Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Feb. 9, 2018

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
February No School dates

• No School (conferences) – Thursday, Feb. 15 and Friday, Feb. 16
• No School (Presidents Day) – Monday, Feb. 19

February 2018 – Parent/Teacher Goal-Setting Conference Schedules

Berney Elementary
Tuesday, Feb. 13: 3:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15: 8:00 a.m. – 7:15 p.m.

Blue Ridge Elementary
Monday, Feb. 12: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 13: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Edison Elementary
Wednesday, Feb. 14: 3:15 – 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15: 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Green Park Elementary
Wednesday, Feb. 14: 2:15 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Prospect Point Elementary
Monday, Feb. 12: 3:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 13: 3:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sharpstein Elementary
Tuesday, Feb. 13: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 14: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Garrison Middle School
Wednesday, Feb. 14 (Classroom Drop-In): 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15 (Classroom Drop-In): 7:45 – 11:30 a.m., 12:00 – 2:30 p.m., 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Pioneer Middle School
Monday, Feb. 12 (Classroom Drop-In): 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 13 (Classroom Drop-In): 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15 (Classroom Scheduled): 8:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Lincoln High School
Tuesday, Feb. 13: 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 14: 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Walla Walla High School
Wednesday, Feb. 14 (Arena Drop-In): 4:00 -8:00 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15 (Classroom Scheduled): 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

SEATech Skills Center
Wednesday, Feb. 14 (Classroom Drop-In): 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15 (Classroom Scheduled): 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Public invited to March 1 bond planning Open House informational meeting

Open House Details
• Thursday, March 1
• Walla Walla High School Commons
• Food and social: 5:30 to 6 p.m.
• Program: 6 to 7 p.m.
• WWPS Bond Planning Information: http://www.wwps.org/2018bondplanning

Join members of the Community Facilities Task Force, School Board representatives and Superintendent Wade Smith for an informational Open House update on the district’s 2018 Bond Planning work. Panel members will discuss the process to develop a long-range facilities plan, the facilities improvement options being studied for consideration on the November 2018 ballot, answer questions and take input.

Graduates of Distinction nominations now accepted

Nominations are now open for the district’s prestigious Graduates of Distinction program. Nominations for this year’s recipients will be accepted through March 15. Please consider nominating an outstanding graduate or encouraging someone you know to submit a nomination. Recipients will be honored prior to the June 5 School Board meeting.

Information and the nomination forms are online:

Volunteer of the Year nominations now accepted

Nominations are now open for the Art Regier Volunteer of the Year awards. Please consider nominating one of Walla Walla Public Schools’ outstanding volunteers. Recipients will be honored at the April 17 School Board meeting. Contact Communications Director Mark Higgins for additional information – mhiggins@wwps.org.

Nomination form: http://www.wwps.org/images/parents/Art_Regier_Nomination_Form.fillable_pdf.pdf

Personnel Report (from Feb. 6, 2018 school board meeting)

Donnetta Elsasser, Alternative Middle School (temporary), Opportunity Program
Kaitlyn Everson, Occupation Therapist, Special Education (2018-2019)
Halley McCormick, Math (temporary), Garrison Middle School
Joelle Pomraning, Middle School (temporary), Pioneer Middle School

Karen Tello, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Preschool Program

All Certificated Resignation/Retirements are effective at the end of the current school year.
Deborah Bailey, Special Education, Pioneer Middle School, 23.5 years
Marlene Castoldi, Family and Consumer Science, Garrison Middle School, 22 years
Charles (Tod) Crouter, Fifth Grade, Edison Elementary School, 30 years
Donna Currier, School Psychologist, Special Education, 3 years
Gloria (Patty) De La O-Parks, School Psychologist, Special Education, 6 years
Alina Delarosa, First Grade, Prospect Point Elementary School, 2 years
Barbara Doherty, Special Education, Garrison Middle School, 28 years
Vivian Glaeser, Math, Walla Walla High School, 12 years
Leslie (Robin) Peterson, Third Grade, Green Park Elementary School, 28 years
Sharron Plucker, Preschool, Blue Ridge Preschool Program, 24 years
Brenda Prins, Reading Specialist, Prospect Point Elementary School, 20 years

Erin Bren, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary School, 1.5 years
Jerry Knudson, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op, 18.5 years

Halley McCormick, Para-Educator, Garrison Middle School, 5 months
- For the remainder of the 2017-2018 to serve as Math teacher at Garrison Middle School

District partners with Walla Walla County on Reach Out Suicide Prevention Awareness Campaign

Campaign encourages students to reach out for help
Walla Walla Public Schools has teamed with the Walla Walla Suicide Prevention Work Group to enhance its Reach Out Suicide Prevention Awareness Campaign. The work group, led by Walla Walla County Department of Community Health, is focused on breaking down barriers to suicide intervention by reaching out to those in need. In Washington State, 25 people will die by suicide this week, as many as one-fifth of school-age youth will seriously consider suicide this year, and overall, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, ahead of car accidents, homicides, wars or natural disasters.

Matt Bobbitt of Tangent Media Group in Walla Walla developed the Reach Out slogan, brand and website to support the Walla Walla Suicide Prevention Work Group’s awareness campaign. Walla Walla Public Schools teamed with Bobbitt to develop posters for local schools encouraging students to reach out to parents, friends, teachers, counselors and principals if they are concerned about suicide.

“The message is you’re not alone,” said Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea who is heading the suicide prevention effort for Walla Walla Public Schools. “Suicide is not an easy subject to talk about and we are working with students and staff so they feel more confident about identifying warning signs, finding ways to intervene and breaking down barriers.”

Posters in English and Spanish are going up this week at all Walla Walla Public Schools campuses. Walla Walla Public Schools is also working closely with the Comprehensive Mental Health Center in Walla Walla for staff training this winter and spring. Parent meetings are being coordinated throughout the school year. The district is also training staff and students through the Sources of Strength suicide prevention program.

Suicide Prevention – Blue Devil Strong hosts Parent Awareness Night
Topic: What we can learn from the popular culture of suicide?
- Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m.
- Wa-Hi Library
- Student leaders will discuss the truth buried in the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”, and how this knowledge could help your teen

“Walla Walla Public Schools recognizes school plays a unique and important role in the prevention of youth suicide,” said Gardea. “It’s important for our students to know they can Reach Out for help.”

Remember to vote – Ballots due February 13

Please remember to vote in the special election. Ballots are due Feb. 13, 2018. 

Raising teenagers the focus of new Love and Logic parenting class 

- Love & Logic parenting class (focus is on raising teenagers)
- 5-session class
- Hosted at Pioneer Middle School
- Feb 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27 from 5:30-8:00
- English and Spanish

Pam Clayton, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator
Email: pclayton@wwps.org
Website: http://bit.ly/WWPS-families
Facebook: http://bit.ly/wwfamiliesandschools

Superintendent’s Patron Tour March 14 – Visit Wa-Hi, Pioneer MS and Lincoln HS

Join Superintendent Wade Smith for a tour of three schools and an update on the district’s 2018 Bond Planning work. This is an excellent opportunity to meet Superintendent Smith and learn more about Walla Walla Public Schools.

• Wednesday, March 14 / 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
• RSVP by Friday, March 9 -- sgolden@wwps.org / (509) 526-6715

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

Highly Capable Referral Period scheduled through March 2, 2018 

Walla Walla School District’s Highly Capable Program provides students of high academic and intellectual ability with designated time to explore concepts in greater depth. The goal of the Highly Capable Program is to encourage the development of higher level thinking skills. Information on Highly Capable Program services and the 2018 referral process is currently available on the district’s website. Referral forms are available in all district schools and on the district website.

The annual selection process for in-district students takes place in late winter/early spring, with referral packets due back to schools by March 2, 2018 for grades K-8. Following the testing and selection process, all parents will be notified in writing of the results of the process. A child not selected one year may be referred again in subsequent years.

Parent permission forms for kindergarten cognitive abilities screening are available at district schools and screening will take place soon. Parents will be notified of screening results and full referral forms will be distributed at conferences. Referred students will take the remainder of the cognitive abilities test and be reviewed for selection by the end of March so they may begin services at their home schools after Spring Break.

Universal screening for students in grades 2 and 5
Students in second and fifth grade will take the cognitive abilities screener and results of the screening process, along with other data points, will be used to determine which students will be recommended at conference time to participate in the remainder of the cognitive abilities test.

Referrals for all other students
Parents of students at other elementary and middle school grade levels should be in contact with their child’s teacher(s) to determine if Highly Capable testing is recommended. Students in grades one through eight selected for Highly Capable programming will begin services at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. For more information, please contact the Walla Walla School District Teaching and Learning office: 526-6735.

School Stories

Ahrens promoted to permanent position

Longtime Walla Walla High School science teacher Rob Ahrens has been serving as Interim Assistant Principal at Pioneer Middle School this year. This week, Principal Kristina Duncan announced to her staff Ahrens has been promoted to the position permanently. Ahrens says he is thrilled to continue supporting staff and students in his new role.

Preschool parent selected to serve on state association

Preschool parent Guadalupe Mendoza was one of only 20 parents selected in Washington state to serve as a parent ambassador for the Washington State Association of Head Start/ECEAP. Mendoza has children in the district’s preschool program, Sharpstein Elementary and Walla Walla High School. She is only the second parent from Walla Walla to be selected for this statewide program.

About the WSA ambassador program:
Parents selected for this program participate in a yearlong parent advocacy and leadership training program. They receive training on communications, leadership, legislative advocacy and grassroots organizing, and are responsible for training parents in their local programs and participating in advocacy efforts on both the state and federal level.

Congratulations to the Wa-Hi Instrumental Program

Students traveled to Chiawana High School in Pasco, WA and competed in the Columbia Basin Music Educators Association’s Solo & Ensemble contest last Saturday. Each student and ensemble performed in front of an adjudicator and received a rating of I, II, III, IV, V. With I = a superior rating and V= Poor. The top three musicians in each category (Winner, 1st alternate, 2nd alternate) are ranked, with the winner going on to compete in April at the State Solo & Ensemble Competition in Ellensburg.

Regional Solo & Ensemble Standouts:

Piano Solo
-Winner: Blake Averett
-2nd Alternate: Jacob Averett

Viola Solo:
2nd Alternate: Khameron Evans

Violin Solo:
2nd Alternate: Bryson Jacob

Cello Solo:
2nd Alternate: Milan Mumm

Flute Solo:
Winner: Thomas Kaminsky

Clarinet Solo:
Winner: Keeli McKern
1st Alternate: Darby Clark
2nd Alternate: Jena Peitersen

Small Woodwind Ensemble:
Winner: Flute & Clarinet Duet - Keeli McKern & Thomas Kaminsky with piano accompanist Braden Hisaw

Large String Ensemble:
1st Alternate: Violins – Bryson Jacob, Jarry Ladderrud, Ramon Lopez, Hannali Berglin, Violas – Addie Snow & Peter Hoffman, Cello – Kati Wolcott, Double Bass – Rachel Prull

Last weekend for Wa-Hi Drama Club’s Peter Pan 

Don’t miss this family friendly production. The show is designed, directed, acted, and crewed by students.

Shows are:
- Friday, Feb. 9 @ 7 p.m.
- Saturday, Feb. 10 @ 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door:
- Adults - $7
- Students $5
- Kids 5 and under- FREE

Peter Pan promotional trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_xVLFYcDVI

Volunteers needed to serve on Senior Culminating project panel

Volunteers are needed to serve on the Walla Walla High School senior culminating projects review panel.
• Wednesday, March 21
• Thursday, March 22
• Tuesday, April 17
• Thursday, April 19
• 3:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. (each night)
• Information: Assistant Principal Stacy Estes – sestes@wwps.org / 509.527.3020

Blue Mountain Community Foundation donation supports Lincoln High School

Thanks to the Blue Mountain Community Foundation for its generous $1500 donation to support Lincoln High School students in need. 

Wa-Hi honors students with perfect attendance

Walla Walla High School is supporting the district’s Strategic Plan initiative to improve student attendance through its Attendance Matters campaign. This week In addition more than $400 in community business donations were awarded to 49 students with perfect attendance for the first semester. During the past month Wa-Hi staff and students created an attendance contest for a student to make a video of “WHY” it is important to be in school as part of the Attendance Matters effort. Student Jared Kelnhoffer was the winner. Click on the link to view his video.

Special thanks to the following businesses for their support:
• Mi Pueblito (10 $10 Meals)
• Coffee Cravings (10 $5 Cards)
• Big Cheese Pizza (20 M Pizza’s)
• T Walla Walla Hoodies
• YMCA donated a 2 week membership

In addition, several students received WWHS water bottles filled with snacks, and 10 reserved parking spots close to the school were award to the winners.

Community Stories
AAUW Book Sale February 16-18

• 43rd Annual AAUW (American Association of University Women) Book Sale
• Marcus Whitman Hotel
• Friday, Feb 16, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb 17, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Children (14 and younger) each receive one free book from the extensive children’s section (baby, picture and chapter books). New this year is a young adult category, featuring books for 12 to 18-year-olds, with more adult themes than children’s chapter books.
• The Book Sale’s approximately 40,000 books are divided into more than 40 categories.
• Prices range from $.50 to $4.00 for most titles. On Sunday all regular books are $10 per bag. The collectible books are priced individually and are half-price on Sunday. Credit and debit cards will be accepted, along with checks and cash.
• Proceeds from the sale fund local scholarships for women returning to college, and local educational projects and events.

Hosts needed for Sister City guests from Japan

Walla Walla will be hosting 11 guests from its Sister City in Sasayama, Japan. Nine of the guests are Japanese high school students and the other two are their chaperones, a teacher and a city employee from Sasayama. Guests will arrive from Sasayama on Monday March 19 at 6:19 p.m. Guests will depart from Walla Walla on Saturday March 31 at 11:39 a.m.

Host families will be requested to provide breakfast and dinner and weekend activities for the guests. Also, requested to provide transportation on the weekdays to and from Pioneer Park, The Garden Center. Sister City committee members will provide entertainment, tours and activities for the guests during the weekdays. If host family members want to attend the events and activities they are welcome. If you have an interest in hosting a student or an adult, please contact Chairman Franklin Dean at deanofloans@gmail.com

Also, Mr. Dean has information for students who are interested in a home-stay at our Sister City in October 2018. The Home stay will be about 14 days in mid October. This program has been going on for 45 years. Students will get the chance to visit 1,000-year-old temples and shrines, a 400-year-old castle, Samurai quarters and a variety of other cultural activities, like tea ceremony, Martial Arts, Japanese music, etc. Please contact Dean for more information.

Sweet Hearts for Kids annual luncheon

• Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center
• $40 lunch, per person
• 12 noon to 1 p.m.
• Keynote speaker - Marla Capra. Marla frequently writes about the joys and challenges of parenting three children who all came to her family through adoption. Her humor and honesty make her highly relatable. The former Walla Walla resident serves as an ambassador for the Mixed Roots Foundation that supports agencies who work with adoptees. She also volunteers for Girls Inc, at her children’s school and the local library. Marla is a great friend of Children’s Home Society of Washington.
• Proceeds support the Children’s Home Society of Walla Walla

Parent information night for EF Tours trip to Peru Spring Break 2019

Kathryn Southwick-Hess is organizing a trip to Peru during Spring Break 2019. The trip is open to all current students in grades 6-11. She says participants will explore ancient civilizations, meet the local people and be immersed in the land and culture of Peru. She also says it is the perfect place to learn or practice Spanish speaking/reading skills. This trip is not sponsored by Walla Walla Public Schools.

Parent Information Meeting
• Monday, Feb. 26
• 7 p.m.
• WWCC room 209
• For information, contact: Kathryn Southwick-Hess:
- mrstravelmama@gmail.com
- www.eftours.com/2027851vd

Walla Walla Symphony Free family concert

• Sunday, Feb. 11
• FREE family concert
• Event includes an “instrument petting zoo” before the concert for kids to try out different instruments
• Event link: http://www.wwsymphony.org/20172018-symphony-season/2018/2/11/free-family-concert-foodraiser

St Patty’s Day Dash 5K & 10K

• Saturday, March 17
• Ages 10 & Up
• Cost - $12-$25
• Fort Walla Walla Park
• All paid/registered participants will receive an event shirt
• Volunteers needed
• For more information or to register please visit www.wwpr.us.
• Contact Michael Bumgardner at 509-527-4527 for event/volunteer information.

City Parks and Recreation Update

Mother/Son Superhero Bash – February 10 – All Ages - $15
Father/Daughter Valentines Ball – February 24 - All Ages - $15
Adult First Aid/CPR – Ages 12 & Up - $70 includes materials
Blue Mountain Girls Softball – Ages 5-12 - $40/$55
Girls Softball Clinic – Ages 5-13 - $35 Pitching/Catching - $15
Warrior Soccer Academy - Ages 5-11 - $48
Lifeguard Certifications – Ages 15 & up - $150

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