksmanship and Drill meet.

Cadets from the Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps took several top honors in individual and team categories. More than 350 Cadets on drill and marksmanship teams from a dozen regional schools competed.

“Our cadets worked hard and competed well and earned trophies, medals and ribbons for their efforts,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, who coaches the Walla Walla drill teams and serves as Senior Army Instructor for the Wa-Hi JROTC program. “Among the many categories where our students excelled, for example, Cadet 1st Lt. Adam Grau came home with 5th place for his performance in the individual armed exhibition drill."

Cadet Lt. Col. Alexis Nordman, a senior and Blue Devil Cadet Battalion Commander, listed the honors her fellow cadets earned at the event: "Our Armed Drill Team took 4th place and Cadet Sgt. Maj Savannah Brown took 2nd place for Armed Drill Team Commander. Our Unarmed Drill Team took 3rd place and Cadet Capt. Meagan Dodd took 3rd place for Unarmed Drill Team Commander."

The Blue Devil Marksmanship Team fired outstanding individual and team scores, too, according to their coach.

“Our Precision Team took 1st place. Cadet Staff Sgt. Daniel Enger won first place, Cadet Maj. (and Rifle Team captain) Sabrina Keenan took 3rd, Enger also brought home new league records for offhand and total. A offhand score of 197 out of 200 and a total of 591 out of 600" said shooting team coach, retired Army Sgt 1st Class Mark Mebes. The Sporter Team brought home 3rd place.

JROTC Cadets learn leadership skills military history, precision drill and ceremonies, and marksmanship. The Wa-Hi “Blue Devil” Cadet Battalion competes in drill and ceremony and marksmanship events around the region.

Wa-Hi cadets win big at Yakima Drill & Marksmanship Meet
Cadets from the Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devil” Cadet Battalion traveled recently to compete at the Yakima High School Marksmanship and Drill meet.

Cadets from the Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps took several top honors in individual and team categories. More than 350 Cadets on drill and marksmanship teams from a dozen regional schools competed.

“Our cadets worked hard and competed well and earned trophies, medals and ribbons for their efforts,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, who coaches the Walla Walla drill teams and serves as Senior Army Instructor for the Wa-Hi JROTC program. “Among the many categories where our students excelled, for example, Cadet PFC Kail Lynn came home with 4th place for his performance in the individual armed exhibition drill."

Cadet Lt. Col. Alexis Nordman, a senior and the Blue Devil Cadet Battalion Commander, listed the honors her fellow cadets earned at the event: "Our Armed Drill Team took 6th place and Cadet Sgt. Maj Savannah Brown took 5th place for Armed Drill Team Commander. Our Unarmed Drill Team took 5th place and Cadet Capt. Meagan Dodd took 4th place for Unarmed Drill Team Commander."

The Blue Devil Marksmanship Team fired outstanding individual and team scores, too, according to their coach.

JROTC Cadets learn leadership skills military history, precision drill and ceremonies, and marksmanship. The Wa-Hi “Blue Devil” Cadet Battalion competes in drill and ceremony and marksmanship events around the region.


Community Stories

Whitman students team with Girls Council for fun activity

Girls Council has an activity tonight from 6-8 p.m. at their headquarters at 401 W. Main Street, Walla Walla.  With Whitman students, Girls Council leaders are presenting an evening of fun titled: "#girlpower, Empowering each other, in person and on line."  There will be fun, food and prizes! For more information, give Girls Council a call at (509) 524-8845.


Daring to Dream Big comes to Whitman College

Whitman College invites Walla Walla students and their families to an evening talk titled Daring to Dream Big - A journey from the Wheat Fields to Outer Space. Come hear Astronaut and Whitman Graduate Dorothy Metcalf -Lindenburger ('97) share her story of how she went from being a high school science teacher to an astronaut.
- Monday, April 4
- 7:30 p.m.
- Young Ballroom (Reid Campus Center)
- Free and open to the public


Medical students present to AVID class - By Alison Kirby, MD

Walla Walla Clinic is pleased to host the Health Care Alternative Spring Break (HCASB) for the 10th year on March 20-25, 2016. This year, six pre-med students from the University of Washington will again visit Walla Walla to experience first-hand the delivery of high quality medical care in a rural area.

To be considered for participation in the HCASB, students write essays and are interviewed as part of a rigorous selection process. Only 30% of the students who apply for the program are chosen. Selectees for Walla Walla this year are: Cameron Burke, Caitlin Gard, Chloe Lee, Malia Stonhill, Meena Sethuraman, and Raymond Lay. Twenty-two rural Washington communities take part in the student-run program.

In Walla Walla, the HCASB students will shadow physicians and PA's for four days. Medical schools now require students to have direct shadowing experience prior to applying.

Today, the pre-med students will make a presentation to AVID classes at Walla Walla High School, to inspire high school students to attend college.

Dr. Alison Kirby has been the organizer for the Health Care Alternative Spring Break in Walla Walla since 2005. "We want to show future physicians that there can be excellent medical care and also a highly satisfying lifestyle outside of metropolitan areas. It's enjoyable to be a doctor in a small city like Walla Walla. We want students to know that, and return here someday."


Ballet Immersion classes available for area children

- Children ages 4-7
- Gesa PowerHouse Theatre
- Saturday, March 26
- $25 / child

Magical Ballerinas is intended for students ages 4 & 5 and will focus on fun ballet stretches and basic technique with a fairytale theme. Class time: 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Ballet Classica is intended for students ages 6 & 7 and will focus on more complex ballet technique with at traditional ballet theme. Class time: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Participants in both classes will take home a complimentary tutu for girls or a hero cape for boys.

Space is limited. Please call (509) 525-0815 to reserve your child's spot in class today! Payment can be made by sending a check (made out to DCBF) to Danza Classica Ballet Foundation 129 East Alder, Suite B Walla Walla, WA 99362


Parks & Recreation update

Warrior Soccer Academy - Ages 5 - 11
April 18 - May 12 - $48

All Comers Track & Field Meet - Ages 12 & Under
May 1 - $3 ($5 onsite registration)

Adult Co-Ed Soccer - 16 & up
Registration Deadline - April 17 - $422 per team (includes player fees)

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



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