Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 19, 2021

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Middle school students return to campuses this week
After being off campus for nearly one year, middle school students from Garrison Middle School and Pioneer Middle School returned to in-person learning this week. Students are using the AM/PM hybrid schedule due to state safety guidelines for social distancing. The district is in its Yellow Stage of Safely Reopening Schools roadmap. COVID cases are on the decline in Walla Walla prompting the district to continue planning for high school students to return once case counts reach state recommended guidelines. Walla Walla County is now in Phase 2 allowing sports competitions to resume next week. 
South Central Region advances to Phase 2 paving way for return of high school sports

District to launch live streaming video coverage of all home varsity athletic games

Following nearly a one-year hiatus, Walla Walla High School coaches and athletes have been given the green light to resume competition this month following the announcement the South Central region advanced to Phase 2 of the state’s Roadmap to Recovery. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Season One for high school sports includes football, slowpitch softball, cross country, girls soccer and volleyball. A full slate of games is scheduled to begin the week of February 22.

The WIAA has implemented strict regulations for spectators to limit attendance at all high school sports competitions. For all Mid-Columbia Conference schools and events, only home spectators will be allowed admittance for Season One fall sports. Two tickets will be allocated for each rostered athlete in uniform for volleyball, slowpitch softball, girls soccer and freshman and junior varsity football. For varsity football, two tickets per senior player and senior dance/cheer participant will be allocated. No other spectators will be permitted and only current game rostered participants will be allowed at the event. These restrictions are required to comply with the strict spectator guidelines outlined by state guidance.

“We know our community and fans want to come out and support our teams, but our main goal is allowing our student-athletes to resume competition and experience high school sports,” said District Athletic Director Dirk Hansen. “We have worked hard as a community, school district and athletic program to get back playing and I’m thrilled the students get to resume their passion of competing in high school sports.”

Walla Walla Public Schools is ramping up its live video streaming services through the Blue Devil Northwest program managed by the 21st Century Afterschool program. All home varsity games will be live streamed by Blue Devil Northwest and easily accessed on personal devices and streaming applications. Visit the Walla Walla High School Athletics website for game schedules and live streaming links: https://wallawallaathletics.com/

Cummings named to head federally funded program targeting pandemic impact on student learning

Longtime district 21st Century Afterschool Program Director Brent Cummings has been promoted to Director of Supplemental Learning and Support for Walla Walla Public Schools effective March 1. In his temporary role which extends through next school year, Cummings will be tagged to manage the district’s portion of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund dollars.

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and provides an additional $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund). ESSER II Fund awards to State Educational Agencies are in the same proportion as each State received funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year 2020.

“At the Feb. 16 School Board meeting, our Board identified the need for this critical position and recommended we move forward as soon as possible to fill this instrumental role,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “This temporary assignment will last through at least September 2022, as Mr. Cummings works with the school board, staff, parents, students and community partners to coordinate and implement programs to meet student learning gaps and other impacts resulting from the pandemic.”

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds have been allocated to help school districts across the nation restore and maintain high-quality learning environments, and to take comprehensive action to mitigate the unprecedented learning loss that many of America’s most vulnerable students have endured. School Board President Derek Sarley says he welcomes these federal funds as the district takes aim to address the extraordinarily challenging times students, educators and administrators have faced in absence of in-person instruction.

“Educators, students and parents have pushed themselves to the limits the last 12 months to keep learning happening, but we saw in our district data review this week where gaps have been opened that we need to close,” said Sarley. “The board is committed to using these precious federal dollars wisely and aggressively to support student learning, and we need someone who can give that job their full attention.”

Cummings has held his current position for Walla Walla Public Schools since 2013. He spent the prior eight years as site coordinator for the Northwest Learning and Achievement Group which managed 21st Century Community Learning Center grants at Garrison Middle School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana where he also earned All-Academic Honors while playing on the men’s basketball team. Cummings and his wife Audra, a Walla Walla High School graduate and former district teacher, have four young children.

Personnel Report (from February 16, 2021 School Board Meeting)

Maria Espinosa Arteaga, Elementary Dual Language Teacher (2021-22 School Year), TBD

Leidy Martinez, Bilingual Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School
Nicole Oriah, Para-Educator (Temporary), WWCCF
Mireya Perez, Bus Assistant, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op
Milton Rogers, Bus Assistant, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op
Lizeth Saucedo, Bilingual Para-Educator (Temporary), Edison
Tracy Walmsley, Para-Educator (Temporary), Green Park

Alyson Magnaghi, Para-Educator, Lincoln, 16 years
Nancy Tompkins, Bus Assistant, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op, 1 year
Rosalva Vazquez, Para-Educator, Green Park, 6 years

Bond Update (February 2021)

Walla Walla High School
• Jackson Contractor Group is doing construction on every building on campus except the New Science Building and the Academic Building.
• Building 1: The roofing work was completed.
• Building 2: HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work continued. Work was initiated to start hanging gypsum wallboard. The new roof dormer features were constructed. New large HVAC mechanical equipment was installed with use of a mobile crane. Work on replacing the windows, doors, and storefronts began as well.
• Building 3: Demolition began inside the existing structure in order to facilitate the remodeling. New utility services were brought to the building addition. The building addition had the foundation trenches dug and prepared for new services and concrete which will be poured soon.
• Building 4: Remodeling of the south portion continued with installation of plumbing, HVAC, IT, and electrical components.
• Building 6: The design team worked on making some additional design changes based on district desires. In addition, the underslab utilities were installed, the subgrade was prepared, and the slab is ready to be poured at the new building segment.
• Building 7: Steel erection was completed and roof framing has been started.
• The design team worked with Jackson to complete and return submittals and answer construction questions as they arise in order to facilitate a project that is able to keep up with the schedule.

Pioneer Middle School
• The gym was filled with soil in order to bring the new grade up to the surrounding grade. In addition, grading activities continued in preparation for new foundations and slab on grade.
• The foundations and stem walls were poured at the north side of the commons addition.
• HVAC and electrical work continued in the south wing. Also, the shear walls and new flooring were continued in this wing based on bringing the existing structure up to current codes.
• Plumbing of the new locker rooms, the new kitchen, and the new storm water systems were largely completed below grade.
• The design team worked with Jackson to complete and return submittals and answer construction questions as they arise in order to facilitate a project and stay on schedule.

Lincoln High School
• Construction documents (including drawings) have been submitted for review and permit approval.

See more: https://www.wwps.org/bond

School Stories
We Are Wa-Hi event March 2

Walla Walla High School is inviting 8th-11th grade students and families to participate in their pre-registration event, We Are Wa-Hi on Tuesday, March 2 from 6-7:30 p.m. online at wahi.link/wearewahi. This is a great opportunity for new families to learn more about the Wahi experience, credits, classes, graduation pathways, SEATech options and how registration will work for 8th graders.

For current families and students, this event provides information about the next year’s grade level expectations, graduation track and allows you to explore other classes and extra-curricular options you might find interesting and want to try. Information videos for each department are available at wahi.link/wearewahi to provide families with general background information to view prior to or after the event. The event can be joined at any time between 6-7:30 p.m. to get more specific details and ask questions of staff.

Family Engagement and Support Program announces kindergarten information and parenting events

Family Engagement Coordinator Pam Clayton has been busy planning kindergarten information events and parenting support programs. Click on the links below to learn more. Contact Pam for additional details: pclayton@wwps.org

Kindergarten Roundup    

ParentCamp Update 

Ready for Kindergarten Play with a Purpose

Wa-Hi Job Fair March 23

Walla Walla High School is planning a virtual Job Fair Tuesday, March 23 at 1 p.m. on Zoom. Sign up to participate: wahi.link/jobfair.

Questions: wacareercenter@wwps.org

Community Stories
Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Update

• Youth Fencing – Beginning Classes for ages 8-18. Cost is $60. Equipment provided.
• Adult Fencing – Classes for ages 18 and up. Cost is $75. Equipment provided.
• Ukulele Class Ages 12 and up. Cost is $65.
• Spring Soccer – Grades K-8. Cost is $40-$70. Starts March 1.
• Spring Flag Football – Grades 2-8. Cost is $70. Starts March 1.
• Pee Wee Multisport Series – Ages 3-5 years. Cost is $65. Starts March 8.
• Veterans Memorial Pool Passes – February prices Youth/Senior/Veteran $60 Adult $70 Family $150. Prices will increase on March 1.

NEW – Parks and Recreation App! Download it from your App/Google Play Store - Walla Walla Parks and Rec!
In need of financial assistance to help with youth program costs? We have simplified the youth scholarship application process for 2021, thanks to private community donations we are able to help with 75% of the program cost! Call 527-4527 or email recreation@wallawallawa.gov us to request a scholarship for your child(ren). The only requirement is that you establish an online account so that we have a place to apply the scholarship. 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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