Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Sept. 24, 2021

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Fall 2021 Bond Update Video

Fall 2021 Bond Update Video 

Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith takes viewers on walking tours of Lincoln High School, Pioneer Middle School and Walla Walla High School bond renovation projects. Superintendent Smith also checks in with Bond Oversight Committee members Dick Moeller and Tony Wenham.

Stay Connected!
• Website: https://www.wwps.org/bond
• Twitter: @bondwwps

WWPS Maintains Strong Credit Rating: Moody’s Investor Service affirms district’s strong Aa3 status

Walla Walla Public Schools has received good news from one of Wall Street’s top ratings agencies by joining only 216 districts across the nation to maintain a favorable credit rating in their recent review. Walla Walla Public Schools recently learned from Moody's Investors Service the district's strong rating of Aa3 has been maintained during their regular revaluation process.

According to Moody’s rating scale, these ratings are indicators that the district is fiscally strong and has the capacity to meet its financial commitments. A strong Aa3 rating means the district is a very low credit risk, and continues to spell good news for local taxpayers if the district goes to sell bonds or refinance debt in the future.

“This strong rating is a testament to our board’s leadership and sound fiscal oversight,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “Moody’s recognizes our school board’s commitment to maintain sound fund balances, low long term debt ratios and modest fixed costs.”

Since Superintendent Smith’s hiring in 2016, the district passed the largest bond in school history, at $65.6M, which also qualified for over $50M in state match dollars. The district’s strong Aa3 credit rating at the time bonds were sold resulted in lower than anticipated bond tax rates for the community. Additionally, voters approved maintaining the replacement education levy at near record rates and student test scores and graduation rates have continued to trend upward.

“The Moody’s rating is also a testament to Fiscal Services Director Nancy Taylor's leadership and financial oversight,” said Superintendent Smith. “I could not be more proud to be the superintendent of a school district that believes in being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and remains committed to ensuring their investment results in higher academic outcomes and the preservation and improvement of our facilities.”

Parent/Teacher conferences Oct. 11-14; No School Days – Oct. 14 and 15

Reminder! Parent/teacher conferences are Oct. 11-14. Most conferences will be held virtually again this year via ZOOM due to COVID safety protocols. Walla Walla Public Schools will open its easy to use web conference scheduler Monday, Oct. 4 for parents to schedule conferences with their child’s teacher(s). Look for more information on how to use the conference scheduler coming soon.

NO SCHOOL DAYS (Parent/Teacher Conferences)
- Thursday, Oct. 14
- Friday, Oct. 15

State testing resumes this fall

Last spring, the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction opted to postpone state testing until this fall to prioritize critical in-person instruction time for the benefit of our students. Therefore, current 4th-9th and 11th and 12th grade students will be participating in the required state testing during the fall assessment window, October 4-November 10.

Assessments will vary by grade and be significantly shorter than typical state testing. The other change is that students will be testing in their prior year grade level. For example, this year’s 7th graders will test on portions of the typical 6th grade assessments. The primary purpose of the fall summative tests is to support maximizing on-grade instructional time for students and educators by minimizing time spent on fall summative tests that provide a brief glimpse into where students are in their learning on the previous grade-level content.

Families will be receiving communication from their student's school with more detailed information about specific testing dates in the coming weeks. Spring 2022 state testing is planned to resume as normal.

Virtual Adjourned Regular Business Meeting & Executive Session of Sept 21, 2021

Tuesday, Sept. 28
5:30 p.m. (Regular Business meeting – virtual ZOOM meeting open to the public)
7 p.m. (Executive Session – not open to the public)

Supporting documents are available via the following link:

Board of Directors Meeting Schedule & Information:

Watch: https://wwps-org.zoom.us/j/98127355599
Listen: Dial 1-253-215-8782 and enter Webinar ID: 981 2735 5599

Moeller provides bond oversight

Walla Walla Public Schools is beginning year three of construction projects following the overwhelming support of facility improvements by voters during the November 2018 bond election. One of the promises made to the community following the successful ballot measure was to form a Bond Oversight Committee. This diverse group of community members adds a layer of transparency and accountability to the bond program. Longtime local contractor and Walla Walla Public Schools Graduate of Distinction Dick Moeller is a member.

“The oversight committee is a very important part of the bond program,” said Moeller. “This kind of oversight allows us to keep an eye on the budget and make sure the district is doing what was promised to the community. It’s been really nice to see a lot of local subcontractors on these projects, which helps the local economy. We are right on schedule and are doing what we promised.”

The Bond Oversight Committee meets at least quarterly to review financial statements, study project scope, monitor construction documents, and bid solicitations to ensure bond dollars are only being spent on projects approved by voters. The Bond Oversight Committee is also charged with ensuring any excess funds are returned to voters to reduce the cost to local taxpayers. Only voter-approved projects will receive bond funds.

Committee Membership
Scott Morasch, Chair
Mark Hess, Vice Chair
Bonnie Bowton
Lawson Knight
Kim McDaniels
Terry McConn
Jennifer Mouat
Dick Moeller
Ken Seibold
Tony Wenham

Visit the Bond Oversight Committee tab on the https://www.wwps.org/bond website to see meeting agendas, monthly project updates, monthly financial dashboards and other budget tracking information.

New FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program 

If internet access is on your back-to-school checklist, the FCC has announced a program that could help save you $50 a month on your broadband service and associated equipment costs. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households.

If you are interested in seeing if you qualify, please visit the program’s website at https://getemergencybroadband.org/how-to-apply/ or use the convenient link on your child’s Chromebook home screen.

School Stories
Homecoming Spirit Dress Up Days and Activities

Monday, Sept. 27
• Class Colors: Fresh: Purple, Soph: Yellow, Jr.: Green, Seniors: Red

Tuesday, Sept. 28
• Twinning Tuesday/ Art Club Chalk Walk 3:15-5 p.m. in front of Academic Building

Wednesday, Sept. 29
• Jersey Day / Club Fair during lunches / Powder Puff- Borleske Stadium @ 7 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 30
• Throwback-Decade Day / Home Softball Game 3-5 p.m. / Volleyball game 5:30-7 p.m., Theme: Blue and White

Friday, Oct. 1
• Blue and White / Virtual Assembly during FLEX / Home Football game 7 p.m., Theme: Blue & White

Saturday, Oct. 2
• Homecoming dance from 8-10 p.m. at the District's Maintenance Facility (1162 Entley)

Wa-Hi sports schedules on Athletics Dept website

Visit the Walla Walla High School Athletics Department website for sports schedules, news, live stream links and important updates.
Website: https://wallawallaathletics.com/

Follow us on Twitter @WaHi_Athletics

GEAR UP paid tutors needed for middle school programs

GEAR UP is looking for tutors to work at Garrison and Pioneer. Make extra money working part-time hours during the school day or afterschool. We are looking for people who can help with school work, are enthusiastic about working with middle schoolers and want to make a positive difference in student learning.

For more information please contact the GEAR UP Site Manager at either school.
Garrison: Terri Gingras- (509) 526-1905, tgingras@earlyoutreach.wsu.edu
Pioneer: Elionay Quiros Meneses-(509) 526-1970, equiros@earlyoutreach.wsu.edu

Walla Walla Online - Your best online option

Looking for an online public school experience?
Walla Walla Online is an online public school option for students in grades K thru 12 who are looking for an alternative educational option that may better suit their individual learning needs or circumstances.

Walla Walla Online
• FREE, Online Public School Option
• Kindergarten through 12
• High Quality Online Curriculum
• Supported by WWPS teachers
• District provided Chromebook
• Access to athletics and activities
• Sign up today!
Learn more HERE 

Community Stories
Let American Dream Academy help with college applications

College applications are coming due in the next couple of months. Are you ready? Pick up some tips and tricks that will help make your application stand out. Join us at our next American Dream Academy session, Tuesday, September 28 from 6-7 p.m. at the Walla Walla Center for Children & Families, 1150 W. Chestnut, WW. Both parents and students are encouraged to attend together if possible. Sessions are free and childcare is provided.
• Register: https://www.wwcc.edu/academia-del-sueno-americano/

Camp Fire updates

Camp Fire speaks Spanish on Fridays!
Have questions about Camp Fire After School Camp? Rosa Flores can help you register and answer your questions. She works on Fridays, 2:30 – 6:30pm. Call (509) 525-3180 or visit the office at 414 S. Park Street to see her in person.]

Now Hiring After School Program Assistants
Camp Fire is seeking fun, dependable staff to help lead After School Camp at Berney, Edison, and Prospect Point. Minimum age is 18 with a high school diploma or GED. Hours are Monday – Friday, 2:15 – 5:30 pm (1:30 pm start time on Wednesdays). Position pays $15 per hour. Apply at www.wwcampfire.org.

Experience Hip Hop culture at Whitman College 

The Mellon-funded 5th Element Project presents free workshops in Bboying/Bgirling, Graffiti, Music Production, Popping, and more on Saturday October 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Whitman College's Reid Campus Center. Join guest artists for a panel discussion on Hip Hop culture from 2 to 3 p.m., then return for Break into Summer, a 2 v. 2 Bboy/Bgirl crew battle, from 4 to 9 p.m. Guests from across the U.S. and Canada will be there to teach, perform, and share their knowledge. In accord with Whitman College policy, proof of full vaccination will be required to enter. Please see our event page for details, and email Peter de Grasse at degraspg@whitman.edu or Eric Hamilton hamiltew@whitman.edu to sign up for a workshop.


City of Walla Walla Parks and Rec Update

Pottery Studio has NEW hours! Thursday/Friday 4pm-7pm and Saturday/Sunday 11am-3pm.

• All Comers Track Meet – September 25th - Ages 1-12 years. Cost is $3 (pre-register) or $5 (onsite registration)
• CJoy – Ages 12 and up. Cost is $11-$95.

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.

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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