Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - December 8, 2017

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Walla Walla School District Placed on the College Board’s 8th Annual AP® District Honor Roll 

447 School Districts Across the U.S. and Canada are Honored for Significant Gains in Student Access and Success

Walla Walla Public Schools is one of 447 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 8th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. To be included on the 8th Annual Honor Roll, Walla Walla Public Schools had to, since 2015, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows Walla Walla Public Schools is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

“Walla Walla Public Schools is able to offer a robust Advanced Placement program thanks to our community’s overwhelming support of our local levy,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “Students who take Advanced Placement courses demonstrate they have the skill level to take the most rigorous courses the high school has to offer.”

National data from 2017 shows that among American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop, and doors must be equitably opened. Walla Walla Public Schools is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.

“Congratulations to all the educators and administrators in this district who have worked to clear a path for more students of all backgrounds to participate and succeed in AP,” said Trevor Packer, head of AP and Instruction. “These educators and administrators are fostering a culture in their schools and classrooms that allows students to face new challenges and build the confidence to succeed.”

Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time.

In 2017, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admissions process. Inclusion in the 8th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2015 to 2017, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.

Districts must:
• Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4% in large districts, at least 6% in medium districts, and at least 11% in small districts; Walla Walla High School increased student participation by 51 students from 2015 to 2017.
• Increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students taking exams and increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students scoring 3+ on at least one AP Exam; and
• Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2017 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2015 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70% of its AP students earn a 3 or higher. Wa-Hi students scoring 3 or higher jumped by 25 students from 2015 to 2017.

Chamber of Commerce honors Angie Gardea

Wednesday the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce named Garrison Middle School Counselor Angie Gardea Middle School Educator of the Year. Last school year Gardea was named Washington’s counselor of the Year. Gardea has established a comprehensive school counseling program based on relationships, best practices, research and her 19 years of experience focused on serving all students and families. Her counseling program includes student check-ins, mental health assessments and referrals, academic monitoring and promoting a positive school climate. She has trained extensively with national crisis response expert Cheri Lovre. She has also supported development of a new suicide prevention policy and procedures which focus on reporting, recognizing and referring. Her expertise has landed her a position as the district-wide crisis response leader. 

Winter Break Holiday schedule

- No School Dec. 25 to Jan. 5
- Classes resume Monday, January 8

Holiday Concert Series

Click on the link below for a complete listing of this year’s Holiday Concert Series. Special thanks to all the music teachers and students for their hard work preparing for the concerts.

Public School Employees donate to United Way’s Adopt-a-Blue Devil program

This week members of the Public Schools Employees voted to donate 1000 dollars to the Adopt-a-Blue Devil campaign with the United Way of Walla Walla. The new Adopt-a-Blue Devil program helps support students in financial need participate fully in school activities. Funds may be used to help pay for athletic equipment or fees, rent a band instrument, purchase a graduation cap and gown, or pay dues to join a school club/activity. This program will serve instrumental in ensuring that no willing student in Walla Walla is turned away due to their family’s limited financial capacity Community members wishing to donate may visit the United Way of Walla Walla website:  http://www.unitedwayww.org/

December Pulse video features timely updates

Superintendent Wade Smith recently released the December Pulse video. Superintendent Smith provides timely updates on district projects and topics.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od86ie-NJ3g&t=6s
School Board meeting and Executive Session Tuesday, Dec. 19

- Tuesday, Dec. 19
- 5:30 p.m. (regular business meeting)
- Approximately 7:15 p.m. (executive session)
- Location: Anne Golden Boardroom (District Office – 364 S. Park St.)

School Stories
Big Cheese pizza fundraiser supports Lincoln High School Drama Department

If you don’t feel like cooking dinner right after the holidays, then support the Lincoln High School Drama Department at Big Cheese Customer Appreciation Day Wednesday, December 27. Get a medium 12” cheese or pepperoni pizza for $4.99 plus tax. All proceeds support The Addams Family Musical scheduled for March 2018.

SEATech to launch new program next year – Criminal Justice

A new program is coming to SEATech, Walla Walla Valley’s skills center, in the Fall of 2018: Criminal Justice. Look for more information coming soon. Learn more about the amazing programs offered at SEATech - https://myseatech.org.

Wa-Hi Wrestling Program Spaghetti Feed Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction

- Thursday, Dec. 14
- 3 p.m. at Wa-Hi Commons
- $15 per dinner (kids eat free) – ticket also serves as admission to first home dual match of the year after dinner
- Tickets – Contact Coach Jake Buttenhoff (jabutenhoff@wwps.org) or Barbara Brown (bbrown@wwps.org)
- Event sponsors: Blue Valley Meats and Grocery Outlet
- Wa-Hi vs. Hanford Wrestling Match to follow dinner (JV – 6 p.m. and Varsity – 7 p.m.)

BMAC Food Bank supports preschool program

Special thanks to everyone at the BMAC Food Bank for donating 633 pounds of food for the Head Start/ECEAP Preschool food pantry. Students in need take food home to help ensure nutritious meals are available. Learn more about the Head Start/ECEAP program online - http://www.wwps.org/programs/head-start-eceap.

Community Stories
Walla Walla United Soccer Club announces open tryouts for the 2018 Spring season

- Thursday, December 14
- The tryout will be for boys born in 2008, 2009, 2010
- Location: Tietan Park, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

“A Seussified Christmas Carol” performances at Gesa Power House Theatre

Walla Walla Valley Honda presents “A Seussified Christmas Carol” with two performances on Sunday, December 12 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Gesa Power House Theatre as part of the ongoing Little Watts Series of Family Entertainment.

“A Seussified Christmas Carol” is a whimsical reinvention of Charles Dickens’ most beloved Christmas story performed in wacky rhymed couplets. With zoot fruited juices and binka bird geese, from Bed-Headed Fred to Timmy Loo Hoo, this tale of glorious holiday cheer is similar to something Dr. Seuss might have come up with -- if he ever had his way with the story. Local actors will perform all the parts with multiple costume changes. The cast is comprised of: Anthony Ochoa, Bill Dunham, Bradley Nelson, Dayna Ochoa, Harmon Ramon, Jennifer Riggs, and Tracey Ochoa. This Little Watts production is suitable for all ages, but is meant for ages 10 and under. The performance runs about 45 minutes with photo opportunities with the characters afterwards.

Reserved seating tickets ($12 Adults, $8 Youth 12 and under) are available online (www.phtww.com) or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500.

The Dance Center presents holiday performance “The Fantantic Toyshop”

The Dance Center, directed by Idalee Hutson-Fish presents for your Holiday entertainment, a delightful family production of “The Fantastic Toyshop”. The performance takes place on December 9 at 7 p.m. at Cordiner Hall. Tickets are available at Earthlight Books. This charming ballet is danced by over one hundred talented children from ages four through adult. Choreographed by Idalee Hutson-Fish with additional choreography by Ashley Akacich and Brooke Perkins. This production is sponsored in part by Danza Classica Ballet Foundation and Alexandra Communications:
- Reserve $20 General $15 Stu/Sen $12

City Parks and Recreation Update

Winter Wrestling Workshop – December 26-28 – Ages 5-13 - $40
Indoor Soccer - K – 8th grade - $60
Adult First Aid/CPR – Ages 12 & Up - $70 includes materials
St Patty’s Day Dash (5K & 10K) – Ages 10 & Up - $12-$25

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