Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Feb. 12, 2016

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Voters overwhelmingly support replacement levy

Walla Walla voters approved the district’s Educational Programs and Operations levy Tuesday night with a 66.18 yes vote. This marks the highest approval rating for a levy since 2002. The replacement levy represents approximately 20 percent of the district’s annual operating budget and will generate about $46 million dollars over the next four years. The cost per thousand of assessed valuation rates for property owners are similar to those approved by voters in 2012. School Board President Cindy Meyer thanked the community for its support of Walla Walla schools and children. She said this vote of confidence will help the district chart its course for the next four years.

More votes are expected to trickle in over the next few days, but will not have an impact on final outcome. The approval requirement for this levy was a simple majority, 50 percent yes vote.

February 9, 2016 Educational Programs and Operations Levy (as of election night)

Preliminary results by the numbers:
- 5,173 Yes (66.18%)
- 2,644 No (33.82%)

No School Monday - Presidents Day Holiday

- No school Monday, Feb. 15 - Presidents Day Holiday
- Classes resume Tuesday, Feb. 16
- Have a safe and happy holiday weekend

School board to interview semi-finalist candidates for superintendent 

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors will interview seven semi-finalist candidates to compete for the open superintendent position. The semi-finalist candidates will conduct interviews with the school board Wednesday, Feb. 17 and Thursday, Feb. 18 at the Anne Golden Boardroom. The school board will narrow the field of semi-finalist candidates to three finalist candidates next Friday.

The Walla Walla School Board will then conduct finalist candidates interviews Feb. 29, March 1 and 2. Public meetings will be held Feb. 29, March 1 and 2 at 5 p.m. at the district office (364 S. Park St.) for community members to learn more about the candidates and share their feedback. Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan is retiring June 30. The new superintendent will begin July 1.

School board public work session and regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 16

- 5:30 p.m.: Public Work Session - Bilingual Education Program study report
- 6:30 p.m.: Regular school board meeting
- Meetings location: 364 S. Park St (Anne Golden Boardroom)
- Both meetings open to the public

Services announced for Mia Powell

James and Tobi Powell have announced the service for Mia Cheyenne-Tanae Powell will be held Monday, February 15 at 11 a.m. The memorial will be held at Pioneer Methodist Church, 209 E. Birch Street. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that donations be made to the Mia Cheyenne-Tanae Powell Memorial Fund via Herring-Groseclose Funeral Home or to the suicide prevention foundation of the donor’s choice.

February 2016 – Parent/Teacher Conference Schedules

Berney Elementary
Wednesday, February 24: 3:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Blue Ridge Elementary
Feb. 16 through 24: Teachers will schedule and hold their own evening conferences.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Edison Elementary
Wednesday, February 24: 2:15 - 6:45 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. –7:00 p.m.

Green Park Elementary
Tuesday, February 23: 3:15 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 2:15 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Prospect Point Elementary
Monday, February 22: 3:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 3:30 - 7:15 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sharpstein Elementary
Tuesday, February 23: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Garrison Middle School
Wednesday, February 24: 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 25 (arena): 3:45 – 7:15 p.m.

Pioneer Middle School
Tuesday, February 23: 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: Professional Day

Lincoln High School
Monday, February 22: 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Walla Walla High School
Wednesday, February 24 (Drop In Arena): 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25 (Classroom): 7:30 a.m. – Noon
Thursday, February 25 (Phone, e-mail progress reports): 12:45 – 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday, February 24, Scheduled Conferences: 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25, Scheduled Conferences: 7:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Blue Ridge Preschool
Monday, February 22: 3:45 - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 23: 3:45 – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 3:45 – 5:45 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Highly Capable Referral Period scheduled for February 16 – March 4, 2016

Information on the Highly Capable Program referral (nomination) period is currently available on the district website. Referral forms will be available in all district schools and on the district website no later than February 11, 2016. Parents will be able to contact their child’s teacher or school learning specialist/counselor for more information. 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, develop their creative thinking and critical reasoning power and strive to reach their potential. Students in kindergarten through second grade, identified as Highly Capable, are 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, online or supplemental instruction.

For grades three through five, Highly Capable students may be served by Explorers, a pull-out program focusing on enriched Science and Mathematics academic experiences. Students may also be served under the RtI model (described above) at their home schools. 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 Highly Capable 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 referral deadline this year for students in grades one and above will be March 4, 2016. All referred 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 Teaching and Learning office: 526-6735 or 526-6723.

School Stories
Pioneer Middle School student earns state scholastic writing award

Congratulations to Pioneer Middle School student Makayla Schille for receiving a State of Washington Scholastic Writing Honorable Mention Award for her short story submission “Young Love Murdered.” Schille is in Megan Cabasco’s Explorer Highly Capable class. Her work was recognized by a panel of creative professionals as the most outstanding work submitted among her peers. An awards ceremony to honor Schille’s accomplishment is being planned at the state level with more details to come soon.

“This is a remarkable achievement,” said Jonathan Lindsay, Scholastic Art and Writing Awards - Washington region. “The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers is pleased to honor your creative talents.”

Annual Music Booster Citrus Sale

If you are interested in purchasing a case (or half case) of delicious fruit please ask a 6th-12th grade Band, Choir or Orchestra student for more information. This is the only fundraiser the Music Boosters do each year. The funds go to help support district music programs and students.
- Orders are due February 17
- Fruit arrives March 21
- Information: Laura Duncan, Music Department Secretary: (509)526-1916 / lduncan@wwps.org

Blue Devil basketball teams compete in district competition

The Lady Blue Devil Basketball team defeated Pasco Tuesday night to advance to the second round of district play at Richland tonight at 5 p.m. The Boys' Blue Devil Basketball team will host the second game of Districts tonight against Chiawana at 7 p.m. at the Wa-Hi main gym. These are YVIAA games, no passes or staff badges will be accepted.  Admission is $6 for adults, and $4 for Seniors (65+) and Students with school ID. Cash or check only.

Music students advance to state competitions

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School music students in the instrumental programs who participated at last weekend’s regional Solo and Ensemble Contest at Chiawana High School. The Wa-Hi Vocal program students will compete on March 5 at Hanford High School. Students prepare for and perform a solo and or ensemble (duet, trio, quartet, etc.). They each receive a rating on their performances ( I= Superior, 2 = Excellence, 3 = Good, 4 = Fair and V = Poor) in addition the top performer in each category is chosen to go on and compete in the state solo and ensemble contest on April 29th & 30th. In addition to pick a 1st place winner there is also a 2nd place (first alternate) and 3rd place winner (second alternate).

Categories include: Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Harp, Piano, Guitar, Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Low Clarinet, Soprano/Alto Saxophone, Tenor/Bari Saxophone, Bassoon, Percussion, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba and Large and small ensembles fin Brass, Woodwinds, Percussion and Strings.

Regional results:
- Peter Hoffman: Winner in the Viola Category
- Vienna Mumm: 2nd Alternate in the Cello Category
- Hannah Cabsaco: Winner in the Clarinet Category
- Keeli McKern: 2nd Alternate in the Clarinet Category
- James Bogely: 2nd Alternate in the Trumpet Category
- Lavinia Tang and Bryson Jacob: Winner in the Small String Ensemble Category
- Hannah Cabasco and Keeli McKern: Winner in the Small Woodwind Ensemble Category
- Walla Walla High School Brass Quintet: 2nd Alternate in the Large Brass Ensemble Category
(Mark Bogely, James Bogley, Ben Northam, Stella Gryler and Andrew Bumgarner)
- Stella Gryler and Carina Vernon: 2nd Alternate in the Small Brass Category

Middle School music students perform strong at regional competition

Congratulations to Pioneer Middle School and Garrison Middle School Band, Choir and Orchestra students on their success at the recent Middle School Columbia Basin Regional Solo and Ensemble contest at Ochoa Middle School in Pasco.

Students prepare for and perform a solo and or ensemble (duet, trio, quartet, etc.). They each receive a rating on their performances (1= Superior, 2 = Excellence, 3 = Good, 4 = Fair and V = Poor).

Categories include: Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Harp, Piano, Guitar, Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Low Clarinet, Soprano/Alto Saxophone, Tenor/Bari Saxophone, Bassoon, Percussion, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba and Large and small ensembles fin Brass, Woodwinds, Percussion and Strings.

For more than 10 years Garrison Middle School has consistently brought the most students to this event from band, choir and orchestra. All students from Pioneer Middle School and Garrison Middle School prepared and performed wonderfully that weekend, according to district Music Coordinator Roger Garcia.

Conspiracy of Hope variety show continues tonight

The final Annual Conspiracy of Hope Variety Show is tonight at 6 p.m. in the Wa-Hi Performing Arts Auditorium. Admission is $5. All proceeds support the Wa-Hi Winter Wish Program and the Dave Meyer Foundation.

Community Stories

AAUW annual Book Sale this month

Don’t miss the 41st Annual AAUW (American Association of University Women) Book Sale at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Friday, Feb. 19, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 20, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please note the new earlier start time on Friday. Children (14 and younger) each receive one free book from the extensive children’s section.  The Book Sale’s approximately 40,000 books are divided into more than 40 categories.  Prices range from $.50 to $4 for most titles.  A special book section featuring rare, collectible books are priced individually. Credit and debit cards will be accepted this year, along with checks and cash.  Proceeds from the sale fund local scholarships for women returning to college, and local educational projects and events. 

YMCA offers school closure camps

When school is out - the Y is in! Spaces are still available for President's Day School Closure Camp this Monday, February 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Please have your children bring a lunch and a swimsuit and towel. Full Day Member Price is $30, Youth Individual Member Price is $33 and a Program Participant is $40. To register, call 525-8863 or visit our website, www.wwymca.org.

We also have School Closure Day Camps available for our upcoming Teacher Conference days. Sign up now for February 25 and 26 camps.

Girls Council teams with Whitman College students to present “Operation Beautiful”

Girls Council is planning “Operation Beautiful” Friday, February 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at its headquarters at 401 W. Main Street, Walla Walla.  Whitman College students are pitching in for this evening of fun aimed at changing the way participants see, not the way they look.  There will be fun, food and prizes. For more information call the Girls Council at (509) 524-8845.

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