||Spring Break Schedule
• Early dismissal for K-5 March 29 (Academic Planning)
• No School April 1-5 (Spring Break)
||Slight change to school hours to save district $400,000 annually in transportation costs
Following weeks of study and input, school board members unanimously approved the Transportation/School Time Efficiency proposal which will save more than $400,000 a year in transportation costs by adjusting and aligning school start times. All elementary schools will start at approximately 7:50 to 8 a.m. as will 1st period at Wa-Hi. Middle Schools and 2nd period Wa-Hi will begin at 8:50 a.m.
Superintendent Wade Smith conducted a Communication and Engagement Plan over the past several weeks to elicit feedback. He met with staff to discuss the proposal. The district also sent home a fact sheet to parents and created a webpage on the district's site which housed a public survey. Superintendent Smith reviewed data from the study which included nearly 1000 completed surveys.
“There was overwhelming support for the proposal to adjust school hours slightly to enhance transportation efficiencies,” said Smith. “People understand funding is tight in today's post-McCleary public schools environment and were willing to make a minor change to further stretch our precious resources.”
Transportation Director John Griffith will begin developing new bus routes and have them completed by June. The new school start and stop times will be in place to start the 2019-20 school year.
||Elementary Consolidation and Early Learning Expansion study calendar approved
The Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors continued discussion Tuesday night about their elementary consolidation and early learning expansion study. The board adopted a timeline for the study and operational understandings to help guide the process. The board will take the next eight months to complete a study addressing the issue of declining elementary enrollment and a call for more early learning opportunities. The district has lost 250 elementary students over the last nine years and is anticipating 25 empty classrooms across its six elementary campuses in the next few years.
The board's study will include site visits to elementary schools, surveys, enrollment data reviews, financial impact analysis and preschool program options. They have developed a webpage to house information about the study as a reference for staff, parents, students and stakeholders to engage.
New high school science and math curriculum on pace for next school year
Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Christy Krutulis reported the district is on target to adopt new High School Science and High School Algebra-Geometry-Algebra II curriculum later this spring. There will not be traditional textbooks for the science adoption. These materials will be digital to use on personal devices like Chromebooks. Math will use a textbook. Materials will be on display and public informational meetings are set; April 9 (Math) and April 18 (Science). The Adoption Committee is planning to bring a recommendation to the school board in May for consideration and implementation in the fall of 2019.
||Garrison Middle School principal position open; Elizondo named Touchet Superintendent
Walla Walla Public Schools announces an opening for principal of Garrison Middle School. Current Principal Robert Elizondo has accepted Touchet School District’s superintendent position and is resigning his position at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 school year. Elizondo has been principal at Garrison Middle School since the 2013-2014 school year.
The middle school principal serves as the instructional and cultural leader of the school. This individual is responsible for carrying out the district’s mission at the school level, ensuring all students receive high quality instruction in an aligned and coherent system while addressing their social and emotional needs in a safe and engaging environment. Visit the district website for more information about applying for this position. The position closes April 9. The new principal will start July 1.
||School board approves schematic designs for new Wa-Hi Science Building
Tuesday night, school board members approved preliminary schematic designs for the new Walla Walla High School science building. Approved by voters in the November 2018 bond program, the new science building will feature eight, 1400 sq. ft, lab classrooms fully equipped to support all disciplines of science offered at Walla Walla High School. Construction will begin this fall. Visit the district’s webpage and click on Bond Updates to learn more.
New Science Project Summary Facts:
• Groundbreaking - Fall 2019 / Project Completion - Summer 2020
• 18,000 sq. ft, facility includes:
- 8 identical fully-functional laboratory classrooms
- 1 general education science classroom
- 4 science prep rooms
- Flexible seating and classroom arrangements to accommodate the various disciplines and teacher preferences
- Student lobby
- Fully ADA accessible site
- Built-in display casework
- Architecture to match existing campus
- Energy efficient heating/cooling systems
- 10 foot ceiling height
- Natural light considerations
||Vickie Rogers of Walla Walla Named Regional Classified Employee of the Year by ESD 123
PASCO, WA - Educational Service District (ESD) 123 is pleased to announce the selection of our 2019 Regional Classified Employee of the Year. Ms. Vickie Rogers, a Health Clinician (school nurse) in Walla Walla Public Schools, manages over 2,000 high school students with complex medical conditions to ensure that they receive the support they need to be successful in school and in life.
The Classified School Employee of the Year program recognizes excellence in the work of public school employees, including paraprofessionals, school nurses, secretaries, custodians and others. Anyone may nominate a classified public school employee for this award, which is overseen by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). All completed nominations are sent to the regional coordinator at each ESD, who in turn selects a regional winner. Ms. Rogers is one of nine regional winners who will go on to compete for the State Classified Employee of the Year award.
Each recommendation letter supporting Ms. Rogers’ nomination for Classified Employee of the Year speaks to her ability to build strong, positive relationships with students, parents, staff and local community partners. Prior to her role in WWPS, Ms. Rogers served 18 years in Women’s Services at a hospital. During that time, she worked with many teenage girls, providing child development education, parenting classes, nutrition, and other mentoring roles.
In speaking to her decision to begin working as a health clinician for WWPS, Ms. Rogers stated, “I decided it was a great opportunity to combine my nursing skills and my passion to help young people understand how decisions they make regarding their health can impact their daily lives, ability to function at school and be successful at school.” She goes on to say, “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a young person’s brain click when they realize, ‘Oh yeah, this is a better choice!’”
ESD 123 is proud to bring forward Vickie Rogers to represent our region for this year’s awards. She is a truly caring and compassionate professional who embodies the role of what the State Classified Employee of the Year should be. For more information on these awards, contact OSPI Recognition Coordinator, Hilary Seidel, at 360.725.6117.
||WWPS FREE Kindergarten Resource Fair
• Wednesday, April 10
• 6 to 7 p.m.
• Community Center, Walla Walla Fairgrounds
• FREE and future kindergarten students are encouraged to attend.
There will be kindergarten registration packets and information important to families with children entering kindergarten. Ask questions, learn about support services, student activities and meet WWPS staff. Students are encouraged to attend.
Resource Fair Participants:
• Berney, Blue Ridge, Edison, Green Park, Prospect Point, and Sharpstein
• WWPS Nutritional Services
• WWPS Special Education
• WWPS Transportation
• WWPS Bilingual Department
• WWPS Kindergarten Readiness & Family Engagement
• WWPS Pre-School/Head Start
• Walla Walla Public Library
• City of Walla Walla Parks and Recreation
• Family Medical Center/WIC
• Walla Walla Pediatric Dentistry
• Early Life Speech
• Children’s Home Society
• The Health Center WW
• ESD 123: Migrant Education
• Fostering Washington
• Girl Scouts
• Cub Scouts
||Personnel Report (from March 19, 2019 School Board Meeting)
Heidi Cohan, Fourth Grade, Blue Ridge Elementary School, 5 years
• Was on a leave of absence for the 2018-2019 school year.
Chelsey Davidson, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Preschool Programs, 5 months
Lashenae Steagall, Bus Assistant, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op, 2 months
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Barbara Casey, Lead Behavior Specialist, Special Education, 11 years
• To serve as Interim Principal at Prospect Point Elementary School for the 2019-2020 school year.
Abby Luckstead, Math, Pioneer Middle School, 3 years
Sara Pinkerton, Music, Edison Elementary School, 7 years
||Open Enrollment, Choice Transfer and Kindergarten Registration
Open Enrollment for students living within the WWPS boundary:
Parents/Guardians who live in the Walla Walla Public Schools district boundary and wish to open enroll their child to a different WWPS school outside of their attendance area may pick up an Open Enrollment application at their attendance area school starting Monday, April 8. All applications and forms will be accepted at Walla Walla schools starting Monday, April 15.
Choice Transfer for students living outside of the WWPS boundary:
Parents/Guardians who live outside the Walla Walla Public Schools boundary and wish to Choice Transfer/request enrollment into the WWPS boundary will need to obtain a release form from their current school district office. All applications and forms will be accepted at Walla Walla schools starting Monday, April 15.
Open enrollment and Choice Transfer requests for Walla Walla Public Schools will be granted according to priorities outlined in School Board Policy & Procedure 3130.
• Policy 3130: http://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/policies/series-3000/4224-board-policy-no-3130
• Procedure 3130: http://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/procedures/series-3000/5174-3130-district-attendance-areas,-open-enrollment,-and-employees-student-placement
Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all schools, the Administration Office at 364 S. Park St, and online at www.wwps.org.
Walla Walla Public Schools’ kindergarten registration period will be April 15-26, 2019, and will take place at the student’s attendance area elementary school. Families wishing to enroll their kindergarten student in the Dual Language Program must call the Bilingual Education Department, (509) 526-6784.
If you have a kindergarten student starting in the fall of 2019, please join us at our Kindergarten Resource Fair on Wednesday, April 10 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds.
• April 15, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• April 16-26, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Middle and High School Hours:
• April 15-26, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
||Blog showcases district history
Visit the district’s blog, History of Walla Walla Public Schools, to take a step back in time. Local schools are highlighted and visitors may even recognize a friend or family member in the photos.
“Our local schools are an important part of the history of the Walla Walla area, and this blog has been created to share that history,” said Susie Golden, blog creator.
||District teams with Fort Walla Walla Museum for FREE Day of the Child event
• Saturday, April 13
• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Fort Walla Walla Museum (755 Myra Road)
• Free food for the first 500 guests
• Community agencies in attendance to share information
• Games, bouncy houses, face painting
• Live local music: Salvador Hernandez, Robert Elizondo, Ballet Folklorico (Norma Arceo) and Laura Angulo
• Free entrance to Fort Walla Walla Museum
||Wa-Hi student receives prestigious Dell Scholarship award
Walla Walla High School senior Lynely Salazar received a $20,000 Dell Scholarship. The scholarship award also includes a Dell laptop computer and funds to pay for college textbooks. Salazar is currently taking three Advanced Placement courses. She is involved in the AVID program which supports students in their pursuit of higher education. Salazar has a 3.951 GPA and is interested in studying business in college. She has narrowed her college choices down to three and plans to make a final decision soon. Her parents are Felipe and Maria Salazar.
“She’s an amazing thinker and incredibly dedicated,” said AVID teacher Jen Hein. “She puts a lot of time and effort into everything she does and is detail oriented. She is also an amazing artist.”
FROM DELL SCHOLARSHIP WEBSITE: Since starting the program in 2004, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has supported more than 4,300 scholars, including more than 2,000 college graduates. Most Dell Scholars are first-generation college students who have demonstrated grit by overcoming personal challenges in their lives related to their families, schools or communities. They demonstrate great potential by participating in college readiness programs and seeking out advanced coursework. They demonstrate ambition by preparing themselves and planning for their dream of graduating with a college degree.
GEAR UP plans Career Day for all 8th grade students
Garrison and Pioneer Middle School 8th grade students will be attending 8th Grade Career Day Monday March 25 at Walla Walla Community College. They will join four other area middle schools to attend presentations and interactive sessions to help them explore educational pathways toward career success. The theme of this year’s Career Day is Education; Key to My Success. The presenters have been chosen because they represent a diverse and unique aspect of professionalism here in the valley. Activities for the day include a robust keynote by Melito Ramirez and a lunch provided by the culinary staff at WWCC. This event is hosted and paid for through an ongoing partnership with WSU GEAR UP. For questions contact event coordinator: Becky Waggoner-Schwartz firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-526-8621.
||Lincoln High School Drama Presents Mutually Assured Destruction: 10 plays about Brothers and Sisters
• March 22 at 7 p.m. and March 23 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
• Walla Walla Community College China Pavilion
• Cost: By Donation
• A century’s worth of sibling squabbles is boiled down into ten vignettes in this era-hopping tribute to family. Each short play explores a distinct facet of brother and sisterhood relationships.
||Families needed to host Yamate Japanese Exchange students
• Japanese High School students will visit Walla Walla April 12-26
• Students will attend Wa-Hi and participate in a host of events
• Host families are still needed
• Contact Ron Ahrens for details: email@example.com