Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Sept. 13, 2019

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Chamber of Commerce recognizes district with Duane Wollmuth Catalyst Award

Walla Walla Public Schools received the Duane Wollmuth Catalyst Award at the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 Business Showcase Wednesday evening at Baker Boyer Bank’s main branch. The Duane Wollmuth Catalyst Award recognizes an individual, business or organization which collaborates and motivates to make Big Things happen in the Walla Walla valley, according to the Chamber of Commerce.

Walla Walla Public Schools School Board President Ruth Ladderud and Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith accepted the award on behalf of the school district. Walla Walla Public Schools was recognized for last November’s successful bond measure, the school board’s state Board of Distinction award, improved academic achievement, higher graduation rates and partnerships with local agencies for addressing social and emotional needs of students.

“This award would not have been possible without our amazing school board, staff, parents, students and community who have rallied around our efforts to improve student learning and address our aging facilities through the passage of the largest bond in district history,” said Superintendent Smith. “We are honored to receive this award and remain committed to realizing our vision of Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.”

Walla Walla Public Schools will celebrate receiving the Duane Wollmuth Catalyst Award at its Sept. 17 school board meeting and display the award at its district office.

Community invited to learn more about Early Learning expansion opportunities

Walla Walla Public Schools invites the public to learn more about the findings of its Elementary Consolidation and Early Learning Expansion study.

• Elementary Consolidation and Early Learning Study Public Meeting
• Monday, Sept. 16
• Blue Ridge Elementary
• English meeting @ 5:30 p.m. / Spanish meeting @ 6:30 p.m.
• Childcare provided
• Presenters: Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith and School Board President Ruth Ladderud and Director of Equity and Dual Language Dr. Julie Perron (Spanish meeting presenter)

For the past six months, the district has conducted a comprehensive study to explore opportunities to provide additional early learning programming through the possible consolidation of one of the district’s elementary schools in light of declining enrollment. The district has realized a reduction of 250 elementary students over the last nine years due to shifting community demographics. As elementary student populations normalize over the next few years, the district is anticipating as many as 25 empty classrooms across its six elementary campuses. In addition, kindergarten readiness data and feedback from parents suggests a need for more early learning programs to address access and availability for Walla Walla families. District leaders will share the results of the numerous studies and analysis and answer questions. The school board is expected to make a decision in October. Childcare is provided.

• Learn more about the study HERE

State test results show growth in reading and math

State Superintendent Chris Reykdal released results from the 2018-19 state tests on Tuesday, September 9. A total of 2860 Walla Walla Public Schools students completed the English language arts and math exams, and 1335 participated in the new Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science during the April and May state testing window last spring.

The tests administered included:
• Grades 3-8 and high school Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) tests in both English language arts (ELA) and math
• Grades 5, 8 and 11, Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS)

While the percentage of students passing the state’s ELA and math tests continue to lag behind the state average, the district met the School Board’s annual growth targets in both subjects. All students, as well as students in special education, exceeded the district’s 2.5% annual growth targets, reversing what had been a declining trend prior to the district’s strategic plan implementation two years ago. While overall passing rates for ELA have remained relatively flat over the last four years, math scores continue to improve at a faster rate than the state, revealing a 2.6% improvement from the year before. The district continues to outpace the state in science performance.

“We are in the process of analyzing the recently-released results, looking beyond the combined scores and reviewing grade-level and subgroup performance in an effort to close the performance and opportunity gap for all students,” said Christy Krutulis, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. “A comprehensive review of the data helps ensure we are meeting or exceeding the annual targets established in our five-year strategic plan.”

Over the past year, teachers have worked collaboratively to identify promise standards from kindergarten through high school in math and language arts. This extensive work demonstrates a commitment that district students will have the necessary skills each year to be successful as they progress through the school system. Krutulis says this strategy will deepen learning, eliminate gaps in skill development and support an aligned and coherent system for Walla Walla students and families.

“We are excited to introduce these promise standards to our students and their families as we work collectively to chart a path to graduation,” said Krutulis. “We will also continue to focus on increased offerings for pre-K students to provide the necessary support for kindergarten readiness.”

New high school math materials were adopted during the spring of 2019. This year the new K-5 math materials will be adopted to provide teachers access to rigorous standards-aligned materials in support of high levels of instruction.

For a complete look at all district state assessment information, visit the OSPI School Report Card

School Board Regular Business Meeting September 17

• Tuesday, Sept. 17 - School board regularly scheduled business meeting @ 5:30 p.m. (open to the public)
• Location: Walla Walla Public Schools District Office (364 S. Park St.)

Jeannette C. Hayner Park Ribbon cutting ceremony

• Come celebrate the opening of Jeannette C. Hayner Park featuring the world’s largest London Plane tree.
• Wednesday, Sept. 25 @ 10 a.m.
• Walla Walla High School (Park is located on the southwest corner of the campus on Reser Road).
• Jeannette Hayner (1919-2010) was a former influential school board member and Washington State Representative and Senator.

Walla Walla High School Science Building groundbreaking

• Please join us as we break ground on our new Science Building. This amazing 18,000 sq. ft. facility features eight fully-functional laboratory classrooms to enhance learning for generations to come.
• Wednesday, October 2 at 10 a.m.
• 800 Abbott Road (Wa-Hi Campus)
• Your Bond Dollars at Work #deliveringonourpromise
• Bond Information: wwpsbond.org
• Follow Us on Twitter @bondwwps

School Stories

Meeting planned for 5th grade orchestra

Fifth grade students and parents interested in participating in beginning orchestra are invited to attend an informational meeting on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Wa-Hi Auditorium. For more information, contact Caleb Condie (afternoon class @ Garrison MS, 509-527-3040 x4939 or ccondie@wwps.org or Julia  Woods (morning class at Pioneer MS,  509-527-3050 x3914 or jwoods@wwps.org). 

Community Stories
Little Theatre invites area youth to audition for upcoming production

The Little Theatre of Walla Walla is celebrating its 75th Anniversary and announces two opportunities for area youth to get involved in upcoming productions and an Art Gallery exhibit.

Auditions for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” are happening Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. A total of 17 children and 12 adults are needed for the cast of this wonderful holiday and family friendly production. The theatre is also looking for a group of adult Christmas carolers. More information about the show, click HERE

Art Exhibit
The Little Theatre will curate a children’s art exhibit in its downstairs gallery for the show. Art pieces are needed by the first week of November. Contact Managing Director Mikki Jones for information on both of these activities.

Mikki Jones, Managing Director
Little Theatre of Walla Walla
Office: 509.876.2316 / Cell: 509.876.1397
P O Box 39
Walla Walla, WA 99362

Sunrise Rotary .5K Fundraiser Sunday

• Walla Walla Sunrise Rotary .5K Fundraiser
• Sunday, Sept. 15 from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
• .5K = ½ of a kilometer = 546.8 yards = .31 miles = 1640 feet = 19.685 inches
• Location: M.T. Head & Quirk Breweries (near Walla Walla Regional airport), 425 B St.
• Proceeds benefit The Health Center (Walla Walla)
SIGN UP in advance or at the race

Zero Suicide Community Roundtable

• Free roundtable for students and community members with Dr. Justin Coffey, national expert on the prevention of suicide
• Friday, Sept. 27
• 9 to 11 a.m. (breakfast at 8:30 a.m.)
• Young Ballroom Reid Center (Whitman College)
• Register: www.zerosuicide.eventbright.com

City Parks & Rec Weekly Update

• Lacrosse Stick Night – Free Drop-In for ages 8-16. Mondays & Thursdays 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Vista Terrace Park. No experience necessary. Equipment provided.
• Pumpkin Carving Contest - Free for ages 3-12. Thursday, October 24th 5:30pm to 7:15pm at Super 1 Foods. Pumpkins provided by Super 1 Foods. Pre-registration is available, but not required.
• Scholarships available for youth programs. To apply stop by the Parks and Recreation office at 55 E Moore St

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to:
• Web: www.wwpr.us
• Like us on facebook: www.facebook.com/wallawallapr
• Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wallawallapr/

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