Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 13, 2017

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

School Board Appreciation Month

January is School Board Appreciation Month and a time to recognize the critical role our board members have providing a quality education for all Walla Walla students. School board members Sam Wells, Ruth Ladderud, Dr. David Hampson, Cindy Meyer and Derek Sarley deeply care about children. These dedicated volunteers base all of their decisions on what is best for our students. Thank you school board members!

Superintendent Smith urges local legislators to delay levy cliff

This week Superintendent Wade Smith reached out to Senator Maureen Walsh and Representatives Terry Nealey and Bill Jenkin to strongly encourage their support for HB 1059. This bill provides temporary reprieve to the “levy cliff” that is set to expire in the coming months.

“Although I am cautiously optimistic that the legislature will come to some level of school funding consensus with McCleary implications, the local levy issue, if not resolved or at least provided some level of certainty for next school year, will have dramatic negative consequences on a local level here in Walla Walla,” Smith said in his correspondence to 16th Legislative District elected officials. “The passage of HB 1059 will provide one year of certainty to levy programs and staff, avoiding painful cuts that districts will be forced to begin discussing and planning for now as we begin to put together next year’s budget.”

On a local level, without the passage of HB 1059, Walla Walla Public Schools is looking at a $1.5M reduction in levy dollars next year which would have dramatic impacts on the valuable programs that our community voted overwhelmingly to support, including music, athletics, highly capable, arts, electives, FFA, honors/AP courses, CTE, Smith noted.

“I urge all three of you to support this “temporary fix” to help avoid what will surely be significant community trauma and a drastic impact on student programming next year,” Smith said.

District leaders weigh in on Homeless Camp discussion

This week, School Board President Dr. David Hampson and Superintendent Wade Smith attended the Walla Walla City Council work session on homelessness. The city is discussing options for moving the Homeless Camp from its current location near the city golf course to a new site. Dr. Hampson and Smith support a proposal discussed Monday evening to relocate the camp to a site off Poplar Street northwest of the Jonathon M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center. Dr. Hampson and Smith opposed two other options for placement of the city’s Homeless Camp. One initial proposal placed the camp near Prospect Point and the other one was close to Blue Ridge Elementary. Dr. Hampson and Smith communicated to city officials both of these locations are problematic due to their close proximity to district elementary schools. No decision was made during the City Council work session.  

Kindergarten registration and open enrollment dates set for 2017-2018 School Year

Secondary Open Enrollment
Walla Walla Public Schools will hold secondary open enrollment for middle and high school students enrolling for the 2017-2018 school February 1 through 28, 2017. The middle and high schools will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. February 1 through the end of the month to complete the open enrollment process.

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 23; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, February 1.

Kindergarten Registration and Elementary Open Enrollment
The Kindergarten registration and elementary open enrollment period is Monday, April 17 to Friday, April 28, 2017. 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 10. However, the completed registration forms will not be accepted until April 17.

Kindergarten/Elementary Open Enrollment Registration Hours:
Monday, April 17 - 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
April 18 – April 28 - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside their attendance area may pick up an Open Enrollment application or release forms at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning April 10; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, April 17.

Open enrollment requests within 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 for public viewing at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office. School Board policies are also 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 S. Park Street, and online at www.wwps.org . Click on the District A to Z link and then click on Boundary Map.

New district photo webpage showcases district history

Walla Walla Public Schools has recently established a website to help tell the history of our school district. Many photos on our site are courtesy of Joe Drazan’s “Bygone Walla Walla” project and website. Do you have photos or other items that would help tell the story of our schools? Please contact Susie Golden at sgolden@wwps.org or 509-526-6715.

Please bookmark this new website (http://historyofwwps140.blogspot.com/) and check back often as new photos will be posted frequently.

School board meetings Tuesday, Jan. 17

Tuesday, January 17 meetings
- 5 p.m.: Special School Board Meeting/Work Session
- 6:30 p.m.: Regular School Board Meeting
- Both meetings open to the public
- Location: Anne Golden Boardroom (364 S. Park St.)

No School January 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

There is no school Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Transportation Department comes to the aid of senior citizens

Heavy snow loads collapsed a roof at Park Manor Rehabilitation Center Saturday night forcing the evacuation of approximately 25 elderly residents. City of Walla Walla Police Dispatch contacted the district’s Transportation Department to assist. Transportation Director John Griffith, Coordinator Mark Franklin and bus drivers Ed Bloom, Diane Trout, and Rogelio Jara jumped at the opportunity to help. Soon four school specially equipped school buses arrived on the scene to transport the wheelchair bound senior citizens to Regency at the Park on Myra Road. Griffith reports the entire mission took less than one hour from receiving the call.

“It was fantastic to be able to respond that quickly and help out our community,” Griffith said. “We appreciate our senior citizens and it was an honor to render assistance in this time of need.”

Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee plans parent meeting

The Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee (BERC) would like to invite WWPS parents to join them on Tuesday, January 24 in the Anne Golden Boardroom at the district office to gather input on options for bilingual program changes. The 5-6 p.m. presentation will be in English. The 6:15-7:15 p.m. presentation will be in Spanish. Child care will be provided for ages 2 and older. If you are not able to join us you will be able to provide input by paper. Input forms will be available on the district’s website, from January 25-January 31.

New Pulse video - Superintendent Smith discusses committee updates, school closure process and more 
Click on the link below to view this month’s Superintendent’s Pulse video. Superintendent Smith briefly discusses issues impacting the district, including committee updates, weather and closures and School Board Appreciation Month. 


Join us! Superintendent’s Patron Tour – Feb. 1, 2017

• Wednesday, February 1 / 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
• RSVP by Friday, January 27 — sgolden@wwps.org / 526-6715

Tour Sites:
• Blue Ridge Elementary, Lincoln High School and Garrison Middle School

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 share the district’s new Vision, Mission and Belief statements. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the new superintendent and learn more about your local schools.

Reykdal: OSPI To Dismiss Involvement in Dorn v. State

OLYMPIA—JANUARY 11, 2017—On this, my first day as Washington state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, I have directed agency lawyers to take immediate steps to dismiss the Superintendent of Public Instruction from the Dorn vs. Washington lawsuit.
This lawsuit was filed by my predecessor and others under the apparently false presumption that local school levy dollars cannot be used to provide employee compensation. The Court, however, has never held that school districts are prohibited from using local levies for employee compensation. During the 2017 legislative session, it will be critical for the Legislature to both amply fund basic education andclearly define in statute what basic education compensation is and is not.
Just as local school districts can further lower class sizes beyond the state’s prototypical school funding model, districts can supplement compensation beyond the state’s contribution.

By clearly defining basic education compensation in statute, we can avoid future litigation that stems from a presumption that any and all compensation is “basic” education. We have a remarkable opportunity: We can make a historic commitment to our public schools by ensuring that the state adheres to its primary constitutional obligation. Just as important, we also can empower our local communities to recruit and retain educators and support staff as necessary to reflect their unique needs.
Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget proposal reduces dependence on local school levies, which effectively substantially reduces the differences in total compensation from one district to the next. I urge the Legislature to follow this approach – it respects local collective bargaining and unique district needs while simultaneously reducing the disparity between districts.

Finally, I want to thank former State Superintendent Randy Dorn for his tireless efforts to draw widespread attention to our education funding crisis. He played a critical role in the more than $2 billion in progress that has been made to date.
Under my leadership, however, our state’s lead education agency will not sue the very districts we are committed to supporting.

I encourage the remaining plaintiffs in the lawsuit to withdraw their support. This approach is an unnecessary cost for taxpayers. There are far more productive uses of our collective energy, such as:
1. working to create bipartisan solutions to meet our funding obligation,
2. fulfilling our moral obligation to close persistent opportunity gaps for students and populations that have been historically and systemically denied equal opportunities in our schools, and
3. meeting our economic imperative to graduate ALL students career and college ready – specifically by building clear pathways to graduation via career and technical education programs.

School Stories

City and district collaborate to make Berney more handicap accessible 

Walla Walla Public Schools and the City of Walla Walla partnered to create a handicap pullout area and wheelchair ramp at Berney Elementary School. The school’s parent drop-off and pick-up area didn’t feature a handicap accessible zone making it difficult for adults and students with disabilities to get on and off campus. This project created a safe area in front of the school for those needing handicap access. The City of Walla Walla and Walla Walla Public Schools pooled resources to complete this important project. 

Local Car Club contributes to Garrison Middle School library 

Thanks to the Walla Walla Car Club for donating $1200 to Garrison Middle School to purchase books and e-books for the school’s library, focusing on multicultural authors and experiences. The original grant request was for $500.

Free Youth People’s Concert

- The Orchestra Sings (Free Family Concert and Foodraiser)
- Sunday, January 22 / 3 p.m.
- Cordiner Hall (Whitman College)
- Free admission with a non-perishable food item donation

Walla Walla High School to hold Scholarship Fair January 24

Walla Walla High School will host a valley-wide Scholarship Fair on Jan. 24, 2017, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Walla Walla High School Commons. The fair helps connect students with local scholarship sponsors, learn how to apply for scholarships and finance their education after high school. Juniors and Seniors from Walla Walla High School, Lincoln, Touchet, Waitsburg, Prescott, College Place, Milton-Freewater, DeSales and Walla Walla Valley Academy are all invited to attend.

Approximately 30 organizations will host information tables at the arena style fair. Participants include local clubs and organizations who give scholarships, all local and regional 2 and 4 year colleges, state foundations, military representatives on ROTC scholarships for college and other degree options. A representative from Washington State Apprenticeship Programs will talk with students on earning a living wage while they attend classes and receive training for jobs in trade industries.

WSU GEAR UP is offering a scholarship application workshop that will run simultaneously with the fair. The workshop will be held in the library until 7 p.m.This year United Way of Walla Walla is giving away two $200 scholarships through a drawing held at the fair. Wa-Hi is grateful to United Way for encouraging student attendance at the fair with their generous support. Contact fair organizer, Claircy Clizer, Career Center Specialist at Wa-Hi, at cclizer@wwps.org or 509-526-8680 for more information or if you are a scholarship sponsor and would like to host an information table at the fair.

Second semester Wa-Hi ASB important dates

Conspiracy of Hope Talent Show schedule:
2/9 Show #1 Auditorium 6pm
2/10 Show #2 Auditorium 6pm

Wish Week
We will start granting Wishes on Monday, January 30
We will conclude this project with the Wish Assembly on Friday, February 10

ASB Elections
ASB Officer Packets available on 1/24 - due back by 2/3
Online voting to take place 3/6-3/10

Class Officer Packets available on 3/13 - due back by 3/24
Online Voting to take place 4/10-4/13

Every 15 Minutes
E15 Day is Thursday, March 23
Senior Assembly takes place during 2nd and 3rd on Friday, March 24

Saturday, April 29 at the Marcus Whitman Hotel

Mr Wa-Hi - TBD for a date in April

Community Stories

District families invited to public presentation – “Toward Civil Discourse: Tolerance and its Challenges”

·    Toward Civil Discourse: Tolerance and its Challenges

·    Wednesday, Jan. 18 / 6:30 p.m.

·    Presenter: Dr. Kate Shuster

·    Whitman College Reid Campus Center Ballroom

·    Dr. Shuster is an independent education researcher and author based in Montgomery, Alabama. She works with clients, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, to help develop programs and materials addressing communication competence, social and cultural competency, literacy and rigorous practice.

·    Information: Noah S. Leavitt,  J.D., M.A. Whitman College: 509.527.5935 / leavitns@whitman.edu

Walla Walla University plans Martin Luther King, Jr. events – By Walla Walla University

You are warmly invited to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the Walla Walla University campus at our annual MLK Celebration, Monday, January 16 at 11am at the University Church located at 212 SW Fourth St, College Place, WA. This year we focus both on the history of racial policy in the northwest and current civil rights activism in our region. Our event is titled, “The Color of Freedom” and we welcome our own Dr. Terrie Aamodt, who will focus on northwest history, and pastor and activist, Terrance Taylor, who will discuss his civil rights work in our region. Music is a big part of our MLK tradition and the University Singers will also perform during the service. I encourage you to invite your students, friends, and neighbors to this event.  All are welcome.

Below is a link with additional details about the 11a.m. service and 4p.m. MLK community march in downtown Walla Walla beginning at the Reid Center on the Whitman College Campus and marching to the GESA Powerhouse Theater.


Carnegie Picture Lab offers art project volunteer training workshops

Carnegie Picture Lab invites parents and community members to our rescheduled Volunteer Training Workshops for Winter quarter. Learn how to teach or assist an art class by attending either on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 5:30-7:00 pm, or on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 10:30 - 12:00, held at the Carnegie Picture Lab studio at 515 E. Main Street in downtown Walla Walla. Be one of the wonderful people who bring art lessons into ten elementary schools in the Walla Walla Valley. For more info: email info@carnegiepicturelab.com

City Parks & Recreation community update

Blue Mountain Girls Softball registration is open NOW

6U (T-Ball) 5-6yrs - $40

8U (Coach Pitch) 7-8yrs - $55

10U (Modified Pitch) 9-10yrs - $55

12U (Standard Pitch) 11-12yrs - $55

Veteran’s Memorial Pool Passes On Sale NOW

Early Bird Discount until January 31st

Youth, Adult, Senior, Veteran and Family passes available

Lifeguards wanted for summer - New Veteran’s Memorial Pool

Paid position - 15 yrs and up

To apply online go to http://www.wallawallawa.gov/images/depts/humanresources/PDF_FILLABLE_APPLICATION.pdf

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to: http://www.wwpr.us

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