Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 13, 2016

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
State denies grant request to modernize and expand Walla Walla High School science facility

Walla Walla Public Schools was informed its proposal for a $4 million STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Pilot Project grant from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to help modernize and expand Walla Walla High School’s 53-year-old science classrooms and labs was not awarded.

“We received a large number of high quality proposals that demonstrated both incredible need and innovative facility plans linked to powerful learning opportunities for students,” said Dr. Andy Shouse, of Washington STEM. “After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that your proposal was not selected for this award.”

In its proposal, Walla Walla Public Schools demonstrated its current facilities are overcrowded, have poor ventilation, no air conditioning and lack the equipment and space necessary for today’s curriculum and learning demands. The proposal also stated the expansion would allow for increased STEM offerings schoolwide. The 2015-2017 Washington State legislature established this pilot program and allocated $11,925,000 in grant funds. Districts were eligible if they lack sufficient space for science classrooms and labs to enable students to meet the class of 2019 graduation requirements of three science credits, two of which must be a science lab course. Walla Walla Public Schools would also have been able to leverage state matching funds to make additional improvements to the existing 1963/64 science building.

“It’s disappointing Wa-Hi presently does not have the required classroom and lab space to meet the new state graduation requirements for the Class of 2020, said Walla Walla High School Principal Pete Peterson, who headed the application process. “Science has been identified as a state and national priority and the current facilities do not support the standards and curriculum requirements to be successful.”

The district’s Community Facilities Task Force, co-chaired by local Business leader Paul Schneidmiller and Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan, continues to work on a long-range facilities improvement plan for the school district. Improved science facilities and equipment at Walla Walla High School remains one of the district’s top priorities.

District leaders listen to residents through C2C partnership

Tuesday, C2C neighborhood organizers Delia Gutierrez, Maria Alonso and Ana Bueno-Salazar led School Board member Derek Sarley, Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan, Communications Director Mark Higgins and Equity and Access Coordinator Sergio Hernandez on a neighborhood walk in the Washington Park and Edith and Carrie Street areas. This outreach effort was to inform the residents about how Walla Walla Public Schools would be teaming with C2C for a community engagement event Thursday at the Carrie Center. District leaders asked what is working in our schools, what needs improvement and how we can best work together. Bilingual Coordinator Angie Pedroza facilitated the meeting. Blue Ridge and Edison Elementary Principals Kim Doepker and Dr. Jennifer Cowgill, and School Board President Cindy Meyer, Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan and Communications Director Mark Higgins also participated. This community outreach project is part of a new partnership with C2C to improve communications and build relationships with the residents C2C serves. 

Retirement Celebrations 2015-2016 (remaining events)

WWPS District Office
Dr. Bill Jordan - Superintendent
June 21, 5 p.m., Anne Golden Boardroom

Edison Elementary
Arlene Moreno, Sara Erwin, Pete Hernandez and Judy Peasley
June 2, 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. in the cafeteria

Sharpstein Elementary
Dave Sumpter, Terri Gilbert, Terry Morgan
May 13, 2016, 3:30 to 4:45 p.m., Sharpstein office lobby

Garrison Middle School
Sharyl Dill, Rita Reid
May 24, 2016, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Garrison cafeteria

Walla Walla High School
Scott Tibbling, John Herr, Gary Peasley, Jackie Lewis
May 25, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Wa-Hi Commons

School board public work session and regular meeting Tuesday, May 17

- 5:30 p.m.: Public work session (2016-2017 budget development discussion)
- 6:30 p.m.: Regular school board meeting
- Location: Anne Golden Boardroom (364 S. Park St.)
- Both meetings open to the public

Graduation ceremonies

Lincoln High School Graduation
- Wednesday, June 1
- 6 to 8 p.m.
- Cordiner Hall (Whitman College)

Walla Walla High School Commencement
- Friday, June 3
- 7 to 9 p.m.
- Wa-Hi Campus (Commons area)

Pioneer MS 8th Grade Recognition
- Tuesday, June 7
- 7 to 9 p.m.
- Wa-Hi Main Gym

Garrison MS 8th Grade Recognition
- Wednesday, June 8
- 7 to 9 p.m.
- Wa-Hi Main Gym

Grant to fund sidewalk improvements near Garrison Middle School

The City of Walla Walla is planning to improve sidewalks on Chase Avenue between Orchard Street and Chestnut Street and Morton Street from Chase Ave. to Fourth Ave thanks to a $30,000 Community Development Block grant. Construction will begin in June and be completed in August. The project will construct new sidewalks and install ADA compliant curb ramps to improve pedestrian accessibility. The project will also include storm water collection upgrades. 

Safety audit aims to improve emergency readiness

The district is conducting a third-party districtwide safety audit this spring to ensure emergency readiness. The audit will review emergency plans, drill procedures, staff training and police and first-responder roles in supporting the district. 

Snow Make-Up Day (Last day of school June 9)

Winter weather forced the district to cancel school Dec. 4. As a result, June 8 will now be a full day of school and Thursday, June 9 will serve as the snow make up day. This will be a half day for all students and the last day of school for the year.

Dogs on leash only on school grounds

Community members are reminded dogs must remain on leashes when on school property, including Murr Sports Park and Sharpstein’s playground. The City of Walla Walla Animal Control Officer recently met with district leaders to report recent calls she has received about dogs off their leashes while on school grounds. Please help all people and animals remain safe by keeping dogs on their leashes while on school property. Also, pick up after pets. These areas are used by children for play and sports.

District advances technology in classrooms

This year, 270 new Chromebook devices are in the hands of teachers and support staff as part of the ED TECH Professional Development Initiative. Another 1200 Chromebooks have been added to district classrooms this year to support teaching and learning. Technology is directly linked to a 21st Century education.

School Stories

Exchange Club honors Lincoln High School student for overcoming challenges

Lincoln High School senior Etiene Vela received the Accepting the Challenge of Excellence (A.C.E.) award and a $2000 scholarship from the Exchange Club of Walla Walla. The A.C.E. Scholarship nominees have made dramatic changes in their attitudes and performances throughout high school, often overcoming educational, social and personal obstacles. Etiene has been listed homeless for much of his high school career. His older sister died in a car accident two years ago and his mother recently passed away suddenly.  Despite these setbacks, Etiene has made school a priority and is now graduating early and passing all classes. He also takes part in main roles in the drama productions. His dream is to pursue an education in Theatre Arts, and be like Jackie Chan.

Wa-Hi Drama presents The Little Mermaid

Wa-Hi Drama presents Disney’s The Little Mermaid with performances (remaining) at 7 p.m. on May 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21 and 2 p.m. Saturday matinees May 14 and 21. Promo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QpcRWxX9ok

Tickets can be purchased in person at the ASB office between 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., or at the box office located in the Wa-Hi auditorium foyer one hour prior to curtain, or online at intouch.wwps.org. If you have questions about ticketing or the production, please email info@wahidrama.org.

GEAR UP announces Summer Programs

June 10-11 Idaho Campus Visits………………………. Boise State and TBD
June 20-22 Greater Portland Area Campus Visit PSU, Western Oregon, Pacific U
June 27-30 WSU Cougar Discovery………………….. WSU—Tri– Cities
June 25-July 1 Washington Business Week………….. Seattle University
July 11-14 Prep for College Success……………….. WWCC
July 18-21 Prep for College Success……………….. WWCC
July 24-30 Washington Business Week…………... Central Washington University
August 8-11 Algebra 2 Readiness Camp…………….. Walla Walla High School
August 8-11 College Essay Writing Workshop……. Walla Walla High School
August 15-18 Summer STEM Camp…………………….. WWCC

Blue Devil basketball and football summer camps

Blue Devil Elementary Basketball Camp is scheduled for Monday June 13 thru Thursday June 16 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Walla Walla High School Gym. The camp is supported by current Wa-Hi players and is open to all boys entering third grade thru fifth grade. The cost is $50. Registration forms are available online and parents can pay online. Registrations can also be sent by mail and will also be accepted at the door.

The Blue Devil Middle School Camp is scheduled for Monday June 20 thru Thursday June 23 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Wa-Hi Gym. This camp is open to all boys entering grades 6 thru 9. The cost is $50.

There is a special this year as Wa-Hi Football will be having its annual Middle School Camp as well June 21 to June 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Campers will be offered a special rate if they choose to participate in both the Middle School Football and Middle School Basketball Camps. Participants in both camps will be charged $80. Parents can register their middle school sons through the Wa-Hi website and pay online. Registrations will be accepted at the door on Monday June 20 and Tuesday June 21. Parents may also send in their registrations by mail. Contact Head Basketball Coach John Golden at Jgolden@wwps.org or Head Football Coach Eric Hisaw at Ehisaw@wwps.org for more information.

Blue Devil Athletic Development (BDAD) summer program 

- Athletic strength development and conditioning
- June 27 to August 4
- Grades 9-12 time options are 8 to 9 a.m. and 10 to 11 a.m.
- Grades 5-8 time is 9 to 10 a.m.
- Cost: $30 per person
- Register with FamilyID on wahibluedevils.org or in the ASB office
- Information: Contact Eric or Amy Hisaw - ehisaw@wwps.org / ahisaw@wwps.org

Local Civil Air Patrol supports rocket launches at Pioneer Middle School

Pioneer Middle School students in Angie Butler’s science class had a hands-on learning opportunity in aerospace education through a rocket launching program supported by the Walla Walla Civil Air Patrol squadron. Students built their own rockets and launched them from the school grounds under the watchful supervision of trained Civil Air Patrol leaders and cadets. There are 22 local cadets in the Walla Walla Civil Air Patrol program and 11 adults. Colonel Kenneth Butler commands the entire southeast region consisting of five squadrons and approximately 200 cadets.

“This is a great opportunity to get outside of the squadron and show others what we do and have some fun while we are doing it,” said Col. Butler. “The rocket launching activity provides the students a practical application of science; instead of just reading out of a book they get to see it in action.”

Wa-Hi Spring Sports playoff information

Visit the Walla Walla High School Athletic webpage for information on Spring Sports playoffs.
- http://wahibluedevils.org/athletics/athletics-info

Community Stories
Camp Fire Super Summer in the Park

Camp Fire's Super Summer in the Park Day Camp is open for registration! Super Summer in the park is located at Wildwood Park and takes place weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. throughout the summer. This fun and engaging day camp is open to kids entering first through sixth grades. Camp Fire Walla Walla’s programs immerse campers in nature to learn, explore, and grow together while developing a lifelong respect for the outdoors. Past participants agree, Camp Fire offers a variety of activities to make our camper’s day camp experience unforgettable! It’s a five day exploration to find their spark and create a camp experience that is truly unique to their interests.
For more information and to register online, visit www.wwcampfire.org. Financial assistance is available.

Kirkman House exhibit features Walla Walla history

Windows to the past is a new permanent exhibit which explores the Walla Walla community from the 1870s to the early 1900s.  This exhibit tells the story of Walla Walla’s growth through maps, drawings, photos and advertisements of the day.  The exhibit features a wall sized 1884 city map.  The Kirkman House also has an exhibit entitled The Little Black Dress, featuring clothing worn through the years.  The Kirkman House is open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Free car seat check up

Local statistics show 9 out of 10 car seats are installed incorrectly. Nationally certified car seat technicians will be available to ensure your child’s car seat is installed correctly.
- Tuesday, May 24 from 2 to 5 p.m.
- Children’s Home Society (1612 Penny Lane)

Free local airplane rides for youth

The Young Eagles organization is offering free airplane rides for youth 8 to 17 through its “Young Eagles Day” event.
- Sunday, June 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Martin Field Airport
- Radio controlled model airplane demonstrations, pedal planes for tots and airplane simulators
- Information: (509) 522-1847 or YoungEagles.org

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