Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 16, 2021

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
District sets April 26 date for elementary and middle school students return to full-time, in-person instruction

Walla Walla Public Schools will transition to the Blue Stage of its Safely Reopening Schools plan Monday, April 26 marking the return to full-time, in-person instruction for elementary and middle school students. High school students will remain in the AM/PM hybrid schedule for the remainder of the school year.

“Schools began communicating and coordinating with families this week via flyers being sent home with elementary students, mailings for middle school students, and school messenger calls,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “Transportation information and routes are being finalized this week and will be available on Monday, April 19 via our Traversa Ride 360 website or by contacting the Transportation Department or school directly.”

Elementary and middle school students may bring a lunch from home to school if preferred. Free school “grab and go” lunches will still be available to all students. Schools will practice safe, social distancing procedures during lunch. The district will return to pre-pandemic traditional school start/end times.

School hours:
• Elementary: 8 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. – Wednesday Early Release – 1:40 p.m.
• Middle School: 8:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Wednesday Early Release – 2:30 p.m.

Middle School afterschool sports and activities will be available this spring. Look for more details released soon regarding registration. Camp Fire Walla Walla will offer afterschool childcare for elementary students beginning April 26. Contact Camp Fire for details. The 21st Century Afterschool program will begin registering students the week of April 26 and begin programming May 3.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure a smooth, safe and successful transition,” said Superintendent Smith. “We appreciate the support of our families, students, staff and community as we crest this significant milestone of the pandemic.”


District announces the free Summer Sol – “It’s a Vibe” program

Today Director of Accelerated Learning and Support Brent Cummings launched the summersol.org website announcing free, exciting summer programs for all grade levels. Registration begins in early May.

Summer Sol Highlights:
• Programming available for all grade levels
• Dates: June 21 to August 13
• Accelerated Learning
• Experiential camps and projects
• Access to community partner programs and events
• Teacher supported, growth oriented
• Individually tailored with a math and reading focus
• Earn high school credits
• Fun camps and hands-on activities
• Food and transportation provided
Summersol.org / (509) 526-6787
• Brent Cummings: bcummings@wwps.org


REYKDAL: Students Will Not Take State Tests This Spring

On March 25, 2021, OSPI submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Education to reduce the number of students who take state tests this spring, as well as the number of hours spent on those tests. Below is State Superintendent Chris Reykdal’s statement.

OSPI - OLYMPIA–April 14, 2021–After submitting accountability and state assessment waiver applications to the U.S. Department of Education (Department) in March, it is clear that the needs of the students of the State of Washington cannot be achieved through the current design of the Department’s waiver process. Washington has been granted an accountability waiver, but thus far has not received the flexibility students, families, and educators need for spring assessments.

I have made the determination that Washington state will not be administering the Smarter Balanced Assessments or the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science this spring. Instead, our assessment window for the 2020–21 school year will be in the fall – a timeline consistent with guidance provided by the Department to satisfy federal testing requirements.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has already entered a planning process to explore:
• A fall assessment window consistent with federal requirements;
• The need to substantially reduce the length of state assessments in the fall and beyond;
• A review of the innovative assessment waiver options that several states have secured over many years; and
• A review of all federal and state laws that will need to be changed to transform our assessment system to one that better informs students, families, and educators, and provides for meaningful state accountability metrics.

We will continue to use locally determined assessments that are more informative and actionable measures of student learning as we prepare for next school year and beyond.

The federally mandated testing system that has been driving too much local decision-making for the past 20 years is not achieving the intended result of closing opportunity and achievement gaps. To be clear, we are closing gaps, but it is the everyday work of families, educators, school and district leaders, and community partners that’s having the biggest impact. Summative assessments are one way to measure our progress, but they should no longer drive our strategies.
Washington state put forward a bold and rigorous method to address state-level accountability that can be delivered at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time we currently spend testing our students. Without a rigorous sampling methodology, state assessments this spring would yield inequitable access to supports for remote learners, a substantial number of students and families opting out, and results that would not be reliable or actionable.

I want to thank the Department of Education for their consistent communication over the past several weeks. In the end, we had different values. They were seeking to test as many students as possible this spring, and we know this approach did not support the mental health of Washington’s students; nor is it the best use of our limited remaining in-person instructional hours this spring.

I look forward to working with the Department, members of Congress, and the State Legislature to craft an accountability and assessment system that is focused on student learning and the needs of educators to engage their students with timely and relevant supports.

Educators across the state can now focus on engaging their students and families over the last two months of school; supporting their academic and social-emotional needs as we prepare for a comprehensive opening of our public schools this fall.

For more background and details around which assessments are still happening this spring, click HERE


Students selected to serve on Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council

Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith announced selections have been made for the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SAC). The SAC consists of up to 14 students, in grades 9-12, open to students who currently attend Walla Walla High School, Lincoln High School, Opportunity Program or Walla Walla Online.

“I was delighted by the number and quality of the applications received from interested students,” said Superintendent Smith. “It was difficult to narrow the field down as so many spoke with heart and purpose toward this important committee.”

The advisory council was established by Smith to intentionally seek out and respond to the specific needs of Walla Walla Public Schools high school students. The group meets monthly throughout the school year. Through a district-wide lens, students identify issues and proffer solutions, as well as provide input and guidance to the Superintendent and Cabinet team when changes are being considered by the district. They will also advocate and help advance student-led initiatives and ideas that impact districtwide operations and programs in order to maximize the experience for current and future Walla Walla Public Schools students.

“Now, more than ever, student voice is critical as we respond to the pandemic and seek out ways to reimagine and improve our schools to better support students,” said Superintendent Smith. “I look forward to learning, listening and working alongside these students to improve our student experience.”

2020-2021 Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council:
• Jaden Bergevin (12)
• Jackson Adams (10)
• Lauren Adams (11)
• Dominic Bayer (11)
• Yasmin Buenrostro (12)
• Grace Evans (11)
• Chandler Turner (10)
• Tegan Strader (11)
• Manav Sandhu (11)
• Brianna Ramirez (11)
• Alejandro Mata (12)
• Kaitlyn King (10)
• Mary Kennedy (11)
• Mikaile O’Connell-Joshua (10)


School Board Regular Business Meeting April 20

• Meeting date: Tuesday, April 20
• 5:30 p.m.
• Location: 364 S. Park St. (School board meeting in-person)
• Meeting open to the public.
• IMPORTANT MEETING NOTICE: The board of directors will be meeting in-person for its scheduled regular meetings per the Governor’s Phase 3 guidance. Seating is limited based on state guidelines. Members of the public who wish to attend the meeting may utilize the following methods:
In-Person: Please visit the district’s website to pre-register:
https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule
• Watch: https://www.youtube.com/user/wwpublicschools
• Spanish Agenda / Agenda Español: https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule



World Language Curriculum available for virtual public review

Walla Walla Public Schools is updating its World Language curriculum as part of the district’s ongoing adoption cycle. The adoption process started last fall and is expected to be completed soon and go before the school board for adoption May 4. Parents, guardians and community members are invited to view the digital textbook and other online features.

World Language Materials access:
www.vhlcentral.com
Video overview    

To access the online components to our French, German and Spanish programs, please see the instructions
below:
1. Access the Supersite by going HERE  
2. Login to your account, username: wallawalla@wwps.org
3. Enter your password: wallawalla21
4. Click on any book cover you want to review
5. Click on Content to view activities

Please fill out this FORM when you finish viewing the materials to ask questions or provide feedback.

Contact Curriculum Coordinator Casey Monahan with any questions. cmonahan@wwps.org


Open enrollment and kindergarten registration begins April 19

Walla Walla Public Schools announces an April 19 date for kindergarten registration, dual language program enrollment and open enrollment procedures for the 2021-2022 school year. See detailed information below for programs available to Walla Walla families. REGISTRATION & OPEN ENROLLMENT 

Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Two-Way Dual Language Kindergarten Registration
• Walla Walla Public Schools’ Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten registration period will begin April 19. The registration process should be completed online by visiting https://www.wwps.org/schools/information/registration. Paper registration packets are available upon request by calling your home/attendance area school or the district office at 509-526-6717.
• If you would like your kindergarten child to participate in the district’s Two-Way Dual Language Program, housed at Edison and Green Park Elementary Schools, please complete the online general registration process (https://www.wwps.org/schools/information/registration) and mark “dual programming.” Also, complete the kindergarten dual application.  

Elementary Open Enrollment
• Elementary 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 their attendance area, will see paperwork come home with their child the week of April 12 and information will also be available on the district’s website.
• Open Enrollment forms will be accepted at your child’s attendance area school starting Monday, April 19.
• Priority will be given to forms returned starting April 19 and through April 30.

Middle School Registration & Open Enrollment
• Look for information coming home with fifth graders the week of April 12 regarding middle school open enrollment and registration for 2021-2022.

Choice Transfer for students living outside 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 complete a Choice Transfer Request online. 

Open enrollment requests for Walla Walla Public Schools will be granted according to priorities outlined in School Board Policy & Procedure 3130. The priorities are also listed on the backside of the open enrollment paperwork.
Policy 3130 
Procedure 3130 

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. Click HERE for Boundary Information


WW Dept. of Health Weekly COVID Dashboard Report

COVID Activity Report timeline: March 27, 2021 to April 9, 2021

Every Monday, Walla Walla Public Schools posts the Walla Walla Department of Community Health’s COVID-19 Activity Report. This report, provided weekly to regional school districts, is what the Walla Walla Board of Directors has used to guide school reopening.

This week’s report reveals local COVID rates increased from the previous reporting period. There are 47 cases combined between Walla Walla and College Place over the last two weeks. There were 37 cases combined during the last reporting period. Washington DOH reports the Positivity Rate for the previous 7 days for the week ending 4/9/21 is 2.2%. All counties now in Reopening Phase 3 as of March 22.


District partners with local arborists for tree management program 

Facilities and Operations is implementing a Tree Management program this spring to ensure trees remain healthy and present on district campuses. Local company Beckner Tree Service is teaming with the district to trim trees, evaluate the health of trees on school campuses and replant trees that have been damaged by the wind. Beckner Tree Service features a licensed arborist and safety officer. Facilities and Operations Director Mike Kay says the goal is to plant 40 trees this spring and another 40 in the fall.

“We’ve lost a lot of trees the past two years due high winds,” said Kay. “We are excited to team with a local company and the City of Walla Walla arborist on this important Tree Management program.”


School Stories
Walla Walla High School students in special education launch dog treats business

Walla Walla dog lovers take notice as Walla Walla High School students in the REACH special education community-based instruction and independent living program are teaming up with special education students in the STEP Program to make, sell and deliver, without direct contact with customers per COVID procedures, organic dog treats and pupsicles.

To get the “Cool Drool Organic Dog Treats” business started, staff and students worked with school officials to gain permission for the new program. They built a website, developed google order forms and selected recipes to make and test the dog treats.

“This school year has been challenging for us as students are supposed to be out in the community gaining skills to live independently and gain employment,” said Krystal Ceron. “Our programs had to become creative, so both AM/PM sessions developed a business plan to launch this new hands-on business.”

Small treats sell for $3 a bag and large treats sell for $5. All the proceeds will be to sustain production and support community outings once COVID restrictions are eased. Dog treats will last up to two weeks if they are stored in a refrigerator in an airtight container. Dog treats which do not sell will be donated to the Blue Mountain Humane Society.

Menu and Order process:
• Visit: https://sites.google.com/wwps.org/cooldrooldogtreats
• For additional information contact: Krystal Ceron at kceron@wwps.org or text/call 661.489.7024 or Jake Butenhoff at jabutenhoff@wwps.org or text/call 307.509.0068.
• Please allow one week for turnaround time


Strengthening Parenting with Love & Logic classes available this spring

Family Engagement Coordinator Pam Clayton announces Strengthening Parenting with Love & Logic virtual classes available this spring. The classes will be provided in three, one-hour sessions on Zoom, covering different topics.

“We’ve put together three, short to the point parenting sessions to provide tips and strategies for parents with children of any age,” said Clayton. I’m hoping these opportunities provide some help for parents who feel they have been floundering during the last year.”

Session 1: Turn your Words into Gold
• April 27; 7-8 p.m. (Zoom)
• Wouldn’t it be great if our children and youth listened the first time? Join us to learn how to make your words count in a way that’s both loving and direct.

Session 2: No One Wins a Power Struggle
• May 4; 7-8 p.m. (Zoom)
• Parenting can be hard and it’s natural to argue when tensions are high. Learn tips on how to avoid the age-old battle of wits with our children and youth, the number one challenge that parents face.

Session 3: How to Build a Parent/Child Relationship that Lasts a Lifetime
• May 11; 7-8 p.m. (Zoom)
• Our families are micro-communities meant to care for one another. Join us to discover what a family team can look like, and how to put drops in each other’s buckets.

CLASS REGISTRATION: www.bit.ly/wwloveandlogic


Virtual ParentCamp event planned

• Thursday, May 20
• Event features a discussion with author Diana Graber about digital literacy through her book “Raising Humans in a Digital World: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology.”
• Learn more about Graber and her work in digital literacy, visit:
https://www.cyberwise.org/about-diana-graber
• Register at www.bit.ly/parentcampww


Community Stories
YMCA Youth Program Opportunities

• Afterschool at the YMCA- Monday-Friday, school out- 5:30PM, Grades K-5 inquire for details, sbingham@wwymca.org
• Action Zone is open 3:30-5:30PM Monday-Friday, Age: 6-18. April 26 hours will change to 3-6PM. Free with membership.
• Y CREW- Free program for all 6-12 graders. Monday- Thursday 6-8PM meets in the Action Zone.

YMCA Sports programs
• Climbing Classes: Pebbles- 3:15-4:10 Age 4-6. Pitons 4:15-5:10PM, Class run on Monday or Friday, Age 7-12 Starts May 3
• Athletic Development Clinic- Monday/Wednesday 4-5PM Starts April 26 Age:4-11
• Rookie Soccer- Tuesday/Thursday 5:30-6:30 Age 4-6 Starts May 4
• Rookie T-ball- Tuesday/Thursday 5:30-6:30 PM Age 4-6 Starts May 25
• Grade Level 3 on 3 Basketball tournaments. Starting Mid May. Tournaments will run Friday and Saturday.

For for more information email Adam Klingenberg, aklingenberg@wwymca.org or call 525-8863


The Health Center now offering in-person services

The Health Center is back in person at WaHi, the HUB at Lincoln, and Pioneer Middle School to provide free medical and mental health services for all students in grades 6-12, including those in Opportunity and SeaTech. Students can also be seen virtually, via computer, easily accessed through student Chromebooks.

We can see students for sports physicals or vaccines. In addition, we can see students for acute and chronic conditions including (but not limited to) non-emergency headaches, eye problems, skin problems, stomach problems, breathing issues, sleep problems, joint or muscular pain or injuries, anxiety or depression issues (trouble relaxing, worrying, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, poor appetite/overeating) or reproductive health issues.
• To make an appointment for a virtual or in person visit (Monday-Friday), use this link: https://forms.gle/xTrhEBAD7By6ketVA **Parent permission is required for students under age 18. Providers will help with referrals if additional care is needed.


EF Stories of Scotland-July 2022 – By Kathryn Southwick-Hess, ARNP

Scotland will become our Global Classroom! This will be an exciting tour of storytelling, Bagpipes, Braveheart & Harry Potter— Even a bit of Outlander. We’ll visit Glasgow, West Highlands, Inverness, Loch Ness & Edinburgh. Earn High School & College Credits.
• Join our Virtual Information Meeting Tuesday, April 20, 2021
• 7 p.m. (from the comfort of your travel chair)
• RSVP: bit.ly/3cJMc9p
• Read more at eftours.com/2400216ed
• Please RSVP if you can’t attend and want meeting information sent to you.

Group Leader/Travelmama: Kathryn Southwick-Hess, ARNP (mrstravelmama@gmail.com)

NOTE: This program is not sponsored or associated with Walla Walla Public Schools


Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Update

NEW – Parks and Recreation App! Easy access to game schedules, program registration and more! Download it from your App Store/Google Play Store - Walla Walla Parks and Rec

• Blue Mountain Girls Softball – Grades K-8. Cost is $30-$40.
• Blue Mountain Boys Baseball – Ages 12-16 years. Cost is $60.
• Adult Softball League – Ages 16 and up. Men’s and Co-Ed Leagues.
• T’ai Chi – Classes open to Ages 12 and up. Cost is $48.
• Pickleball Clinics – Ages 9-16 years. Cost is $60.
• Spring Soccer – Starts April 12 – Grades K-8. Cost is $40-$70.
• Spring Flag Football – Starts April 12 - Grades 2-8. Cost is $70.
• Pee Wee Multisport Series – Starts April 20 - Ages 3-5 years. Cost is $65.
• Youth Fencing – Beginning Classes for ages 8-18. Cost is $60. Equipment provided.
• Adult Fencing – Classes for ages 18 and up. Cost is $75. Equipment provided.
• Ukulele Class - Ages 12 and up. Cost is $65.

Veterans Memorial Pool Passes – Phase 3 allows for the pool to operate as normal while maintaining social distancing. THIS MEANS THERE WILL BE OPEN SWIM

Pottery Studio is OPEN! Thursday/Friday 2pm-5:30pm and Saturday 10am-12:30pm.
In need of financial assistance to help with youth program costs? We have simplified the youth scholarship application process for 2021, thanks to private community donations we are able to help with 75% of the program cost! Call 527-4527 or email recreation@wallawallawa.gov to request a scholarship for your child(ren). The only requirement is that you establish an online account so that we have a place to apply the scholarship.
Please visit our website at www.wwpr.us for updated information regarding recreation programs as it becomes available. If you have questions, feel free to contact the Parks & Recreation Office at 509-527-4527, 

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