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

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Bilingual Education Department launches Spanish social media sites

The Bilingual Education Department is broadening efforts to communicate to Spanish-speaking parents and community members. New district Twitter and Facebook pages were recently created to post Spanish-only messages. The demand to communicate in Spanish has increased in recent years as the district’s demographics become more diverse.

“We want to make sure that we are reaching our 40% Latino/a students and their families,” said Dr. Victor Vergara, Director of Bilingual Education and Latino/a Outreach.

Since launching the sites earlier this month, daily messages are sent out to the Latino community regarding school activities and news, as well as, information on free classes for parents offered through the district. The district’s recently approved Strategic Plan calls on the district to bridge the gap between the school district and Spanish-speaking families.

“These new social media accounts put us one step closer to reaching this goal,” Vergara said.

The social media pages are also a great way to send out fun moments occurring in schools and the community, according to Vergara. A recent Latino Club meeting proved to be the perfect platform to capture a special moment on social media.

“Principal Ron Higgins was the guest speaker at this meeting and the students convinced him to do one of his amazing hand-stand tricks,” Vergara said. “This was such an amazing and genuine experience to capture so I took a photo and posted it on our social media accounts to share the excitement the students were experiencing. I think it’s very important to also share these moments because it is critical for our community to witness these positive relationships being built in our schools.”

WWPS Spanish Social Media Sites:
Facebook: Escuelas Públicas de Walla Walla
Twitter: @escuelasDWallaWalla

Sources of Strength brought back for a second round of training

This week nearly 100 Walla Walla High School and Lincoln High School students and several school staff members received training through the internationally acclaimed Sources of Strength program. Sources of Strength features 450 school teams in five countries, 26 U.S. states, three Canadian Provinces and 12 First Nation communities. This is the second year of training coordinated by Peggy Needham through grant funding and district support.

The mission of Sources of Strength is to provide the highest quality evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse by training, supporting, and empowering both peer leaders and caring adults to impact their world through the power of connection, hope, help and strength.
Following the training, participants should be able to:
• Communicate the importance of upstream and strength based suicide prevention;
• Facilitate a Peer Leader team in carrying out hope, help, and strength based messaging and activities that build youth-adult connectedness, break down codes of secrecy and silence, and promote early help seeking behaviors and the 8 key protective factors or strengths:
- Medical access
- Mental Health
- Family Support
- Positive Friends
- Mentors
- Healthy Activities
- Generosity
- Spirituality

Meet the superintendent and visit Wa-Hi, Lincoln and Pioneer during Superintendent’s Patron Tour program

Join Superintendent Wade Smith for a tour of three schools and an update on the district’s Facilities Improvement Planning process, academic achievement goals and ways the district is reaching out to engage students in school activities. This is an excellent opportunity to meet Superintendent Smith and learn more about Walla Walla schools.

• Wednesday, Nov. 15 / 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
• RSVP by Thursday, Nov. 9 -- sgolden@wwps.org / 526-6715

Tour Sites:
• Pioneer Middle School
• Walla Walla High School
• Lincoln High School

Remember to vote – November 7

- General Election: November 7

Walla Walla High School student one of five in nation named afterschool ambassador

The Afterschool Alliance announced Walla Walla High School senior Ruben Balderas has been selected to serve in the inaugural class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors. A student at Walla Walla High School, Balderas attends the Walla Walla High School FORWARD Afterschool Program. He is one of five students from across the nation to be selected for the honor. As a Youth Afterschool Ambassador, Balderas will be mentored by Brent Cummings, the Program Director of Walla Walla Public Schools’ 21st CCLC programs and an alumnus of the Afterschool Alliance’s long-running Afterschool Ambassador program, geared toward afterschool providers. The new Youth Afterschool Ambassador program builds on the success of that program.

The five Youth Ambassadors will each design and carry out a project showcasing the value of afterschool programs – such as creating a video or photo book featuring stories from youth or parents, or some other project of the Youth Ambassador’s design. In addition, they will write a blog post for Afterschool Snack, the Afterschool Alliance blog, about the importance of afterschool programs. They will travel to Washington, D.C., next April to participate in the annual Afterschool for All Challenge, where they will meet with members of Congress and their staff.

Exchange Club welcomes Family Involvement Coordinator

WWPS Family and Community Engagement coordinator Pam Clayton presented to the Walla Walla Exchange Club Oct. 23 on efforts underway to better engage parents in their child’s learning. Clayton stressed the importance of parents in the learning process, especially from birth to five years of age. She also reported on the district’s successful parenting classes series. Clayton also coordinates a Kindergarten Resource Fair in the spring and several community outreach events throughout the school year.

For more information and a complete listing of parenting courses, click here:

School Stories
Wa-Hi JROTC invites area veterans to attend annual Veterans Day Assembly

The Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devils” Cadet Battalion and the Associated Student Bodies (ASB) will host an assembly to honor all veterans on Thursday, Nov. 9 in the main gym.

“The ASB and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets have an extensive ceremony planned including a distinguished guest speaker and other activities. Veterans and their guests are invited to arrive at 9 a.m., with ceremonies to begin at 9:20,” said cadet Lt. Col. Melinda Locke, the battalion commander. “Veterans of all periods and conflicts, including the Cold War, from all branches ... Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and all their components active, reserve, guard, and retired will be recognized for their service to the nation.”

Special parking has been arranged and assistance will be available for those with limited mobility between the small gym and the tennis courts, according to a battalion event-planning official. There will be coffee before the event and light refreshments provided immediately following the assembly.

“This event is free and open to veterans, their families, survivors, friends of veterans, and the general public. All are welcome to attend. Please share this with every veteran you know in our community,” added Locke.

For more information call the WWHS JROTC department at 509-527-3035, or email to wwhs_rotc@wwps.org.

Wa-Hi Trunk or Treat provides safe and fun Halloween experience for kids

Walla Walla High School’s Key Club is hosting its annual Trunk or Treat Halloween night from 5:30-7 p.m. Bring a can of food for the food bank and have your kids leave with a bag full of candy and fun!

Pioneer students volunteer at Christian Aid Center

Recently Pioneer Middle School students in the National Junior Honor Society volunteered to prepare and serve meals at the Christian Aid Center. This was the first of three visits planned this school year. The students served approximately 90 community members. Special thanks to teacher Stephanie Kytola for serving as the parent volunteer and Alba Biagi for her effort coordinating the visit as the NJHS advisor. 

Fill the Bus event supports Realtors Care and Share Food Drive

Walla Walla Public Schools proudly announces district staff, students and volunteers collected nearly 2000 pounds of food during the annual Fill the Bus event in support of the Realtors Care & Share Food Drive. A number of student groups supported the event. Teacher Lori Finn served as the event coordinator. All food items were delivered to the BMAC Food Bank to support those in need.  

Garrison Unity Day empowers students to say no to bullying

Garrison Middle School staff and students donned orange this week in support of Unity Day. This anti-bullying activity promotes a positive, safe culture.

Wa-Hi Jazz band to perform at Walla Walla Symphony

The Wa-Hi Jazz Band will be the “opening act” at the November 7 Walla Walla Symphony Concert. This concert features a jazz theme with a guest vocalist, clarinetist and combo performing with the symphony.  Wa-Hi will be including the jazz vocalist Clairdee on one of its numbers and the jazz clarinetist Ken Peplowski as a soloist on another piece. Contact the Walla Walla Symphony office for tickets. Wa-Hi fall “Jazz Nite” with Garrison and Pioneer Jazz Bands is October 30 at 7 pm in the Wa-Hi auditorium.

Amvets Post 1111 honors Berney student

This week, Richard Bardsley and members of Amvets and the Ladies Auxiliary presented Berney first grade student Brayden Shivell with a certificate and American flag for taking first place in the youth coloring contest. The award was part of the Amvets Americanism Contest which promotes civics and the important role veterans have in our country. Brayden is in Stacy Morrison’s class. His parents are Phil and Vanessa Shivell. 

Edison Pennies for Puerto Rico fundraiser planned next week

Edison Students are saving up for “Pennies for Puerto Rico,” a penny drive in partnership with the Salvation Army. With elementary and high school students in Puerto Rico unable to return to class because of structural damage, lack of electricity, running water and other infrastructure challenges, Edison Shockers wish to share, and every penny counts. The penny drive will take place from October 30-November 3. Contact Edison if you are interested in making a donation –(509) 527-3072.

SEATech fall bench sale

SEATech Advanced Manufacturing students announce their Fall Bench Sale. Students built these high quality powder coated benches as part of their program experience. Funds generated support the program.
Bench details:
- Sale price $275 each (normally $300)
- Various themes and designs available
- Contact for purchase: James Polson – (509) 526-2011 / jpolson@wwps.org

Community Stories
Nature Kids: Birds, Bats, and Bugs, Oh My!

- Saturday, October 28
- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Walla Walla Public Library
- Free and open to the public

Come one, come all to the last event of the year— and it’s all about our furry, flying friends! Join the Blue Mountain Land Trust, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Audubon Society for a day at the Walla Walla Public Library to celebrate the birds, bats, and raptors of our home. Here, you’ll find lots of fun bat, bird, and bug-inspired activities for kids of all ages. Come learn what owls eat by dissecting their pellets, make an origami bat, help us create a bat mural and so much more. You may even find some of Batman’s belongings lurking in the library. Keep an eye out! We also are excited to welcome two special guests. Jenny Barnett, a USFWS Biologist, and Lynn Tomkins from the Blue Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Jenny will be sharing all she knows about bats and their important role in nature at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., Lynn will introduce you to some of their resident raptors. Lynn will share their life histories, their role in a healthy environment, and our role in helping to maintain a harmonious coexistence with our native wildlife. Did you know bats are the only mammals that fly? Sponsored by Wenzel Nursery.

D.A.R.E Spaghetti Feed Fundraiser October 31

• D.A.R.E Spaghetti Feed Fundraiser
• Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 4 to 7 p.m.
• Located at Bacon and Eggs (57 E. Main across from Macys)
• $5 each or $20 for family of six
• All proceeds will directly benefit the D.A.R.E. program

City Parks and Recreation Update

Pumpkin Carving Contest - October 27 - Ages 3-12 years - Free
Winter Wrestling Workshop - December 26-28 - Ages 5-13 - $40
Lacrosse Fundamentals Clinic - January 20/27 - Grades 1-4 - $15 including equipment
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

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