Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Jan. 11, 2019

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Walla Walla High School staff tour regional schools to review school designs following successful bond 

Thursday Walla Walla Walla High School staff serving on the Education Specifications Bond Construction Planning Team toured Pullman High School, North Central High School (Spokane) and Ferris High School (Spokane) to review current educational designs and best practices. Representatives from Architects West and Wenaha Group construction man-agement firm also participated.

These tours represent the launch of the Educational Specifications phase of the bond construction process with a goal of generating ideas and discussion about potential design decisions for the Walla Walla High School remodel.

“This step, referred to as ‘Ed Specs’, incorporates practitioner input in order to put some ‘meat’ to the general concepts approved by voters in November,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “This input process helps inform a preliminary space layout and floorplan which is then shared with staff, community, students and others for continued input and refinement.”

The Ed Specs process will continue, with multiple opportunities for input, as the district slowly refines concepts into final construction documents over the coming months. Pioneer Middle School staff are tentatively set to tour regional schools in February.

School board Regular Business Meeting and Executive Session January 15

• Tuesday, Jan. 15 - School board regularly scheduled business meeting @ 5:30 p.m. (open to the public)
• Tuesday, Jan. 15 – School Board Executive Session @ approximately 6:45 p.m. (not open to the public)
• Location: Walla Walla Public Schools District Office (364 S. Park St.)

School bus fleet records perfect score during surprise inspection

Congratulations to the staff at the Southeast Washington Transportation Cooperative for their hard work keeping school buses safe and operational following a perfect score from the Washington State Patrol during a recent surprise semi-annual inspection.

“The state patrol inspectors can show up at any time so it’s a surprise to us when they come to inspect,” said Transportation Director John Griffith. “This time two officers showed up the day after Christmas and inspected 14 of our school buses and the results were 100 percent operational.”

Washington State Patrol inspectors look for service infractions, including brakes out of service warning lights not working, loose items on the bus, cracked windshields, wipers working properly and tire wear.

“Inspectors complimented the mechanics and the district for doing a fantastic job,” said Griffith. “They always enjoy their visit.”

Highly Capable Referral Period scheduled for February 1 through March 1, 2019 

Walla Walla School District’s Highly Capable programming 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 2019 referral process is currently available on the district 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 1, 2019 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 is taking place in January. Parents will be notified of screening results and full referral forms will be distributed at conferences in February. Referred students will take the remainder of the cognitive abilities test and be reviewed for selection by the end of March so differentiated programming can be reviewed and planned for at their home schools in the spring.

Students in 2nd and 5th grade will take the cognitive abilities screener in January 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. Parents will be notified of screening results and full referral forms will be distributed at conferences in February. Referred students will take the remainder of the cognitive abilities test and be reviewed for selection by the end of March so differentiated programming can be reviewed and planned for at their home schools in the spring.

Parents/guardians of students in 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th grade 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 2019-20 school year. For more information, please contact Christy Krutulis, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. ckrutulis@wwps.org or 526-6733.

State Special Education Director to address Walla Walla parents and educators

The Better Together Parent series continues Monday, Jan. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Walla Walla Public Schools district office (364 S. Park St) with keynote speaker Glenna Gallo, Assistant Superintendent for Special Education from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Free dinner and childcare will be provided.

Parents will learn about state initiatives to support local special education programs. Parents will have an opportunity to ask questions and have a discussion about special education services in Walla Walla Public Schools.

Event Details:
• Monday, Jan. 14
• 5-7 p.m.
• Free family dinner and childcare
• Spanish Translation available
• Location- WWPS District Office (364 S. Park St.)
• RSVP at: www.wwvdn.org (go to calendar)

Better Together Series brought to you by WW Valley Disability Network, Parent to Parent, WW County and Walla Walla Public Schools.

School Stories
Wa-Hi to host state qualifying Dance Competition Saturday

Walla Walla High School is hosting the Sweet Escape Invite WIAA sanctioned dance competition Saturday from 12 noon to 3:30 p.m. at the large gym. This 10-school team competition is a state qualifying event. This is the first time Wa-Hi has hosted an event of this type. The Sweet Escape Invite is one of the first in the circuit of WIAA dance invites. Wa-Hi Dance Coach Emma Wolpert began the process of securing the event nearly one year ago.

Participating Teams:
• Royal
• West Valley
• Hermiston
• Eisenhower
• Hanford
• Walla Walla
• Selah
• Pasco
• Richland
• Ephrata
• Southridge

Walla Walla High School to hold Scholarship Fair

Walla Walla High School will host a valley-wide Scholarship Fair on January 17, 2019, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in the Wa-Hi Commons. The fair helps connect students with local scholarship sponsors, learn how to apply for scholarships and finance their education after high school. Juniors and seniors from Walla Walla High School, Lincoln, Touchet, Waitsburg, Prescott, College Place, Milton-Freewater, DeSales and Walla Walla Valley Academy are invited to attend.

Approximately 30 organizations will host information tables at the fair. Participants include local clubs and organizations who give scholarships. Local and regional two- and four-year colleges, state foundations and military representatives offering ROTC scholarships for college and other degree options will be present.

Contact fair organizer Katharine Curles, Career Center Specialist at Wa-Hi, at kcurles@wwps.org or (509) 526-8680 if you are a scholarship sponsor and would like to host an information table at the fair or for general information.

Girls basketball players support BMAC Food Bank backpack program

Recently Walla Walla High Schools girls varsity and junior varsity basketball players volunteered at the Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank to fill bags for the Backpack Bridge Program. This program helps provide students in need food during the weekends. Thanks to Coach Morgan Jo Poyner, Matt Babcock and Livia Hegdal for also participating.

Community Stories
Tickets for annual Children’s Home Society SweetHearts Luncheon now on sale

Give your heart to support children and their families in the Walla Walla community during the SweetHearts for Kids benefit luncheon.
• Wednesday, February 20
• Noon -1 p.m. (Doors to luncheon open 11:30 a.m.)
• Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center (6 W. Rose St., Walla Walla)
• Tickets are $40 per person
• Register online: https://www.childrenshomesociety.org/wallawallasweethearts/
• For more information contact Candi Walmsley at 509-529-2130 ext. 8126 or Candice.Walmsley@chs-wa.org

Keynote speaker: Alise Morrissey (Hegle), BAS, is an advocacy project manager and policy lead for Children’s Home Society of Washington. Alise works to ensure the child welfare birth parent perspective is incorporated in policy, practice and system reform efforts. She provides leadership in the passage of state legislation and assisted in the development, coordination and advocacy of SB5486, The Parents for Parents Program bill. Alise coordinates parent ally work in Washington State and is passionate about ensuring all communities have a voice. Her background of prior homelessness and juvenile, criminal and child welfare system involvement, lends critical insight into systemic barriers that impede families’ opportunities to thrive and help to strengthen her system advocacy efforts. Additionally, she serves on national, state and local committees. She received a Casey Excellence for Children award, an Unsung Hero award by Washington State’s Department of Early Learning and was recognized as a national hero for reunification and child welfare by the American Bar Association.

Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association offering scholarships

Washington State School Retirees Association is offering a scholarship for students graduating from any Washington State high school preparing to do their student teaching/internship during the 2019-2020 school year. Applications are due March 1, 2019.
• Information online: https://wssra.org (Click on FORMS tab for more information)

There are two, $2,000 scholarships available. Scholarship grants are given to prospective teachers and/or candidates in other school related fields that will student teach or do an internship experience in an educational setting to meet requirements for initial certification.

1. Graduate of high school in Walla Walla or Columbia County
2. Student teach/internship between September 2019 and June 2020

Scholarship application:
An on-line application is available on the Blue Mountain Community Foundation website. Go to the scholarship tab and locate the Walla Walla Columbia School Retirees application.

Contact for more information:
- Mardel Bierwagen at 525-6117 or gbierwagen6117@charter.net

Big Cheese Fundraiser for Spring Break 2019 trip to Ecuador 

Kathryn Southwick-Hess announces a Big Cheese Fundraiser this month to help fund a youth trip to Ecuador during Spring Break 2019. She is taking pizza coupon pre-orders from now until Friday, January 25. Coupons are $15. Five dollars from each coupon sale goes to support student travel. The $15 coupon allows the purchaser to buy a Big Cheese large Gourmet pizza at a $6+ savings per pizza. The coupons are good for one year.

Email orders to: mrstravelmama@gmail.com
- Include school location to help with deliveries

This trip is not sponsored or affiliated with Walla Walla Public Schools.

Student Debt Crisis presentation featured at January 31 AAUW-Library Big Idea Talk

The Walla Walla Public Library and the local branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will host a free public discussion of the student debt crisis on Thursday, January 31, 7-8:30 p.m., at the Library, 238 E. Alder. Presenters are Marilyn Ponti, Director of Financial Aid, Whitman College; Amanda Fleck, Associate Director, Student Loan Center, Walla Walla University; and Debra Erikson, Director of Workforce Education Services at Walla Walla Community College. For more information, contact Twila Johnson-Tate, Walla Walla Public Library, (509) 524-4443; or Marilyn Hawkins, AAUW, (509) 876-8202.

Dance Center presents Hansel and Gretel

The Dance Center is proud to present “Hansel and Gretel” on Saturday, January 19th at 7pm at Cordiner Hall. This ballet adaptation of the Grimm Fairy Tale is directed and produced by Idalee Hutson-Fish, and choreographed by Idalee Hutson-Fish, Phyllis Rothwell, Ashley Akacich and Brooke Perkins. The all studio production will feature more than 120 Dance Center ballet students ranging in age from 3-18. Come and enjoy this delightful children’s tale brought to life through ballet! Tickets are available at Earthlight Books and at the door - $25 reserved, $15 general admission, $12 students/seniors. This is event is sponsored by Danza Classica Ballet Foundation of Walla Walla. 

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