Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 15, 2016

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School board work sessions and regular meeting Tuesday Jan. 19

- 2 to 5 p.m.: School Board Public Work Session - School board leadership training
- 5:30 p.m.: School Board Public Work Session - Superintendent Search update and discussion
- 6:30 p.m.: Regularly scheduled meeting
- All meetings open to the public
- Location: 364 S. Park St. (District Office)

Former Deputy Superintendent to head Superintendent Search

Former Walla Walla Public Schools Deputy Superintendent George Murdock is taking the lead role in the Superintendent Search as a result of Dr. Dennis Ray’s recent health issues. The district contracted with Northwest Leadership Associates to conduct the search. Murdock has partnered with Dr. Ray for many years and has served as the lead facilitator in numerous superintendent searches during his time with Northwest Leadership Associates.

Murdock spent sixteen years in Chehalis as a teacher, vice-principal and principal. In 1982 he moved to Walla Walla where he served as deputy superintendent of the Walla Walla School District for 11 years. Following his tenure in Walla Walla, Murdock became superintendent of schools in Pasco. In 1997 he was named Washington’s superintendent of the year. Two years later, he moved to Pendleton to become superintendent of what is now the Intermountain Education Service District. In 2007, he was named editor and publisher of the East Oregonian. Two-and-a-half years later, he became superintendent of the Douglas ESD. Murdock is currently serving as a Umatilla County Commissioner. He is also a past member of the Walla Walla County Fair Board of Directors.

Applications for the superintendent position must be submitted by January 28. Semifinalist interviews are scheduled for Feb. 17 and 18. Finalists interviews are February 29, March 1 and 2. The new superintendent will begin July 1, 2016.

No School Monday, Jan. 18 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

- Schools are closed Monday, Jan. 18 for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
- Classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 19

District Registration and Open Enrollment Dates Set For the 2016-2017 School Year

There will be two registration periods for enrollment in Walla Walla Public Schools for the 2016-2017 school year. The first will be for secondary (middle and high) schools. It will run from February 1 through 29, 2016. The schools will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first registration day, February 1, and 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 25; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, February 1. The second period for Kindergarten and Fall Registration for elementary schools will be from Monday, April 18 to Friday, April 29, 2016. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school. Parents wishing to pick up the kindergarten registration information may do so at their child’s school beginning April 11. However, the completed registration forms will not be accepted until April 18.

Kindergarten/Elementary Registration Hours:
- Monday, April 18: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- April 19 to April 29: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up Open Enrollment application or release forms at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning April 11; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, April 18.

Open enrollment requests at Walla Walla Public Schools will be granted according to priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 which will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available online at http://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/policies.

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all
schools, the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street, and online at www.wwps.org . Click on the District A to Z link and then click on Boundary Map.

Superintendent Jordan welcomes in new year with Pulse video

Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan discusses the Feb. 9 replacement levy, superintendent search and results of the Sleep Study Committee in the January Pulse video series. Click on the link to view his brief update. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHs6L4GG3ao

Walla Walla educators travel to Seattle to discuss new learning standards 

Sixteen Walla Walla educators joined 70 others from across the state at the Washington Core Advocates Convening in Seattle. Washington Core Advocates are a group of Washington educators dedicated to helping promote the instructional shifts needed to realize the potential of the Washington Standards. With the support of Student Achievement Partners, the Washington Core Advocates seek to empower teachers to become local Catalysts to lead and be instructional advocates in their local community. By becoming a catalyst these participants developed a specific skill and knowledge set around implementation of Washington Sate Learning Standards for math and ELA (CCSS), and are now poised to lead colleagues in Walla Walla. Casey Monahan serves as the Regional Core Advocate content lead for ELA and helped plan and lead the learning at the weekend convening.

Washington State Catalysts (Student Achievement Partners)
- Russell Carroll
- Heidi Cohan
- Maria Garcia
- Carrie Gonzales
- Jennifer Holbrook
- Lindsey James
- Jill Meilah
- Casey Monahan
- Monica Nelson
- Marit Nierman
- Richelle Palmer
- Angelica Pedroza
- Chris Plucker
- Robin Ponti
- Betsy Russell

Ballots for February 9 levy mail out next week

Ballots for the proposed Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy mail out to voters January 21. The levy would help maintain the current level of teaching and educational programs offered in Walla Walla. 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
- See more at: www.wwps.org

Graduates of Distinction nominations now accepted

Walla Walla Public Schools' Graduates of Distinction program provides an avenue for recognizing high school graduates of Walla Walla Public Schools who have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers. Nominations are now being accepted. This award also honors the Walla Walla Public Schools' staff members who were the most inspirational in the lives of those individuals.

Candidates must have graduated at least 10 years ago. Graduates of Distinction serve as positive role models for current and future students. The application process is simple. Nomination packets include a cover letter and three letters of support. The Class of 2016 Graduates of Distinction will be honored June 7 at 5 p.m. at the district office. Visit the district website to see instructions for the nomination process: http://www.wwps.org/programs/graduates-of-distinction

School Stories
Community members encouraged to serve on Culminating Project Senior Presentations panel

Community members have an opportunity to serve on a reviewing panel during the Walla Walla High School Culminating Project Senior Presentations. Volunteer panelists will hear the personal stories of seniors, see their best school work, learn of their volunteer service and listen to their post high school plans. Senior presentations are February 9 and 10 and March 8 and 9 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Walla Walla High School. The culminating project and high school and beyond plan are graduation requirements for Walla Walla High School students.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to celebrate 13 years of work and accomplishments as these seniors prepare to transition to life after high school,” said Walla Walla High School Assistant Principal Stacy Estes. “These outstanding young men and women appreciate the opportunity to share their dreams and plans for the future with the community.”
For more information, contact Walla Walla High School Assistant Principal Stacy Estes at (509) 527-3020 or sestes@wwps.org.

Interfaith Coalition on Poverty donates over $2000 to emergency warming shelter and Lincoln High School 

The Walla Walla Interfaith Coalition on Poverty is the lead entity for the annual recognition of Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, which in 2015 took place November 14-22. Every year, the week before Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the economic struggles of people in our communities and become better informed about how we can help them. The Interfaith Coalition on Poverty takes advantage of this national event to educate area residents about poverty in our community and also to raise funds this year for two important anti-poverty initiatives in our community: the warming shelter at First Congregational Church, and the basic needs program at Lincoln High school for their students.

Money was raised by dispersing Hunger & Homelessness wristbands to the community (at a suggested donation of $1) and education was achieved by distributing handouts on ways to fight hunger and homelessness. In response, awareness was heightened and many area residents and congregations donated, with over $2,000 raised during a two-week period in November.

Upon receipt of a check made out to United Way of Walla Walla County, Director Christy Lieuallen commented, “This is awesome and will definitely help with the warming center – every dollar counts!”

Marci Knauft, Principal of Lincoln High School, said, “We’ve had to do some interesting interventions lately related to housing and food and when these situations arise, it’s nice to know we have set-aside money for this purpose.”

The Interfaith Coalition on Poverty thanks all who contributed to Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week by wearing a wristband, learning more about hunger and homelessness, and/or acting in such a way to make a difference concerning these two timely and pressing social issues facing area residents.

BACKGROUND: The Interfaith Coalition on Poverty is a network of congregations and faithful individuals who are concerned about Walla Walla residents who experience economic insecurity. We represent a range of religious denominations and since 2008 have been meeting regularly and educating our congregation members about issues of poverty in our community.

Wa-Hi junior takes first place in Microsoft Office competition

Four Microsoft Office Applications (MOS) students have placed with State times in a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) competition. In PowerPoint 2013, junior Cameron Peters took first place, freshman Claire McKiernan placed second, and senior Ryan Manny placed third. In Word, sophomore Mackenzie Harting placed second. Peters has received an invitation to the National Competition in June in Orlando. To qualify, students needed to achieve a perfect score on their respective Certification exam, as well as complete it in an especially fast time.

Peters, in order to take the fall State Champion title, completed a perfect-score certification in 2 minutes and 47 seconds. The test has a time limit of 50 minutes, which leaves many students with no time to spare. This year, MOS added a fall qualifier to supplement the spring qualifier, which gives competitors twice as many chances to earn qualifying times. While Wa-Hi had no Excel competitors this fall, it is expected that some will participate in the spring.

College Conversations program helps Wa-Hi students prepare for higher education

College Conversations, a new resource for students in Walla Walla High School library, is a unique and accessible service for students who want to become college ready. The program is partnering with local and regional colleges, trade programs and universities and includes guest speakers, workshops, how-to's and even some fun snacks! Through this, students can begin to mold their high school career towards post-secondary education and gain insight into college life.

College Conversations will be open Monday-Thursday after school in the Academic Lab located in the Wa-Hi library (7th and 8th periods.) It is staffed by GEAR UP College Entrance Assistants; Blue Devil class of 2011, Samantha White a Lewis-Clark State College graduate with a major in English minor in Spanish and Blue Devil class of 2010 Gary Winston, Jr. a Portland State graduate with a Social Science and Criminal Justice degree. WSU GEAR UP is excited to offer this service in partnership with Walla Walla High School and College Access Corps a division of Americorps.

Parenting classes offer proven strategies for families

Walla Walla Public Schools presents, “Becoming a Love & Logic Parent”.  Join us during this six session parenting series offered in Spanish-only beginning January 21 at Blue Ridge Elementary. Discover easy-to-use techniques that will help you avoid arguments and power struggles with your children.   Put an end to whining, tantrums, and back-talk.  Stay calm in stressful parenting situations.  Discipline without showing anger or frustration.  Guide children as they solve their own problems. Develop more confidence as a parent and raise responsible children.  Classes will be held in the Blue Ridge library from 5:30-7:30 p.m. January 21, February 11 and 18 and March 3, 10, and 17.  For more information or to register, please call Cresencia Duran at 526-1793.

Community Stories
Local educators to present Changes and Challenges in K-12 Education in Washington State

Monday, February 1 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Olin Hall, Olin 130 920 E Isaacs, Walla Walla, WA
Join four local and regional education professionals, whose work spans pre-K through high school to talk about changes and challenges in education in Washington State.

- Darcy Weisner was a teacher for twenty years at the secondary level with a focus on American history and contemporary world affairs, and then spent three years as an assistant principal in Spokane, four years as the principal at Walla Walla High School, and four years as superintendent in Clarkston, Washington. Darcy is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Support at ESD 123 in Pasco Washington.

- Samantha Bowen is Director of Early Learning at Educational Service District 123 as well as Director of Early Childhood and Parenting Education at Walla Walla Community College.

- Erin Dorso holds a MA in English Language Arts Education and has taught grades 6-12 English Language Arts in Florida, Japan, and Washington. She now supports schools across southeastern Washington in literacy instruction in her role as a Regional Literacy Coordinator.

- Sergio Hernandez, a retired school superintendent has worked in education for 47 years and currently is the Equity and Access Coordinator for Walla Walla Public Schools.

This event is sponsored by the Whitman College Pre-Education Advising Program.

WWCC Diversity Committee invites you to attend the presentation of Paper Tigers

- Date: Tuesday, January 26
- Movie Time: 1:30 p.m. (Discussion Time: 3:15 p.m.)
- Location: WWCC Performing Arts Center
- Students, staff, faculty and community members welcome!
- Trailer: http://www.papertigersmovie.com/
- ACES: http://www.resiliencetrumpsaces.org/
- Resources to view: http://www.resiliencetrumpsaces.org/our-work-and-resources/resources

The Moms’ Network announces new Board Members and 3rd Annual Fundraising Dinner

The Moms’ Network is excited to announce the 2016 Board of Directors with six new members joining for the year and five returning board members. “The Moms’ Network is entering 2016 with its strongest educational programs and outreach in our eight year history” states President Beth Swanson.

“Each board member brings different talents, strengths and experiences but they all share the same passion of strengthening our local families. I am confident that the Moms’ Network will continue to expand our reach and impact in our community with this team of women.”

President Beth Swanson is joined by Vice President Anabrenda Blethen, Secretary Amber Clark, and Treasurer Julee Smith. Other board positions are filled by Stephanie Marsh, Kat Lyons, Emily Reeves, Cresencia Duran, Debra Arlyn, Katie Gibby and Lucy Ramirez.

To learn more about the success the Moms’ Network had in 2015 and the new programs for 2016 enjoy a family style dinner with the Moms’ Network at the 3rd Annual Family Mealtime Dinner on February 4 at the Courtyard Marriott. Guests will enjoy a Va Piano Wine Reception and dinner while local community members share their stories of how the Moms’ Network has impacted their family and their community.

“This year we have an excellent group of women who will reveal details about Moms’ Network programs that they have experienced,” said Swanson. “And once again Doug Bayne and Lawson Knight will participate in the program.”

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $60 per person. Tickets and more information can be found at www.themomsnetworkww.com or contact Beth Swanson at 509-301-7471.

Walla Walla Valley Farm-to-School Fundraiser

Maple Counter Cafe is hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to benefit Walla Walla Valley Farm to School (WWVF2S) programs.
- When: Thursday Jan. 28
- Seating anytime between 5 to 8 p.m.
- Where: Maple Counter Café - 209 E. Alder St.
- Price: $13/adult $8/child under 12

WWVF2S provides coordinated leadership and support of programs that explore food and agriculture in school gardens, on farms and in school kitchens. This not only inspires healthy eating habits, but stimulates curiosity and critical thinking skills for students of all learning styles.

OPEN Community Block Watch Meeting

- January 19
- 7 p.m.
- Topics include: Block Watch, Nextdoor.com, Dog Walker Watch, and the Crime Free Rental Housing and the Career Criminal Apprehension Team.
- Location: Walla Walla Police Department’s-Fulton Community Room, 54 E. Moore

The Walla Walla Dance Company presents "Space Princess" an original production written by Nancy Wells

It is a story of a little princess who lives in a snow globe with her guardian angels. She loves her little home but dreams of space travel, exploring the universe, and meeting new friends. She visits Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn, and Mars. She is surrounded by stars and entertained by the Sun. There are Aliens, Martians, Jammin Jupitarians, with Rings and Sisters of Saturn. Of course she is thrilled to meet the cutest critters ever on Pluto, the animal planet!

Come join our brave Space Princess on a magical journey Saturday, January 30, 7:30 p.m. at Cordiner Hall. New and exciting choreography by Justine Clark, Jennifer Clark and Nancy Wells. A family of dance with a family studio of dancers.

Tickets on sale at Earthlight Books and at the door for $12 General, $15 Reserved.

City Parks & Rec Update

- The Parks & Recreation Winter/Spring Program Guide is now here.

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

Moms’ Network presents documentary featuring struggles women face balancing work and family

The Moms’ Network in partnership with Williams Team Homes and Child Care aware is excited to announce the documentary film “Having It All” by director Vlada Knowlton is coming to Walla Walla on January 24th for a free screening at the Gesa Powerhouse Theater.

“Having It All” vividly shows the struggle women face to balance work and family in today’s world. The intent behind this documentary project is to offer insight from real and personal experiences of women and their partners as they attempt to navigate through the most trying years of this challenge: the time when a working couple tries to start their family, thereby adding parenting to the jobs they already have.

The documentary film will be shown on January 24 at 1 p.m. Following the film director Vlada Knowlton will join a panel of local working moms to discuss the film and what having it all means to them and how it impacts their families and career.

“What does having it all mean and is that even a possibility? This question is why I am excited to be a part of the panel and sponsor this important film” states Laura Billingsley, agent at Williams Team Homes. “In recent years, the struggle women face to balance work and family has been a recurrent topic in news and entertainment. It is exciting to bring this film to Walla Walla to discuss how working women in our community are impacted by this struggle.”

The showing and the discussion are free. For more information visit www.themomsnetworkww.com or www.havingitallfilm.com

WWPD Citizens Academy Accepting Applications 

The 2016 Citizens Academy classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., starting February 11, with graduation on April 29. Registration is free and the deadline is January 29, 2016; Class is limited to 30 participants, 18 or over. The goal of the Citizens Academy is to provide our community an understanding of how law enforcement agencies and the judicial system work for you. This task is accomplished through several evenings of classroom education and interaction with members of law enforcement and the judicial community.

Past graduates have included: citizens from across the Walla Walla Valley, students, parents, grandparents and retirees. CA classes will be taught by some of Walla Walla’s finest and will include: Patrol – The Backbone of Law Enforcement; Detectives/Investigations; Firearms and the Use of Force; Crime Prevention, Emergency Management; Gangs and Drugs; Prosecuting Crime in Walla Walla; Juvenile Justice; the K-9 Unit; Traffic Safety; and WESCOM – Dispatch. Tours will include the Walla Walla Police Department, Juvenile Justice Center, Superior Court, County Sheriff’s Office, the County Jail, and Washington State Penitentiary. There is also a 2 hour ride along with a Walla Walla Police Officer offered. You must be registered to attend and agree to a background check.

Apply online through the City of Walla Walla website: www.wallawallawa.gov/depts/police/crimeprevention/citizensacademy. Applications can also be picked up at the Walla Walla Police Department. If you have questions please contact Vicki Ruley, the Crime Prevention Coordinator, 524-4409.

YMCA’s Community Center for Youth GIRLS NIGHT OUT! 

Second Annual GIRLS NIGHT OUT!
Date: Friday, January 22
Time: 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Cost: $5
Who: Middle School & High School GIRLS
Location: Walla Walla YMCA , 340 S. Park
Here we go ladies, a night at the Y just for you! A night of fun team-bonding games, crafts, and a lot of laughs! All you need is your sleeping bag, change of clothes, tooth brush and a pillow.
Doors close at 9 PM. You can sign up online at wwymca.org or at the YMCA Welcome Center!
We will be offering dinner and breakfast. Parents are welcome to join us at 8 AM in the Harmony Room to pick up their girls and have breakfast.

Questions? Please email Teen Director Kerstin Fenton at kfenton@wwymca.org or call, 525-8863.

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