Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 18, 2016

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School district teams with city police for emphasis patrol campaign

City of Walla Walla police officers will be patrolling in school zones more frequently this spring as part of an emphasis patrol campaign. The emphasis patrol campaign will operate from April 11 to June 9. The district is contracting with off-duty officers to provide this service. Police officers will be enforcing the posted speed limits, watching for distracted drivers and looking for other careless driving offenses. This safety awareness campaign is part of the district’s School Zone Safety Program.

“Student safety is at the top of the list of our priorities,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan. “As the weather improves and more children are walking and riding their bikes to school, we need to do our part to help keep everyone safe.”

ThoughtExchange Spring engagement launches next week

Next week staff, parents, students and other stakeholders will be asked to participate in the Spring 2016 ThoughtExchange Community engagement. This round will focus on strategic planning as the district prepares to begin a process later this summer. Stakeholders will be asked to weigh in on what are some ways the district can grow or improve in the next three years. The process will also seek to gain examples of what the district is doing well that should continue to be a focus in the next three years. Participants will also be able to ask clarifying questions about the strategic planning process. Parents and staff members will soon receive an email seeking their involvement. Community members and students have an opportunity to self-register via the district’s website. Results will be available before the end of the school year.

Personnel Report (from March 15, 2016 school board meeting)

Certificated: Angela Bona, Third Grade, Berney Elementary School
Jacob Butenhoff, Special Education, Special Education Department
Jennifer Butenhoff, Special Education, Walla Walla High School
Heather Michels, Special Education, Garrison Middle School
Sheilah Payne, Kindergarten, Sharpstein Elementary School
Classified: Catherine Blethen, Health Room Assistant, Pioneer Middle School
Luz Cuellar, Health Room Assistant, Blue Ridge Elementary
Auralee Grubb, Payroll Officer, Business Office

Administrative: Laure Quaresma, Assistant Superintendent, Teaching and Learning, 27 years
Certificated: Shannon Hand, Second Grade, Berney Elementary, 14 years
- Shannon is resigning .2 FTE and will continue as a .8 FTE LAP teacher

Classified: Eilin Bowerman, Para-Educator, Lincoln High School, 11 years

Certificated: Candice Tan, Special Education, Blue Ridge Preschool, 4 years
- October 2016-June 2017

Classified: Georgia Alexander, Bus Assistant, Transportation Department, 22 years
- For the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year

School board inks contract with new Superintendent

School board members unanimously approved a three year contract for new Superintendent Mr. Wade Smith during the March 15 school board meeting. Smith begins July 1, 2016.

“The board threw a wide net to find a superintendent who was the right fit for our students, parents, staff and community,” said School Board President Cindy Meyer. It was an exhaustive process. We are pleased to have secured a three year contract with Mr. Smith as we work with the community to build upon our legacy of high quality education programs for all Walla Walla students.”

Superintendent Jordan releases new Pulse video 

Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan thanks the community for levy support following the successful February levy. He addresses the facilities committee study, Wa-Hi science grant and a recent trip to Olympia to meet with legislators. Click on the link to view the Pulse Video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bccI2civPPo

Classified Employees Week - March 14-18

Governor Jay Inslee declared March 14-18, 2016 Classified Public School Employee Week to specifically recognize the contributions of educational support staff in public schools. Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan asked everyone to join him in thanking all of our classified employees for their hard work and dedication to Walla Walla Public Schools. He stressed the importance of their service to the educational system. 

New law studied during Highly Capable program review

Assistant Superintendent Laure Quaresma is leading a study of the district’s Highly Capable program. A committee was formed this fall following changes to the Washington state law which requires all school districts to identify their “most highly capable” students and provide a continuum of services to those students in kindergarten through 12th grade. One area the group is focusing on is expanding the group identified to be tested for these programs. Quaresma says research indicated parent and teacher referrals should be factored into these decisions as well. Quaresma reported the current highly capable student enrollment doesn’t reflect the district’s student population. This is especially true for students living in poverty and Hispanic students. She said the group is looking at strategies to provide more balance. The group will address programming in the next phase.

Asset Preservation program helps extend life of district facilities

Facilities Support Director Dan Johnson briefed the school board on the Asset Preservation and High Performance School Program during Tuesday night’s meeting. School districts are required to report to OSPI annually by April 1 on the condition of school facilities. The review includes physical condition of the sites and educational suitability. Johnson updates an electronic spreadsheet for each school facility, including any maintenance projects and improvements.

The software produces a rating number based on the overall condition of the facility. Schools older than 30 years typically score in the 60 range out of a total of 100. Johnson also reported the district is in the process of a more extensive Study and Survey review this year. This state requirement is mandated every six years to more closely study school facilities. Architects West is assisting with this process.

SEA-TECH also falls under state review this year through the High Performance School program. State funded facilities must report for five years on maintenance and facility improvement efforts. Johnson is reviewing utility usage as well. He said the facility is working well and serving the needs of staff and students.

School Stories
Wa-Hi to initiate process for naming new track 
Walla Walla High School Principal Pete Peterson announced the school will begin a formal process to name the new track. Nominations will be accepted beginning in April and conclude in October. A broad-based selection committee will be formed to review the nominations and make a recommendation. Peterson says he expects to take a recommendation to the school board in December. 
Lincoln High School drama presents Alice In Wonderland

Performance dates:
- Thursday, March 24 and Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m.
- Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- China Pavilion - WWCC campus
- Children who attend Saturday's 2 p.m. performance will have a chance to get their picture taken with their favorite characters
- Tickets are pay what you will and donations are appreciated.
- Information: Jeremy Gradwohl at 526-8516 or jgradwohl@wwps.org

Sharpstein wins annual Elementary Math Contest

The Walla Walla Valley Elementary School Math Contest took place Saturday morning at Blue Ridge Elementary. This annual event sponsored by the Walla Walla School District and organized by volunteer Laura Schueller included a series of four, 25-minute problem sets that test the mathematical thinking of our 4th and 5th graders. Assumption, Berney, Blue Ridge, Davis, Edison, Green Park, Prospect Point, and Sharpstein elementary schools each sent a team of 10-12 students. There were a total of 90 area students in this year's contest.

Special thanks go to the folks at Blue Ridge Elementary for hosting the contest in their school,” said Schueller. “The staff at Blue Ridge were incredibly helpful and welcoming.”

The overall winner in the team competition was the Sharpstein Elementary team:
- Adams, Jackson
- Adams, Jefferson
- Bruce, Noah
- Franklin, Lily
- Hisaw, Jake
- Isenhower, Keegan
- Iverson, Erin
- Rogers, Brooklyn
- Sachs, Luke
- Sinnott, Kai
- Soto, Gerardo
- Turner, Chandler
The Sharpstein team was coached by Mary Cortinas and Gina McDonnell. Second place went to Berney, and third place to Prospect Point.

The top-six places overall in the individual competition were:
- Lily Franklin of Sharpstein 1st place
- Peter Didelius of Assumption 2nd place
- Erin Iverson of Sharpstein 3rd place (tie)
- Kai Sinnott of Sharpstein 3rd place (tie)
- Noah Bruce of Sharpstein 4th place
- Marcus Christopher of Berney 5th place
- Daniel Coram of Green Park 6th place

Pioneer Middle School shines as AVID program leader

Educators from throughout the region visited Pioneer Middle School Thursday, March 17 for the AVID Showcase Day event. District and school administrators and AVID site team members were in attendance. Guests learned how the AVID program improves school culture and promotes leadership and improves instruction to support college readiness for all. The event featured a student panel, tours and opportunities for questions and answers.

Blue Ridge students team with C2C to paint school sign 

Blue Ridge Elementary 21st Century Program site coordinator Ruben Hernandez and his 5th grade Talent Program students partnered with C2C (Commitment to Community) to paint the school’s sign. The goal is to have students give back to Blue Ridge, according to Hernandez.

Rotary Club donates to SEA-TECH robotics program

Thanks to Walla Walla Noon Rotary Club #271 for presenting a check for $350 to SEA-TECH in support of the school’s robotics program. Rotary Club member Bill Erickson presented SEA-TECH teacher and Robotics program co-advisor Jarrod Evensen with the check. The funds will help support travel expenses and competition entry fees.

Community Stories

Carnegie Picture Lab plans student artwork exhibit

The Carnegie Picture Lab presents: The Carnegie Picture Show, an exhibit of student artwork from Carnegie Picture Lab classroom lessons. The community is invited to a free event at the Walla Walla Public Library. The artwork is currently on display, and there is a closing celebration on March 26 at 11 a.m. which features a presentation by Dylan Farnum, Walla Walla Foundry’s President. March 26 activities also include creative sculptural art activities for children of all ages, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, contact Tracy Thompson, Program Director at (509) 526-6921. 

Informational meeting planned for EF Educational Tours trip


Walla Walla High School English teachers Keith Swanson and Lori Dohe have teamed with EF Educational Tours to offer a non-school district sponsored trip to England next summer. Swanson is planning an informational meeting Monday, March 21 at 7 p.m. in Room A-12 at Wa-Hi. The Summer of 2017 AP English Literature Tour to England is scheduled for June 2017. Students attending Wa-Hi during the 2016-17 school year are eligible. Students will visit the homes and towns that inspired some of the English language’s most influential works. Contact Keith Swanson for more information:
- (509) 200-4042
- kswanson@wwps.org

Junior Club announces two scholarship opportunities for local women

Junior Club of Walla Walla will be awarding two $2,000 scholarships to local women: one to a student enrolled in a local nursing-degree program and one to a student pursuing any college-level field of study. These funds are for tuition only and will be paid directly to the recipient’s educational institution.

Applicants must be female, 24 years or older, and a resident of Walla Walla County or the city of Milton-Freewater for at least two years.

To request an application, email juniorclubww@gmail.com. Applications must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2016. Scholarship recipients will be notified on or before April 30, 2016.

In addition to providing scholarships to local women, Junior Club of Walla Walla also serves the needs of several local non-profit organizations including Blue Mountain Humane Society, Books for Babes, Center at the Park, Community Hospice of Walla Walla, Trilogy Recover, and Herring House.

Daring to Dream Big comes to Whitman College

Whitman College invites Walla Walla students and their families to an evening talk titled Daring to Dream Big - A journey from the wheat fields to Outer Space. Come hear Astronaut and Whitman Graduate Dorothy Metcalf -Lindenburger ('97) share her story of how she went from being a high school science teacher to an astronaut.
- Monday, April 4
- 7:30 p.m.
- Young Ballroom (Reid Campus Center)
- Free and open to the public

Ballet Immersion classes available for area children

- Children ages 4-7
- Gesa PowerHouse Theatre
- Saturday, March 26
- $25 / child

Magical Ballerinas is intended for students ages 4 & 5 and will focus on fun ballet stretches and basic technique with a fairytale theme. Class time: 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Ballet Classica is intended for students ages 6 & 7 and will focus on more complex ballet technique with at traditional ballet theme. Class time: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Participants in both classes will take home a complimentary tutu for girls or a hero cape for boys.

Space is limited. Please call (509) 525-0815 to reserve your child's spot in class today! Payment can be made by sending a check (made out to DCBF) to Danza Classica Ballet Foundation 129 East Alder, Suite B Walla Walla, WA 99362

Parks & Recreation update

Blue Mountain Girls Softball - Ages 5 - 12
6U: 5 & 6 Year Olds - T-Ball - $40
8U - 12U - $55
Mini-camps: Mill Creek Sports Complex
Saturday, March 19 - 10U 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. / 12U 1 to 3 p.m.

*All players in 10U and 12U must attend the mini-camp for their age group - Players who wish to move up must attend the mini camp for their age group and the mini camp for the age division that they wish to play in.

Warrior Soccer Academy - Ages 5 - 11
April 18 - May 12 - $48

All Comers Track & Field Meet - Ages 12 & Under
May 1 - $3 ($5 onsite registration)

Adult Co-Ed Soccer - 16 & up
Registration Deadline - April 17 - $422 per team (includes player fees)

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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