Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Sept. 3, 2021

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
WWPS Staff Back-to-School Video

Back to School Staff Video 

School Board President Derek Sarley and Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith welcome staff back for the 2021-2022 school year. For more back-to-school information, check out our back-to-school guide 

The first day of school is Sept. 7 (Preschool & Kindergarten start Sept. 13). We can’t wait to see everyone!

First Day of School
  • First day of school is Tuesday, Sept. 7 (Kindergarten and Preschool start Sept. 13)
  • Full-time, in-person instruction (following Safely Back-to-School protocols - https://www.wwps.org/safelyback)
  • All schools are now open for business in-person
  • Please slow down in school zones and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks

Back-to-School Guide

Check out the new electronic Back-to-School guide. It has several helpful quick links, important dates and timely information.

District releases quarantine learning contingency plans

Walla Walla Public Schools has developed contingency plans for continued learning should individual students, classrooms or entire schools be required to quarantine if COVID outbreaks occur in schools. Note, fully vaccinated students do not have to quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms. Below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) addressing continued learning plans under different quarantine scenarios.


Q: When would my child need to quarantine?
A: Per WaDOH, if they are less than 3ft from an individual with COVID-19 for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24 hour period.

Q: How will I be notified?
A: Families will be notified personally if their child needs to quarantine and be provided instructions on monitoring, returning to school, and testing options that may expedite their return.

Q: How long will my child need to quarantine?
A: If your child is fully vaccinated, or recently recovered from COVID in the last 3 months, they do not need to quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms. All other students are recommended to quarantine for 14 days per WaDOH guidelines. Students may be permitted to return a few days earlier, if symptom free, and they test negative under the district’s testing protocols.

Q: How will my child's educational needs be met during quarantine?
A: Unless an entire classroom or school is required to quarantine, educational activities will be handled in a traditional out-of-school absence manner. This consists of daily work prepared by your child's classroom teacher(s) that is picked up at school, delivered to the home, or provided to the student electronically (e.g. via email or Google Classroom assignments).

Q: Under what circumstances will an entire classroom need to quarantine?
A: Per WaDOH, when multiple laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among students occur in a classroom within a 14-day period, where transmission can be linked to in-classroom spread, entire classrooms may need to quarantine. This is more likely to occur at the elementary level since vaccines are not available to students under 12. Classroom quarantine at the secondary level would only impact non-vaccinated students.

Q: What would learning look like for a quarantined classroom?
A: At the secondary level, whole class quarantine of all students would be rare due to the vaccination status of many middle and high school students. Under most classroom quarantine circumstances, non-vaccinated students would be sent home and receive individual educational activities provided by their teacher(s). Under an extremely rare condition, where all students in a class (vaccinated or not) are required to quarantine, the learning will consist of “zooming” to receive live instruction during their regularly scheduled in-person class time with their specific teacher. Under both scenarios, students will receive individual work from their remaining non-quarantined teachers/classes. At the preschool/elementary levels, teachers will “Zoom” with students live from 8 to 9:30 a.m. to deliver age-appropriate instruction/experiences. In addition, teachers will also provide age-appropriate independent learning activities students/families can accomplish independently. Teachers will remain available throughout the day for student/family questions/support. Students receiving special education, language services, or other supports will be contacted to coordinate appropriate service delivery during their 14 day or less quarantine period.

Q: Under what circumstances would an entire school need to quarantine?
A: After consultation with local health officials, if there are multiple quarantined classrooms or uncontrolled viral spread at your child’s school, it may necessitate the entire school to quarantine for up to 14 days to ensure safety and curb transmission.

Q: What would learning look like for a quarantined school?

  • At the secondary level: Day 1-Family communication and technology pickup for specific families (WiFi hotspots, student Chromebooks left at school). Day 2-Learning plan commences where students will “Zoom” with their teacher and classmates per their current in-person bell schedule.
  • At the elementary level: Day 1-Family communication and technology pick up at school for specific students/families. Day 2-Learning plan commences at 8 a.m. with live virtual learning as noted above. Additionally, other specialists provide learning/engagement options for students/families (e.g. school wide physical education activities, school wide music experiences, etc).

To learn more about quarantine processes, testing availability, and other school safety measures, visit the district’s Safely Back to School website at: https://www.wwps.org/safelyback

Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days – Sept. 1-5

Stop by the district’s Information Booth at the Education Building during the fair. Pick up a free book for your child and all your back-to-school information. The information station is open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Education Building is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. See you at the fair!

School Board Study Session Sept. 7

Regular Study Meeting: Topic – First day of school updates & quarantine learning contingency plans

  • Tuesday, Sept. 7
  • 5:30 p.m.
  • WWPS District Office (364 S. Park Street)
  • Watch Live Remotely:  https://www.youtube.com/user/wwpublicschools
  • Meeting open to the public (Note: This is a study meeting and does not include Citizens’ Comments)

Volunteers, substitutes, and community partners required to verify vaccination or exemption status 

Recently Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 21-14.1 mandating all school district employees, volunteers, substitutes and community partner employees working in schools become fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or obtain an approved medical or religious accommodation, by October 18, 2021, as a condition of continued employment.

“We have also been busy developing internal and external processes to comply with this mandate,” said Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea. “We will be working directly with community partners and volunteers to ensure proper documentation is obtained through a confidential process.”

Gardea says the verification process is easy to complete by simply uploading a copy of your vaccination card or completing a waiver request, which was developed in consultation with the Attorney General's Office, and meets the required threshold for religious and medical exemptions.

To verify your vaccination status or to request an appropriate waiver, please visit:

For assistance, please contact Human Resources at (509) 526-6712.

Vaccination Opportunities: Walla Walla Public Schools has coordinated with the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health to maximize vaccine opportunities, where employees and community members can either pre-register or simply “walk in” and receive your vaccine. See below and attached for times/dates, visit their website at www.covidwwc.com/clinics, sign up online at https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/?locale=en, or call their hotline for assistance at 509-524-2647.

Southgate Clinics – 1025 S 2nd Ave, Walla Walla, WA 99362

  • Wednesday, September 1 from 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 2 from 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, September 3 from 3 to 7 p.m.

School Stories

Blue Devil Northwest to live stream varsity home games

Walla Walla High School students in the Blue Devil Northwest broadcasting program are excited to live stream Wa-Hi varsity sports again this season. Visit the Wa-Hi Athletics website for game schedules and broadcast links - https://wallawallaathletics.com/

Registration for 5th grade orchestra is open

Fifth grade students interested in learning to play the violin, viola, cello, or double bass can now register for a morning class (7:05-7:50 at Pioneer) or afternoon (2:50-3:30 at Garrison).
Links to the sign-up forms are below:

Sign-Up Forms Spanish
Sign-Up Form English

Parents and students are invited to an informational meeting on Thursday, September 16 at 7:00 PM in the Wa-Hi Auditorium.

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Woods (Pioneer MS): 509-527-3050 x3914 or jwoods@wwps.org
Mr. Condie (Garrison MS): 509-527-3040 x4939 or ccondie@wwps.org

Free admission to all Wa-Hi home games and drama productions

Attention Blue Devil fans! All Walla Walla High School home games and drama productions are now free for everyone to attend. The decision to drop all ticket fees aligns with the district’s Strategic Plan initiative of engaging the community in school activities.

“We want the community to come out and support our students, coaches and advisers,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “Most community members no longer have children in schools so it’s not easy for them to stay connected with the school district. Sports, music performances and theatrical events are a great way to bring people together and celebrate our collective accomplishments.”

Senior citizens will no longer need their Gold Cards to get into games at no cost. Anyone wishing to attend home athletic contests for free simply needs to show up. Parents/guardians must accompany all middle and elementary aged children while in attendance. Some theatrical events, like drama productions and musicals, will require pre-registration to ensure seating capacities are not exceeded. Masks are not required to attend outdoor events like football, soccer and cross country. Per the Governor’s order, masks are required, regardless of vaccination status, for all indoor activities.

“Our Strategic Plan continues to guide our decisions and we are proud to put these initiatives into action,” said Superintendent Smith. “We remain committed to reducing barriers to engage in our schools and are proud of our school board’s commitment toward community involvement in our schools.”

Visit the Walla Walla High School Athletic Department’s website for game schedules and information. https://wallawallaathletics.com/ or our Fine and Performing Arts Events Calendar at: https://wahibluedevils.org/c-p/courses/fine-performing-arts/events-calendar

Community Stories
Backpack project completes National Night Out Events – By Vicki Ruley, City of WW Police Dept

Walla Walla Area Crime Watch and Kiwanis brought their accumulation of backpacks and school supplies together Thursday, August 26. The backpacks were filled with school supplies and the extra supplies were boxed up and readied for distribution to area public schools.

On Friday, August 27, 65 backpacks full of school supplies were delivered to Walla Walla and College Place Public Schools to complete the National Night Out 365 project.

Donations came from a variety of sources which included:

  • Walmart Community Grant of $500- used to purchase backpacks
  • Staples generously donated a variety of school supplies
  • Walla Walla Area Crime Watch donated $500 – used to purchase backpacks
  • Kiwanis brought in multiple backpacks and school supplies

Involved in stuffing the backpacks and boxing the supplies were:

  • Vicki Ruley, Crime Prevention Coordinator -WWPD
  • Chalese Rabidue, Domestic Violence Officer – WWPD
  • Wanda Galland, Crime Victim Advocate -WWPD
  • Sharon and Jay Gerbino – Kiwanis
  • Nonda and Don Gibbard -Kiwanis

City of Walla Walla Parks and Rec Update

Veterans Memorial Pool Open Swim Hours - Saturday, September 4, 2pm-6:30pm, Sunday, September 5, 11am-6:30pm, and Monday, September 6, 12pm-6:30pm. Last day of the 2021 season is Monday, September 6.

Recreation Programs

  • All Comers Swim Meet – All Ages. Cost is $3 (pre-register) or $5 (onsite registration)
  • All Comers Track Meet – Ages 1-12 years. Cost is $3 (pre-register) or $5 (onsite registration)
  • CJoy – Ages 12 and up. Cost is $11-$95.
  • Fencing (Youth/Adult) – Ages 8-18. Cost is $60-$75. Equipment provided.

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

Like us on facebook! www.facebook.com/wallawallapr. Follow us on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/wallawallapr/.

Walla2Hoops AAU basketball club tryouts for 2021-2022 season 

After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Walla2Hoops AAU Basketball Club is opening tryouts for boys and girls in grades 2-8 from throughout the Walla Walla valley to make a team for the 2021-2022 season. Tryouts will be held Sunday, Sept. 19 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at the Walla Walla High School main gym. Coaches are needed for the 2021-2022 season.

All players must have a current AAU card and tryout. No spots are guaranteed or held over from a previous season. All players must register online before tryouts. Visit www.w2hoops.com and click on "Join W2Hoops" to register.

2021-2022 Walla2Hoops AAU Tryout Schedule – Sunday, Sept. 19 at Walla Walla High School

  • Grades 2-4 (boys and girls) – 12 to 1 p.m.
  • Grades 5-6 (boys and girls) – 1:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Grades 7-8 (boys and girls) - 3:30 to 5 p.m.
  • Coaches needed

The 2021-2022 AAU basketball season runs from October 2021 to March 2022. The club consists of approximately 21 teams and nearly 200 athletes. Players represent Walla Walla Public Schools, College Place Public Schools, Assumption Catholic School, Touchet School District, Rogers Adventist School, Dayton School District, Waitsburg School District, Weston School District, St. Basil Academy and homeschool students. Now in its fourth year, Walla2Hoops Club President Matthew Price-Huntington expects a lot of excitement following the COVID shutdown.

“We are anxious to get our athletes back on the court and competing is the sport they love,” said Price-Huntington. “We have safety protocols in place to keep everyone safe and healthy as we work through the pandemic.”

Walla2Hoops is a 501C3 Non-Profit basketball club which operates under the umbrella of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Walla2Hoops provides an enriched basketball environment with a mission to create a positive competitive culture focused on developing character and basketball fundamentals.


  • Email: walla2hoops@gmail.com
  • Facebook: walla2hoops
  • Mail: PO Box 3383 – Walla Walla, WA 99362
  • Club Contact: President Matthew Price-Huntington – 509.956.9695

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