Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 1, 2019

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School board Regular Study Meeting March 5
  • March 5 - School board regularly scheduled study meeting @ 5:30 p.m. (open to the public)

  • Location: Walla Walla Public Schools District Office (364 S. Park St.)

District considers slight adjustment to school hours to trim transportation costs
Walla Walla Public Schools is considering a moderate change to school starting times next fall. This proposal aims to improve efficiencies, coordinate school start/end times across many campuses, increase transportation services and access for students/families, and better align with district programs, community partners, and parent/family schedules. Under the proposal, which is being studied by the district, elementary schools would shift start times earlier slightly, Walla Walla High School would move start times later marginally, and middle schools would be adjusted to better align with the high school student day. Ending times would also be adjusted accordingly. Any proposed changes, if approved, wouldn’t take effect until school begins in fall, 2019. Superintendent Smith

Informational Video

Provide Feedback
  • Please complete our survey to provide feedback regarding this proposal by visiting: www.wwps.org
Some of the identified benefits to this proposal include:
  • Proposed efficiencies would result in annual estimated savings of over $400,000 in fleet and fuel consumption costs, helping close a $350,000 annual operating deficit currently being backfilled with general fund education dollars
  • Overall operational savings would allow the district to reduce travel costs assessed to field trips, clubs, and athletic programs
  • Cost savings permit the district the ability to provide an after-school activity bus for many students participating in after-school clubs/athletics
  • Adjustments will likely reduce current student bus travel times due to more efficient routing
 At the Elementary Level
  • Proposed start time better aligns with most parent/family work schedules
  • Provides consistent start/end times across all campuses, including coordination with after school activities and community partners
  • Addresses many transportation complaints and harassment concerns by separating middle school and elementary school bus riders
  • Improves busing efficiency and opportunities for elementary students, including transportation to and from the middle schools for elective opportunities (e.g. orchestra)
 At the Middle School Level
  • Improves busing efficiency and ridership opportunities for middle school students
  • Maintains morning parent drop-off time for students, consistent with many parent/family work schedules
  • Better aligns with before-school 21st Century Programming (currently have to start as early as 6:30 a.m. could now start closer to 7 a.m.)
  • Permits middle school staff greater time to drop off their elementary-aged student before the start of their work day
 At the Middle School Level
  • Provides transportation opportunities for future zero-period and before-school activities that occur
  • Provides increased student and parent access to staff before the start of school
  • Supports enhanced first-period access to advanced high school coursework/electives for select honors students
  • Allows the financial viability to provide an after-school activity bus for students participating in after-school activities
  • Middle and high school start/release times are aligned to support sibling supervision opportunities for families
 At Walla Walla High School
  • 20 minute shift results in minimal impact to students/families and after-school activities
  • Improves busing efficiency and ridership opportunities for high school students
  • Allows students full-route bus access for both 1st and 2nd period start options as well as 6th and 7th period drop off needs
  • Allows the financial viability to provide an after-school activity bus for students participating in after-school activities

A Message from Superintendent Wade Smith: Momo Challenge

The “Momo Challenge” is the latest social media challenge directed at children and young adults. We are urging families to become aware of this challenge and to use this as a reminder to speak to your children about internet safety and to monitor your children’s use of social media, gaming and the internet.

The “Momo Challenge” can be found on various social media and gaming platforms and is disturbing in nature. The communications through the “Momo Challenge” begin with a chat that asks the receiver to perform small tasks and then escalates to more serious violent acts and requests photographs for proof. If the “Momo Challenge” is true, it is just one example of dangerous “games” through social media that has a negative impact on students and their social interactions. There are many reports that the “Momo Challenge” is a viral hoax.

Fostering an atmosphere of openness and transparency about online safety and activity ensures that children can thrive. Please take the time to speak explicitly about internet safety with your children. See resources below from the National Online Safety organization regarding various tips for parents and the Rules ‘N Tools Checklist to help guide your conversation.

If you would like additional resources, please check out the website: http://www.wwps.org/programs/suicide-prevention

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your child’s school. We have additional resources and support services available to support you and your children.

Parent Resources

Dual Language Kindergarten Informational Night March 5

The WWPS Bilingual Education Department invites parents of incoming Kindergarteners, who are interested in the Dual Language Program, to attend an informational night. 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 Night:
• Tuesday, March 5 – Blue Ridge Elementary School @ 6 p.m.

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

School Stories
Wa-Hi Jazz Band shines at Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

The Wa-Hi Jazz Band had another outstanding performance at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival last Saturday in Moscow, Idaho. Several musicians received Outstanding Solo Awards:
- Brett Ferguson - Alto Sax
- Ryan Watilo - Trombone
- Nate Miller - Trumpet and Flugelhorn.

“Nate once again won the trumpet solo division for the 3rd year in a row which earned him the opportunity to play on the big stage at the evening concert at the Kibbie Dome,” said Director Andrew Ueckert. “This year he was also selected the outstanding overall soloist for the first time. Way to go Nate and the Wa-Hi Jazz Band.”

Come see these students, along with the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, at the March 6 concert at 7 p.m. in the Wa-Hi Auditorium.

“We Are Wa-Hi” event moved to March 14

The “We Are Wa-Hi” event has been postponed to March 14, 2019 due to weather conditions impacting gym use. Plan to attend this informational night to learn about registration for next year, graduation requirements, classes, clubs, activities, and more. All current 8th through 11th grade students and their parents are invited to attend.
• “We Are Wa-Hi” student and family registration event – March 14
• Students in grades 8 -11 invited
• March 14 from 5 to 7 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.

Community Stories
Whitman Teaches the Movement wins IMPACT Service Program of the Year award

Congratulations to Whitman College for winning a national award at the IMPACT Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia for its Whitman Teaches the Movement project. Walla Walla Public Schools has teamed with Whitman College on this project to enhance civil rights education since its inception in 2011.
See more: https://www.whitman.edu/newsroom/wttm-wins-impact-award

Walla2Hoops AAU teams win championships at local “Tournament of Hoops” 

Walla2Hoops congratulates the W2 Hoops 8th grade boys team, coached by Dewight Hall and Aaron Grimm, and the 2nd grade boys team, coached by Isaiah Jimenez, for winning Division Championships in its inaugural “Tournament of Hoop’s” AAU basketball tournament in Walla Walla, Feb. 23-24. W2Hoops also had four boys teams place second in Championship Games - 4th grade (Coach Bryan Eggart), 5th grade (Coach Bruce Dumser), 6th grade (Coach Mark Coram), 7th grade (Coach Chris Gardea).

Walla2Hoops welcomed 73, boys and girls grades 2-8 teams, to Walla Walla for the tournament. Games were played at Walla Walla High School, Garrison Middle School, Pioneer Middle School, Berney Elementary School, Green Park Elementary School, DeSales High School, Walla Walla YMCA and Whitman College during the two-day event.

“We’re proud of our teams for competing at the highest level in our first-ever hometown tournament,” said Walla2Hoops Club President Matthew Price-Huntington. “We heard great feedback about Walla Walla from the out-of-town teams and we expect to grow this event going forward.”

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. Walla2Hoops made a contribution to the Walla Walla High School and DeSales High School basketball programs to support their fundraising efforts. Walla Walla High School and DeSales High School boys and girls basketball players volunteered to run scoreboards and complete other tasks in support of the tournament.

Walla2Hoops consists of 21 boys and girls and 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.

2nd Grade Champions
Coach: Isaiah Jimenez
Brock Ashley
Isaiah Betancourt
Aylen Garnett
Mateo Jimenez
Collin McCollaugh
Beckam Mills
Graeson Parsons
Brayden Shivell
Tyce Wood

8th Grade Champions
Coach: Aaron Grimm/Dewight Hall
Andrew Hall
Caiden Thomsen
Korbin Remellard
Zackery Palomo
Caleb Brossman
Dylan Halazon
Peyton Prutsman
Johnathan Hansen
Brock Nicholson
Tas Grimm
Tyler Grimm
Jakob Clearman
Landon Welter

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

Walla Walla City Councils plans open house meetings at local schools to enhance community engagement

The City of Walla Walla invites you to a regular meeting of the Walla Walla City Council in the town’s West Ward. See how Council members work to represent you and your family, and learn how laws are made. Before the Council meeting, the City will host an hour-long Open House, where you can learn about the many services the City provides for residents. We will also have information about the new ward election system, including how to run for a seat on the City Council this year. These are free, family-friendly events, open to everyone. Free refreshments and Spanish interpretation will be available at the Open House. The Sherwood Trust board provided a $5,000 grant to the City of Walla Walla to support these efforts to engage the community.

For more information, visit - https://wallawallawa.gov/government/city-council

West Ward Event:
- Blue Ridge Elementary
- March 13
- 6 p.m. Open House / 7 p.m. City Council Meeting

East Ward Event:
- Edison Elementary
- March 27
- 6 p.m. Open House / 7 p.m. City Council Meeting

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

Families needed 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

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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