Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 8, 2020

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School board discusses COVID-19 impact on budget 

School board members conducted a study meeting May 5 to continue planning for the 2020-2021 General Fund Budget. Concerns over the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were voiced throughout the meeting. Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith praised the school board for its forward planning and pragmatic approach to budgeting to put the district in strong financial standing, using reserves to help withstand some of the anticipated state funding dips as a result of COVID-19.

“Although we are in a strong financial position, we will need to take preventive measures to address the economic impact,” said Superintendent Smith.

Superintendent Smith revealed three budget scenarios for the school board to consider as it provides guidance based on varying levels of financial risks. Conservative, moderate and aggressive budget scenarios were discussed. Planning parameters for the scenarios were based on enrollment projections, preventative maintenance levels, state funding cuts and deficit spending levels. Superintendent Smith says state funding dips are likely to occur next year, but are expected to be more drastic during the 2021-2022 school year. He said decisions made this year will have profound impacts on the next year or two as well. No decisions were made Tuesday night. School board members will have another budget planning meeting May 19 and one in July before it goes up for a vote August 18.

Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Grant Program brings solar power to Walla Walla High School campus 

This week solar panels were installed on Walla Walla High School’s new Science Building thanks to a $100,000 funding award from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program participants.

The approximately 50kW array will defer about 5% of the annual power consumption used by the entire Walla Walla High School campus. The system will also offset approximately 33.9 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This is equivalent to 3,819 gallons of gas or 78.6 barrels of oil consumed or 4.3 million cell phones charged per year.

“By generating our own electricity, we’ll save on energy costs allowing us to dedicate more of the school district’s budget to our core vision of Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “This solar project is not only a win for the environment but will also provide an interactive learning tool for our environmental science classes and students interested in renewable energy careers.”

Walla Walla Public Schools joins more than 120 organizations across Pacific Power’s service area that, since 2006, have received awards for community-based renewable projects, including solar, wind, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy. This project is one of a dozen selected this year through a competitive evaluation process.

Blue Sky is an opt-in program that gives Pacific Power customers an option to match all or part of their energy use with renewable energy -- reducing their carbon footprints and driving demand for new renewable energy in the West. Through the Blue Sky Block option, participants also support qualifying, renewable energy projects for community-serving organizations such as schools, community centers and arts organizations.

“For 20 years, the Blue Sky program has offered Pacific Power customers a simple and powerful way to live their values, reduce their carbon footprint and support renewable energy,” said Bill Clemens, Regional Business Manager at Pacific Power. “Unlike most green power programs, Blue Sky goes beyond the purchase of renewable energy credits to help fund additional smaller energy projects for organizations in our communities. Through projects such as this, Blue Sky participants are powering a better future for local communities.”

For additional information about the Walla Walla Public Schools bond program visit: https://www.wwps.org/bond
To learn more about the Blue Sky program, visit: pacificpower.net/blueskyfunds

Applications now accepted for early learning programs

Are you looking for a high-quality early learning program for your preschool age child? Walla Walla Public Schools is now accepting applications for the early learning programs located at the new Walla Walla Center for Children & Families. If your child will be 3 or 4 years old by August 31, they may qualify for FREE preschool.
For more information call 509-526-1774 or visit www.wwps.org/ccf

Superintendent’s Pulse Video – May 2020

Click HERE to watch the May 2020 Pulse video. Superintendent Smith provides timely updates on the recent Four Phase Plan released by Governor Inslee to open the state from COVID-19 closures. He also praises teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week and discusses the recent audit and state recognition of four schools for improved student achievement.

Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8, 2020

May 4-8 is Teacher Appreciation Week and a time to thank our teachers as they change the lives of thousands of Walla Walla children every day. The unprecedented and abrupt COVID-19 physical closure to our school campuses is challenging our teachers to do even more to continue education with virtual classrooms and paper learning packets for at home lessons. It’s in these challenging times that we truly recognize and appreciate how Walla Walla educators play such a pivotal role in our children’s lives—inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery and making a difference in their well-being and long-term success. Since 1984, National PTA has designated one week in May as a special time to honor the men and women who lend their passion and skills to educating our children.

District establishes Equity Outreach Telephone Hotline to better serve families

Equity and Dual Programs Director Dr. Julie Perron announces her department has started staffing a telephone hotline in Spanish from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays to support student learning during the COVID-19 campus closure period. Families will also be able to leave messages after hours. Bilingual staff will provide families with information, school resources and appropriate school contacts as needed. The hotline number is 509.526-6787. 

Personnel Report (from May 5, 2020 school board meeting)


Krystal Ceron-Tapia | Sharpstein, 1 year

Cheryl Shay | Health Services, 3 years

Kindergarten sign ups and registration for families new to district now open

Registration for kindergarten, families new to Walla Walla Public Schools, and Open Enrollment for students who reside outside of our school district is underway. This year the process will be online. The registration link is located on the district’s home webpage – www.wwps.org.

If you are unable to register online, please contact the district office or your child’s attendance area school for a paper registration form. Forms are available in Spanish and English. If you are registering a kindergarten student, and are interested in dual programming, please contact the Equity and Dual Programs department at 509-526-6784.

If you are a current K-4 parent whose child is open enrolled within the district, you should have received an open enrollment form in the Monday, May 4 learning packet. If you have a current fifth grader you want to open enroll for middle school, you should have received the open enrollment form in the Monday, April 20 learning packet. If you did not receive a form in the learning packet, please contact your child’s current school.

Elementary/Preschool Learning Packet Pick-up Schedule

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

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, WWPS is 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 https://sites.google.com/a/wwps.org/staff/ 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. https://www.wwps.org/distancelearning/technical-support

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 may pick up meals at whichever site is most convenient. Parents may also pick up meals for their students without students being present. 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)
• 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
Blue Devil Strength and Development program to begin online workouts

The 2020 summer Blue Devil Strength and Conditioning program begins Monday, May 18 for boys and girls grades 6-12. Due to COVID-19 school campus closures, Phase One of the program will begin virtually via Google Classroom. This year’s coaches are Greg Lupfer, Marqui Shields and Scott Shields. There is no cost to participate and all participants will receive jump ropes and strength development bands.

BDSC 2020 Phase One
• Start Date: Monday, May 18
• Students will work out at home with no person-to-person contact per state guidelines
• Program will feature occasional Google Meet opportunities
• Participants will check in on Google Classroom via their Student ID. Google Classroom code: wwrwgkk
• Participants will receive written workouts on a week-by-week basis to do on their own
• Participants will use bands and jump ropes provided at no cost by WWHS

Gear Pick Up
• Jump ropes and strength development bands (no cost)
• Thursday May 14
• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. (alternative pick up arrangements can be made)
• Pick-up area is located in the Fern Ave. parking lot next to the Wa-Hi track
• Safe distancing practices will be in place to allow for quick and easy equipment transfer

“We are super excited we can get going so early this year to engage with our students,” said BDSC Coach Greg Lupfer, who is also the Wa-Hi Head Football coach. “We understand everyone is excited to get out of the house, see old friends and make new ones, but because of the COVID-19 virus we have had to adjust our BDSC format and time frame to begin our workouts at home.”

Coach Lupfer and his team have plans in place to open the program to in-person sessions once state guidelines permit. Each Phase will be in conjunction with the state of Washington’s Health and Safety COVID-19 guidelines Governor Inslee has set forth.

“Our goal is to ensure the safety and well being of our participants first,” said Lupfer. “We want our students to keep their heads up, stay active and be sure to take care of their academic responsibilities.”

For more information, contact:
Coach Greg Lupfer – glupfer@wwps.org

Welcome to the end-of-year reading challenge #PieChallengeYou! 

Pioneer Middle School readers are competing against Garrison Middle School readers in this epic challenge. Students of the school who read the most between now and June 9 will earn the extreme privilege of throwing a pie in principal’s face. From a socially distanced pie thrower of course. The event will be captured on video for later viewing.

It’s easy to participate:

• Join the Google Classroom (code ru2v7u6).
• Read anything (books, magazines, online articles, graphic novels, audiobooks, etc.) and keep track of your minutes.
• Daily or weekly complete the Reading Log (Classwork in the Google Classroom).
• Weekly Bonus Points: Take a photo of your book or of you reading. Tag your school on Facebook. Use #piechallengeyou so we can count your post for bonus points.

Stats will be tallied every Tuesday. Make sure your reading minutes are recorded by Monday night.

Need access to books? Here are some options:
• Pioneer’s Destiny Discover ebooks and audiobooks
• Walla Walla Public Library is now doing Home Delivery. Check out how to get books from the public library
• Sync Audiobooks has new free audiobooks for the next 13 weeks.

If you have any questions or need help accessing reading materials.
Sara Strickland

Community Stories
Filling out Census helps local schools – By Cindy Widmer

You are all appreciated but perhaps never more so than in the past weeks! As a former WWPS parent, volunteer and forever fan, I can never know what it is taking to hold all this together or how it feels when it unravels. I do know I am deeply grateful and eager to do what I can to contribute to the continuing success of this district.

We need all of you – YOU EACH COUNT. One path to continued success is federal funding for WWPS, much of it ensured by our responses to the 2020 CENSUS. Please join me in responding and encouraging everyone you know to respond. This is how.
1. Online with your address by going to http://my2020census.gov
2. By completing and mailing back the paper form; and
3. By calling the number on the paper form and responding by phone.

The census determines billions of dollars of funding returned to states, counties, cities and school districts. Let’s be certain we receive our share to sustain the quality of life we love in Walla Walla and, in our schools for: special education; Head Start, after-school programs; classroom technology; food assistance, including free and reduced-price school lunches; and more.

Thanks for sharing this valley, where we all count!

Cindy Widmer
Blue Mountain Action Council Census Project

Walla Walla Valley Youth Football Registration

• Fall tackle football for boys and girls grades 1-6 (for WW, College Place, Touchet, MF, Waitsburg, Prescott)
• August 3 to November 1
• Early bird price: $110 (until June 19)
• Practice locations: Waitsburg, MF and Walla Walla
• Games rotate between towns
• Register online: https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/Default.aspx?tabid=483743
• Information: Jon Wright – (775) 455-1336 / wwvyouthfootball@gmail.com

City of Walla Walla Parks and Recreation update

All Walla Walla Parks & Recreation programs and facility reservations are cancelled or delayed through May 31. 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, Blue Mountain Baseball League, 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 at 509-527-4527.

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