Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Oct. 19, 2018

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Ballots for Replacement Bond proposal sent out

Ballots for the November 6 No Tax Rate Increase Replacement Bond proposal were mailed to voters Oct. 17. Voters are asked to decide on a $65.6M replacement bond measure to renovate Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School, and Lincoln High School and fund specific district-wide health, safety, educational and infrastructure improvements. The school renovation projects are eligible for an estimated $52.6M in State Match funds. All State Match funds will be applied only to the voter-approved projects. Any excess dollars remaining following the completion of these projects will be used to pay down debt to reduce the rate for taxpayers. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 6. Visit the district webpage for more information: http://www.wwps.org/2018bond

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors earns prestigious Board of Distinction award

The Washington State School Directors’ Association announced Walla Walla Public Schools’ Board of Directors has been selected to receive the ‘Board of Distinction Award’. The district will receive the award at the state directors’ conference ceremony to be held Nov. 15 in Spokane. This is the first Board of Distinction award in district history for Walla Walla.

The Board of Distinction award program recognizes school boards that show evidence of applying best practice standards endorsed by the Washington State School Directors’ Association. Recipients must document they meet rigorous accountability and leadership practices through evidence-based actions. Selection criteria also includes aligning and incorporating high quality governance attributes to improve district operations and student learning.

The application process was open from July 9 to Sept. 20. School board applications included an accounting of the most relevant work accomplished leading up to submission. Focus areas included ensuring there were non-negotiable goals in place for student achievement. Recipients also had to demonstrate how they were providing for learning essentials, including rigorous curriculum, technology and actions to attain high-quality facilities. Award merit was also based on evaluating the superintendent on clear and focused expectations, including evidence of making gains on the opportunity gap based on student achievement data.

School board member Ruth Ladderud helped coordinate the award submission. She has served on the school board since 2012.

“I’ve always felt as a board this is something we should aspire to and this spring as a board we felt we were making the adjustments and turning the corner so the timing was right to apply,” said Ladderud. “All means all in Walla Walla and we were able to demonstrate that every student is valued, cared for and important, and I believe this is what led to the award selection.”

National School Safety Week – Oct. 22-26 - District plans activities to promote importance of school safety 

Next week is National School Safety Week and the district is planning several activities to raise awareness about this important topic. Schools will be sharing information during morning announcements, conducting drills and welcoming area first-reponders to have lunch with students.

Garrison Middle School 8th grade student Jack Wanichek and his sister Allison, a senior at Wa-Hi, are serving as student ambassdors for the awareness campaign. Tuesday night school board members previewed a video Jack created to remind students about the important message: Hear Something, See Something -- Say Something. SEATech Instructor Jeffrey Townsend and some of his students captured the video for Jack to edit and produce. Allison helped get students to be in the video and kept everyone on schedule. Look for the video to be released next week to kick off National School Safety Week. Thank you for helping keep students safe!

Sycamore Tree Park project breaks ground

Construction work began this week to develop a new park on the west-side of the Walla Walla High School campus with a giant sycamore tree focal point. Graduate of Distinction and 1969 alum Michael Murr, in coordination with the Joseph L. Stubblefield Trust, has partnered with Walla Walla Public Schools to design and fund the park. 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.

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 $250,000 project is expected to begin in early September and be completed by spring.

District staff and students pitch in to support Care and Share Food Drive

The Walla Walla Association of Realtors annual Care and Share Food Drive is in full swing this week. Staff and students are handing out collection bags and picking them up to help fill the shelves of the Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank. Collection barrels will also remain at all schools and the district office throughout October. This year’s Care and Share Food Drive goal is 45,000 lbs. 

Personnel Report (from Oct. 16, 2018 school board meeting)

Serena Vicari, Para-Ed, Blue Ridge Elementary

Alyssa Moreno, English, Walla Walla High School, 2.5 years

Leave of Absence
Ana Campos, Para-Ed, Head Start/ECEAP, 3 years

School Stories
Sources of Strength suicide prevention program helps Garrison students find the power of connection and hope

This week Garrison Middle School staff and students participated in the internationally acclaimed Sources of Strength suicide prevention program. 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. The Sources of Strength program provides a platform to bring the school community together to focus on increasing communication and breaking the codes of silence. It promotes communication both peer to peer and adult to peer.

Students and staff learned the eight key protective factors or strengths:
• Medical access
• Mental Health
• Family Support
• Positive Friends
• Mentors
• Healthy Activities
• Generosity
• Spirituality

Walla Walla High School and Lincoln High School staff and students have also participated in the program in past years.

Wa-Hi Slow Pitch Softball team qualifies for state

Congratulations to the Walla Walla High School Slow Pitch Softball Team for advancing to state in its inaugural season. The team defeated Pasco this week in a doubleheader to earn Mid-Columbia Conference Championship honors and a berth to the State Slowpitch Softball Tournament. The Blue Devils will play the winner of Chiawana versus Hermiston this Saturday, October 20 at 12 p.m. at Murr Sports Complex in Walla Walla for state seeding.

Walla Walla High School Band students selected to 2018 Western International Band Clinic 

Congratulations to the following Walla Walla High School Band students for being selected to the 2018 Western International Band Clinic November 16-19 at the Sea-Tac Doubletree Inn:

Darby Clark--------Clarinet
Keeli McKern------Clarinet
Olivier Nicault-----Alto Saxophone
Tommy Kaminsky---Flute
Ezekiel Thompson--Tuba

“WIBC is an honor band festival similar in structure to an All-State honor group experience except it is only bands, not choir or orchestra,” said Band Director Andrew Ueckert. “There are four bands of approximately 165 students each from all over the northwest.”

Trunk-or-Treat Halloween night

No tricks it’s all treats for this event! Annual Key Club Trunk-or-Treat event open to the community.

WHAT: Partnership event with Walla Walla High School Key Club and our local Kiwanis Club. This event is open to all our community goblins! Bring your child and a can of food to participate in this annual event! Wa-Hi service clubs will each display a car and will be dressed up in a matching theme handing out candy to community children. Cars and club decor will judged by Wa-Hi teachers and administrators.
WHEN: October 31, 5 to 7 p.m.
WHERE: Walla Walla High School ‘Science’ parking lot (off Abbott Rd)
ADMISSION: One can of food that will be donated to the Blue Mountain Food Bank at the end of the evening.

Questions?: ask Key Club advisor Becky Waggoner-Schwartz- bschwartz@wwps.org.

Community Stories
Walla2Hoops AAU basketball program plans coaches meeting Sunday
Walla2Hoops is gearing up for the 2018-2019 AAU basketball season and is planning a coaches meeting Sunday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Walla Walla High School large gym. Coaches will review practice schedules, league and tournament options and player development options.

There are 21 W2 Hoops teams, 13 boys teams and 8 girls teams, consisting of youth grades 2-8 set to compete this season. Nearly 200 athletes tried out for teams in the first year of operation. A total of 31 coaches are volunteering to lead teams.

Players represent Walla Walla Public Schools, College Place Public Schools, Assumption Catholic School, Touchet School District, Rogers Adventist School, Dayton School District, Waitsburg School District, Weston School District, St. Basil Academy and homeschool students.

Walla2Hoops is hosting AAU league games at Garrison Middle School Nov. 3 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walla2Hoops is also partnering with the YMCA to host a regional AAU tournament Feb. 23-24. These events are open to the public.

Walla2Hoops is a 501C3 Non-Profit basketball club which operates under the umbrella of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Walla2Hoops provides an enriched basketball environment with a mission to create a positive competitive culture focused on developing character and basketball fundamentals.

For more information about the club or to provide donations for the scholarship program, contact: walla2hoops@gmail.com.
City Parks & Rec Update

- Indoor Soccer registration is now open. Grades K- 8. Cost is $50

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