Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - December 4, 2015

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Community packs Cordiner Hall to watch Paper Tigers documentary 

Thursday night, Cordiner Hall was filled to capacity with approximately 1600 people as The Health Center, Whitman College Student Engagement Center and the school district teamed to bring a free showing of the Paper Tigers documentary. This film follows a year in the life of Lincoln High School students and their school which has radically changed its approach to disciplining students. This film explores how 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.

“Walla Walla Public Schools values and nurtures partnerships to enhance educational opportunities to support the whole child.” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan as he welcomed guests to Cordiner Hall. “This film is a terrific example of how partnerships and concerned community members can join forces to improve the lives of our students.”

The event served as a fundraiser for The Health Center. Founded in 2008, The Health Center improves the academic and life success of over 700 students at the two highest-need public schools in Walla Walla -- Lincoln High School and Blue Ridge Elementary. The Health Center was the first school-based health center to open in Eastern Washington and it remains the only one that operates as a non-profit organization. The Health Center’s innovative model combines accessible physical care and mental health care as part of resilience-based, wrap-around services offered in concert with partner schools. This strategy is producing documented improvements in the academic and life success of participating students.

Learn more about Paper Tigers at: http://www.papertigersmovie.com/

Superintendent job posting now available to the public

The search to find a new Walla Walla Public Schools superintendent is underway as current Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan is retiring June 30. A job posting is now open to the public through Jan. 28, 2016. Former Walla Walla Superintendent and search consultant Dr. Dennis Ray of Northwest Leadership Associates is leading the search. Interviews are scheduled to begin in February with the new superintendent named in March. The new superintendent’s first day in the district is July 1.

Levy proposal information online

Information about the proposed Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy is now on the district website at www.wwps.org. This proposed levy funding would help maintain the current level of teaching and educational programs. This is not a new tax, but a continuation of local operating funds for the district. The state only funds approximately 70 percent of the district’s General Fund budget for Walla Walla Public Schools. This proposed Replacement Levy impacts nearly all aspects of district programs and services by funding 20 percent of the district’s General Fund. Federal dollars make up the remaining 10 percent of the district’s budget. The voter-approved 2012 Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy expires in December 2016 and this Levy would replace it.

Proposed Election Details
- Election date: February 9, 2016 (Four-year levy)
- Ballots mail out to voters January 21, 2016
- 50% + 1 vote required for approval

Summary of 2016 Levy Proposal
2017 - $11,234,122 (projected rate $3.70 per $1,000)
2018 - $11,458,504 (projected rate $3.73 per $1,000)
2019 - $11,687,674 (projected rate $3.77 per $1,000)
2020 - $11,921,427 (projected rate $3.81 per $1,000)
These rates are based on per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Election Information
- Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan at 526-6717 or email: tcohan@wwps.org
- Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan at 526-6714 or email: bjordan@wwps.org
- Communications Director Mark Higgins at 526-6716 or email: mhiggins@wwps.org
- Online: www.wwps.org

Regional science leaders flock to Walla Walla to discuss new learning standards

Friday Peggy Willcuts of Pacific Northwest Laboratory and Georgia Boatman from Educational Service District 123 organized a training for regional science leadership teams centered on the Washington state Science Learning Standards formerly referred to as the Next Generation Science standards. The goal of this “train the trainer” model is to provide school teams with knowledge and materials to take back to their schools to further enhance the understanding of the new learning standards. Beginning with the Class of 2018, high school students across the state will be required to pass a comprehensive state assessment which includes all areas of science and engineering. This assessment is a new graduation requirement.

Winter weather school closure and delay procedures

At Walla Walla Public Schools, we make every effort to post up-to-the-minute school closure information due to inclement weather or any circumstance that would delay or cancel the normal school schedule. Decisions to delay or close school usually are made by 5:30 a.m. or earlier. This triggers the district’s comprehensive school closure/delay announcement plan. The district makes every effort to begin announcements by 6 a.m.

Announcements include:
- Regional media release
- Telephone, text, email automated message
- Web posting
- Staff email
- E-news message (sign up on the district web site: www.wwps.org)
- Twitter message
- Facebook page message
- Orange signs posted in front of schools

School Stories
Walla Walla High School journalism student selected to write for Seattle Times Education Lab

Walla Walla High School sophomore Macy Quinn-Sears was one of only 10 students across the state to be selected by the Seattle Times to participate in its Education Lab Student Voices section. This feature allows student journalists from across Washington state to share their voices in debates about education. According to the Seattle Times Education Lab webpage, high school students were invited to share their on-the-ground stories and experiences. Over the course of the school year, these students will develop story ideas and publish their work in Education Lab.

Quinn-Sears wants to pursue her passion for writing through working in journalism, and writing free-verse poetry. She attended Prospect Point Elementary and Garrison Middle School. She says Garrison Middle School Explorer teacher Beth Clearman was a big influence in her writing, and encouraged her to submit a poem to The America Library of Poetry, which was included in the 2014 edition called Accolades. Walla Walla High School Journalism teacher Gay Buissink presented the application to Quinn-Sears to consider.

“I figured I had nothing to lose and much to gain,” Quinn-Sears said. “I believe everyone should be informed, and be subjected to varying opinions, so my generation can make informed decisions for their futures.”

One issue she plans to address is the ‘common core standards’, and whether or not they are a fair judgment of intelligence. Quinn-Sears enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her friends. She rides and trains horses, does yoga and plays in the Walla Walla Womens’ Soccer League through the YMCA. This year she also played for the Walla Walla High School Girls’ soccer team.

Walla Walla High School teachers grow beards in support of Brian Senter Fine Arts Scholarship

National Honor Society and Link Crew teamed with Walla Walla High School teachers to raise $2,262.66 for the Brian Senter Fine Arts Scholarship. Teachers Matt Shaw, Rob Ahrens, Clayton Hudiburg, Dan Ojcius, Curtis Schafer, Gary Peasley, Dallas Jones, Richard Moro, Nathan McClure, Bernard Ma, and Keith Swanson and senior Layne Peters grew beards to spur donations as part of the fundraiser. Swanson, Hudiburg, Moro, Schafer, McClure and Shaw received donations totalling more than $100 and sported "interesting" facial hair styles this week as part of their commitment to donors.

Exchange Club honors Walla Walla High School students

Congratulations to  Walla Walla High School seniors Christian Moreno and Amelia Schwartzkopf for receiving Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month Awards this month. These students will also be eligible to compete for the Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Year Award and a special $1,000 college scholarship. The 2015-16 Youth of the Year Theme is  “Responsible citizenship for a strong America.” WWPS Director of Communications Mark Higgins is the program coordinator. Christian has a 3.99 GPA and has taken three Advanced Placement courses and seven honors courses. He plans to attend Washington State University to study Business. Amelia has a 4.0 GPA and has taken three Advanced Placement courses and five honors courses. She would like to attend a private college to study Biblical Studies or Pre-Medicine.

Falkenberg’s Jewelers teams with 21st Century Afterschool Program

Pioneer and Garrison Middle School students participating in the 21st Century Afterschool Program’s Jewelry Club recently took a field trip to Falkenberg's Jewelers. Over the course of the fall, students have been studying gemology and making beaded jewelry.

The field trip gave students a chance to get up close and view the gemstones they have been studying. The students also used this opportunity to get inspiration for their own jewelry pieces they will design and 3D print in December. Skip Cundiff and the rest of the Falkenberg's staff welcomed the students and provided each with a little gift bag which included a sample Sapphire and Ruby, a mini Jeweler's Loop, and a polishing cloth, according to Pioneer site coordinator Martin Fortney.

"We wanted to find a way to focus on the Earth and get girls interested in 3D printing,” Fortney said. “The response and creativity from the girls has been amazing and they loved seeing the gems up close. We look forward to seeing their pendants, beads, charms, brooches and other jewelry.

Walla Walla High School students attend national substance abuse conference 

Walla Walla High School students Noemi Sarmiento and Valeria Alonso recently attended a three day National Prevention Network conference in Seattle. They are helping create an action plan for Walla Walla County for successful projects in prevention of substance abuse. The Walla Walla Youth Team volunteered to present its action plan to a room of 800 Washington state professionals. The Wa-Hi students were selected from a group of 400 students to showcase their ideas. This was a collaborative effort with Walla Walla Public Schools, W2 for Drug Free Youth under leadership of Peggy Needham and C2C led by Liz Morin. The action will be presented to W2 for Drug Free Youth for future implementation. 

SEA-TECH students promote sale of manufacturing products

The Advanced Manufacturing class has several projects for sale just in time for Christmas.  Decorative benches, lawn art, signs and more will be available for purchase. Proceeds support the SEA-TECH program. Students will be launching an online store soon. Contact instructor James Polson for ordering details and available products: jpolson@wwps.org / 509-526-2011.

Wa-Hi Principal addresses Exchange Club

Walla Walla High School Principal Pete Peterson addressed the Exchange Club Monday during the group’s weekly meeting. Peterson provided an update on the school’s enrollment, recent state achievement awards and vast program offerings. He also informed the group of the school’s focus on community engagement, staff and student relations and improved academic achievement. Peterson plans to send out a community-wide update mailing in January.

Community Stories
Kirkman House schedules series of holiday events

- BAZAAR: Friday, December 4, noon until 8 p.m. (free admission)

- VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS: Saturday, December 5, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Entertainment includes: a choir group, living history characters and Christmas carolers (free admission)

- KIRKMAN HOUSE LIVE CONCERT: Saturday, December 5, 7:30 p.m. $45.00 (includes reception with hors d’oeuvres); Sunday, December 6, 2 p.m. (Cost -$20) T’was the Night Before Christmas featuring cellist Sally Singer Tuttle, joined by Soprano Monica Griffin Hunter and Celtic Harper Noah Brenner.

W2 for Drug Free Youth Survey

Would you be willing to give up 5 minutes of your time to fill out a survey that will help community leaders develop effective prevention programs addressing youth substance use, depression and suicide? This survey, created by the Division of Behavior Health and Recovery and being implemented by W2 for Drug Free Youth, focuses on adult concerns about substance use, depression and suicide among youth in our community. This survey is anonymous. That means you will not be asked for your name or address. This survey is voluntary. That means that you can refuse to answer any question or stop the survey at any time. The survey will take 5 minutes to complete. Survey results will be released in the spring of 2016.

Survey Links:
ONLINE SURVEY ENGLISH: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WWWWON2015
ONLINE SURVEY SPANISH: https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/WWWWSP2015

For more information:
Peggy Needham, Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative Coordinator
(509) 876-4525 / peggy.trilogy@gmail.com

Holiday Singalongs at Walla Walla University

- German Singalong
- Saturday, December 5, 10 a.m.
- Walla Walla University (College Place), Fine Arts Center room 208
We will sing Stille Nacht, Es ist ein Ros Entsprungen, Leise Rieselt der Schnee, and many other traditional German Christmas carols. Hear how Christmas is celebrated in Germany. Meet other German speakers and share some treats. All are welcome, regardless of level of German.
- Questions? Curt Schafer, 527-3116

- Saturday, December 12 at 10 a.m.
- Walla Walla University (College Place), Fine Arts Center room 115 (Choir Room)
We will sing several German Christmas carols, several Spanish “Villancicos”, and also one each in several other languages such as French and Hindi. Sheet music will be provided. If you like music, Christmas, and foreign languages, this is definitely for you. At the end we’ll share treats as we mix and mingle. Speakers of all languages (including English!) are welcome.
Questions? Eli (Elisabet) Entrena, 527-3116

YMCA winter basketball league sign-ups begin next week

The YMCA Youth Basketball League emphasizes learning the fundamentals of the sport during practices and perfecting them during games. In addition, the program focuses on teaching cooperation, teamwork and sportsmanship to foster healthy happy kids.
- Ages: Boys 1st - 8th grade / Girls 1st - 4th grade
- Dates: 1/9 - 3/5
- Days: M/W or T/TH practices & Saturday games
- Practice Times: 3:30-4:30 PM, 4:30-5:30 PM, 5:30-6:30 PM or 6:30-7:30 PM
- Fee: Family Plus $53, Youth Individual $59, Program Participant, $75
- For more information, or to volunteer to coach, contact Matt Murray, mmurray@wwymca.org or call 525-8863.

HO-HO– Holiday basketball camps

Girls Camp, December 14 &15
1-2 grade girls 4-5 p.m.
3-4 grade girls 5-6 p.m.

Boys Camp, December 16 &17
1-2 grade boys 4-5 p.m.
3-4 grade boys 5-6 p.m.

Ball Handling Camp, December 18
1-4 grade girls 4-5:30 p.m.
1-4 grade boys 5:30 - 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Youth Sports Director, Matt Murray: 525-8863 or mmurray@wwymca.org
Cost: $10 per camp

City Parks & Rec Update

Registration is open for the following programs:
Indoor Soccer Late Registration - January 9 - March 12
Cost - $60 (Grades K-8)

Winter Tennis Camp - January 11-15, 2016
Beginning - Advanced (Ages 10-18) Cost - $75
Quickstart (Ages 4-10) Cost - $55

The Pottery Painting Studio
Open Thursday - Sunday (See Website for Holiday Hours)

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

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