Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - August 25, 2017

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

First day of school Tuesday, August 29

Walla Walla Public Schools will begin the 2017-2018 school year Tuesday, August 29. Back-to-school information is located on school and district websites. 

Walla Walla Public Schools - “We All Belong Here”

Walla Walla Public Schools looks forward to serving all students as we begin the 2017-2018 school year.

We All Belong Here
• Stand up to injustice
• Strive to be inclusive
• Rise above intolerance
• Respect everyone, every day
• Our differences drive our greatness

School zone safety reminder

Motorists are reminded to use extra caution when driving through district school zones as school begins August 29. Please obey posted speed limits and do not use electronic devices when driving. Together we can keep everyone safe whiling traveling to and from school. 

2017-2022 Strategic Plan website details district vision

The Board of Directors recently approved a new, five-year Strategic Plan focusing on improved academic achievement. Visit our new webpage to learn more about the four student-centered goals:
• High quality instruction
• Aligned and coherent systems
• Social and emotional needs
• Safe and engaging environment.

2017-2022 Strategic Plan: http://www.wwps.org/strategicplan

Superintendent goals focus on student learning

School Board members recently approved the 2017-2022 Superintendent Performance Goals directing Superintendent Wade Smith to focus on high levels of learning for all students.

Superintendent Performance Goals at a Glance:

Goal 1 - Increased Student Learning & Performance

• Provide training, leadership and accountability

• Improve 3-8 grade reading and math performance

• Improve Special Ed and ELL academic performance

• Decrease 9th grade course failures

• Increase ACT performance

• Increase 4 and 5 year graduation rates

Goal 2 - Increase Board Engagement with Student Learning and Performance

• School board to regularly review school academic performance reports; monitor/assess improvement

Goal 3 - Increase Student Engagement

• Increase student engagement (measure for accountability)

• Enhance Hispanic student/family involvement

• Student social and emotional well-being

• Decrease chronic absenteeism

Facilities Task Forces continues to refine needs list

The Community Facilities Task Force met this week to review project needs lists and detail its work for the 2017-2018 school year. The group is preparing comprehensive facility improvement information for Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School and Lincoln High School. Task Force members are also prioritizing facilities needs across all district campuses. A public survey will be released in September to get additional feedback on the needs list.

School board members will receive monthly briefings from the Task Force throughout the fall. A recommendation for facility improvement package options is expected to be presented to the school board in December for consideration. Facility improvement package options will then be presented to the community after the winter break for feedback and discussion. Walla Walla Public Schools has set November 2018 as a possible date for a bond election. The district’s existing bond debt will be paid in full in December 2018.

Task Force Membership
Paul Schneidmiller (Chair)
Tony Cabasco
Jim Dumont
Roger Esparza
Darcey Fugman-Small
Chris Garratt
Don Holbrook
Dean Lodmell
Linda Newcomb
Jim Peterson
Phil Shivell
Craig Sievertsen
Casey Waddell
Jerry Zahl
Peter Swant
Randy Glaeser
Kara Schulke
Dick Moeller
Keith Swanson
John Keifel

Walla Walla Public Schools boasts one of the state’s highest Hispanic/Latino college-going rates

Data released August 10 from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for the class of 2015 revealed 66.1% of graduating Hispanic/Latino seniors attended a post-secondary institution, 16% above the state average of 50.1%. This represents the 12th highest college-going rate for Hispanic students in Washington state, and the highest in the state when comparing Walla Walla’s data to similar demographic schools with modest levels of poverty and language diversity as defined by 30% or more poverty and 10% or more English Language Learners. This result represents three consecutive years of increase where Hispanic/Latino students’ college attendance has risen steadily from 47.5% in 2012.
Data for the graduating seniors representing all district students from the Class of 2015 was also impressive as a total of 66.5% of graduates enrolled in either a two or four-year public college, or private college, in or outside of Washington state, following high school. This recent data continues Walla Walla’s historic trend of outpacing the state’s college-going average, currently at 59.9%.

“This recently-released data continues to affirm the exceptional performance from our graduating seniors,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “Our School Board’s continued emphasis towards our diverse populations, partnerships with regional higher education schools and universities, and exceptional staff, will ensure we continue our vision towards developing Washington’s most sought-after graduates.”

Walla Walla Public Schools’ college-going rate for all students at 66.5% was the strongest when compared to regional school districts of similar or larger size among the 17 ESD 123 schools. Results for all students, and especially that of Hispanic/Latino students, outpaced all district counterparts in Walla Walla, Benton and Franklin Counties. Accompanying the post-secondary enrollment data, OSPI also released college-remediation rates. This report tracks students who attended a Washington state public two or four-year college who enrolled in a remedial English or math course.

Results revealed that 50.2% of Walla Walla students enrolled in college remedial coursework, exceeding the state average of 32.9%. This statistic landed Walla Walla in the middle of the region’s performance results and highlights the Board of Director’s renewed emphasis to focus on this success indicator with the district’s new five-year Strategic Plan.
Additional information: http://www.k12.wa.us/

Personnel Report (from August 15, 2017 school board meeting)

Amy Ruff, Director of Health Services, Walla Walla Public Schools

Michael Bertram, STEM (.5 FTE), Garrison Middle School
Lori Gillin, Head Start/ECEAP (temporary), Blue Ridge Preschool
Nicole Hudson, Counselor, Walla Walla High School
Emily Ward, Special Education, Sharpstein Elementary School
C. Elizabeth Yaw, First Grade (temporary), Edison Elementary School

Reginald Byrd, Para-Educator, Garrison Middle School
Andrea Goff, Kitchen Assistant, Berney Elementary School
Peter Hixson, Para-Educator (temporary), Walla Walla High School
Stevie Noble, Para-Educator, Garrison Middle School

Josh Wheatley, Science/Math, Walla Walla High School, 4 years

Joaquin Avalos, Para-Educator, Pioneer Middle School, 7 years
Leslie Collins, Certified Physical Therapy Assistant, Special Education, 1.5 years
Felix, Marquez, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Elementary School, 4 years
Janice Nunez, Assistant Secretary, Green Park Elementary School, 2 years
Juana Ramirez de Cervantes, Kitchen Assistant, Green Park Elementary School, 1 year
Kimberly Tomczek, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School, 7 years

School Stories

Preschool enrollment space still available

As the 2017-2018 school year gets underway, the Head Start/ECEAP, located inside Blue Ridge, has enrollment slots available for approximately 20 children ages 3 4-years-old. Families in transition, families who are low-income or receiving TANF or SSI, foster children, and children receiving IEP services, are prioritized for enrollment.  Families are encouraged to stop by the preschool office at Blue Ridge, or contact Christine Ludwig (526-1788) for more information and assistance. Click on the link to download application forms: http://www.wwps.org/programs/head-start-eceap

Senior Citizens with Gold Cards attend Wa-Hi sports and activities free

Walla Walla School District residents and Walla Walla School District retirees, 65 years of age and older, are invited to attend most school events at no charge. Get a complimentary Gold Card and see outstanding concerts, plays, musical productions, art shows, athletic events (except playoff games governed by YVIAA or WIAA regulations) and more as a district guest.

“It’s a small way to acknowledge the ongoing support and many contributions our senior citizens make to the community,” said Dirk Hansen, district Athletic and Activities director. “We encourage senior citizens to take advantage of the benefits of a Gold Card, and personally witness comprehensive education – including student entertainment, athletics and art – at its finest.”

Gold Cards are issued from the ASB office at Walla Walla High School, 800 Abbott Road. Proof of residence and an application form are required.

For more information contact:
Barbara Brown

Video featuring Angie Gardea submitted for National Counselor of the Year consideration

A video featuring Garrison Middle School Counselor Angie Gardea was recently completed as part of her nomination packet for National School Counselor of the Year. Last school year, Gardea was named Washington State School Counselor of the Year, propelling her to national consideration. Finalists for National School Counselor of the Year will be announced later this fall. Good luck Angie!

Angie Gardea video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsvnUISNkvs&t=13s

Community Stories
Walla Walla to honor Batman actor Adam West September 19

Walla Walla is honoring legendary actor Adam West Tuesday, Sept. 19. The Adam West Day event includes a showing of West documentary “Starring Adam West”, a Q&A panel, music, food, contests, an official lighting of the Bat Signal, activities for kids, and much more.

The Adam West Day schedule of events:
● Q&A panel at The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center in downtown Walla Walla with Ruben Procopio, an American animation and comic book artist, animator, and sculptor, who West once called his personal sculptor.
● A showing of the documentary “Starring Adam West” at the Gesa Power House Theatre in downtown Walla Walla.
● Official lighting of the Bat Signal in the evening.
● Live music and kids activities in the downtown Walla Walla Plaza.
● The Adam West Experience, a joint effort of downtown Walla Walla businesses. Each participating business will display a bat sticker that indicates its involvement, which could include a special, a giveaway, or a drink or food item named in West’s honor. An award will be given to the three downtown businesses with the best decorations.

For more information on planning a trip to Walla Walla, go to visitwallawalla.com. For more details on Adam West Day, visit www.adamwestday.com.

“Big Idea” Speaker Series, Fall 2017

• Presented by the American Association of University Women and the Walla Walla Public Library
• 7 to 8:30 p.m. Walla Walla Walla Public Library, 238 East Alder

Sept. 28 - Ode to the Harvesters: Examining Current Agricultural Labor Issues in Washington State

Oct. 26 - Hanford: Myth & Reality? A Current Look at the Cleanup

Nov. 30 - Suicide Prevention & Youth Mental Health: The Positive Impacts of School-Based Health Clinics.

More Information:
Marilyn Hawkins, AAUW, mhawkins@prhawk.com, (509) 876-8202
Jennifer Reading, Walla Walla Public Library, jreading@wallawallawa.gov, (509) 524-4435

YMCA offers childcare and part-time employment

Are you in need of After School Childcare? Check out the YMCA After School Program at www.wwymca.org OR 509-525-8863

Are you interested in part time employment? Check out the YMCA job opportunities at www.wwymca.org OR call 509-525-8863

Additional Information: Katie Svilich
Childcare Director
Walla Walla YMCA
509-525-8863 Ex106-Office OR 124-Classroom

Tabitha’s Closet offers formal wear for Homecoming and Prom

- Tabitha’s Closet is a place for students to borrow formal wear for Homecoming and Prom
- Telephone calls accepted Sept 10 with the appointments beginning Sept. 11
- 1420 S 2nd Ave
- 509.730.1126
- Open by appointment only (Monday-Friday)

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