Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 3, 2020

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith says Distance Learning Program focuses on connections and equity

As a result of school campus closures due to COVID-19, Walla Walla Public Schools launched its Distance Learning Program on March 23 for students and families. Listen in to a section of Superintendent Smith’s weekly communication with staff as he discusses equity and “connection over content” emphasis.
• Click HERE to watch a segment of Dr. Smith’s video update to staff

Backgroud:
Despite the challenging circumstances surrounding the closure of school campuses due to the COVID-19 health crisis, Walla Walla Public Schools remains committed to offering the richest educational experience possible for its students through its Distance Learning Program Framed by our Distance Learning Guiding Principles the following guidance outlines the district’s fundamental beliefs to ensure all students remain connected and engaged.

Fundamental Beliefs
• Connection over Content: Walla Walla Public Schools understands that learning expectations and experiences will be different as it transitions to a distance learning model. Maintaining student connection with teachers will take priority over content material to ensure students remain engaged with faculty and classmates during this difficult time.

• Equity for All: Walla Walla Public Schools understands that equity must take into account both access and means for students and families. Access has been addressed, for example, by ensuring all students have computer and internet capability or supports to pick up and/or deliver learning packets. However, means will also be considered. Faculty will work closely with families to address individual circumstances that may affect a student’s ability to participate fully in their distance learning experience.

Middle School Approach to Grades and Student Expectations:
• When the Governor announced school campus closures effective March 17, students were just about finished with their third quarter courses. Third quarter grades will be finalized as normal and reflect the work and student progress through March 17. Note that some accommodations and grade adjustments will be made for students who didn’t have the chance to make up tests and/or assignments due to the closure mandate.

• Coursework was transitioned to Google Classroom and classes officially resumed via distance learning on March 24. As we begin fourth quarter online, students will be expected to continue making academic progress and communicating regularly with their teacher. While equity and connection are prioritized, and certain student conditions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, completion of assignments and communication with their teachers remain critical. Should the pandemic cause extended school closure, we anticipate students and families will have the option at the end of the fourth quarter to choose how their courses are applied; either graded traditionally (A, B, C, D or F) or on a Pass-Fail basis.

High School Approach to Grades and Credits:
• When the Governor announced school campus closures effective March 17, students were about halfway through their second semester classes. Coursework was transitioned to Google Classroom and classes officially resumed via distance learning on March 24. Student grades and coursework completed as of March 17 will have greater weight on the student’s final end-of-year grade for the course. However, students will be expected to continue making academic progress and communicating with their teacher while online in order to successfully earn credit. Should the pandemic cause extended school closure, we anticipate students and families will have the option at the end of the school year to choose how their courses are applied to their transcripts; either graded traditionally (A, B, C, D or F) or on a Pass-Fail basis.

Student Expectations (High School)
• Although extra emphasis will be applied to grades and assignments completed prior to closure, students must continue their learning through the Distance Learning Program to ensure credits are earned and they remain on track for high school and graduation. While equity and connection are prioritized, and certain student conditions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, completion of assignments and communication with their teachers remain critical.

Supports for all Students
• Walla Walla Public Schools’ staff and faculty are committed to supporting ALL students and families during this difficult time. Teachers, counselors, intervention specialists and support staff are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact your teacher, your school, or visit our website at www.wwps.org/distancelearning if you have questions or need assistance.



Local contractors secure more bond work

Continuing to deliver on bond promises made to maximize the opportunity for local contractor involvement, Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith is pleased to report more than $2M in additional bond work related to the Walla Walla High School civil infrastructure improvement phase was awarded to local Walla Walla contractors.

• Premier Excavation secured the excavation and earthwork (headquarters in Pasco with local Walla Walla workforce of 6 to 8 employees)
• Cutting Edge Plumbing will complete the plumbing elements
• Walla Walla Electric is doing the electrical work
• Nelson Construction Inc. is supporting concrete flatwork need

Work began this week on-site and is allowed to continue consistent with the Governor’s proclamation that school construction is exempt from the stay-at-home order. Social distancing and strong safety measures are in place to ensure the well-being of all workers on site.

“We’re thrilled to see $2M going right back into Walla Walla pockets,” said Smith. “Work has already begun on the civil infrastructure project that includes underground utilities across the campus to replace aged and failing infrastructure as well as necessary utilities to support the campus renovations. Improvements includes upgraded sewer, domestic water and fire supply to meet code requirements, replacing outdated electrical transformer infrastructure, and fiber connectivity for communications and technology."

The district maintains a growing list of local contractors and vendors involved in the bond program. Click HERE to see list.


No Elementary/preschool packet drop off and pick up Monday for Spring Break (April 6-10)

There is no elementary or preschool learning packet drop off or pick up Monday, April 6 due to Spring Break. Learning packet drop off and pick up resumes April 13.


Meals continue during Spring Break (April 6-10)

Walla Walla Public Schools will continue to offer free meals during the Spring Break (April 6-10) Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The daily meals include a USDA approved sack lunch and breakfast for each child. Students individually, or accompanied by a parent/guardian, may pick up meals at whichever site is most convenient. Delivery services will be available on a case-by-case basis as needed.

Meal Service Pick Up Locations
• Sharpstein Elementary (Howard St side)
• Blue Ridge Elementary (South side entrance – back of school)
• Garrison Middle School (front of school)
• Pioneer Middle School (front of school)
• Prospect Point Elementary (near bus loop along Howard)
• Berney Elementary (near staff parking along School Ave)
• Edison Elementary (front of school)
• Green Park Elementary (near gym entrance)
• Lincoln (4th St side)
• Vista Terrace Park
• Washington Park
• Veteran’s Memorial Park

Meal Service and Delivery Questions:
Pamela Milleson, Nutrition Services Director
(509) 527-3016 / pmilleson@wwps.org


No Childcare Services during Spring Break (April 6-10)

There is no childcare services during Spring Break, April 6-10. Childcare services resume April 13.

Walla Walla Public Schools is providing free, student-aged childcare supervision at all school sites from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Eligible children include current WWPS students whose parent(s)/guardian(s) are first responders who otherwise do not have coverage, students identified as homeless and students with significant disabilities. The district has expanded the definition of first responders to include any student whose parent/guardian works for a medical provider or in the medical field, police officers, firefighters, rescuers, military personnel, critical prison personnel, or key public works personnel. The childcare program is following social distancing guidelines, offer nutritional services and provide a learning environment. Transportation will be available upon request.

For more information, contact Pam Clayton at 509-526-6730 or at childcare@wwps.org


School Stories
21st Century program virtual afterschool program open to all students

The 21st Century Program has a new Virtual Afterschool Program available to all students. The website serves as the program’s hub for all its different programs for students to access their daily content. Visit regularly as the content changes daily.
Visit the SITE to learn more. 


Community Stories
Census 2020 Day – Be counted today!

April 1 was CENSUS 2020 DAY. The CENSUS affects everyone in many ways, but it affects our children in BIG ways! This count, taken every 10 years, impacts the federal funds our community receives each year for programs and services critical for our 6,000+ students and their families: Special Education; Head Start; classroom technology; Title I education for disadvantaged students; food assistance for breakfast and lunch; children’s health programs; and much more.

How to get counted
• Go to http://www.my2020census.gov to respond with or without an ID number provided by the census bureau to your home
• Call 1-844-330-2020 (which will also direct you to other numbers in 11 languages or to request a paper form to be mailed)
• Complete and return a paper form you may have received in the mail.

For more information go to www.bmccc2020.org or jaun2@bmacww.org


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