Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Feb. 22, 2019

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Moderate school start time adjustments would save thousands in transportation costs; Survey coming soon

The district stands to save more than $400,000 a year in transportation costs by slightly adjusting school start times, according to a report Tuesday night by Transportation Director John Griffith and Superintendent Wade Smith.

“We currently run $350,000 in the red using general education funding to offset this deficit,” said Smith. “Overall operational savings would allow the district to reduce travel costs assessed to field trips, club and athletic programs and permit the district to provide an activity bus for students participating in after-school activities.”

The key to netting these savings is aligning school start times, reported Smith. One conceptual option discussed was possibly aligning elementary start times and shifting them ahead by as little as 10 minutes, moving Wa-Hi start times back marginally by 20 minutes, and aligning middle school start times to match the high school student day.

“This concept appears to better align with most elementary parent work schedules, allows us to separate middle school and elementary bus riders to decrease bullying issues, offers greatly improved ridership opportunities for students, and would have minimal impact to after-school activities at Wa-Hi, noted Smith.”

The Board requested Superintendent Smith meet with staff and engage parents and stakeholders over the coming month to seek feedback on the proposal for possible 2019-20 implementation. The district will launch a survey soon. Look for the link on the district webpage – www.wwps.org

School board to address elementary realignment and boundaries

Tuesday night, the school board discussed establishing a timeline to address elementary realignment, early learning needs and boundary adjustments. Board members plan to lead a process to analyze data and engage staff and stakeholders to formulate a recommendation for implementation in the 2020-21 school year.

A reduction of 250 elementary students over the last nine years due to shifting community demographics and a need for more early learning programs is at the core of this issue. The district is anticipating 25 empty classrooms across its six elementary campuses in the next few years. Enrollment is expected to remain flat in the coming years. Board members will continue this discussion at their March 5 meeting.

Walla Walla Public Schools presents Bilingual Kindergarten Informational Nights 

The WWPS Bilingual Education Department invites parents of incoming Kindergarteners, who are interested in the Dual Language Program, to attend one of three informational nights. At these informational nights, district representatives will explain the application process and share the benefits of being in a dual language program, which include:
• The ability to develop the highest level of proficiency in a second language is greater if you start at an early age.
• Research shows Dual students typically outperform English-only students in the classroom by the end of their elementary years.
• Students develop proficiency in both languages and have increased cultural awareness. The ability to interpret cross-cultural interactions is crucial in today’s world.
• Students benefit from the ability to communicate with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Bilingual Kindergarten Informational Nights:
• Tuesday, February 26 – Edison Elementary School @ 6 p.m.
• Thursday, February 28 – Green Park Elementary School @ 6 p.m.
• Tuesday, March 5 – Blue Ridge Elementary School @ 6 p.m.

Contact: Marilyn Melgoza, Latino/a Outreach Coordinator – mmelgoza@wwps.org / 509.526.6784

February 2019 Bond Update 

• Jackson Construction of Walla Walla named General Contractor
• Perfection Glass of Walla Walla to install window configuration mock-ups in Principal Higgins’ office for stakeholder feedback
• Architects West begins conceptual design of new science building. Construction begins next fall

Pioneer MS
• Site survey work has begun
• Pioneer staff to tour regional schools in March

Lincoln HS
• Site survey work has begun

• Project team and facilities staff analyzed four options for HVAC replacement. Bidding will take place this spring with construction beginning in June

Blue Ridge
• Roof consultant and facilities staff performed targeted excavation of soil on roof to determine condition of roofing membrane and detailing

Personnel Report (from Feb. 19, 2019 school board meeting)

Greg Lupfer, Head Football Coach, Walla Walla High School

Kasey Hooter, Kindergarten/First Grade, Blue Ridge Elementary School, 7 years
Kyle Royce, Social Studies, Pioneer Middle School, 2 years

Bryan Winn, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op, 6 months
• For the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year

Walla Walla teachers earn prestigious national merit  

Congratulations to Walla Walla Educators Kate Keyes, Denise Hurst and Elissa Tinder for earning National Board Certification. Berney Principal Michelle Carpenter and Behavior Coordinator Barb Casey served as mentors to these local educators during the process. National board certification allows teachers to hone their practice, showcase talents in the classroom and demonstrate dedication to their students and profession.

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 4 School Board meeting.

Purpose of the Award
The purpose of the Walla Walla Public Schools Graduates of Distinction program is to provide an avenue for recognizing high school graduates of Walla Walla Public Schools who have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers; and to honor the Walla Walla Public Schools staff members who were the most inspirational in the lives of those individuals.

Who may nominate?
Anyone interested in Walla Walla Public Schools.

Eligibility for nomination
• Must have graduated from high school in the Walla Walla Public Schools at least 10 years prior to nomination.
• Need not be a current resident of Walla Walla.
• Need not be present to accept the award, but will make a concerted effort to be present or send a representative to accept the award.

How to nominate?
Forms: Fillable PDF nomination and supporting letters forms are available online at: www.wwps.org (Graduates of Distinction page) or in hard copy at the District Office, 364 S. Park St. – Walla Walla, WA 99362. Mail or hand deliver the completed hard copy nomination form and three supporting letters by March 15 to:

Walla Walla Public Schools
Attn: Mark Higgins, Director of Communications
364 S. Park Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362

School Stories
One more Conspiracy of Hope Talent Show performance tonight

- Annual Conspiracy of Hope Talent Show
- Friday, Feb. 22
- 7 to 9 p.m.
- Walla Walla High School Auditorium
- Admission is $5 (Tickets available at the door)
- All proceeds support the Dave Meyer Foundation and Wa-Hi’s Winter Wish Program

Pioneer Middle School principal featured in video welcoming next year’s 6th graders

Pioneer Middle School Principal Kris Duncan has been busy planning for 5th grade transition in preparation of serving next year’s 6th graders. Parent nights, school visits, peer mentoring and other events highlight the plans. She recently completed a quick video showcasing her school’s 5th grade transition plan.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvghXWQkGT0&t=13s

Pioneer MS 5th Grade Transition Plan Outline:
Important dates:
• March 11: Parent Night @ Berney | 6-7 p.m.
• March 12: Parent Night @ Edison | 6-7 p.m.
• March 13: Parent Night @ Green Park | 6-7 p.m.
• June 3: Step Up Day - 5th graders visit Pioneer

Transition Highlights for February, March and April:
• Pioneer Middle School administrators, counselors and leadership students will visit elementary schools to provide information to 5th grade students about their transition to middle school.
• Information letters and registration forms will be mailed home to parents/guardians.

At Pioneer Middle School, students can:
• Earn high school credits in Spanish, Algebra and Geometry
• Explore and perform in band, choir and orchestra
• Participate in a full range of sports (no cost)
• Enjoy a number of after-school programs, including Latino Club and intramural soccer
• Explore STEM and computer literacy courses
• Take a full range of Honors level courses
• Benefit from interventions and support in Reading, Math and English Language Development

Dayton graduate to take helm of Blue Devil football program

Walla Walla Public Schools has named Greg Lupfer the next head football coach at Walla Walla High School. Lupfer has extensive collegiate coaching experience, including coaching positions at Boise State, Portland State, University of Toledo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Colorado State University. He is currently the Defensive Coordinator at Grand Prairie High School in Texas. Lupfer is a graduate of Portland State University.

“We want to welcome Coach Lupfer and are excited for him to take over the football program for Walla Walla High School,” said District Athletic Director Dirk Hansen. “Coach Lupfer has ties to the area. He is a graduate of Dayton High School and is looking forward to reconnecting with the Pacific Northwest.”

Lupfer is working with Hansen to develop a calendar and operational plan for working with assistant coaches, spring football and summer conditioning programs and the upcoming season.

Wa-Hi concert moved to new date

Due to the school delays and one cancellation, the Walla Walla High School Choir has pushed back its next performance. It will be moved from Tuesday February 26 to Tuesday March 12 at 7 p.m. in the Wa-Hi Auditorium. 

Student artists advance to state following regional ESD 123 Art Show

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School artists for their success in the annual Educational Service District 123 Art Show. Walla Walla High School had 48 of the 400 entries this year. Categories include the Judges Choice Award for each category. The winners advance to the State Contest later this school year.

Judges Choice Winners:
- Haden Wegner “Dorm Set”
- Sage Nelson “White Irises”

Superintendent Award:
- Rachel Prull: Imbody

Honorable Mention:
- Harmony Furrow:”Beautiful Demon”
- Gracie Nelson: “Ignorance”
- Anthony Parrish : Digital Photography

“We Are Wa-Hi” event showcases high school opportunities 

• “We Are Wa-Hi” student and family registration event
• Students in grades 8 -11 invited
• March 5 from 6 to 8 p.m.
• Walla Walla High School Gym
• Event Highlights: This event provides families with the resources and information needed to help guide students through the choices available at Walla Walla High School.
• Booths highlighting academics, clubs, sports and other activities will be available in the gym for students and families to explore. Specific information sessions around grade level expectations, English Language Development, Special Education and a General Question & Answer session with WaHi Administrators are also scheduled
• Learn what your options are before you register.

Wa-Hi JROTC hosts HAPO team to learn financial wellness basics

Cadets in the Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program were recently visited by a financial information training team from the HAPO Credit Union who came to help the students learn about finances in their lives.

“Learning critical life skills about a range of things including managing finances is part of our broad curriculum for these young adults,” said Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, Senior Army Instructor. “We’ve been delighted to find a willing partner in HAPO.”

HAPO’s Financial Literacy Program provides classroom curriculum and instruction for grades K-12. AT HAPO Academy, we have created an online, agile digital platform designed for students, parents and educators.

Community Stories
FFA Alumni announces annual fundraiser March 16

• FFA Alumni and Friends 5th Annual Fundaiser
• Pot O’ Blue and Gold Dinner and Auction
• Saturday, March 16
• Doors open at 5 p.m. and Dinner at 6 p.m.
• Tickets $25 person
• Entertainment: Whiskey Creek Band
• Information: (509) 386-3484
• Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/343251129594405/?ti=ia
• Event Information Link: wallawallaffaalumni@gmail.com

Walla Walla Valley Youth Spring Flag Football 

• Spring Flag Football league for grades 1-8 (boys and girls)
• For teams around the Walla Walla Valley (local games)
• $35 per player
• First day of practice March 11 (April 8 last day to register)
• Information: Jon Wright – jwright4202@yahoo.com / (775) 455-1336

Nature Kids on the Farm

Blue Mountain Land Trust is partnering with Welcome Table Farm to host Nature Kids on a Farm. Read below for details and visit the website to register: www.bmlt.org/nature-kids-on-the-farm/

Nature Kids on the Farm, Session I: Florabundance
Monday, July 22, 2019 - Friday, July 26, 2019, 8:30 am – 1 pm daily

Explore life at its most beautiful through an investigation of blooms, propagation, and pollinators. You’ll snack on edible flowers, create beautiful bouquets for the farm and home, and catch and identify insects.
Open to incoming grades 1 - 4 • Limited to 15 campers • $120 per child

Nature Kids on the Farm, Session I: Who eats what?
Monday, July 29, 2019 - Friday, August 2, 2019, 8:30 am – 1 pm daily

Explore the food chains and nutrient cycles of the critters, wild and not-so wild, on the working organic farm and surrounding wildness of Yellowhawk Creek.
Open to incoming grades 1 - 4 • Limited to 15 campers • $120 per child

Nature Kids on the Farm, Session I: Junior Farmer – Mini-Apprenticeship
Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - Saturday, August 10, 2019

Learn what it takes to bring good food and fine flowers to local customers. Be part of the farm crew in field work, harvest, CSA packing, bouquet making, farmstand operation, farmer’s market sales, animal chores, team building and eating crew lunch.
Open to incoming grades 5 - 8 • Limited to 12 campers • $130 per child

Blue Mountain Field Science
Blue Mountain Field Science is an introductory course to the natural sciences. You’ll learn about the geological and biological processes that have shaped the unique landscape of Walla Walla County through daily outdoor field study. Course instruction provided by Whitman College faculty Tim Parker (Biology & Environmental Studies) and Nick Bader (Geology). Open to all sudents entering grades 9 - 12. $250 per student. Visit bmlt.org/bmfs to learn more.

AAUW Book Sale this weekend

You and your family are invited to attend the 44th Annual AAUW (American Association of University Women) Book Sale at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Friday, Feb 22, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb 23, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb 24, 9 am – 4 p.m. Children (14 and younger) each receive one free book from the extensive children’s section (Picture and Chapter books).  There is also 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 for most titles.  The Collectible Books section featuring rare, collectible books are priced individually. 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.

Registration for Great Explorations Due March 6

On Saturday, March 9, Great Explorations in Education will present Reach Beyond the Stars, a science, technology, engineering and math adventure for 5th through 8th grade girls in the Walla Walla Valley, from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at Whitman College.

Space is still available and registrations will be accepted through March 6. Information is available online at www.gewallawalla.com. Brochures are available at local schools, including WWPS district office, or at the YWCA.

Girls will have the opportunity to attend three workshops offering informal, hands-on experience with careers that utilize science, technology, engineering and math. These workshops will give girls an opportunity to meet and learn from women in these exciting careers. Topics for the 30 amazing workshop sessions include art in science, space physics, robotics, 3-D printing, forestry, astronomy, veterinary medicine, nursing, chemistry, blood typing and many more.

The keynote speaker for this event is Wa-Hi graduate and NASA solar scientist Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” MacDonald. She will be speaking from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. in Cordiner Hall and her keynote is open to the public.

The fee to attend is $5, which includes a pizza lunch. Scholarships are available. For more information on registration, scholarships or questions, please contact Carol Morgan, 520-9977, or visit the website: www.gewallawalla.com

Walla2Hoops AAU basketball club hosts “Tournament of Hoops” Feb. 23-24 

Walla2Hoops welcomes 73 teams to Walla Walla for its “Tournament of Hoops” AAU Basketball Tournament Feb. 23-24 for boys and girls grades 2-8. Games will be played at Walla Walla High School, Garrison Middle School, Pioneer Middle School, Berney Elementary School, DeSales High School, Walla Walla YMCA and Whitman College during the two-day event.

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. This is the first tournament for the upstart Walla2Hoops organization which was formed in May 2018.

“The YMCA hosted a tournament in Walla Walla in previous years and this year we have partnered to coordinate the tournament,” said Walla2Hoops Club President Matthew Price-Huntington. “This year’s tournament has 20 more teams than last year’s event. The economic impact is significant as regional studies show each team in attendance supports our local businesses.”

Cost for admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students and senior citizens. A portion of the proceeds will be used to support the YMCA youth basketball program. Walla2Hoops will use proceeds to support player development programs, equipment and scholarship programs. Seventh and 8th grade championship games will be played at Whitman College Sunday.

“We invite our community to come out to the gyms and support our athletes,” said Price-Huntington. “We are proud to showcase these amazing athletes as we provide a positive experience for Walla Walla youth.”

There are 21 Walla2Hoops teams, 13 boys teams and 8 girls teams, consisting of youth grades 2-8 set to compete this season. 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.

For more information about the tournament or the organization, contact: walla2hoops@gmail.com

Families need to host Yamate Japanese Exchange students

• Japanese High School students will visit Walla Walla April 12-26
• Students will attend Wa-Hi and participate in a host of events
• Host families are still needed
• Contact Ron Ahrens for details: rahren@wwps.org

Farm to School Fundraiser February 28

The 4th annual Maple Counter Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser to support Walla Walla Valley Farm to School is Thursday, Feb. 28 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Maple Counter Café, 209 E. Alder. The dinner will be created by Chef Kory Nagler and the The Maple Counter Cafe crew. They will use scrumptious veggies donated by Frog Hollow Farm, Hayshaker Farm and Walla Walla Organics with meat donated by Blue Valley Meats and bread donated by Walla Walla Bread Company.  There will be vegetarian and gluten free options. No tickets are required for this family friendly event in support of Walla Walla Valley Farm to School.  

Blue Mountain Youth Football announces sign-ups for Junior Blue Devil 7-on-7 league

• Register now for Junior Blue Devil 7-on-7 football for students in grades 1-11
• Click here to sign your child up: wallawallayouthfootball.com
• Practice will start the first week of March
• Cost is $50 per player
• Teams compete in the 7-on-7 passing league. All games are played in the Tri-Cities

City Parks & Rec Update

• Scholarships available for youth programs. To apply stop by the Parks and Recreation office at 55 E Moore St.
• Blue Mountain Girls Softball – Ages 5 – 12 (age as of 12/31/18) - $40 - $55
• Spring Softball Skills Clinic – Ages 5 – 13 - Sunday, March 23 - see website for times - $35 - Pitching and catching clinic - $15
• St Paddy’s Day Dash 5k/10k - Sunday, March 17 @ 10am - $12
• Youth and Adult Art Classes taught in Spanish - $12 - $80
• 2019 Veterans Memorial Pool Passes are on sale!
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us
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