Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - January 27, 2017

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Sharpstein Elementary one of only three schools in region to exit Focus school status

Sharpstein Elementary staff cheered to the news the school is exiting the state’s Focus schools list effective for the 2017-2018 school year. Superintendent Wade Smith shared the news Wednesday during a surprise staff meeting. Sharpstein Elementary was placed on the state’s watch list during the 2014-2015 school year after students with disabilities in the school’s special education program tested in the bottom 5 percent in math and reading academic performance. Sharsptein was one of only three schools in the Educational Service District 123 region to exit based on the academic improvements of students with disabilities and the fact Sharpstein students representing all other subgroups met state targets in math and reading.

“This recognition affirms the outstanding work that has and continues to take place every day at Sharpstein,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “Staff and students alike are to be commended for their efforts and we look forward to continued success from their extraordinary efforts.”

Sharpstein Elementary implemented Turnaround Principles and Interventions the past three years to enhance student achievement. Turnaround Principles and Interventions included teachers participating in collaborative lesson planning to ensure Common Core State Learning Standards alignment. Teachers also met with their peers to collaboratively score student work, established “Data Days” to review student progress and bolstered staff professional development. The school’s leadership team included parent representatives to advise them on matters related to family and school relations. Parents also received additional support for helping their children learn at home.

“Your teachers and principals are to be commended for their efforts to improve student learning. Your district is to be commended for the support provided to your district’s educators and students,” said Gayle Pauley, Assistant Superintendent for Special Programs and Federal Accountability. “We strongly encourage leadership teams from exiting Priority and Focus schools to continue implementing your Student and School Success Action Plans and to access state professional development and services to support your improvement efforts in 2017–18.”

Graduation dates not impacted by weather-related school cancellations

Lincoln High School and Walla Walla High School graduation dates remain unchanged despite the district cancelling school five days so far this winter due to dangerous driving and walking conditions. Lincoln High School’s graduation date remains Thursday, June 1 at 6 p.m. at Cordiner Hall on the campus of Whitman College. Walla Walla High School’s Commencement will still be held Friday, June 2 at 7 p.m. near the school’s Commons area. Seniors from both schools will be required to make-up the missing days. School officials at both campuses are working on a detailed plan for senior make-ups and will communicate these plans with seniors. Additional cancellations this winter could still impact graduation dates, but as of now there are no changes to graduation ceremonies. 

Equity and Access Committee studies ways to engage students through leadership programs and soccer

This week Sergio Hernandez conducted an Equity and Access Committee meeting. Committee members discussed ways to better engage Hispanic students and support opportunities for academic and personal growth. The committee is reviewing proposals for more leadership opportunities through the LEAP and La Cima programs. They are also studying options for adding middle school soccer programs for boys and girls. Hernandez is also facilitating a book study -– Uncomfortable Neighbors. He will also be leading a Latino Community Outreach program in coordination with the district’s new strategic plan.  

Bilingual Program Committee studies concepts for program improvements; stakeholder survey input needed

By Christy Krutulis, Committee Chair and Executive Director of Teaching and Learning
Since last fall the Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee (BERC) has met 15 times to discuss current bilingual program strengths and concerns based on staff, parent and student input. The goal of the work is to provide the best possible bilingual programming for students in Walla Walla Public Schools. As a result of extensive work to address concerns about academic achievement, single strands in buildings, and a need for increased program consistency and collaboration, two concepts were formally presented this week to bilingual school staff and parents for input. The concepts being considered could impact both students enrolled in the bilingual program and students not enrolled in the bilingual program. We ask that all parents and stakeholders review the concepts and provide feedback.

Concept 1: A single elementary building is a K-5 dual building with all students participating in the dual program.

Concept 2:
One elementary buildings is home to K-2 students in dual programming, but also has 2-3 traditional, English strands. A second elementary building is home to 3-5 students in dual programming, with 2-3 traditional, English strands.

Since the survey launched a third concept has surfaced. Opportunity to respond to this new concept will be available in the next few weeks.

Concept 3: Blue Ridge Elementary and one other current elementary dual building would house K-5 dual programming.

Please follow the work of the committee, by accessing all meeting presentations on the district website under, Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee 

Next steps toward a March 7 School Board decision on Bilingual Programming will include committee work to refine concepts to include specific building names. Parent and staff meetings will also occur in mid-February as the committee seeks additional input to further refine models before making a final recommendation to the School Board.

Secondary open enrollment begins next week

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; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Wednesday, 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.

Connie Taylor-Randall selected to serve on Governor’s Committee on Disabilities and Employment

Recently retired Administrator Connie Taylor-Randall has been appointed to the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment (GCDE).  Taylor-Randall applied for the position in 2016 to further pursue her passion of supporting those with disabilities. She will meet as a committee member at least four times per year and have access to elected officials to advocate for awareness and support. Connie said it is important to have a strong voice in Walla Walla and across the state on these issues. She worked to support Special Education programs while a Principal on Assignment at Walla Walla High School. Connie says she hopes to find more opportunities for employment, job shadowing, internships, recreation and activities. She meets next month in Lacey, WA to get started. 

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

· Wednesday, February 1 / 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
· RSVP by Monday, Jan. 30 — sgolden@wwps.org / 526-6715
· Event begins at WWPS Anne Golden Boardroom (364 S. Park St.)

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.

School Stories
Walla Walla High School Scholarship Fair draw hundreds of students

This week the Walla Walla High School Career Center sponsored a valley-wide Scholarship Fair to provide a venue for students and parents/guardians of current high school Juniors and Seniors to meet members of organizations that sponsor scholarships. Juniors and Seniors from Walla Walla High School, Lincoln, Opportunity, Touchet, Waitsburg, Prescott, College Place, Milton Freewater, DeSales and Walla Walla Valley Academy attended. Approximately 30 organizations hosted an information table with details regarding their specific scholarships

Entities hosting tables included, Wa-Hi Class of ’55, Kiwanis Club of Walla Walla, Baker Boyer Bank for the Welch Fund, John Eagon Scholar Athlete, McGregor Company, WW Valley Education Association, Blue Mountain Community Foundation, P.E.O. for Women, WWCC, WSU, WSU Tri-Cities, WW University, Whitman College, EWU, CWU, Eastern Oregon University, Lewis Clark State College, U.S. Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy.

United Way of Walla Walla gave away two $200 scholarships through a drawing held at the Fair. These funds were donated to United Way by Washington State Penitentiary inmates who wanted to support our community’s youth programs. WSU GEAR UP offered a scholarship application workshop which ran simultaneously with the Fair.

Wa-Hi 2017 Culminating Project panel sign ups

Hear personal stories from Walla Walla High School seniors as they prepare for life after graduation by serving on the Culminating Project review panel. Each year graduating seniors from Walla Walla High School are required to complete a culminating project as a graduation requirement. In order for students to complete this important and mandatory assignment, the school relies on support from community members to serve on culminating project panels. Panel members observe and evaluate senior presentations. This is an excellent opportunity to support students and get a first-hand account of their accomplishments, dreams and passion for life. Join us!

Culminating Project Panel dates:
- Tuesday, March 14, 2017
- Wednesday, March 15, 2017
- Wednesday, March 22, 2017
- Tuesday, April 18, 2017
- Time: 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. per session
- Sign up: Contact Rob Ahrens, Administrative Intern / www.waculmprojects@wwps.org / (509) 527-3020 ext 8649

Community Stories
Trails, bike routes, sidewalks public workshop

There is exciting regionwide non-motorized trail and transportation network that over 30 local, state, regional, and federal agencies are working together on. The public will have an opportunity to share their ideas about safe routes to schools and parks, as well as ideas for new trails, destinations, connections throughout the region. The region includes Columbia and Walla Walla counties and the Milton-Freewater area.
- Walla Walla Workshop
- Tuesday, Jan. 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- Walla Walla County Fairgrounds (363 S. Orchard)
- Information: Mary A. Campbell: mcampbell@wwcommunitycouncil.org

Walla Walla Dance Company production – “The Adventures of Alice”

- “The Adventures of Alice” presented by Nancy Wells and The Walla Walla Dance Company
- Saturday, February 4 / 7:30 p.m. at Cordiner Hall (Whitman College)
- New choreography in Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop & Contemporary performed by Walla Walla’s finest dancers
- Tickets available at Earthlight Books starting Friday, January 20
- General $15 / Reserved $20

City Parks & Recreation community update

Mother/Son Superhero Bash - February 11 - $15
Father/Daughter Ball - February 25 - $15

Blue Mountain Girls Softball registration is open NOW
6U (T-Ball) 5-6 years - $40
8U (Coach Pitch) 7-8 years - $55
10U (Modified Pitch) 9-10 years - $55
12U (Standard Pitch) 11-12 years - $55

Veteran’s Memorial Pool Passes On Sale NOW
Early Bird Discount until January 31
Youth, Adult, Senior, Veteran and Family passes available

Lifeguards wanted for summer - New Veteran’s Memorial Pool
Paid position - 15 years 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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