Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 30, 2021

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

Teacher Appreciation Week May 3-7

May 3-7 is Teacher Appreciation Week and an opportunity to thank Walla Walla educators for their service. This has been an unprecedented school year, but our teachers have continued to make positive connections with students and ensure learning remains the focus. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walla Walla educators are working hard to ensure every student has the tools they need to reach their full potential. Take a moment to #ThankATeacher during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3-7.

School Board Regular Study Meeting

• Tuesday, May 4
• 5:30 p.m.
• Meeting open to the public
• IMPORTANT MEETING NOTICE: The board of directors will be meeting in person for its scheduled regular meetings per the Governor's Phase 3 guidance. Members of the public who wish to attend the meeting may utilize the following methods:
• - In Person: Pre-registration is required. Please visit the district's website for registration details: https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule
• - Watch: https://www.youtube.com/user/wwpublicschools
• Spanish Agenda / Agenda Español: https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule

Summer Sol registration opens May 3

Summer Sol registration opens Monday, May 3 at 5 p.m. Summer Sol is Walla Walla Public Schools’ FREE summer program open to all WWPS students, grades K-12. The program provides access to additional learning opportunities, fun and engaging hands-on projects and activities, and free access to select community partner programs. Transportation and meals provided. To register for the program, go to:


Paper copies of the registration form will also be available in the main office of your child’s school. For more information on the program, visit summersol.org or call (509) 526-6787.

Summer Sol – “It’s a VIBE!”

Walla Walla Public Schools names Graduate of Distinction recipients

Elizabeth “Libby” Frazier, Class of 1973; Judith Ann Huntington, Class of 1964; Garth Lindsey, Class of 1962; Mike Monahan; Class of 1960, Allison Bingham, PhD; Class of 1977, and Kathy Covey; Class of 1974 have been named this year’s Graduates of Distinction. This is the highest honor bestowed by the district.

These individuals have distinguished themselves in their communities and careers, and they continue to bring honor to the district. Celebrate alongside these accomplished alumni at a reception in their honor on Monday, June 7 (details listed below). Listen to their stories and hear who helped shape their lives during their school years.

Date: Monday, June 7, 2021
Time: 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Place: Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center
NOTE: Due to COVID restrictions, seating is limited. If you are interested in attending, contact Susie Golden – sgolden@wwps.org / (509) 526-6715

For more information, please contact Mark Higgins, 526-6716, mhiggins@wwps.org

Walla Walla Public Schools names new Technology Director

Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith has identified Keith Ross as its new Director of Technology following an extensive search and selection process. Current Technology Director Sergio Razo has accepted a new position in the Seattle area in order to be closer to family.

Ross has more than 25 years of experience in Information Technology, including 13 years as a director. He is currently the Director of Technology Services for the Wahluke School District in Mattawa, WA. He also spent 10 years as a Director of Information Technology with Sound Publishing, Inc., the largest paper publishing company in Washington State.

Ross holds a Masters of Business Administration in Information Technology Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology. He also holds numerous industry certifications from CISCO, Microsoft, CompTIA and CIW. Ross says the WWPS Technology team will focus on being progressive and forward-thinking, and quick to identify and eliminate any barrier that is in the way of our students receiving the equitable educational experience they deserve.

“My underlying departmental goal is always to provide that personal and respectful service to every one of our stakeholders,” said Ross. “The technology department and team have never been more critical to a school district than they are now. The growth of educational technology during the pandemic has changed how technology is and will be used in classrooms going forward.”

Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith says there were several qualified candidates in the pool, but Ross’ qualities and experiences catapulted him to the top of the field.

“Keith’s resume, commitment to customer-service and leadership qualities are impressive,” noted Dr. Smith. “His references spoke resoundingly to these strengths, making him the ideal fit to join our district and community as he assumes leadership of our innovative technology department.”

Ross is married to an educator and they have a 10-year-old son. He and his family lived on Whidbey Island for most of their lives. He enjoys sightseeing, biking, gardening, theater, sports events and golfing. Ross will begin his tenure with Walla Walla Public Schools July 1.

WW Dept. of Health Weekly COVID Dashboard Report

COVID Activity Report timeline: April 10, 2021 to April 24, 2021

Every Monday, Walla Walla Public Schools posts the Walla Walla Department of Community Health’s COVID-19 Activity Report. This report, provided weekly to regional school districts, is what the Walla Walla Board of Directors has used to guide school reopening.

This week’s report reveals local COVID rates increased from the previous reporting period. There are 77 cases combined between Walla Walla and College Place over the last two weeks. There were 48 cases combined during the last reporting period. Washington DOH reports the Positivity Rate for the previous 7 days for the week ending 4/24/21 is 3.4%. The Governor’s Office will review data on 5/3 for the past three weeks.

Slow down in school zones

This week students K-8 resumed full-time, in-person learning. With more people and cars in school zones, everyone needs to do their part to ensure safety. Please reduce speeds to 20 mph while driving in school zones during morning drop-off, lunchtime and afterschool pick up, and always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Together we can keep everyone safe!

School Stories
Graduation ceremonies moved to Walla Walla County Fairgrounds

Walla Walla Public Schools is relocating its Class of 2021 Graduation ceremonies to the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds to better address COVID protocols in an outdoor setting. Limited seating will be available for guests at all ceremonies. All graduation events will also be livestreamed.


Lincoln High School Graduation
• Thursday, June 10
• 6 to 7:30 p.m.
• Walla Walla County Fairgrounds

Walla Walla High School Commencement
• Friday, June 11
• Evening (Time TBD)
• Walla Walla County Fairgrounds Grandstands

Opportunity Program Graduation
• Tuesday, June 15
• 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Walla Walla County Fairgrounds

SEATech announces summer program offerings

SEATech will be offering Summer School programs June 21 - July 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. High school students (including this year’s 8th graders) will have the opportunity to earn 0.5 high school credit. Don’t miss your opportunity to sign up for Filmmakers Boot Camp, Health, or Introduction to Manufacturing.

Priority registration begins on Monday, May 3 through Friday, May 7. Enrollment forms for all programs are available starting May 3 at myseatech.org or in the school’s counseling center.

Please contact the high school counselor or SEATech Skills Center for more information:
• 509.526.2000

FFA plant sale sells out

Congratulations to the Walla Walla High School students and staff in the FFA program on the success of their Annual Spring Plant Sale this week. The event sold out after just two days of sales. Students overcame the pandemic to plant a huge selection of beautiful plant varieties. FFA Advisor Arch McHie and approximately seven FFA members coordinated this year’s sale. Juniors Emma McGuire and Leah Chapin stepped up to take on a student leadership role for the sale.

“When we were able to come into school, we took advantage of it immediately by putting in a lot of hours,” said McGuire. “It’s been a really low year for a lot of people and it’s been super difficult. But at the same time, the flowers are that little bit of life and this feels normal. Yes we have to wear masks, but it feels normal and that little spike of color helps everyone.”

McHie thanked the community for the support and says they look forward to an even bigger sale in Spring 2022.

Park Street improvement project impacts traffic near Sharpstein & District Office

This week the City of Walla Walla closed S. Park Street from E. Alder Street to Howard Street to traffic to begin a major utility and road improvement project. Detours are now in place. Please use E. Chestnut Street or Bryant Avenue to route around the construction zone. Please slow down and remain patient when driving near Sharpstein Elementary. The Park Street portion of the project is expected to be complete by September 2021. For more project updates and road closure information, please visit the GoWallaWalla.us website. 

District plans Virtual ParentCamp event 

• Thursday, May 20
• Event features a discussion with author Diana Graber about digital literacy through her book “Raising Humans in a Digital World: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology.”
• Learn more about Graber and her work in digital literacy by visiting the following site:
• Register at www.bit.ly/parentcampww
• Questions: Contact Family Engagement Coordinator Pam Clayton – pclayton@wwps.org

Community Stories
Vaccine Clinics Announced for May

Walla Walla County Department of Community Health announces upcoming vaccine clinics

• Tuesday, May 4 & Wednesday, May 5
• 3 to 5 p.m. at the Providence Southgate Campus main building.

Schedule an appointment: https://www.covidwwc.com/clinics
**These clinics are by appointment only for first dose Pfizer vaccinations. For more information visit the vaccine information page: https://www.covidwwc.com/vaccine

Important second-dose information:
The CDC recommends all people receive their second dose 21 days after their first dose.
People arriving for their second dose need to bring their CDC vaccination card.

• Thursday, May 6
• 3:30-7 p.m. at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds, Pavilion Building. (April 14-15 Clinic)

• Saturday, May 8
• 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds, Pavilion Building. (April 17 Clinic)
• If you are supposed to receive your second dose on Saturday, May 8, and are now unable to do so, please call our helpline at (509) 524-2647 if you need assistance scheduling your second-dose appointment. Please leave a message and indicate which second dose clinic date you would like to receive your second dose, and spell out your email address.

• Wednesday, May 12
• 3-5 p.m. at the Providence Southgate Campus main building. (April 21 Clinic)

• Sunday, May 16
• 1-5 p.m. at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds, Pavilion Building. (April 25 Clinic)

Note: Given the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine available at this time and Washington's commitment to equitable and fair access, those seeking COVID-19 vaccines at this clinic location you must either live or work, or get your medical care in Washington state. Masks are required. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided. **Enter the fairgrounds from Orchard Street into Gate 5.**

We look forward to seeing you. Thanks for keeping Walla Walla well

AAUW Walla Walla branch honors senior high school females

The American Association of University Women—Walla Walla Branch honored 9 Juniors from area high schools for their work in Technology and Mathematics on Monday, April, 19, 2021, at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Current AAUW President Kathy Jones welcomed everyone, gave an overview of AAUW’s purpose and mission and the local activities and fundraisers the organization sponsors during the year. She also encouraged the high school students to study STEM fields in high school and college. High Schools in the local branch area include: Walla Walla High School, Lincoln High School, College Place, Prescott, Touchet, Walla Walla Valley Academy and DeSales.

The following young women were honored at the virtual ceremony: Shandra Fine, Abigail Lopez, Jocelyn Parker, Nevaeh Unutoa, Saige Smith, Hannah Dial, Lesly Novoa, Shea Kasenga and Megan Foertsch.

AAUW was founded in 1881 to promote education and equity for women. The Walla Walla Branch was chartered in 1921, and currently has over 200 members. Membership is open to men and women who hold a two year degree or higher from an accredited college or university.

According to AAUW Walla Walla branch Scholarships Chairperson Michelle Higgins, “During the past year, our plans were altered due to COVID. We felt it was important to continue our tradition of recognizing outstanding Junior female high school students in the areas of Science, Technology, and Mathematics. These are areas where women are traditionally underrepresented and AAUW is working to encourage young women to explore these fields, including Engineering, as viable options for their future careers. I’m grateful our scholars and their families could join us remotely, as well as some AAUW members and educators.”

Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition seeks input on child care needs


The Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition is working to make child care and early learning programs more available and affordable locally. This survey will help us understand what families want and need.

Please take this survey if you have any children or dependents 12 years old or younger, and you live in Walla Walla County or Columbia County. Please limit the survey to one per household. Your answers will be anonymous, which means you will not be asked to provide your name or identifying information, and no one will know how you answered the survey. Please complete the survey by May 11. At the end of the survey, you will be given the opportunity to sign up to receive $10 as a thank you for your help.

If you have any questions about this survey or about the Early Learning Coalition, please contact Eiledon McClellan, Early Learning Coalition Program Director (eiledon.mcclellan@wwcc.edu; phone 425-419-6126).

Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Update

Looking for work? We are hiring Ambassadors. This position will provide extensive customer service to citizens and visitors downtown. $13.69/hr.

NEW – Parks and Recreation App. Easy access to game schedules, program registration and more. Download it from your App Store/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.
• Symbol Quest – Interactive journey for all ages to discover the stories etched in stone throughout Mt View Cemetery – Cost is $20-$30 (customer hoodie included).
• Lifeguard Certification/Re-Certification – Ages 15 and up (must be 15 by May 25). Cost is $85/$175.
• Blue Mountain Girls Softball – Grades K-8. Cost is $30-$40.
• Blue Mountain Boys Baseball – Ages 12-16 years. Cost is $60.
• Blue Mountain Pre Tee Ball – Ages 3-5 years. Cost is $40.
• Adult Softball League – Ages 16 and up. Men’s and Co-Ed Leagues.
• Pickleball for All – Ages 16 and up. Cost is $45.
• T’ai Chi – Classes open to Ages 12 and up. Cost is $48.
• 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.

Veterans Memorial Pool Passes – Phase 3 allows for the pool to operate as normal while maintaining social distancing. THIS MEANS THERE WILL BE OPEN SWIM!! Pass prices Youth/Senior/Veteran $75 Adult $88 Family $180.

Pottery Studio is OPEN! Thursday/Friday 2pm-5:30pm and Saturday 10am-12:30pm.

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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