||Longtime Walla Walla High School coach and educator passes away
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors, administration, staff and students were deeply saddened to learn of the death of former Walla Walla High School teacher James "Jim" Smith.
Smith, 63, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 5 at his home of apparent natural causes. He taught in Walla Walla Public Schools for 27 years. Currently, Smith remained on the Walla Walla High School coaching staff as an assistant in football and boys basketball and head boys golf coach. Smith also spent 14 years as the Blue Devil varsity girls basketball coach. A tribute to Smith will be conducted at the Walla Walla High School boys basketball game tonight at 7:30 p.m. Griefbusters support staff were set-up in the school Thursday and Friday for staff and students who needed grief support. Memorial Service: Pending
“Jim Smith made a positive impact on the lives of thousands Walla Walla youth and will be greatly missed by his Wa-Hi family,” said Superintendent Mick Miller.
||Walla Walla Public Schools hires Southeast Area Technical Skills Center director
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Tuesday night unanimously approved the hiring of Dennis Matson as the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center (SEA-TECH)/Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director. Matson is currently in his fourth year as principal at Newport High School, Newport, WA. Prior, he was a Marketing and Business Education teacher for 10 years at Deer Park High School and served as the District’s CTE director from 2007 to 2010. Matson’s career also includes 15 years of experience in sales, marketing and management.
“In my years in education, Dennis Matson is the best program builder I have ever seen,” said WWPS Superintendent Mick Miller, who worked with Matson in Deer Park. “Dennis is such a good fit with the outstanding CTE department at Wa-Hi and Lincoln and will help us expand our programs in our middle schools. The SEA-TECH team is shaping up into a powerhouse for kids.”
Matson will be working with the SEA-TECH development team of Dennis DeBroeck, Sergio Hernandez and Gerry Ringwood this spring on a limited basis while completing his work in Newport. His official start date is July 1.
Construction of the 37,000 sq. ft. Southeast Area Technical Skills Center began in spring 2013 and is expected to be completed in March 2014. Classes will start in fall 2014. The project cost is approximately $11 million. The state funded this project through school construction match dollars. WWCC is leasing the land to Walla Walla Public Schools for $1 per year. The district’s matching portion of the project cost is the value of the lease over 30 years. There were no local bond taxes used to fund the project. SEA-TECH is a branch campus of Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick, WA.
Programs Offered: Digital Media Technology, Advanced Manufacturing and Welding Technology, Sustainable Energy Technology and Health Science Careers.
Partnering Districts: Dayton, Waitsburg, Touchet, Prescott and College Place
||Personnel Report (from 2/4/14 school board meeting)
(Administrative) Dennis Matson, CTE & SEA-Tech Director, SEA-TECH Skills Center
(Certificated) James Polson, Advance Manufacturing & Welding Tech, SEA-TECH
(Certificated) Tim Bow, Special Education, Wa-Hi, 11 years
Shelly Franklin, English/Language Arts, Pioneer MS, 8 years
Jane Froese, First Grade, Blue Ridge, 2 years
Linda Woodard, English, Walla Walla High School, 16 years
(Classified) Jeff Givens, Carpenter, Facilities & Operations, 1 years
Ian Gregoire, Intervention Specialist, 6 years
||February 2014 – Parent/Teacher Conference Schedules
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:30 – 8:00 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Blue Ridge Elementary
- Thursday, Feb. 20 (Celeb. of Learning Night): 3:15 - 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:15 - 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:15 - 6:45 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Green Park Elementary
- Wednesday, February 26: 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. – 6:50 p.m.
Prospect Point Elementary
- Tuesday, February 25: 3:30 – 7:15 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:30 - 7:15 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, February 25: 3:00 – 7:05 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:00 – 7:05 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Garrison Middle School
- Tuesday, February 25 (Arena): 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26 (Arena): 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Pioneer Middle School
- Monday, February 24 (Classroom Drop-In): 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26 (Classroom Drop In): 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Lincoln High School
- Monday, February 24: 3:45 – 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 26: 3:45 – 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Walla Walla High School
- Tuesday, February 25 (Arena): 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
- Thursday, February 27 (Scheduled - Classrooms): 7:30 a.m. – Noon
- Thursday, February 27 (Phone conferences, etc.): 12:45 – 6:15 p.m.
Blue Ridge/Green Park Head Start/ECEAP
Monday, February 24: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 25: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 26: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 27: 8:20 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
||School Health Advisory Committee seeks members
Walla Walla Public Schools and the Walla Walla County Health Department are working together to reconvene the district’s School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC). You are invited to become a member of this newly refocused committee and attend the first meeting of this school year on Tuesday, February 18, 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Transportation Co-op training room (located at 1174 Entley Street).
What is the School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC)?
SHAC is a group of teachers, administrators, students, parents, and community members interested in promoting the health of Walla Walla students and staff. SHAC will be a standing, active committee that meets regularly throughout the school year, with the goal of assisting the district in creating “a school environment which encourages and promotes lifelong healthy eating and fitness habits.”
RSVP by February 10:
Katy Sanlis, Public Health Associate – County Health Department (email@example.com)
||Secondary open enrollment period underway
There will be two registration periods this year for enrollment in Walla Walla Public Schools during the 2014-15 school year.
The first will be for secondary (middle and high) schools. It is open now and will run through 28, 2014. The schools will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of the month.
Secondary parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up an Open Enrollment application at their attendance area school or a release form from their current school district office during normal business hours beginning January 27; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, February 3.
College Place High School is opening for 9th grade students only in the fall of 2014. College Place 9th grade students who would like to attend Walla Walla High School or Lincoln High School need a completed release form from College Place Public Schools as part of the open enrollment process.
The second period for Kindergarten and Fall Registration for elementary schools will be from Monday, April 21 to Friday, May 2, 2014.
||School board work session and meeting - Tuesday, Feb. 18
- 5:30 p.m. (Public Work Session: Dr. Linda Boggs will review Common Core Standards)
- 6:30 p.m. (Regular School Board Meeting)
- Location: District Office Board Room - 364 S. Park St.
- Both meetings are open to the public
||OurKidsWa.com opens the doors to school districts around the state
Check out the new website OurKidsWa.com to discover what school districts around the state are doing to enhance academic achievement.
The "Our Kids, Our Future" website is designed to give greater exposure to successful education programs and innovative models. Parents, schools, lawmakers, educators, or prospective residents can discover how public schools take innovative approaches to learning through compelling stories, pictures, and videos. These range from dramatically increased graduation rates in Sunnyside High School to the innovative whole-school approach practiced at Aviation High School in SeaTac. Nearly 70 examples of program and student success, contributed by about 30 school districts, are already on the site.
For more information, contact:
Michael Wilson, WSSDA Communications Director
||Highly Capable Nomination Period scheduled for February 18 – March 21, 2014
Nomination packets with information for the 2014-2015 Highly Capable (Explorer) Program are currently available on the district website and will be available in all district schools by February 13, 2014 Parents will be able to contact their child’s teacher or school learning specialist/counselor for more information. Program information is also available on the district website: http://www.wwps.org/programs/explorers.
Walla Walla School District’s Highly Capable Program provides students of high academic and intellectual ability with designated time to explore concepts in greater depth. The goal of the Highly Capable Program is to encourage the development of higher level thinking skills. Students learn to become responsible for their own learning, to develop their creative thinking and critical reasoning power and to strive to reach their potential.
Students in kindergarten through second grade, identified as Highly Capable, will be served through the Response to Intervention (RtI) model in their home schools. The elementary principal or designee will work with classroom teachers to provide appropriate accelerated/enhanced learning opportunities. K-2 classroom/program options could include, but not be limited to: alternative activities, enrichment activities, flexible group learning, independent projects, advanced lessons, online or supplemental instruction.
For grades three through five, the Highly Capable (Explorer) Program consists of a pull-out program focused on Science and Mathematics. The pull-out program allows students to be grouped homogeneously by with other students identified for the program and to participate in enriched academic experiences at a rigorous pace.
The middle school Highly Capable (Explorer) Program focuses on the subject areas of English, Language Arts and Social Studies. This middle school program is incorporated into the school day through separate self-contained Explorer Program classrooms. Students are involved in inquiry- based lessons, group problem-solving settings, independent investigations, and group discussions. Middle school Explorer students have an opportunity to take different levels of mathematics classes, based on their ability and test scores. This same opportunity is extended to all students in grades six through eight at both middle schools.
Students previously identified as Highly Capable and transitioning to ninth grade will meet with high school counselors (or principal’s designee) for the purpose of course selection and access to advanced instruction. Teachers of high school Highly Capable students will know who has been identified and will be provided with professional development and/or instructional suggestions through the high school RtI team. Services for high school students can include, but are not limited to, honors or Advanced Placement classes, Running Start, independent study or online classes.
The nomination deadline this year will be March 12, 2014. All nominated students will be screened using norm-referenced standardized tests and those who qualify for further testing will participate in cognitive abilities testing at their home schools. In all cases, parents will be notified of the results of the process, and a child not selected one year may be referred again in subsequent years.
For more information, please contact the Walla Walla School District Curriculum and Instruction office: 509-526-6735.
||Tour Prospect Point, Wa-Hi and Lincoln High School during Superintendent’s Patron Tour
Superintendent Mick Miller invites you to join him for a behind the scenes look at Walla Walla Public Schools. The Superintendent’s Patron Tour program is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the district, ask questions, tour local schools and enjoy lunch together.
- Wednesday, Feb. 12
- 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (lunch provided)
- Tour sites: Prospect Point Elementary, Wa-Hi, Lincoln HS (tour begins at district office - 364 S. Park) St.)
- RSVP by contacting Mark Higgins at: 526-6716 or firstname.lastname@example.org
||Pioneer Middle School student donates car to domestic violence victim
When Pioneer Middle School teacher Chris Plucker challenged students in his Leadership Class to “Go Big or Go Home” with their final project of the semester, 8th grade student Skylar “Sky” Druffel decided she would take him up on his challenge.
Druffel dreamed up the idea she would donate a used car from the money she raised during the summer picking weeds in her uncle’s wheat fields to someone who needed it. Druffel’s mother Christy is the Executive Director of the United Way in Walla Walla and her organization by chance was selling a used 1992 Ford Explorer. All the proceeds from the sale of this vehicle were then to be used to benefit local agencies supported by the United Way. After completing the legal process for the sale of the car, Sky was ready to find the perfect recipient.
She worked with the YWCA for this task. Last week she readily turned over the keys to a single mother who has two school-aged children. Druffel said the woman was in a terribly abusive relationship and had no way to get her and her children around town.
“This project was my way to inspire people they can make a difference in someone’s life if they only try,” Druffel said. “Words can’t describe what it felt like to see her amazement when we gave her the car. Now I know she will be able to safely get her children to school and she’ll be able to get to work.”
Plucker said he encouraged his students to go big with this, and to totally blow me away. While her act was exemplary, her actions showcase the potential of all the young people here at Pioneer and within our district, according to Plucker.
“Sky’s efforts demonstrate the hope we can have in tomorrow’s leaders,” said Plucker. “In a time plagued with pessimism and a generally bleak outlook on the future, Sky shows that if we all cared enough to help even just one other person, we can indeed work toward an amazing tomorrow.”
||Walla Walla music students plan citrus sale
Walla Walla Band, Orchestra and Choir Students will be taking orders for Navel Oranges, Grapefruit, Juice Oranges and Tangelos, as part of the 5th Annual Music Boosters Citrus Sale. Fruit is sold by the 20 lbs. or 40 lbs. box, at a cost of $25 and $ 40 respectively. The Citrus sale will run from February 5 through the 20. Fruit will be delivered the week of March 24.
This is the Music Boosters only fundraiser and helps provide the extras that make your Music Program a success. Purchasing fruit is great and it is a great way to support our students participating in Orchestra, Band, Choir and Music at every level. For more information, please contact the Walla Walla Public Schools Music Program at 509-526-1916.
Wa-Hi Dance Team wins dance competition
Congratulations to the Wa-Hi Dance for placing first in the Hip Hop division and second in the Dance division at a dance competition last weekend at West Valley High School in Spokane. Teams from the Spokane Valley and Idaho competed.
||Wa-Hi band and orchestra students qualify for state at regional festival
Congratulations to the Wa-Hi band & orchestra students who participated in last Saturday's Solo & Ensemble Festival at Richland HS.
State qualifiers included:
- Wa-Hi Trio #2 (Jennifer Cho, violin; Kurt Funk, cello; & Lucas Larreau, double bass)
- Wa-Hi String Ensemble (Jennifer Cho, Will Liening, Velia Saldivar, & Eric Cho, violins; Emma Spencer, viola; Kurt Funk, cello; & Lucas Larreau, double bass)
- Jennifer Cho, violin solo
- Hannah Cabasco, clarinet solo
||Pioneer Explorer students earn regional art and writing awards
Pioneer Explorer teacher Dan Calzaretta reports 11 students received regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
- Natty Dalan: Gold Key (highest award) for her flash fiction story "A Loop in Time"; Honorable Mention for her animated film "Erratic"
- Hally Ruff and Kyndal Locati: Gold Key for their film "Piece of You"
- Marieke Hess, Miya Freeman, Sky Druffel, and Mikayla Hardin: Silver Key for their film "One Day"
- Keelin Pogue: Silver Key for her poem "Reversal Poem"
- Amanda Loney: Honorable Mention for her flash fiction story "History"
- Rachel Prull: Honorable Mention for her flash fiction story "For a Reason"
- Christiana Zaugg: Honorable Mention for flash fiction story "The Mediator"
The Gold Key winners will now compete for national medals. These will be announced on March 17. National Medal winners are invited to attend a ceremony in New York City. The Scholastic Arts and Writing awards is in its 91st year and has grown to be the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers, according to Calzaretta.
Since 1923, the Awards have recognized the exceptional vision of the nation’s youth. Each year, increasing numbers of creative teens submit their work in writing, art, photography and film making. In the past 6 years there have been over 1 million submissions to the Awards. Past winners include artists like Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, and Cy Twombly, writers Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, and Joyce Carol Oates, photographer Richard Avedon, actors Frances Farmer, Robert Redford, Alan Arkin, and John Lithgow, filmmakers Stan Brakhage, Ken Burns, and Ned Vizzini, and many more.
For more information visit www.artandwriting.org/
||Prospect Point students join national computer programming activity
Prospect Point students in first through fifth grades participated in the Hour of Code, a national educational event that introduced students to the world of computer programming. Many students in third, fourth and fifth grades were awarded their certificates of participation for a “Successful Completion of the Hour of Code.”
Since this event, students in Kate VanCleve’s fifth grade class have spent extra time in the Prospect Point Computer Lab under the instruction of Technology Coordinator Richard Bartlow, completing an on-line course entitled, “Intro to Computer Programming.” This course is composed of a 20 hour series of tutorials and activities, designed to be taught in a classroom, or as an after school activity.
Code.org in partnership with Donorschoose.org, have offered up to $1,000 in rewards to the first 1,000 teachers to successfully establish this course in a public school classroom setting. Fifth Grade student, Sam Tacheny has already completed the course! Students also use Scratch which is a programming language, and Kudo which is a Microsoft program that allows students to create their own games.
||Whitman hosts youth volleyball clinic Saturday
The Whitman College Volleyball team is hosting a clinic Saturday, Feb. 8 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. for all girls in grades K-5 at the Sherwood Center.
- Check in: 2:30 p.m.
- This clinic marks the first the of four sessions. Other dates are: Feb. 15, 22 and March 1.
- Cost: $20 per session or $75 for all four sessions.
- Matt Helm, Whitman's Head Women's Volleyball Coach: email@example.com or 527-5264
||Shakespeare Walla Walla 2014 presents "Richard II"
The first production in the Shakespeare Walla Walla 2014 Mainstage Season is "Richard II" by William Shakespeare. The February 6-9 show is a Shakespeare Seattle Company production and is directed by Rosa Joshi.
Shakespeare's "Richard II" is set at the beginning of the fight for the English throne known as the War of the Roses. King Richard's antics and arrogance try the patience of the great houses of England and threaten to set them into civil war. When Richard goes too far and seizes lands and wealth from his deceased uncle, his cunning and capable cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, topples Richard from the throne.
Tickets are available through the SWW box office. All shows will be held at the Gesa Power House Theatre.
||Teddy Bear Tea and Doll Show Feb. 22
The Walla Walla Columbia County School Retirees Association presents the 8th annual Teddy Bear Tea and Doll Show.
- Saturday, February 22
- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Saint Francis Social Hall (722 W. Alder - Walla Walla, WA)
- Admission $6
- Enjoy a high tea, exhibits, store, photographer, coloring table , story corner and silent auction
Proceeds support scholarships for future teachers and related education personnel. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
- For information, contact Dee Aichele at 525 3801
||G3 Youth Conference “The Comeback” February 13-15
- Youth Conference in Walla Walla WA
- Ages 12-25 years old
- February 13-15
- Goal: “forwarding purpose for today’s youth”
- Conference features more than 20 speakers, including a BSU cheerleader who made ESPN’s top ten videos in 2012.
- Cost: $10 a session (5 sessions) or $29 unlimited pass with Friday’s lunch included
- Schedule: Thursday: 7-10 p.m. / Friday: 9 to 11:59 a.m., lunch @ noon, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. / Saturday: 9:30-11:59 a.m.
- Information: Cole & Lacey Massey (509-876-7974 / Cole@LifeChurchWW.com / www.G3CONF.com)
||Just Desserts Valentines event for kids
- Children ages 7 -10
- February 12, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
- Crafts and cookie decorating to benefit women and children of the YWCA of Walla Walla
- YWCA of Walla Walla - 213 S. 1st
- RSVP by February 7!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: Elaina at (509) 529529-5188
- A community outreach event supported by Whitman College Intercultural Center and the Blue Mountain Humane Society
||City Parks & Rec Mother & Son Bowl-A-Rama
Boys, grab your mom and head down to the newly owned and managed Bowlaway Lane's for a rockin' good time of bowling. You'll have two hours to strike and spare your way through as many games as you want. Don't forget to wear your neon and white clothing so that you will glow while you bowl! You'll have dessert and fruit to fuel your fun. Shoe rental included in registration fee. Registration is limited so sign up today! If you have questions, call Angela at 527-4527.
Date: February 8
Location: Bowl Away Lanes
Ages: 5 & Up
Camp Fire after school campers garden program
Campers in the After School Program at Camp Fire Walla Walla are learning about gardening as part of a seven week curriculum. The first week they planted corn and bean seed along with grass seed to monitor inside the classroom. This week they ventured outside to check the temperature and rain gauges in their school gardens and documented the growth in the seeds that were planted last week. Kids are always learning at Camp Fire Walla Walla! Check our Facebook page for more pictures of this great project.