Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 20, 2020

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Walla Walla Public Schools to begin Distance Learning Program next week


Tuesday, March 17, Walla Walla Public Schools unveiled a Distance Learning Program for all students preschool through grade 12 during the minimum six-week districtwide campus closure due to COVID-19. This program is designed to ensure mastery of grade-level content, maintain an ability to earn credits, provide a mechanism for seniors to stay on track for graduation and connect students and families with their teachers.

“Our school board, administrators, teachers and support staff all believe it is our paramount obligation to provide these services during the pandemic health crisis,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “District leaders and staff have worked diligently to provide a quality learning experience for students during this transition to ensure continuation of their learning occurs.”

Distance Learning Services begin Monday, March 23 with packet and technology pick up. This week educators have been organizing and planning for this new educational delivery model. Preschool and elementary-aged students will be supported with weekly learning materials, customized and created exclusively by their homeroom teacher and specialists. These elementary paper and pencil packets will be picked up each Monday at the child’s school from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Home deliveries of materials will be offered as needed.

Middle and high school students will receive daily instruction from their teachers through the Google Classroom platform. The district will check out Chromebooks for students who do not have access to a computer and be issued a Verizon hotspot if they don’t have internet access.

Preschool/Elementary Packet Pick Up Procedures:
• Weekly learning packets will be available for pick-up every Monday at your child’s school beginning March 23 (except Spring Break)
• Pick up times: 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
• Location: Packets will be at the front door to your child’s elementary school
• Parents come to the front door of the school and staff will assist in retrieving the packets
• Staff will also be collecting the prior week's packet, with completed work, each Monday
• Families who are unable to pick up their student learning packets may have a friend or neighbor pick up the packet on your behalf
• Arrangements can be made with your local school for home delivery of packets if transportation or access is not available
• Learning Packet Pick up Schedule: March 23, March 30, April 13, and April 20 (no packets during Spring Break)

Middle School Technology and Consumable Learning Materials Pick Up Procedures:
• Monday, March 23, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. is technology pick up for students who completed the tech survey and are in need of technology at home. Parents and/or guardians must be present to sign the technology agreement. The school packet will also be available at this time for those students. Come to the front of the school.
• Tuesday, March 24 is Consumable Learning Materials packet-only pick up between 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for ALL STUDENTS NOT in need of technology,

High School Technology Pick Up Procedures:
• Monday, March 23, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. is technology pick up for students who completed the tech survey and are in need of technology at home. Parents and/or guardians must be present to sign the technology agreement. Come to the front of the school for pick up instructions.

“Walla Walla Public Schools understands that additional oversight and accountability will be required from students and families to ensure a successful distance learning experience for all,” said Smith. “We empathize with the burden this responsibility places on families, but rest assured our district staff stands ready to assist at all levels.”

Walla Walla Public Schools is also offering free meals and student-aged childcare to specific families during the COVID-19 closure. Schools are closed to the general public through April 24. Access is limited to employees and scheduled appointments only.

Superintendent Smith outlines Distance Learning Program in new video

Click HERE to watch as Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith explains the district’s new Distance Learning Program for all students during the minimum six-week closure due to COVID-19. He also explains meal service and childcare programs.

Visit the district’s COVID-19 Distance Learning Program WEBSITE for more details.

Meals for all and childcare for protected groups now offered

Walla Walla Public Schools is pleased to offer free meals and student-aged childcare to specific families during the six-week districtwide campus closure due to COVID-19.

Meal services will be available at school and community locations for all students, free of charge, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The daily meals include a USDA approved sack lunch and breakfast for each child. Students individually, or accompanied by a parent/guardian, may pick up meals at whichever site is most convenient. Delivery services will be available on a case-by-case basis as needed.

Meal Service Pick Up Locations
• Sharpstein Elementary (Howard St side)
• Blue Ridge Elementary (South side entrance – Back of school)
• Garrison Middle School (front of school)
• Pioneer Middle School (front of school)
• Prospect Point Elementary (near bus loop along Howard)
• Berney Elementary (near staff parking along School Ave)
• Edison Elementary (front of school)
• Green Park Elementary (near gym entrance)
• Lincoln (4th St side)
• Vista Terrace Park
• Washington Park
• Veteran’s Memorial Park

Meal Service and Delivery Questions:
Pamela Milleson, Nutrition Services Director
(509) 527-3016 / pmilleson@wwps.org

When the Governor issued his order to close schools, he also included a provision to provide childcare services to specific families. In order to support critical care providers and vulnerable students, Walla Walla Public Schools will offer free, student-aged childcare supervision at all school sites from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Eligible children include current WWPS students whose parent(s)/guardian(s) are first responders who otherwise do not have coverage, students identified as homeless and students with significant disabilities. The district has expanded the definition of first responders to include any student whose parent/guardian works for a medical provider or in the medical field, police officers, firefighters, rescuers, military personnel, critical prison personnel, or key public works personnel. The childcare program will follow social distancing guidelines, offer nutritional services and provide a learning environment. Transportation will be available upon request. For more information, contact Pam Clayton at 509-526-6730 or at childcare@wwps.org

March 2020 Bond Projects Update

Walla Walla High School
• Science Building construction is continuing to progress nicely. The exterior wall and interior bearing wall framing was completed. The roof beams and joists were also set and completed. In addition, Jackson Construction Group started sheathing the walls.
• Jackson continues to work through product submittals and procurements.
• Wenaha, Jackson, and Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith met with the staff at Wa-Hi to discuss the upcoming summer work while also giving an update on the larger project.
• The project team produced final stamped documents of design for the early infrastructure bid package.
• Jackson planned & phased the infrastructure project in an effort to minimize impact to staff, students, and the public while also trying to entice more subcontractor bids.
• The Infrastructure Package went out for bid with the bid opening March 5.
• Architects West continued to work with the district on product selections.

Pioneer MS
• The design team continued with the CD (beyond 50% design completion) phase of design development and produced several renderings that will be shared with stakeholders in February.
• The temporary structure planning continued through February with a March 6 date scheduled for stamped construction documents.

Blue Ridge
• A kickoff meeting was held on March 7 to discuss plans for the construction phase of the Blue Ridge project.
• Wellens Farwell used February as a month to plan the project with an eye towards breaking ground in March.

Lincoln HS
• Schematic Design drawings were completed by the design team and submitted for review and cost estimating.
• A cost estimate was completed for use in determining adjustments to balance project scope and budget.
• Wenaha Group assembled a Value Engineering team and held a session to review the plans with an eye towards finding ways to meet the needs of the school and community while being efficient with the available funds.

See BOND WEBSITE for additional updates. 

Personnel Report (from March 17, 2020 school board meeting)


Maria Green, Math (20-21), Walla Walla High School
Chantal Ramirez, Bilingual Transitional Kindergarten (20-21), Walla Walla Center for Children & Families
Abigail Smyth, Special Education (20-21), Green Park Elementary School

George Flippo, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op


Barbara Buttice, Family & Consumer Science, Walla Walla High School, 36 years

Andrea Cortinas, Para-Educator, Edison Elementary School, 7 years
Patricia Crowe, Kitchen Assistant, Garrison Middle School, 4 years
Ruben Hernandez, Campus Security Specialist, Lincoln High School, 4 months

School Stories
Garrison Middle School students’ podcast entry on NPR Sunday

Garrison Middle School students in the 7/8th grade Advanced Writing class entered the NPR student podcast challenge. National Public Radio officials reached out to Garrison Middle School to report one of the podcasts has been chosen to be featured in Sunday’s podcast called, “Early Entries We Love”.

“They say the podcast was chosen because it was well done and meaningful to the NPR podcast team” said Garrison MS teacher Beth Clearman.

The podcast is called “Cheating in Sports” and is hosted by 8th grade students Cameron Carrera and Wyatt Jenes. The podcast features interviews with Garrison MS students and teacher and coach Nate Carrera.

NPR Podcast Link 

Lincoln High School students receive Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month awards

Congratulations Lincoln High School seniors Elizabeth Scott and Isaac Garcia for receiving Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month Awards this month. These students will also be eligible to compete for the Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Year Award and a special $1,000 college scholarship.

2019-20 Youth of the Month Essay Theme: “We are a nation of communities... a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.” - George H.W. Bush; How do you intend to serve as an example, now and in the future, of a responsible American citizen? Mark Higgins is the program coordinator.

Elizabeth Scott is a senior at Lincoln High School. Elizabeth participated in the JROTC program at Walla Walla High School her sophomore year and participated in the Manufacturing and Welding program at SEA Tech the past two years. During the 2017-18 school year, she applied for and was selected to serve as a Senate Page in Olympia for a week sponsored by Senator Maureen Walsh. For the past two summers, Elizabeth participated in BMAC’s PET (Pre-Employment Training) program where she worked at the VA in 2018 and the Senior Center in 2019. Elizabeth has put in many hours of volunteer services over the course of the past four years doing various activities and projects for Children’s Home Society, the Veteran’s Home, the Christian Aid Center, the science center of the Walla Walla School District, and Southeastern Washington Fair and Parade as well as shoveling snow in the Lincoln neighborhood. Next year she plans to attend Walla Walla Community College and continue studying welding and computer science.

Isaac Garcia is a senior at Lincoln High School. He has been involved in drama and currently works in the Lincoln Café as a student barista. Isaac excels at writing and critical thinking. Next year Isaac is considering Walla Walla Community College as an option to work on his writing and art while pursuing an AA.

Cavalcade of Authors Writing Contest Winner

A total of 140 district students and 15 chaperones were planning to attend Cavalcade of Authors before the event was canceled this year due to COVID-19. However, the Cavalcade of Authors board held a writing contest and recently announced the winners.

Walla Walla High School 10th grader Brooklyn Schoesler took 2nd place in the high school division. Brooklyn’s goal is to become a published author. Brooklyn’s mother is Tracy Gerbino who works at Edison Elementary. Brooklyn received a $40 gift card to Barnes & Nobles.

SEATech students compete in Boeing’s 2020 SkillsUSA Manufacturing Assembler Competition

The Boeing Company recently recognized staff and students from SEATech for participating in the 2020 SkillsUSA Manufacturing Assembler Competition. Over 60 students from 20 schools around the state participated in the competition, which took place on Saturday, Feb. 29 at Boeing’s Everett facility.

Boeing offers this competition to its Core Plus Aerospace partner schools. At the competition, students had the opportunity to showcase the hands-on manufacturing skills they have been learning in class. Students also gained employability skills through participation in mock interviews and resume reviews with Boeing hiring staff. Teachers in attendance were able to participate in a number of workshops focused on implementing industry standards for safety and quality, and preparing students for success after graduation.

Thanks to SEATech Advanced Manufacturing and Welding Instructor James Polson for his dedication and commitment to preparing his students for the competition.

Community Stories

The Health Center offers telehealth services

Effective March 23, 2020, The Health Center will no longer be serving clients and families in person due to COVID-19. We want to do our part to practice social distancing to protect our clients, our staff, and our community. We are excited to continue serving students and families through telehealth services, available on a smart phone or computer. Please call 509-525-0704 or email Help@thehealthcenterww.org to talk to a care coordinator or schedule an appointment. In-person services will resume as soon as school campuses open. 

Walla Walla Library memberships during closure

The Library is closed to the general public until April 8, but during this difficult time we are offering 90-day library memberships which will allow access to all of our online databases and online resources for adults and kids.

It’s easy to sign up online and at no cost:
Visit our website https://www.wallawallapubliclibrary.org/ and click on Your Account on the left side the page
At the bottom of the page it says “You may register here.”
Once the short form is completed the membership is created! Super easy and pretty convenient.

Questions? We are here to help, just give me a call!

Twila Johnson-Tate, Public Services Librarian

City Parks & Rec Update

All Walla Walla Parks & Recreation programs and facility reservations are cancelled or delayed through Friday, April 24. If possible, it is our intention to resume the following programs when health authorities advise it is safe to do so; Blue Mountain Girls Softball, Blue Mtn Pre-Tee ball, Warrior Soccer Academy, Adult Co-ed Soccer. The Parks and Recreation office and Carnegie, including the Pottery Studio, are closed to the public.

Please visit our website at www.wwpr.us for updated information regarding recreation programs as it becomes available. If you have questions, feel free to contact the Parks & Recreation Office:
• 509-527-4527
• recreation@wallawallawa.gov
• parks@wallawallawa.gov.

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