Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - October 30, 2020

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School Board survey seeks feedback from parents and students on distance learning and reopening plans

School board members released a survey this week to hear from students and parents on the effectiveness of distance learning and to get their input related to reopening schools. At their last meeting, Board members delayed bringing back preschool through 2nd grade students for in-person instruction based on the recent uptick of local COVID cases, instead vowing to reconnect with the community to seek guidance on the issue before considering any adjustments.

The survey asks families how distance learning is working for their children and what conditions the Board should consider when reopening schools via the AM/PM hybrid in-person instruction model. The survey closes Monday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. School board members are likely to review data from the survey during their Nov. 3 board meeting.

Parents and Students Survey Link
• (English) – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7MDY7T8
• (Spanish) – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FWT5F5C


Lincoln High School renovation design updates posted online

The Lincoln High School renovation design process continues to progress. This week the most recent designs were posted on the district’s Bond Updates website at: https://www.wwps.org/bond/projects/lincoln-high-school-renovation

“I am really pleased at how they are coming together,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “Staff input has served critical as we work with consultants and code officials to finalize design documents.”

Although Lincoln High School is not listed as a registered historic building, Superintendent Smith and the Lincoln High School Design Team are incorporating aesthetic approaches that compliment historic preservation design standards. As approved by voters, the scope of the Lincoln remodel includes core renovations of the current facility (e.g. upgrading life/safety, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, windows/doors, classroom technology, and energy efficiency considerations). Also included in the bond program scope was a facility addition necessary to support the required elevator and ADA accessibility, a secure vestibule main entrance and a Black Box Theater performing arts area.

Smith and the Design Team have met multiple times to review the proposed improvements with the Walla Walla Historic Preservation Committee. Endorsed by the committee, and in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior Historic Preservation Guidelines, the addition has been designed and constructed so that it is “clearly differentiated from the historic building.” The approach to achieve the desired differentiation between new and old is to utilize a steel and glass atrium/lobby space between the new and existing construction. In similar fashion to the improvements made to the historic Sharpstein Elementary, inside the lobby, the existing exterior wall (now interior) will be exposed and protected in original condition as much as possible. Per historic preservation guidelines, construction of the Black Box Theater addition will utilize masonry materials that will complement the original building but not attempt to match it, in order to achieve the required differentiation to the original structure.

What’s next for the Lincoln HS renovation?
• Finalize construction documents for final city/official/code review (Winter 2021)
• Prepare bid documents and specifications (Spring 2021)
• Advertise for bids (Summer 2021)
• Begin work (Fall 2021)


School Board Regular Study Meeting Tuesday

• Tuesday, Nov. 3
• 5:30 p.m.
• Meeting open to the public
• IMPORTANT MEETING NOTICE: Pursuant to the Governor’s Proclamation No. 20-28, school board meetings during the COVID-19 disease outbreak must not take place in-person, but occur remotely. Members of the public are invited to attend by utilizing the following methods: Watch: https://zoom.us/j/95060495572
Listen: Dial 1-253-215-8782 and enter the Webinar ID: 950 6049 5572


School Stories
New state guidance permits limited high school athletic practices on school campuses

Following new guidance from Governor Inslee’s office and the Washington State Department of Health, district high school athletes will be allowed to participate in limited practice sessions beginning next week through December 19. As presented to the School Board during their October 20 meeting, Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith reviewed the new guidelines that have been established to keep students and coaches safe.

Under the new state recommendations, school districts are permitted to offer varying levels of in-person activities depending on community COVID-19 transmission levels and the risk level of the specific sport. As outlined in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Return to Play Guidelines, based on current COVID levels in Walla Walla County, schools are permitted to hold practices in small groups. Referred to as pods, up to six students at a time will be permitted to work on skill development. Stringent safety measures such as symptom screening, cleaning/sanitization of equipment and mask wearing criteria will be followed. Tournaments, competitions and spectators are not allowed under the new guidelines at current countywide COVID activity levels.

“Our coaches and student-athletes are excited to resume some of their activities and begin preparing for athletic seasons that are now scheduled to start in January,” said District Athletic Director Dirk Hansen. “We have trained staff on safety measures and expectations and will strictly adhere to recommended protocols during all of our activities.”


Wa-Hi ASB students release first-ever virtual assembly

Congratulations to Wa-Hi’s ASB students for releasing their first-ever ASB Virtual Assembly this morning.
• Video Link: https://youtu.be/vWZ_Xw6Dc8Y

Virtual Assembly Highlights:
• Meet the Wa-Hi ASB Executive Council
• Tour of the NEW Wa-Hi Science Building with Emoree Lash (ASB VP) and Principal Ron Higgins
• Performance from the Cheer Team
• Messages from Science teacher Mary Burt, Principal. Higgins and ASB President Jaden Bergevin

The Wa-Hi ASB Advisor is Marilyn Melgoza with assistance from Andrew Sayers of the 21st Century program.


Wa-Hi National Honor Society students organize coat drive

Walla Walla High School students in the National Honor Society program are sponsoring a Coat Drive through Fri., Nov. 13. All donated coats will be distributed to Walla Walla Public Schools elementary students.

“The chapter is accepting brand new or gently used and recently laundered coats in youth sizes, XS - XXL or adult small and medium sized,” said Kim Cassetto, Library Media Specialist and NHS Adviser.

Drop-off locations are Northwest Grain Growers, The Market by Andy’s, Shari’s Cafe & Pies and Staples. Coats may also be dropped off at Walla Walla High School during textbook distribution in November. For more information, please contact Kim Cassetto at kcassetto@wwps.org or (509) 526-8609.


Community Stories
The Kirkman House Haunted Museum

• Open to the public
• Friday, October 30 between 4 and 9 p.m.
• Saturday, October 31 between 12 noon and 10 p.m.
• Groups of 5 or families admitted every 10 minutes
• $5 per person or $20 per family
• Socially spaced and masks required
• Reservations preferred Call (509) 529-4373 or (509) 520-1570
• Kirkman House Museum, 214 North Colville Street, Walla Walla, WA


Child Care Survey now open

The Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition and Whitman College are partnering to better understand local child care experiences and needs. We are asking parents to complete a short survey to share experiences with finding child care. The survey should take about 10-15 minutes. When you complete the survey, you will be invited to enter a raffle to win a $50 gift card for a local grocery store.

SURVEY Link: https://whitmancollege.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dbsY5lJDaMRMiZn

Like the ELC on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WallaWallaValleyELC

For more information, contact Eildeon McClellan at eiledon.mcclellan@wwcc.edu


Remember to Vote – Ballots due Nov. 3

Ballots for the November 3 General Election have been mailed and must be postmarked by Nov. 3. Please remember to vote.

Contact the Walla Walla County Elections Office for additional information:
Walla Walla County Elections
363 Orchard St.
PO Box 2176
Walla Walla, WA 99362
509-524-2530
elections@co.walla-walla.wa.us


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