Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Oct. 16, 2015

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
District receives award for support of early learning programs

Wednesday Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan was recognized at the Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition luncheon for the district’s support of early learning programs in the Walla Walla School District. The theme for this year’s luncheon was “Our Kids, Our Business.”

The district’s Head Start/ECEAP preschool program was highlighted as well as the Ready for Kindergarten program for Title One schools. Jordan also mentioned the district allocated $45,000 from the 2015-2016 General Fund budget to support pre-kindergarten programs so all six district elementary schools will have more outreach to parents of preschool children. City of Walla Walla Police Chief Scott Bieber was the event’s master of ceremonies. He presented Dr. Jordan with the award.

Substitute teacher shortage prompts district to begin emergency certification program

Walla Walla Public Schools will be emergency certifying substitute teachers starting this fall to help curb the trend of too few teacher substitutes. This emergency certificate enables someone who is not fully qualified for a regular teaching certificate to serve as a substitute teacher. The district must ensure the school has exhausted or will exhaust its list of qualified substitutes before a substitute with an emergency certificate is used. The emergency substitute certificate is valid for up to 3 years.

If you have a Bachelor’s Degree and are interested in earning extra money by helping children learn, contract district Substitute Coordinator Shari Strickland at (509) 526-6743 or sastrickland@wwps.org for additional information on the emergency certification program.

Free showing of Paper Tigers documentary at Cordiner Hall

The Health Center, Whitman College Student Engagement Center and Walla Walla Public Schools have teamed to bring a free public showing of Paper Tigers to Cordiner Hall Thursday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. The Paper Tigers documentary follows a year in the life of an alternative high school that has radically changed its approach to disciplining its students. This film explores how Walla Walla's own Lincoln High school and The Health Center have become promising models for how to break the cycles of poverty, violence and health disparities that affect families. Join us in celebrating this film, and of the success of Lincoln High School.

Event details
- Paper Tigers Documentary showing
- Thursday, Dec. 3
- 6:30 p.m.
- Cordiner Hall, Whitman College (46 S. Park St.)
- Free to the public

Fill the Bus Food Drive activity Saturday

Walla Walla High School and Lincoln High School teacher Lori Finn is coordinating Saturday’s Fill the Bus activity at area grocery stores. District school buses will be onsite to help encourage shoppers to donate food for the Realtors Care and Share Food Drive. Staff, students and parents are scheduled to volunteer from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at several local grocery stores. Please help support the food drive Saturday by donating food for the Fill the Bus event. 

School board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 20

- Tuesday, Oct. 20
- 6:30 p.m.
- District Office School Board Room (364 S. Park St.)
- Meeting open to the public

College visits key to teacher recruitment program

As the state continues to witness teacher shortages, Walla Walla Public Schools has implemented a comprehensive teacher recruitment program to help recruit the best candidates to the district. Executive Director of Human Resources Chris Gardea and Equity and Access Coordinator Sergio Hernandez recently visited Washington State University as part of the district’s ongoing teacher recruitment effort. College visits are a key component of the plan as this has proven to be successful in developing relationships with potential candidates. Special Education and bilingual teachers remain the most difficult positions to fill across the state.

School Stories
Band students receive invites to international clinic

Congratulations to the following Walla Walla High School Band students for being selected for the 2015 Western International Band Clinic (WIBC) honor band festival. More than 900 students auditioned for approximately 600 spots in four different honor bands to be conducted by top flight college conductors and composers. This event will be held Nov. 20-23 at the Sea-Tac DoubleTree Inn

Keeli McKern: Freshman Clarinet, 1st time
Renee Heller: Junior Clarinet, 1st time
Stella Gryler: Junior Trombone, 2nd time
Corina Vernon: Senior Flute, 2nd time
James Bogley: Senior Trumpet, 2nd time
Ben Northam: Senior French Horn, 2nd time
Hannah Cabasco: Junior Clarinet, 3rd time

Dig Pink event nets big donation for local breast cancer efforts - By Tyler Morrison, Communications Intern

"The Walla Walla High School volleyball teams raised $3000 for breast cancer during the Dig Pink volleyball match on Oct. 13. The money was raised through sales of Dig Pink T-shirts, pizza slices, light up bracelets and other accessories. The event also included a basket raffle with prizes donated by the community, a "Guess How Many" contest, Serve for a Cure and a bake sale. All the money raised will go towards funding mammograms in the Walla Walla valley.

"Pink Night is so fun because we're all together raising awareness for a cause that effects so many lives," senior volleyball player Karli Plucker said. "It's a wonderful feeling to know that we can make a difference for some of these brave women in our local community."

Green Park students don pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness

Today Green Park Elementary students honored Breast Cancer Awareness month with a Paws-itively celebration assembly culminating this week’s Wear Pink activities. Students and staff received prizes for showing the most spirit during the week. Students wore creatively designed outfits, decorated their classrooms, drafted inspirational messages and made pink art projects as part of the awareness campaign. School Learning Specialist and breast cancer survivor Tina Holbrook was moved by the passion behind the event.

“You get emotional seeing how often it effects so many women,” Holbrook said. “It’s through research and education that we survivors can continue the journey.”

Balloons make surprise visits to district schools

Students at Berney and Edison Elementary schools and Pioneer Middle School had unexpected visitors Thursday morning as balloons participating in the  2015 Balloon Stampede landed on their playgrounds. Students were able to get up close to the balloons and a few staff members received tethered rides. Students also helped get the balloons put away in the support trailers. Thanks to all the visiting balloonists for their support of the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede. 

Community invited to Wa-Hi’s Trunk-or-Treat Halloween event

- Friday, October 30
- Wa-Hi Science Parking Lot
- Event Time: 5:30 7 p.m.
- Free treats for all kids
- Canned food donation requested

Blue Devil Ocktoberfest features student panel sharing their pathways to success

- October 20: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: FUTURES NIGHT @ Wa-Hi - Workshops featuring information on Career Cruising, College in High School Options and a ‘How to succeed as a student’ panel with current and past Wa-Hi students, college students and GEAR UP staff. Oktoberfest style dinner provided!

Whitman Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid to discuss college application strategies

How to Apply to Selective Colleges:  Are you a high-achieving student who would like to learn more about selective colleges? Wa-Hi juniors, seniors and their families are invited to join Tony Cabasco, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Whitman College, and his staff in the Wa-Hi library Wednesday, October 21 at 7 p.m. for a presentation on the admission process at private, selective colleges. Tony will share information on how to organize and conduct your college search, key application and financial aid information, and answer your questions. 

Community Stories
The Moms’ Network and Child Care Aware partner on a Friends, Family, Neighbor Child Care Training

The Moms’ Network and Child Care Aware are teaming up to provide an educational training for Friends, Family, Neighbor (FFN) care givers. These are local individuals that care for a friend or neighbor’s child or an individual that cares for a niece, nephew, grandchild or other relative’s child while the parent works. The training event is Sunday, November 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Walla Walla YMCA.

Guest speakers Catherine Wolpert, Head Start Education Coordinator and Kristin Albro, Child Care Director at the YMCA, will review and reinforce child care best practices and provide new information to care givers on developmental assessment and local resources. The training will also include fun educational projects using math. Each care giver will receive developmental assessment tools and guidelines, math curriculum for young children and a one year membership to the Moms’ Network of Walla Walla.

The event is free and open to all FFN care givers. Space is limited so please reserve your spot by contacting Beth Swanson at beth@themomsnetworkww.com and 509-301-7471. Child Care Aware© is the nation's most respected hub of information for parents and child care providers. A program of Child Care Aware® of America, Child Care Aware® helps families learn more about the elements of quality child care and how to locate programs in their communities. Child Care Aware® also provides child care providers with access to resources for their child care programs. For more information contact Tami Sirmon at tami.sirmon@wwcc.edu or visit www.childcareaware.org

Local Parent Chosen as a Parent Advisor for the Washington State Department of Early Learning

The Washington State Department of Early Learning has chosen Beth Swanson to represent the Southeast Region on its Parent Advisory Group. Seventeen Parent Advisors have been chosen to represent 10 regions in the state of Washington.

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) believes parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. The DEL Parent Advisory Group is a sounding board for decisions, ideas and questions that shape the future of DEL. The DEL believes parental involvement in decision-making is the key to having policies and programs that support families’ strengths and needs.

Beth Swanson is the mother of four children, President of the Moms’ Network and the Communication Coordinator at the YMCA. “We just had our first meeting in Seattle where we met each other, learned about each region and reviewed new policies that have just been signed into law,” states Beth. “There was a lot of group interaction with DEL staff including DEL Assistant Director Greg Williamson and Thrive Washington. Being part of this team, I hope to represent the families in our region and strengthen the connection with parents and the opportunities the DEL provides in our state.”

Over the next two years, the Parent Advisory Group will advise the agency on a variety of issues, including:

- Child Care Check
- Early Achievers, Washington's child care quality rating and improvement system
- DEL’s Child Care and Development Fund plan
- Washington’s Early Learning Plan
- Negotiated Rulemaking for Family Home Child Care
- Working Connections Child Care call centers
- School-age Rules (WAC) rewrite

If you would like more information about the Parent Advisory Group and future meetings, contact Beth at beth@themomsnetworkww.com The Department of Early Learning strives to help create safe, healthy, nurturing learning experiences for all Washington children. Information can be found at www.del.wa.gov

City Parks & Rec Update

- Pumpkin Carving Contest - October 23 No Pre-Registration
- Cost - Free (event for children ages 3-12)
- Location - Super 1 Foods, 710 S 9th Ave from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
- Please bring your own carving utensils.
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us. Like on Facebook! www.facebook.com/wallawallapr

Free helmets offered at Prospect Point bike clinic

The Back on the Road bicycle clinic is Saturday at Prospect Point from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. This is an excellent opportunity for children to take advantage of this opportunity for free helmets, helmet repairs and free tire repair. Thanks to Allegro Cyclery and Bicycle Barn for sending mechanics to each event, Whitman and Walla Walla University cycling teams and a multitude of volunteers for supporting these events presented by Crime Watch.

Back on the Road Event Schedule:
- Saturday, Oct. 17 (from 10 a.m. to 12 noon) - Prospect Point

Retirees Association offers scholarships to prospective teachers

Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association Scholarships available:
- Two, $1200 scholarships
- Scholarship grants are given to prospective teachers and/or candidates in other school related fields to include student teaching or internships in an educational setting.

- Graduate of high school in Walla Walla or Columbia County
- Student teach/internship between September 2016 and June 2017

- Mardel Bierwagen at (509) 525-6117 or email: gbierwagen6117@charter.net

Application deadlines
- Available Nov. 1, 2015
- Applications due March 1, 2016

Dia de los Muertos returns to Gesa Power House Theatre

Gesa Credit Union and Shakespeare Walla Walla present the third annual Dia de los Muertos Festival at the Gesa Power House Theatre on October 24 and 25.

The Dia de los Muertos Festival is a collaboration between many local businesses and community partners, and is inspired by the "Day of the Dead" holiday where people in Mexico and throughout Latin America gather to celebrate the lives of departed friends and family.

The Dia de los Muertos Festival begins on Saturday, October 24, at 5 p.m. with a procession through downtown ending at the Gesa Power House Theatre for an evening program of music and dance performances. The festival continues in and around the theater on Sunday, October 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the festival and all activities are free and open to the public. Food vendors will set up nearby. The street in front of Gesa Power House Theatre will be closed during festival hours (6th Avenue from Rose to Sumach).

The popular "Steamroller Print Project" led by Whitman College Art Professor Nicole Pietrantoni, returns on Sunday of the festival. Reliefs are carved into wooden blocks depicting iconic Dia de los Muertos images (skulls, skeletons, harvest, and nature), and a City of Walla Walla construction steamroller is used as a printing press to create giant prints which will be on display at the festival and for sale afterwards.

Sunday will also include scheduled performances of a Shakespearean-themed "Pageant of the Dead" performed by local student groups, music and dance performances, and a variety of free, family-friendly activities, from art projects, to face-painting, to a photo booth. Community groups are invited to create Dia de los Muertos altars for display during the festival.

Shakespeare Walla Walla produced Dia de los Muertos lesson plans and classroom activity ideas to engage local schools and teachers in advance of the festival. A small number of teaching artists will lead classroom art and education projects in the weeks leading up to the festival.

For the second year in a row, Gesa Credit Union stepped forward as the title sponsor for the festival, and the festival is also supported through grants from the Blue Mountain Community Foundation, Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Shakespeare Walla Walla. The festival grows each year, and is expected to attract up to 3,000 attendees in 2015. In addition, on Friday, October 23, Gesa Power House Theatre will present "Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera" a musical about love's reach from beyond the grave. Tickets are available at www.phtww.com.

For more information visit www.shakespearewallawalla.org.

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