Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Sept. 23, 2016

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Access to education top priority of local Community Conversation series

This week, Superintendent Wade Smith represented the school district at the Community Conversations meeting at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds Community Building where approximately 120 participants cited access to education as the area’s top priority. Superintendent Smith reported the timing is excellent for this report as the district begins its strategic planning process which will wrap up in June. Community Conversations is a Community Council project, in collaboration with United Way of Walla Walla County, Sherwood Trust, Blue Mountain Community Foundation and the Pomegranate Center. The purpose of the project was to identify shared values and priorities and develop a vision for the region’s future.

“We value the engagement with these agencies and community leaders and look forward to their involvement in our Strategic Planning efforts this school year,” said Superintendent Smith. “The Board of Directors and I are seeking input during this process and welcome everyone’s ideas as we strive for a world-class education for all students.”

Walla Walla Community College legend links education to economic growth

After leading Walla Walla Community College for more than 30 years and helping the school earn national acclaim as a recipient of the prestigious Aspen Award, educators take notice when retired President Dr. Steven Van Ausdle shares his message on the importance of educational attainment. During the Sept. 20 school board meeting, Dr. Van Ausdle presented his views on education as an economic driver to the school board as the district begins its strategic planning process.

Dr. Van Ausdle reported there are skills gaps in America spurring many industry leaders to shop beyond its borders to land the talent needed for today’s technology and skills-reliant careers. Dr. Van Ausdle suggested a need for more investment in education, including infrastructure and programs. He reported in 2014, only 38 percent of Walla Walla County adults hold Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees. He recommends a target of 60 percent by 2025. Dr. Van Ausdle also shared information from a study he was involved in several years ago which revealed only 19 out of 100, 9th grade students will earn an Associate’s or higher degree. His closing remarks to the school board encouraged them to set high standards and involve the community in the process.

Enrollment count expected to hit budget target

Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan reported the September enrollment count of 5604 is on target to meet budget projections. This count doesn’t include numbers from Running Start and Alternative Education Programs at WWCC which will be calculated next month. October figures typically come in 200 students higher than the September count, according to Cohan. The district budget projection is based on 5760 FTE. Cohan cautioned the board not to expect an enrollment windfall like last year, which provided additional district revenue.

Board of Directors book study features work of Dr. Richard Dufour

School board members and Superintendent Wade Smith are conducting a book study of Richard DuFour’s (EdD) most recent book In Praise of American Educators. This study is expected to set the stage for the school board’s discussion surrounding the first phase of the strategic planning process which focuses on the vision, mission and values of the district. Superintendent Smith is organizing various book studies, article reviews and activities in support of the strategic planning process. Dr. DuFour was a public school educator for thirty-four years, serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. He received Illinois’ highest award as both a principal and superintendent and is now a prolific author and sought-after consultant. 

Meet the superintendent and visit area schools during Superintendent’s Patron Tour program

Join Superintendent Wade Smith for a behind the scenes look at district schools. He will also provide an update on critical issues facing the school district and ask for feedback in support of the Strategic Planning process. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the new superintendent and learn more about your local schools.

• Wednesday, Oct. 19 / 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
• RSVP by Friday, Oct. 14 — sgolden@wwps.org / 526-6715

Tour Sites:
• SEA-TECH Skills Center
• Pioneer Middle School
• Sharpstein Elementary

Personnel Report (from Sept. 20, 2016 school board meeting)

Teresa Benitez, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Elementary Preschool
Ana Diaz, Para-Educator (temporary), Sharpstein Elementary School
Nancy Munoz, Family Advocate, Blue Ridge Elementary Preschool
Iris Salazar, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Elementary Preschool

Linda Leighty, Assistant Secretary, Teaching and Learning Department, 2.5 years
Tyler Pester, Bus Assistant, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op, did not report to work

Jazmin Lopez, Assistant Secretary, Walla Walla High School, 4.5 years
- January – April 2017 to complete her student teacher practicum

Kindergarten preparedness classes and support now scheduled

Family Involvement and Learning Assistance Coordinator Pam Clayton is proud to announce this year’s kindergarten preparation classes and support. There are numerous opportunities for families with children birth to five to get involved. Clayton reports the program will help develop literacy and math skills as well as strategies for social and emotional support.

Visit the district website to view this year’s Kindergarten Preparedness offerings:
1. www.wwps.org
2. Click on Teaching and Learning page (http://www.wwps.org/departments/curriculum)
3. Click on Family and Community Involvement page (http://www.wwps.org/departments/curriculum/family-engagement)
4. Click on Family Activities and Events Calendar

Board approves Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee membership

Superintendent Wade Smith and Executive Director of Teaching & Learning Christy Krutulis, with the support of Coordinator of Bilingual Programs Angelica Pedroza, are leading the district’s Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee. Presentations and supporting materials from committee meetings is posted on the district webpage under the Bilingual Programs tab. The school board has asked the committee to provide recommendations by February 2017. Tuesday night, school board members approved the members of the committee.

Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee membership:
Yazmin Bahena (Teacher)
Lisa Braddock (Teacher)
Margarita Carbajal (Parent)
Dr. Jennifer Cowgill (Principal)
Karina Cummins (Parent)
Diana Evenson (Director)
Mira Gobel (Principal)
Sergio Hernandez (Coordinator)
Julie Hill (Teacher)
Christopher Jenkins (Parent)
Kim Kelsay (Teacher)
Carey Knifong (Teacher)
Christy Krutulis (Exe. Director)
Gina McDonnell (Teacher)
Susan Nakonieczny (Teacher)
Angie Pedroza (Coordinator)
Eva Quintero de Horn (Parent)
Ben Remington (Parent)
Virginia Romfh (Parent)
Wade Smith (Superintendent)
Alasdair Stewart (Parent)
Jean Tobin (Teacher)
Andrea Valencia Garcia (Teacher)
Catherine Veninga (Parent)
Gina Yonts (Principal)
Chris Gardea (Asst. Superintendent)
Ruth Ladderud (Board Member)
Cindy Meyer (Board Member)
Susie Golden (Admin Support)

School Stories

Walla Walla High School students named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School students Noah Deitrick and John Hoffman for being named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. These outstanding students join approximately 16,000 students from across the United States competing for the 7500 National Merit Scholarships. Approximately $33 million in scholarships will be awarded next spring as part of the 62nd Annual National Merit Scholarship program. As semifinalists, Deitrick and Hoffman must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, thus earning the prestigious Merit Scholar title. 

Resilience: The Science of Hope Documentary free showing at Wa-Hi Auditorium

Resilience: The Science of Hope is a new one hour documentary that delves into the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study and a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress. Following the release of Paper Tigers, the Children’s Resilience Initiative (CRI) is pleased to bring Jamie Redford’s latest documentary to the Walla Walla community. Following the screening, a panel of local CRI members will share their perspective on the importance of resilience.
· Showing date: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (FREE)
· Location: WaHi Performing Arts Center - 800 Abbott Rd, Walla Walla, Washington 99362
· Sign Up: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/resilience-the-science-of-hope-tickets-27390282071

Washington State University GEAR UP helps students prepare for life after high school

This summer 130 Walla Walla High School GEAR UP students participated in College and Career readiness programs at college campuses across the Pacific Northwest. Students received on-campus, hands on experiences in everything from building their own business plans to writing college essays and learning how to become leaders on their high school campus.

Summer academic programming is a vital part of building a college going culture and GEAR UP is happy to partner with its academic partners across the Northwest to ensure students get a 180 degree look at post-secondary education and career planning. Students that participated in summer programming also take part in many school year activities; including GEAR UP Student Ambassadors and GEAR UP Peer Mentors. All these summer experiences were paid for by GEAR UP funding through a Department of Education College and Career Readiness Grant.

Washington State University GEAR UP, which is located on campus at Walla Walla High School, involves a variety of innovative partnerships and initiatives to support students in college and career readiness skills.

For more information or to find out how your student can participate in GEAR UP programs check out the website www.yourcollegeandcareer.org or call Becky Waggoner-Schwartz 509-526-8621.

Community Stories
Class of 1966 plans 50th Reunion this weekend

Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24
Contact Janis Barton for details – janisbarton@gmail.com

Parents, coaches, educators, athletes invited to hear Seahawks doctor discuss concussions

- Concussion Summit – Heads up on Concussions: Lesson from the Frontline
- Monday, Sept. 26
- 7 to 8:30 p.m.
- Walla Walla Community College (Building E. Health Sciences & Performing Arts Auditorium)
- FREE (School staff will be offered two free clock hours through the WIAA)

Participants will learn about the signs and symptoms of concussions and how to recognize the condition. They will also learn about how the healthcare community addresses and manages patients suffering from concussions. Seattle Seahawks and Mariners team physician Dr. Stan Herring is one of the featured speakers. Attorney Melissa Carter will discuss legal issues in the area of traumatic brain and spinal injuries and Zachery Lystedt and his parents will discuss the state’s 2009 Lystedt Law. Learn more at: psmfoundation@providence.org.

City Parks & Recreation community update

Whittie Lacrosse Camp - Grades 4-9
October 22 & 23 - $40
Beginning and Intermediate sessions available

Fencing - Ages 10-17
Beginning October 2 - December 4 - $38
Intermediate/Advanced - October 5 - December 7 - $48
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to: http://www.wwpr.us
Like us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/wallawallapr

Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary announces annual fund-raiser to provide clothes for children

The 43rd annual Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary spaghetti luncheon, style show and silent auction will be held Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Assumption Parish. Proceeds from this event fund Dress A Living Doll. This organization provides store-purchased outfits, pajamas, underwear and socks for each child referred by local schools. This gift of clothes also extends to all younger siblings ages birth-five.  Tickets may be purchased at the door - adults $7 and children $3.50.

Kirkman House Sheep to Shawl event

The annual Sheep to Shawl event is scheduled at the Kirkman House on Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event features a sheep being sheared. Other demonstrations include wool carding, dyeing, spinning and weaving. This is a free event for the entire family.

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