Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - June 5, 2015

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District Stories
Regional Educational Service District Superintendent praises Wa-Hi for state achievement award

ESD 123 Superintendent Bruce Hawkins visited Walla Walla Tuesday night to present Wa-Hi its 2014 Washington Achievement Award for high progress in math and reading. This is the fifth consecutive year Wa-Hi has received this award. Winners are selected based on statewide assessment data for the three previous years.

“Wa-Hi is in rare company,” said Hawkins. “This is a significant accomplishment and the entire staff and community should be proud of Walla Walla High School students.”

Graduates of Distinction honored

Tuesday evening the district honored 2015 Graduates of Distinction Judy Chamberlain Holloway (Class of 1962), Carol Barker (Class of 1974), and Richard “Dick” Moeller (Class of 1963). Holloway named Toss Benefiel her most inspirational staff person. Barker selected Charlotte Wirth and Jolynn (McBee) Worth as her staff members, while Moeller chose Dick Neher. All of the recipients said Walla Walla Public Schools provided an outstanding education and they were proud to call Walla Walla their home.

District takes corrective action following Title I audit finding

The Washington State Auditor’s Office during the May 20, 2015 exit interview for the district’s 2013-2014 annual audit reported the Walla Walla School District did not have adequate internal controls to ensure compliance with federal procurement requirements for its Title I program. The finding showed internal control deficiencies related to bid quotes and lack of adequate documentation of sole source vendors for procurements for the Title I program. In a separate communication, the auditor also found the district did not have adequate internal controls related to time sheet management resulting in $5478 in over reported summer hours.

Walla Walla Public Schools has taken the following corrective action based on these findings:
- The district has reorganized its administrative leadership team.
- Training has been provided to staff regarding federal requirements pertaining to Title I funding.
- Bid guidelines and the flow charts indicating proper dollar threshold have been updated and reviewed.
- Timesheets now adequately identify the project(s) for which employees claim additional hours.
- Timesheets are now reviewed by the Business Office by someone knowledgeable with the project to determine if the hours reported appear reasonable.
- All $5478 from the over reported summer hours has been repaid to the district.

“We are held to a high standard in public education,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan. “We fully cooperated with the Washington State Auditor’s Office throughout this process and accept the Auditor’s report. We are confident we have taken the necessary steps to ensure adequate internal controls over federal programs and time sheet management. Once it was discovered there was an unusual pattern in time sheet reporting, we began a preliminary investigation which then prompted the district to self-report to the Washington State Auditor’s Office. We take the findings seriously and are committed to remaining in compliance with federal laws, regulations, and provisions of these grant awards and ensuring proper time sheet management.”

Deadline to participate in ThoughtExchange second phase June 7

The district’s Spring 2015 ThoughtExchange Community Engagement process has shifted to the second phase. Better known as “Star”, the second phase allows participants to review the thoughts of others and indicate their priorities by placing stars next to the ideas that are most important to them. The “Star” process will remain open until 11 p.m. Sunday, June 7. Please take a few minutes to engage and help the district learn what others are thinking through this confidential community engagement process. The district will share the results with the public in June. Contact Communications Director Mark Higgins if you need additional information: mhiggins@wwps.org / (509) 526-6716.

End of Year Celebrations (remaining)

Walla Walla High School Commencement
- Friday, June 5 / 7 p.m. / Commons Grounds

Pioneer Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
- Wednesday, June 10 / 7 p.m. / Walla Walla High School Gym

Garrison Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
- Thursday, June 11 / 7 p.m. / Walla Walla High School Gym

2015 Summer School Programs

- Targeted Summer School for Third Grade students from all elementary schools
- Dates: July 13 through Aug. 6, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Blue Ridge:
- Summer activities for Blue Ridge students, sponsored by the Talent Program. Registration deadline: June 5.
- Dates: June 22 through July 30, Monday through Thursday, 8:05 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- For more information, contact Ruben Hernandez: rhernandez@wwps.org

Garrison Middle School:
- Summer Program offered by 21st Century After School Program for students from Garrison, Pioneer, Lincoln and Wa-Hi
- Registration deadline: June 9
- Dates: June 15 through July 23, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- For more information, contact one of the district 21st Century Coordinators or text #free_lunch

Lincoln High School:
- Credit Retrieval program offered the weeks of June 15, 22 and 29. Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Walla Walla High School
- Credit Retrieval program for specific students.
- Dates: June 15 through July 24, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12 Noon. No school the week of June 29

- Introduction to Manufacturing and Health classes offered June 15 through July 2. Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

* Please contact individual schools for more information.

Personnel Report (from June 2, 2015 school board meeting)

Dyan Nelson, Speech Language Pathologist, Special Education
Melanie Richardson, Speech Language Pathologist, Special Education

Melinda Gee, Fiscal Assistant, Business Office
Brittney Kubik, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School
Fabiola Ochoa, Bilingual Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School

Bunny Baker, Counselor, Walla Walla High School, 25 years
Lynne Burnham, Homelink Teacher, Homelink Program, 2 years
Daniel Coffey, Fourth Grade, Sharpstein Elementary, 4 years
Dennis DeBroeck, Computer Technology, SEA-Tech, 21 years
Kathi DeBroeck, Business & Occupational Ed, Wa-Hi, 20 years

Kelli Jo Smith, Para-Educator, Pioneer Middle School, 11 years
• For the 2015-2016 school year

District lands check from Pacific Power for SEA-TECH energy efficiency

Walla Walla Public Schools received a check for $3250 from the Pacific Power WATTSMART incentive program for the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center. These incentive checks are distributed for purchasing and installing energy-efficient equipment. A cool roof membrane was installed on SEA-TECH, which reflects more heat than it absorbs and helps minimize heat island effect. Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan said the district is committed to improving efficiency and lowering operational costs.

Early dismissal for elementary students June 5

- Friday, June 5: Early dismissal for elementary students
- This time is used by elementary teachers for report card preparation
- Students in grades 6-12 are on a regular schedule
- The last day of school is Friday, June 12 (early dismissal for all students)

State receives one-year ESEA waiver

On May 20, 2015, the United States Department of Education granted Washington a one-year waiver of ESEA sections 1116(a)(1)(A) and 1116(c)(1)(A) and the corresponding regulatory provisions to the extent they require a Local Educational Agency (LEA) and a State Educational Agency (SEA), respectively, to use the results from the state’s academic assessments to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) determinations for schools and districts.

What does this mean?
Under this waiver, Washington’s districts and schools are not required to include proficiency results of the state assessments administered in the 2014–15 school year to determine a district’s or school’s 2015–16 AYP standing.

What are the conditions of the waiver?
- Washington must ensure that all students are included in the statewide assessment system in school year 2014–15.

- Washington and its LEAs must meet all reporting obligations with respect to reporting the achievement and participation rate of students who take the state assessments in the 2014–15 school year.

- Washington and its LEAs will report performance against the state’s annual measurable objectives (AMOs) using results from the state assessments used in 2014-15. The AMO for 2015 tests continues to be 100 percent proficiency.

- Washington and its LEAs will calculate and report AYP for 2014–15 with respect to participation rate and the other academic indicator, including graduation rate for high schools and unexcused absence rate for grades 3–8; LEAs and schools that do not make AYP in school year 2014–15 based on participation rate, graduation rate for high school or unexcused absence rate for grades 3–8 would advance to the next step of improvement.

- All other schools and LEAs that have been identified as in need of improvement will carry forward the accountability determinations in school year 2015–16 that they have in 2014–15; Washington and its LEAs will provide necessary notice to parents required in ESEA section 1116(b)(6) and (c)(6) prior to the start of school year 2015–16.

- Washington will continue to administer its state assessments in school year 2015–16 and will include those results in determining AYP. Washington and its LEAs will assign a new rating for the 2016–17 school year based on whether an LEA or school makes AYP that includes results from the 2015–16 state assessments.

District retirement celebrations (remaining)

Pioneer Middle School
Judy Anderson and Yvon Barber
Tuesday, June 9 / 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Pioneer Multipurpose room

Prospect Point Elementary
Steve Stimmel
Wednesday, June 10 / 2 p.m.
Prospect Point Library

Sharpstein Elementary
Kathy Emmert, Carolyn Smith and Kate Venneri
Friday, June 5 / 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Sharpstein atrium (lobby)

Walla Walla High School
Terry Willcuts, Ivonne Gainza, Bunny Baker and Gretchen Baker
Wednesday, June 10 / 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Wa-Hi Commons

Elementary and Secondary Term dates for 2015-2016 school year

Secondary schools
- 8/26/15 to 10/30/15 (First Quarter)
- 10/31/15 to 1/22/16 (Second Quarter, First Semester)
- 1/23/16 to 3/25/16 (Third Quarter)
- 3/26/16 to 6/8/16 (Fourth Quarter, Second Semester)

Elementary schools
- 8/26/15 to 2/19/16 (Term 1)
- 2/20/16 to 4/22/16 (Term 2)
- 4/23/16 to 6/8/16 (Term 3)

School Stories
Blue Devil Athletic Development (BDAD) begins this month

- Athletic strength development and conditioning
- June 30 to August 6
- Grades 9-12 time options are 8 to 9 a.m. and 10 to 11 a.m.
- Grades 5-8 time is 9 to 10 a.m.
- Cost: $30 per person
- Register with FamilyID on wahibluedevils.org or in the ASB office
- Information: Contact Eric or Amy Hisaw - ehisaw@wwps.org / ahisaw@wwps.org

Daughters of the American Revolution Essay Contest

Community member Sarita McCaw presented awards to students Lauren Bergman and Marissa McBride for their successful submissions in the Daughters of the American Revolution Essay contests. Bergman has been a state first place winner for four consecutive years.

McBride’s essay focused on Ellis Island in the Port of New York and New Jersey which was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States. Bergman’s essay centered around what it would be like for a girl to dress up like a boy so she could join the crew and explore the world with Christopher Columbus. McCaw has coordinated this program for 35 years and says both girls are outstanding writers.

Wa-Hi Latino Club Presents Awards

Recently Walla Walla High School Latino Club students were recognized for their exceptional dedication to the community and for their personal achievements over the past few years. As members of the Walla Walla High School Latino Club, which has a partnership with the Learning for Life program, 12 individuals received the “Young American Award” and 13 students received the “Learning for Life Leadership Award”. The “Learning for Life Leadership Award” is a distinguished award for those who have provided exceptional leadership to our program. Awardees have demonstrated exceptional dedication and given their time to make our program a success.

This year’s awards went to: Aylin Contreras, Clarissa Cortez, Yaritza Garcia, Martha Diaz, Andy Flores, Zoe Hernandez, Arthur Lopez, Emely Olivos, Dalia Olmos, Andrea Ruiz, Noemi Sarmiento Kiara Soto, and Cecilia Torres.

The first “Young American Award” was presented in 1968. The award is given to students who have achieved excellence in the fields of art, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, literature, music, math, religion, science, or service and have been involved in service to their community that adds to the quality of life.

This year’s awards went to: Ermine Cakmak, Kayla Crain, Jazmin Duran, Anthony Fernandez, Yamile Gutierrez-Bernal, Alondra Hernandez, Erika Ibarra-Perez, Minahil Ijaz, Andrea Lamadrid, Christian Moreno, Veronica Ocampo, and Selina Ruiz.

In addition, special recognition was given to the Club’s student officers for their leadership this year. This year’s activities included a successful on campus Cinco De Mayo event in which over 450 people attended. This year’s Latino Club officers are: Veronica Ocampo, president, Christian Moreno, vice president, Daila Olmos, secretary, Andy Flores, treasurer, and Andrea Ruiz, activity coordinator. Community Council executive director, Mary Campbell presented certificates to Latino Club members Andrea Ruiz and Yaritza Garcia for their participation in the process to determine the next Community Council topic study.

Interfaith Coalition on Poverty Donates Profits to Lincoln High School

Last November, the Interfaith Coalition on Poverty (ICP) participated in the 2014 National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week and hosted several events.  One such event included giving out Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week wristbands to community members for a suggested donation of a dollar.  The community responded generously often giving “above and beyond” when they learned that most of the profits would benefit Lincoln High School students.  In February, the ICP gave a check in the amount of $853 to the school.  With this money, Lincoln’s food pantry was stocked, which included the purchase of perishable foods (fruits, vegetables and milk) so students could enjoy a healthier, more balanced diet. 

Community Stories
The Moms’ Network to offer Art & Play at the Children’s Museum

On Wednesday, June 10, the Moms’ Network, in partnership with the Early Learning Coalition, will offer an Art & Play morning at the Children’s Museum from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. There will be several art activities set up for children ages 8 and under. The activities include play-doh, paper plate art, planting, painting and much more.

There will also be access to the entire Children’s Museum during this event. This is a free community event and siblings are welcome to attend.

“The Moms’ Network is excited to offer this community program again” states Beth Swanson, President of the Moms’ Network. “Art & Play is a fabulous way for children to explore and learn with their parents. We provide art activities that are fun, educational and a little messy.”

The Moms’ Network of Walla Walla is a grassroots organization that provides an opportunity for parents to communicate, receive and exchange valuable community and parenting information, network with each other and be actively involved in the community. For more information visit www.themomsnetworkww.com or beth@themomsnetworkww.com

City Summer FREE Meals in Park locations set 

The City of Walla Walla is preparing for its annual FREE Summer Meals in the Park program. Free meals are available at several schools and parks during the summer months. Visit the City Parks and Recreation website for specific times and locations.

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us. Like on facebook! www.facebook.com

City plans Isaacs Avenue Corridor Study public open house

- Tuesday, June 9, 4-6 p.m.
- Whitman College, Reid Center - Ballroom A (345 Boyer Avenue)
- Visit gowallawalla.us for more information
Do you drive, walk, bike, take the bus, live or shop on Isaacs Avenue? If so, please consider attending the last major public event on the corridor study. The meeting will review project goals and the preferred alternatives for future improvements to the design and condition of Isaacs Avenue between Rose St. and Wilbur Ave. If you have questions or are interested in joining the email list, please contact Monte Puymon with the City’s Engineering Division at mpuymon@wallawallawa.gov or at (509) 542-4513.

Valley Transit offers fare-free summer

Ride free on Valley Transit buses now through Sept. 7. This is an outstanding opportunity to check out popular Walla Walla destinations at no cost. For more information about Fare-Free summer opportunities, visit Valley Transit online at www.valleytransit.com or by calling (509) 525-9140. 

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