Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - August 24, 2018

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
First Day of School August 28

• August 28 - First Day of School
• August 31 – NO SCHOOL (Kids Day at the Fair)
• September 3 – NO SCHOOL (Labor Day Holiday)
• Please drive carefully in school zones!

School Board meeting September 4

• Regular Study meeting
• 5:30 p.m.
• WWPS District Office (Anne Golden Boardroom)
• Open to the public

November 6 Replacement Bond - No Tax Rate Increase Proposal

• Election Day - November 6, 2018
• Ballots mailed to voters - October 17, 2018
• $65.6M Bond (local - any excess funds returned)
• $52.6M State Match (for voter-approved projects)
• $1.23 per $1,000 (same as current bond rate)
• Proposal renovates Wa-Hi, Pioneer MS, Lincoln HS, and funds districtwide safety improvements/infrastructure
• Learn more: www.wwps.org/2018bond

District tightens belt to adjust for post McCleary funding

Tuesday night school board members approved a $78.3 million 2018-2019 General Fund budget following months of study and input. Board members used district savings reserves to help balance the budget as a result of the levy funding reductions realized by the McCleary “levy swap” impact. Budget revenues for 2018-2019 are based on an FTE enrollment count of 5600. The budget includes negotiated salary agreements with PSE and WWVEA, and other cost-saving and efficiency measures.

Walla Walla Public Schools will see its levy funding drop from $11.3 million last year, to $7.8 million in the 2018-2019 budget, down to $5 million in 2019-20, as the McCleary levy cap of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation requirements takes hold. The McCleary decision centered on easing the burden on local taxpayers to fund basic education, placing greater reliance on state funding sources.

Although a win for local taxpayers who will see a $500 a year property tax reduction on a median-priced home in 2019 and moving forward, school district operations will need to adjust to this new funding reality. The Board discussed the district’s need to align expenditures over time to align with new revenue projections if funding adjustments are not addressed by the legislature. In an effort to stave off such reductions, Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors chose to partner with a professional lobbyist this school year. The lobbyist will work with state lawmakers in Olympia to put in place adjustments in the McCleary decision to benefit districts like Walla Walla where new state revenues are not keeping pace with local levy reductions.

Superintendent Wade Smith Back to School Safety Message

Safety has and continues to be our district’s top priority. Over the last few years we have taken many important steps to help further safeguard our school community to ensure a safe environment for our students, staff, and visitors.

The foundation of our district’s safety plan focuses on three pillars: prevention, response, and recovery. As part of our prevention efforts, Walla Walla Public Schools works closely with local law enforcement and regional agencies, regularly conducts emergency drills, hires campus safety officers, maintains a full time Sheriff’s Deputy on staff, and utilizes many tools for internal response and stakeholder communication. In addition, we have implemented a Safe School’s Tip Line, a Hear Something Say Something Campaign, and independent campus safety audits. We also support various student-led groups and initiatives in order to foster a safe and inclusive environment.

Walla Walla Public Schools regularly participates in drill exercises and advanced training to ensure everyone is able to respond swiftly and appropriately if an incident occurs. Table-top simulations with local first responders, reunification drills, unified threat-response plans, and CRASE (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events) and ALICE (Active Shooter Civilian Response) trained experts on staff help ensure our response efforts are sound.

The district has made great strides in its recovery and communication efforts over recent years. Our pledge to you is that we will always err on the side of communication if a situation occurs on any of our campuses involving a threat or safety event. In such emergency situations we will communicate information to families as soon as possible via our School Messenger phone system in addition to the district’s social media and other communication venues.

If you have any questions about our processes, preventive safety measures or response plans, please contact the appropriate school administrator or the district office. My colleagues and I welcome your input and ideas as we continue to refine our practices to ensure the safest environment possible for students and staff. Additional information is also available on the district’s Safe Schools Plan webpage at:

District invests in school safety

Walla Walla Public Schools continues to invest in Safe and Engaging Schools. This fall the district is launching a Safety Awareness Campaign to promote the importance of school safety. “

Our 2018-2019 Safety Awareness Campaign stresses the importance of students and parents reporting concerns to the school district,” said Mark Higgins, Communications Director.

Walla Walla High School senior Allison Wanichek and her brother Jack, an 8th grader at Garrison Middle School, are teaming with the district to serve as student ambassadors for the WWPS Safety Awareness Campaign. They are producing flyers, radio spots, videos and social media content to help promote school safety. Allison and Jack will also help plan activities for National School Safety week October 22-26.

Investing in our Children’s Safety:
• Funds a full-time Walla Walla County school resource officer (SRO)
• Employs six Walla Walla Public Schools security officers
• Maintains Incident Command System (ICS) teams & emergency plans
• Conducts lockdown, evacuation, earthquake and shelter-in-place drills
• Ensures principals & response team staff are National Incident Management System trained
• Utilizes proactive threat assessment procedures
• Implements research-based bullying prevention program
• Supports Reach Out suicide prevention campaign
• Performs regular trainings/simulation exercises with police & other first responders

Anonymously report bullying, harassment, threats of violence, suicide, drugs, weapons and other safety concerns in the following 4 easy ways:
1. PHONE - 855.976.8772
2. TEXT - 855.976.8772
3. EMAIL - 1057@ALERT1.US
4. WEB - 1057.ALERT1.US

For additional school safety information visit: www.wwps.org

Magnificent tree focal point of new community park coming to Walla Walla High School campus

Graduate of Distinction and 1969 alum Michael Murr, in coordination with the Joseph L. Stubblefield Trust, has partnered with Walla Walla Public Schools to develop a new park on the west-side of the Walla Walla High School campus. The park pays tribute to what is believed to be the world’s largest London Plane tree in existence, a hybrid offspring of the American Sycamore and Oriental Plane. Commonly referred to as a “Sycamore”, the century majestic tree, when considering its height (over 150 feet tall), its crown (excess of 100 feet), and circumference (nearly 30 feet around), outshines the tallest London Plane on record in Europe, planted in 1749 to mark the centenary of the execution of King Charles I. Although the 269 year old European tree is believed to be a few feet taller, the Walla Walla tree’s girth and crown dwarfs the Bryanston School Estate tree located in Dorset, England.

Murr approached the district last spring about developing and funding the project aimed at preserving the massive, historic tree. Anderson Perry and Associates of Walla Walla completed the necessary studies and Murr is in the process of finalizing the design for the $250,000 Tree Park Project. Fellow 1969 WaHi graduate, and 28 year Walla Walla Community College instructor Larry Harding, will help oversee the project. In addition, local arborists have also been involved to ensure the tree is well cared-for during the project and after completion.

“We are so grateful for Mr. Murr and the Stubblefield Trust for their efforts to help preserve such an important piece of our valley’s treasures,” noted Superintendent Wade Smith. “Their financial contribution and advocacy will help ensure the majestic tree is around for generations to marvel at and enjoy.”

The park will include tree protection measures, walking paths, decorative fencing, benches and additional landscaping to highlight the impressive London Plane. Removal of the dilapidated house and shed will further improve the site in order to provide a tranquil experience for visitors to admire the remarkable tree. The project is expected to begin in early September and be completed by spring.

“We are so grateful the School District shares our view that this magnificent tree should be preserved. The giant Sycamore will now be protected for centuries. Importantly, the Sycamore park—with its meditative quality—just might inspire or change the life of a young student or passerby now and then,” noted Murr.

Personnel Report (from August 21, 2018 School Board Meeting)

Sydney Kimball, Math, Garrison Middle School
Chantell Lopez, Music (temporary), Blue Ridge Elementary School
Michael Patterson, Physical Education (temporary), Pioneer Middle School
Christopher Shirley, Third Grade, Edison Elementary School
Sarah Villanueva, Head Start/ECEAP Teacher, Blue Ridge Preschool
Bart Wuest, Construction Technology/Engineering, Walla Walla High School

Ashley Cesena, Assistant Secretary, Garrison Middle School
Megan Davin, Para-Educator, Berney Elementary School
Ginger Gatewood, Para-Educator, Prospect Point Elementary School
Aleah Gibb, Para-Educator, Prospect Point Elementary School
Annaliese Shafer, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary School
Serena Vicari, Para-Educator (temporary), Blue Ridge Elementary School

Christine Arevalo, Head Start/ECEAP Teacher, Blue Ridge Preschool, 5 years
Jo Anna Gogl, Third Grade, Edison Elementary School, 21 years
Pat Graham, Math, Walla Walla High School, 11 years
Tyronne McEuen, Math, Walla Walla High School, 27 years

Jonie Clark, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School, 8 years
Mark Clark, Lead Mechanic, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op, 10 years
Elaine Flores, Kitchen Assistant, Walla Walla High School, 1 month
Yesenia Gutierrez, Family Advocate, Blue Ridge Preschool, 6 years
Julio Jimenez, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary School, 5 years
Marci Jo Lanning, Para-Educator, Prospect Point Elementary School, 1 year
Ruth Larson, Family Advocate, Blue Ridge Preschool, 6 years
Michael Lemke, Grounds, Facilities and Operations, 1 year
Estrella Ramirez, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary School, 1 year
Anna Sandness, Administrative Assistant, Business Office, 16 years
Laura Snowberger, Kitchen Assistant, Walla Walla High School, 1 month

Nathan Ferraro, Para-Educator, Garrison Middle School, 11 years
- August through December 2018 for student teaching practicum completion
Monica Jimenez, Family Advocate, Blue Ridge Preschool, 3 years
- For the 2018-2019 school year

Tech Director named PSE Honorary Member of the Year

Forrest Baker, Director of Technology and Library Services at Walla Walla School District, was recognized by Public School Employees of Washington SEIU Local 1948 (PSE) as a 2018 Honorary Member of the Year. The award was presented to Baker during PSE’s Annual Convention on Saturday, August 4 at Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, WA.

“The Honorary Member of the Year Award shines a spotlight on our outstanding partners in education,” said PSE President Charlotte Shindler. “It is presented to those who continually act in the best interest of Education Support Professionals.”

Baker has provided increased access to technology and professional development to Education Support Professionals in Walla Walla School District. Under his leadership, paraeducators, bus drivers, and other classified employees have received vital technology training to provide our community’s students with a 21st-century education.

“He fights not only for those under his supervision, but for classified employees across the board,” said BJ Colvin, PSE Treasurer and Technology Specialist at Walla Walla School District. “He helps provide a level playing field for all staff and has a far-reaching impact. He makes sure everyone is welcomed and appreciated.”

There are more than 2.8 million Education Support Professionals in our nation’s public schools, colleges, and universities and they make up one-third of the public education workforce. They ensure students achieve at their highest levels. They keep students fed, emotionally and physically healthy and safe, engaged and connected to the larger school community, and provide instruction and support that leads to academic success.

Education Support Professionals work in the following nine career families:
• Child nutrition services
• Clerical services
• Custodial and maintenance services
• Health and student services
• Paraeducators
• Security services
• Skilled trades
• Technical services
• Transportation services

Health Services Back to School reminders

• Immunizations: WA State law requires all students have current immunizations on file with WWPS
• Medications: All medications, even if self-carried, require a current doctor’s order
• Information: Contact your child’s school for additional information or assistance

Amy Ruff, Director of Health Services
(707) 397-5588

School Stories
Enrollment soars in Edison Dual Language program

Interest in the Dual Language program at Edison Elementary is at an all-time high for the 2018-2019 school year as nearly 100 kindergarten students are registered. Edison Elementary houses the district’s Dual Language program where students receive academic instruction in English and Spanish while achieving bilingual/biliterate proficiency skills. Research shows native Spanish speakers acquire higher levels of English skills through Dual Language programs, while also retaining and enhancing their native language skills. Research also indicates native English speakers more efficiently and effectively develop second language skills in Dual Language programs versus traditional foreign language classes, according to Dr. Victor Vergara, Director of Bilingual Education for Walla Walla Public Schools.

“Research shows Dual students typically outperform English-only students in the classroom, by the end of their elementary years, said Dr. Vergara. “Students develop proficiency in both languages and have increased cultural awareness and the ability to interpret cross-cultural interactions, crucial in today’s world.”

The district’s Dual Language instruction model features an 80-20 model where younger students in kindergarten and first grade receive most of their instruction in Spanish. By 4th and 5th grades the model transitions to 50 percent English and 50 percent Spanish instruction as dual students enhance their skills in both languages. Students in the Dual Language program also benefit from the ability to communicate with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Dual language programs are also available at Garrison and Pioneer Middle Schools and Walla Walla High School.

This year impressively, 29 Walla Walla High School seniors earned the prestigious Seal of Biliteracy distinction on their diplomas. The Seal of Biliteracy indicates students have achieved advanced levels of proficiency in English and Spanish.
“Our goal is for the Dual Language Program students to achieve the highest levels of proficiency in English as well as Spanish, so they can comfortably be part of a multicultural world,” said Dr. Vergara. “We encourage you to stop by Edison to take a tour and witness the amazing results being achieved through our research-based Dual Language program.”

New Latino Club Advisor

Walla Walla High School Intervention Specialist Melito Ramirez has been named Latino Club advisor. Ramirez succeeds teacher Refugio Reyes who has been the club advisor for the past 11 years.

“I am extremely excited to work with a group of students that has so much positive energy and ideas,” said Ramirez. “I’m proud to be in a position to help them realize their plans.”

Ramirez has worked in education for the past 40 years in a variety of roles, including Special Programs, Bilingual Education, Summer School, Opportunity Program and Lincoln High School. He has served in his current position for the past 13 years.

“The Latino Club’s leadership team has been meeting this summer and are making plans for participation in the Walla Walla County Fair and Frontier Days Parade,” said Ramirez. “We are all very excited about getting started and I am extremely honored to be given the opportunity to support this group of Walla Walla High School students as we create great memories, bond, work hard, and have fun.”

Wa-Hi Agriscience teacher hones skills

Peggy Payne, agriscience educator at Walla Walla High School attended an 8-day professional development institute this summer at Lexington, KY to teach the Principles of Agricultural Science – Plant Biology Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) course in Payne’s program.

CASE is an instructional system that is changing the culture of agriculture programs in the United States through intense teacher professional development; inquiry-based, student-focused lessons; assessment; and certification. CASE equips teachers to elevate student experiences in the agriculture classroom, and prepares students for success in college and careers emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

During the CASE Institute, Payne spent hours working through nearly every lesson in the year-long curriculum and learning how to deliver lessons in an inquiry-based way that will shift focus in the classroom from teacher-led to student-directed learning.

“I have waited a long time to teach plant biology at Wa-Hi. I am looking forward to sharing my passion for plants with Wa-Hi students,” said Payne.

Payne also attended a 6-day professional development institute at Story City, Iowa to teach the Physical Science-Agricultural Power and Technology; Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) course in the freshman program. Payne spent 65 hours working through nearly every lesson in the year-long curriculum and learning how to deliver lessons in an inquiry-based way that will shift focus in the classroom from teacher-led to student-directed learning.
“This CASE curriculum uses an engineering/design focus, incorporating technology, as students learn “traditional” physics and chemistry. The result is an engaging hands-on lab experience that freshman will love,” said Payne.
For more information about CASE, visit www.case4learning.org

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 WWPS Athletic and Activities Director Dirk Hansen. “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

Community Stories
Walla2Hoops announces AAU basketball parents meeting and player tryout date

Walla2Hoops Basketball Club is scheduling a parent meeting Sunday, September 9 at 6 p.m. at the Walla Walla High School large gym to discuss the recently formed organization and plans for the 2018-2019 AAU basketball season which runs from October 2018 to March 2019. Walla2Hoops recently received its 501C3 Non-Profit club status under the umbrella of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Walla2Hoops is open to Walla Walla valley boys and girls grades 2 to 8 to provide an enriched basketball environment with a mission to create a positive competitive culture focused on developing character and basketball fundamentals. Walla2Hoops Club President Matthew Price-Huntington says coaches will learn more about the organization and have an opportunity to ask questions.

Player tryouts for the 2018-2019 season will be held Sunday, September 16 at Walla Walla High School from 12 to 7 p.m. All participants will need to have current AAU Membership and sign up at the following website using code WY6BWC: http://aausports.org/Join-AAU

NOTE: Existing AAU card holders can log onto their account and edit the existing code with the new Walla2Hoops Club code:

2018-2019 Walla2Hoops AAU Tryout Schedule – Sunday, Sept. 16
• Boys and Girls Grades 2-4: 12 to 2 p.m.
• Boys and Girls Grades 5-6: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
• Boys and Girls Grades 7-8: 5 to 7 p.m
• ALTERNATIVE TRYOUT DATE: There is an alternative tryout date for those who can’t make the September 16 date. It will be Tuesday, September 18 at DeSales High School from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for boys and girls grades 2-5 girls and 7 to 8:30 p.m. for girls and boys grades 6-8.

“We made a lot of progress over the past three months and are excited to share these opportunities with our coaches and families,” said Price-Huntington. “Our hope is to provide opportunities for any player in the valley to be part of a competitive AAU basketball team.”

Walla2Hoops Team Support includes:
• Team uniforms, basketballs, first aid kits
• Walla Walla tournament fees waived
• Coaching stipend
• Gym space
• Skills clinics
• Discounted training at Destination CrossFit

• Email: walla2hoops@gmail.com
• Facebook: walla2Hoops
• Mail: PO Box 3383 – Walla Walla, WA 99362
• Club Contact: President Matthew Price-Huntington – 509.956.9695

Free Trilogy event features expert on addiction and recovery; local police to discuss drugs in our community

• Monday, Sept. 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. (FREE)
• Maxey Hall, Whitman College
• A story of recovery and a presentation on drugs in our community by local law enforcement

Trilogy Recovery Center is hosting this educational night featuring Dr. Kevin McCauley as the keynote speaker. Dr. McCauley, Director of Program Services at New Roads Treatment facility, is a strong advocate for the rights of those in recovery as patients, as well as valued members of society. He is the creator of the award-winning film “Pleasure Unwoven” that first addressed addiction as a disease. The goal is to provide education to the community about addiction and recovery. Whether someone works in the addiction and recovery space, works in the social sector, has experienced addiction or recovery personally or with a loved one; there is something to learn at this event.

The Health Center announces concert to benefit Walla Walla youth

Kate & The Crocodiles will perform a concert at Gesa Power House Theatre on Saturday, September 15 at 7 p.m. Proceeds will benefit The Health Center. The Health Center delivers primary health and behavioral health care for all students at Lincoln High School, Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School, Blue Ridge Elementary, and HeadStart/ECEAP Preschool. Their mission is to advance the success of students by addressing their physical, emotional, and social needs.

Kate & The Crocodiles are a Portland-based quartet who perform indie rock originals and covers, early jazz and jazz standards, reinventions of ‘70s and ’80s rock as ballads, and classical art songs mixed with rock.

“Living in Walla Walla for 23 years, I worked with several nonprofit organizations,” Kate Morrison said. “During that time, I helped build the Trilogy Recovery Community programs with the support of The Health Center when both programs were in their early stages. Naturally, the mission of The Health Center and the people who support it have a special place in my heart.”

Sponsors for the event include Baker Boyer Bank, Whitman College, Key Technology, Hernandez Immigration Law, Andy’s Market, Jim and Jayne McCarthy, Preferred Properties, Sotheby’s, and Walla Walla University School of Sociology.

Reserved seating tickets ($35) are available online or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500. A small number of VIP tables (for four people) are also available for $175 (includes stage-side seating).

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