Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 17, 2020

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School Board meeting Tuesday, April 21

IMPORTANT MEETING NOTICE: Pursuant to the Governor's Proclamation No. 20-28, school board meetings during the COVID-19 disease outbreak must not take place in-person, but occur remotely. Members of the public who wish to listen to the meeting via telephone may do so. The call in number is 1-301-715-8592. An access code is required and can be obtained ahead of time by contacting Susie Golden at 509-526-6715 or sgolden@wwps.org.

Elementary/Preschool Learning Packet Pick-up Schedule

7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Every Monday (except holidays)

Monday, April 20
Monday, April 27
Monday, May 4
Monday, May 11
Monday, May 18 (2 weeks of materials)
Monday, May 25 (Holiday, No Pickup on the 25th)
Monday, June 1
Monday, June 8
Monday, June 15 (Technology drop off for 3rd-5th who checked out Chromebooks and internet Hot Spots)
Friday, June 19 is the last day of school for the 2019-20 school year.

Supplementary Educational Resources for 3rd-5th
In addition to the weekly learning packet, we are offering 3rd-5th grade students optional supplementary learning for families that can be accomplished online (e.g. i-Ready and other online resources many students are already familiar with). The district has announced additional Chromebook and hot spot connectivity deployments for students in grades 3-5 who lack access at home. This supplementary component will not modify the individualized learning packets for all elementary school students every Monday, but ensures all students have the ability to explore additional optional learning resources during the extended campus closure.

We have updated each school's Google landing page so that students and parents have easy access to district-reviewed and approved supplementary resources (e.g. iReady, OSPI's list of online learning sites, and other vetted online learning opportunities). Again, these online resources are optional for students/families who wish additional learning/experience above the work provided and returned every Monday. It is important to point out that the learning packet process is the only method that guarantees equity, access, feedback, specialist involvement, and ability to provide supplemental materials and other individualized resourcing.

From your own personal computer:
Click Here to log into our District's Google landing page and select the appropriate school.

From a district-issued Chromebook:
Power up the device and log in using the unique username and password (supplied to you). 

For technical support click here

April 2020 Bond Project Update

Walla Walla High School
• Framing continued on the Science Building as Jackson’s framers completed the exterior framing creating an enclosed structure safe from weather and has the ability to be locked up in case of emergency
• The windows and frames were installed around the perimeter of the Science Building.
• The exterior and interior insulation efforts were largely completed.
• The exterior brick façade construction has begun along the west end.
• The Utilities/Infrastructure bid package was awarded and had the kickoff with the subcontractors which include local Premier Excavation and Walla Walla Electric.
• COVID-19: As clarified by the Governor to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and relayed by Dr. Wade Smith, construction of schools is deemed essential work and as such, Jackson, Wenaha, and Architects West have enacted safety measures to increase social distancing and create awareness in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. All parties are committed to the work and to public safety and are evaluating the situation continually.

Pioneer Middle School
• Dr. Smith, Wenaha Group and Architects West met with the staff to go over the current design in an all-day review session.
• Wenaha Group continued to coordinate the temporary facilities to ensure readiness for school year 2020-2021.
• Architects West and their design team completed the temporary facilities packages that will soon be bid through the small works roster.

Blue Ridge Elementary
• Wellens Farwell mobilized on site and installed perimeter safety fence around the work area.
• Local subcontractor Allen Key Excavation began removing soil from the berm over the roof.
• Taking into account the school closures, work has been accelerated with the hope of finishing early.

Local contractor begins safety improvements at Prospect Point

This week S&K Mountain Construction of Walla Walla began bond-funded safety improvements at Prospect Point Elementary. The project includes raising curbs and widening sidewalks near the front entrance of the school to improve safety in the parent drop-off and pick-up area. The project is expected to be completed in four to six weeks.

Contractors are also onsite at Blue Ridge Elementary for the roof replacement project. Dirt is being removed from the existing roof so a new membrane can be installed. The project is expected to be completed this summer.

Visit the district’s Bond Updates website for more information on bond-related projects. 

5th to 6th Grade Registration and Open Enrollment for 2020-21 School Year

On Monday, April 20 there will be information regarding 6th grade registration in the weekly elementary learning packets. Parents are asked to review this information, complete the registration form, place it back in their child’s learning packet and return it to your elementary school Monday, April 27. Middle School principals will pick up the completed registration forms to begin the middle school registration process.

Middle School Open Enrollment Procedures:
For families seeking to open enroll to the other middle school, they will indicate this as an option on the bottom of the middle school registration form. This notes they wish to attend their non-resident middle school. Instructions will also be provided to complete the open enrollment form which will also be included in the forms going home on April 20. Families will be notified May 18 if their request has been approved.

Out of District: For families that want to open enroll to one of WWPS middle schools from out of district will contact the district office of their home district to request a Choice Transfer Request. An electronic Choice Transfer Request will be submitted to the proposed open enrollment school. Families will receive an email notification if the Choice Transfer request is approved or denied.

Meals available to all students

Walla Walla Public Schools offers free meals to all students Monday-Friday 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

School Stories
Wa-Hi JROTC Battalion Commander selected to ALL FOUR U.S. Service Academies – By Wa-Hi JROTC 

The Walla Walla High School senior who currently commands the “Blue Devil Army JROTC Battalion” will join the next class of cadets at one of the nation’s four service academies shortly after graduating here in June ... after receiving appointment to them all.

Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet Lt. Col. Luke B. Matlock has elected to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo. He had applied to all four U.S. service academies beginning more than a year ago and recently learned he had been selected for admission and had earned appointments to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard academies. He enters the USAFA on June 25 and will be enrolled as a member of the Class of 2024. When he graduates, he’ll be commissioned as an Air Force second lieutenant.

“That’s pretty much a dream shot for applicants to the service academies because it’s such a rigorous process just to be selected for even one. Cadet Matlock was simultaneously accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., which produces Army commissioned officers, the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., which commissions Navy and Marine Corps officers, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, CT and the USAF Academy,” said a community veteran who learned of his four official appointments. “To be selected by all four academies is an almost unbelievable achievement.”

Matlock says his path to the service academies began about six years ago when he joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).

“I knew by middle school that it was time to focus on the future and create a path to get there. I’ve been interested in aviation for a very long time. A couple years ago, as a CAP cadet, I got to attend a familiarization program in Mississippi and it was there that I saw the Air Force pilot culture and I was hooked immediately,” Matlock said. “I knew then that my future would be centered on aircraft and flying in some way. I’ve kept the goal of becoming a military pilot for one of the services in focus ever since.”

The commander of the “Twin-W Composite CAP Squadron,” where Luke has been a member, recognized the drive and potential early in Matlock’s CAP membership.

“Our Cadet Captain, Luke Matlock, came in like all of our new cadets. He knew he had a lot to learn. Recognizing that fact, he applied himself in an excellent manner. He was a really fast learner and within six months he was on his way to future leadership positions. As he advanced through sergeant and lieutenant, and on to CAP Cadet Captain, it was clear he was a driven young man,” said Lt. Col. Ted Hanson, squadron commander. “We could all tell that he had a singular and definitive drive. He wants to fly airplanes! He always wanted to learn more and know more. To help get himself toward his goal, he learned to ask really good questions, always shared his really great ideas, and as a result, Luke has excelled at everything he does. Our squadron couldn’t be happier for his achievement and his decision to attend the Air Force Academy.”

Matlock attended Berney Elementary School and went on to Pioneer Middle School. It was at “Pi-Hi” he first met Ron Higgins, who was his assistant principal there. Luke later reconnected with Ron when he became the new principal at “Wa-Hi” where Matlock had become an Army JROTC cadet.

“When I was the assistant principal at Pioneer Middle School, Luke was in 7th and 8th grades. Even then, he stood out because he had a tremendous drive and excellence was always his minimal standard. I always knew him to be focused on setting only the highest standards for himself, and achieving them. Later, as his high school principal, it was eminently clear that he was one of those students that you knew had a clear sense of purpose, he was someone who wanted to get somewhere and do great things,” said Higgins. “I’ve had conversations with Luke and his family, and his JROTC instructors. At every turn, people have recognized his work ethic and the drive that sets him apart. His excellent academics and his role model positions in JROTC and CAP serve well as the kind of example for others here on campus to show they can attain their dreams, as well. Luke and other standout Wa-Hi graduates are testimony to what a student can achieve if they apply themselves here.”

Luke must have been doing something right, he’s taken five honors classes in mathematics, science and English, as well as 10 advanced placement classes in English, social studies, science, and mathematics. Between his classes, Civil Air Patrol, and JROTC he somehow finds time to be a competitive swimmer with a traveling league and has been a member of the Wa-Hi swim team for four years. The team qualified for the state championship tournament for the past two years. Matlock has also been a volunteer tutoring reading and mathematics at Berney Elementary School where his mother, Annette, is an office administrator.

Luke credits the public schools for giving him the many tools he needed to find academic success and his path to a future career. That educational excellence is the goal of the Walla Walla school system.

“Luke’s accomplishments are a testament to his hard work and commitment,” said Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “He is a role model for future students and a shining example of our vision of ‘Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.’”

Matlock certainly was sought after, to be sure. In addition to the service academies, he was offered Navy and Air Force ROTC scholarships at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in Daytona Beach, Fla. ERAU is described as the largest, fully accredited university system specializing in aviation and aerospace.

After advancing from Pi-Hi, he came to Wa-Hi and discovered the Army JROTC program.

“As soon as he joined our program, we could tell he had the potential to be someone very special. He learned fast, was a deep thinker, excellent planner, and had an aptitude for leadership roles,” said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Mebes, WWHS Army JROTC Instructor. ”As a cadet here in the program, he held every leadership position you can get, up to and including commanding the battalion. Like nearly a dozen battalion commanders before him, he also won the Scottish Rite Achievement Award for cadet excellence. In our battalion, that has become one of our most sought-after awards.”

Mebes thinks he knows why Matlock chose the Air Force Academy, after working with him for four years.

“While Luke has been a member of the battalion, our program won top honors as a ‘Junior ROTC Honor Unit with Distinction.’ The standards to achieve that Army-wide recognition are incredibly demanding. The fact that he commanded a company when the unit earned that recognition, and then earned the battalion command, gave him a big leg up when applying to the service academies,” Mebes said.

“Sarge is right, that unit recognition was a big factor in my selection by the Air Force. My final decision came to several points. I elected to attend the Air Force Academy especially for the aviation-centered opportunities and the mission support activities. In the Air Force, I hope to become a pilot and fly, or even work with our country’s satellite programs. But, getting to that took getting accepted to the Academy. I was amazed to get invitations to all of them,” Matlock said.

Excellence and military service run in his family, according to Matlock. His father, Glenn, is a West Point graduate who went on to federal civil service after completing his time in the Army. He is currently an engineer at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Walla Walla. His sister is an Army ROTC cadet at the university she attends.

“I hope all these wonderful people know just how much I appreciate them. I want to become a pilot and I have to thank them for helping me get this far,” Matlock said. “I hope I can somehow motivate and inspire others to do their best with the opportunities we can all find if we work hard for them. I hope to make everyone proud of me who invested something of themselves in me.”

City Library offers free book bags for elementary students

City of Walla Walla Young People’s Librarian Liz George is teaming with the district to provide 500 free book bags for elementary students. Book bags will be available to families during the Learning Packet pickup beginning Monday, April 20.

“We want to keep our children reading and the Book Grab Bags are a way we can distribute materials that are not in the collection,” said George. “The Walla Walla Public Library building may be closed, but the Library is still here to serve you. All students can register for a free digital card and have access to digital books, audio, Tumblebooks, Pronouciator, CultureGrams and more.”

Several precautions have been taken by the library team to ensure the books are safe for children.
• Books have been isolated for more than two weeks.
• Books are removed from the system so children can read them, share them at home, keep, or return them.
• Book bags are cloth not plastic.
• Staff will be masked and gloved while packing bags.
• Bags will contain information about Walla Walla Public Library digital resources and how everyone can get a digital library card.

“This is amazing for our families,” said Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Christy Krutulis. “We have so many families requesting books and this is an excellent opportunity to support our students’ love for reading.”

Wa-Hi ASB officers salute seniors

As Walla Walla High School seniors recently opened their front doors or looked out their windows they were surprised to see a bright blue sign posted in their yards honoring the Class of 2020. The yard sign idea came from the school’s Associated Student Body Leadership students, under the guidance of Adviser Arch McHie, who wanted to let seniors know they were appreciated and missed as schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 400 signs were purchased from a local Walla Walla business and distributed by the students who carefully followed CDC guidelines for social distancing and safety practices. Students were given a route and traveled alone in their cars to post the signs with no interactions from their classmates. Principal Ron Higgins said they hit a grand slam as the feedback has been overwhelming.

“The timing could not have been better as we learned this week schools would remain closed for the remainder of the school year,” said Higgins. “We feel terrible for our seniors who are missing out on senior prom, traditional graduation ceremonies and so many other aspects of school life. This was a little boost to let them know we are thinking about them.”

Community Stories
Wild & Scenic Film Festival comes to your home – By Blue Mountain Land Trust

Since 2015, the Blue Mountain Land Trust has partnered with the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) to bring you the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. This year, the coronavirus outbreak forced us to reimagine how a film festival could work with physical distancing measures in place. Because you couldn’t come in person to our festival this year, we decided to bring the festival to you – where you could enjoy it from the comfort of your couch, patio chair, or picnic blanket.

Over eight-weeks beginning April 20, 2020, BMLT will be streaming a selection of short films that illustrate the challenges facing our planet and explore how communities are protecting the places they love. Each week, we will release a new lineup of films that conveys a broader theme of environmental activism.

We’re also offering three weeks of programs designed for children and young adults. The film programs will be accompanied by a set of activities that encourage young learners to think critically about the themes each film explores. The best part? We’re presenting this online festival free-of-charge. To enjoy the films, simply visit bmlt.org/wild and register.

This program is generously supported by Outside Walla Walla, a website that will inspire your next adventure into the Blues. It’s a collection of stories to help you explore wild places of the great nearby.

Census 2020 – Be counted today!

The CENSUS affects everyone in many ways, but it affects our children in BIG ways! This count, taken every 10 years, impacts the federal funds our community receives each year for programs and services critical for our 6,000+ students and their families: Special Education; Head Start; classroom technology; Title I education for disadvantaged students; food assistance for breakfast and lunch; children’s health programs; and much more.

How to get counted
• Go to http://www.my2020census.gov to respond with or without an ID number provided by the census bureau to your home
• Call 1-844-330-2020 (which will also direct you to other numbers in 11 languages or to request a paper form to be mailed)
• Complete and return a paper form you may have received in the mail.

For more information go to www.bmccc2020.org or jaun2@bmacww.org

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