Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - September 11, 2020

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

First week of school off to a great start

Tuesday the district kicked off the 2020-2021 school year remotely. Attendance in the distance learning program exceeded 95 percent across the school district. This summer the district increased its telephone and internet service capacities and both systems met operational expectations and handled the increased loads. Teachers and students interacted live via Zoom and Google platforms throughout the week. Next week the district welcomes kindergarten students in for their first day of school. Students and families experiencing technical difficulties are asked to contact their school secretaries who will work with Technology Department staff to resolve the issue. Thank you for your patience and support. 

Superintendent Smith reflects on 19th Anniversary of 9/11

For those of you who have been part of our Walla Walla Schools community over the last five years, you likely recall that one of my traditions comes around once a year on this important date. As I have, and will continue to do, I encourage each and every one of you to find time today between your Zoom sessions, office hours or supporting duties, to reflect on what now marks the 19th anniversary of the darkest day in recent American History; a day when nearly three thousand five hundred lives were lost on American soil. Nineteen years ago today terrorists hijacked four civilian planes with the intention of striking fear and panic into the hearts and lives of every American.

While the pandemic, distance learning and the safety and health of our community is surely at the top of everyone’s mind, it is important that we take time to reflect and honor the civilians and heroes whose lives were tragically cut short that September morning. As we are all reminded, on September 11, 2001 at 8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, claiming almost 90 lives aboard the plane. Shortly after, at 9:03 a.m., some 60 innocent passenger lives were lost when United Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. Rushing to aid those in the impacted buildings, over 400 New York City firefighters, rescue workers, law enforcement, and others perished along with the 2,700 civilian inhabitants, when the two buildings collapsed not long after the plane impacts.

At the same time the towers began to fall, a few hundred miles from New York, nearly 40 passengers and crew aboard United Flight 93 gave their lives averting a deadly attack on our nation’s capital, bringing down the hijackers and the plane over a farm field in the state of Pennsylvania. Marking the last of the tragic events that morning, at 9:37 a.m., under the hijackers control, American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon, killing all on board and 125 people in the complex.

That evening President George W. Bush addressed our nation. He began his message with, “Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.” He went on to note that, “these acts were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

Since that catastrophic day nineteen years ago, our way of life has been impacted forever. Thousands of additional lives have been lost by the brave men and women who defend our country as we continue our war on terror. It is hard for me to believe that many of our younger employees are not old enough to recall this incident. For me personally, and I assume still many of you, I remember the day with chilling clarity as I watched the events unfold in disbelief side by side with my students in my high school science room.

As we reflect on the anniversary of this tragedy, much can be learned over the nearly two decades since this event. More so than ever, especially in light of events that continue to unfold in our political scene, it remains critical to persevere messages of tolerance and compassion. As our great nation continues her debate over these topics, here in Walla Walla Public Schools we continue to be the example with messages of belonging and standing up to injustice. As President John Fitzgerald Kennedy once said, “Our task is not to fix the blame for the past, but to fix the course for the future.” As we reflect, remember and honor those who perished on that September morning nineteen years ago. Let us not forget that tolerance for each other and tolerance for each other’s beliefs, cultures, customs, ethnicity, and appearance must be central to our learning.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers’ prejudice for our country, our freedom, and our way of life resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives. Please take the time to reflect on this event, thank those who serve to protect our way of life, honor those who have served our country in previous eras, and remember that lack of tolerance is what fueled this tragedy.

Wade Smith, Ed.D.

School Board Regular Business Meeting

• Tuesday, Sept. 15
• 5:30 p.m.
• Pursuant to the Governor’sProclamation No. 20-28, school board meetings during the COVID-19 diseaseoutbreak must not take place in-person, but occur remotely. Members of the public are invited to attendby clicking here: https://zoom.us/j/96915016309 or may listen to the meeting bycalling 1-253-215-8782 and entering the following meeting code: 969 1501 6309.

Federal government extends free meal program

Recently the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the free meal program through December to help ensure all children have access to nutritious food as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, all meals will be free for all children ages 1-18. This includes children not enrolled in school. Parents and guardians may pick up meals for their children. More: https://www.wwps.org/news/spotlight/6014-free-meal-program-extended

During distance learning, Walla Walla Public Schools is handing out meals Monday through Friday at several school and community locations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The district will deploy two school buses daily from 12 noon to 1 p.m. at several bus stop route locations across the community. All meals are “Grab & Go” and include lunch and the next day’s breakfast. Please wear face masks or face coverings when picking up meals.

“Grab & Go” Meal Pick Up locations:
• Berney Elementary (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
• Edison Elementary (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
• Garrison Middle School (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
• Green Park Elementary (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
• Prospect Point Elementary (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
• Sharpstein Elementary (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
• Washington Park (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
• Lincoln High School (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
• Bus Route One: (please arrive five minutes early)
- 12 noon: Corner of N. Touchet and E. Cherry St.
- 12:10 p.m.: Corner of J. St. and N. Roosevelt St.
- 12:20 p.m.: Vista Terrace Park
- 12:30 p.m.: 2815 Melrose Trailer Park
- 12:40 p.m.: Middle of block between Tausick Way and Garden St.

• Bus Route Two: (please arrive five minutes early)
- 12 noon: The corner of Lodge and Sunset Dr.
- 12:10 p.m.: The corner of Chase and Eagan
- 12:20 p.m.: 11th Ave. Middle of block between Main and Alder
- 12:25 p.m.: 11th Ave. Middle of block between Birch and Willow
- 12:35 p.m.: 11 Ave. and Edith Ave.
- 12:45 p.m.: Corner of W. Moore St. and 8th Ave.

Nutrition Services Director Pamela Milleson reminds parents it is important to be ready for the time when the district is back to its regular meal program by continuing to submit Free & Reduced price meal applications which are located on the district’s website at: https://www.wwps.org/departments/nutrition-services

School Stories
National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is an official national celebration that honors the history and cultural influence of past generations who came from Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. When is Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrated? Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15.

What is the difference between Hispanic and Latino? While many people use Latino and Hispanic interchangeably these two words mean different things. Latino is used when referring to someone who comes from Latin America, or is a descendant from any Latin American country. A Hispanic person is someone who comes from, or is a descendant of a Spanish speaking country. A person can be both Hispanic and Latino, but not all Latinos are Hispanic. For example, Brazilians are Latinos, but their native language is not Spanish. Similarly, Spaniards are considered Hispanic, but not Latinos, since they are part of Europe.

For more information on Hispanic Heritage Month: https://hispanicheritagemonth.gov/

Update Student Information in Skyward

If you have moved, changed a phone number, or need to edit an emeregency contact for your student you will need to do it online in Skyward Family Access. Navigate to the wwps.org site, click the resources tab in the white menu bar at the top of the page, and then select the Parent Resources tab and scroll to the bottom of the column for the link to Skyward. LINK

If you need further asssistance, please call the office at 527-3000 and we will be glad to help.

Sign up today for Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten

Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten registration is open. The first day of school is Monday, Sept. 14. It’s important for students to enroll in WWPS programs to keep pace with learning targets.  These programs are for 4- or 5-year-old children. Walla Walla Public Schools is committed to reopening schools safely. Our goal is to return to face-to-face instruction for our youngest learners, PK-2nd grade, as soon as possible. Click HERE for online registration. 

Community Stories
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
This week Walla Walla County Behavioral Health Program Coordinator Peggy Needham and members of the Reach Out Walla Suicide Prevention work group set up a display at the Walla Walla County Courthouse for Suicide Prevention Awareness Day. Peggy thanks the Reach Out Walla Walla volunteers for setting up the booth, and the display illustrating the 56 people we have lost to suicide since 2015. See more at: https://www.facebook.com/reachoutww/

Suicide Prevention Support:
• Crisis Text Line text the word HEAL to 741741
• Local Crisis Line 524-2999
• Lifeline 1 800 273 8255

Secret Life of the Forest – Streaming On-Demand

The Blue Mountain Land Trust is teaming with Blue Mountain Television to air the Secret Life of the Forest: The Northern Blue Mountains which premieres online Sept. 21. This 13-part series explores the natural history of the northern Blue Mountains of Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon. Come soak in the beauty and splendor of this massive mountain range and the plants and animals that inhabit this little-known landscape. Mike Denny’s incredible knowledge of the Blue Mountains and Daniel Biggs’ photography have created an awe-inspiring account of life in the northern Blue Mountains. Episodes can be streamed, on demand, directly from your home. To get started register HERE: https://bmlt.org/slf

Narcissa Rebekah Lodge No. 2 Donation

Shirley Ruble and members of Narcissa Rebekah Lodge No. 2 recently donated $586 to Walla Walla Public Schools to fund school supplies for local students. This year the district is providing all P-8 grade students school supplies as a result of the financial impacts of COVID-19. Shirley says it feels good to help out during the COVID-19 pandemic and to address pervasive homelessness. She says it is the Rebekahs’ way of helping those who need help the most.

WW County Traffic Safety Coalition 9th Annual Virtual Superhero Run 2020 

• September 12-26
• 1-Mile Walk/Run or 5k Virtual Run. Run at your own time.
• Proceeds benefit programs of the Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Coalition.
• There will be prizes for the top runners and prizes for best costume.
• Information: Ruben Hernandez, Injury Prevention Program Coordinator / (509) 524-4425 / rhernandez@co.walla-walla.wa.us

City Parks & Rec Weekly Update

• Chalk-Tastic chalk art contest open to kids 5-16. Categories are things you would see in a park or anything recreation related. Submit pictures to parks@wallawallawa.gov. Deadline is September 20.
• Walla Walla Soccer Alliance Skills Clinic – Ages 5-17. Cost $25-$30. This soccer clinic will adhere to all local health guidelines set forth by the WA Dept. of Health.

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, recreation@wallawallawa.gov or parks@wallawallawa.gov.

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