Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Jan. 28, 2022

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
District to shift to ParentSquare for its communications platform after spring break

Walla Walla Public Schools has adopted a new form of school-to-home communication called ParentSquare. The district will begin using ParentSquare as its primary platform for communications with stakeholders after Spring Break. ParentSquare will replace SchoolMessenger.

ParentSquare provides one, unified platform for all communication, more parent/guardian involvement, robust engagement features, an app for mobile users, two-way language translation and more.

ParentSquare provides a safe way for district administrators, school principals, teachers, staff, and parents to:
• Send and receive school and class information
• Share pictures and files
• Set calendar dates
• Obtain volunteer sign ups
• Schedule parent-teacher conferences
• and much more . . . all in one centralized place

Beginning April 11, district and school, grade level and classroom information will be sent to parents/guardians’ computers and phones via email and/or text. There is also a convenient ParentSquare app (available for free for iOS and Android devices). Walla Walla Public Schools will send an invitation to parents/guardians to register for ParentSquare the week before Spring Break. Stay tuned for more information coming your way soon as the district begins its transition to ParentSquare.

State of Washington modifies COVID testing requirements for high-contact sports

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal notified school leaders this week the Washington State Department of Health is modifying COVID-19 testing requirement for high-contact sports.

“Effective immediately, in support of our goal to support in-person learning and in order to maximize constrained COVID testing supplies for symptomatic students and staff as well as close contacts participating in Test-to-Stay or returning from quarantine, DOH is changing the testing frequency for high-contact sports,” said Reykdal in his correspondence.

Schools/districts will now be required to:
• Test high-contact sport athletes (basketball, wrestling and cheer) the day of competition. Mandatory screening testing of asymptomatic athletes three times a week is no longer required.
• A student-athlete does not need to test if they have tested positive and recovered from COVID in the last 90 days. Ensure universal masking of all athletes during all practices/training for these high-risk sports.
• Universal masking of all athletes during practices/trainings will be required, but not during competitions. Coaches, trainers, and staff will not be required to be tested but must wear masks in all practices/training AND competitions.

“This is a welcomed shift in guidance for many, but it is imperative that schools stay focused on continuing mask wearing, distancing where possible, and supporting vaccinations and getting boosted during this time of extremely high community transmission,” said Reykdal. “Vaccination offers the strongest protection against severe disease, including the need for hospitalization when break through cases occur.”

Reykdal reported the Omicron experience is evolving with cases peaking in some parts of the state, and still rapidly rising in others.

“However, the biggest concern in our state right now is that hospitals across the state – east, west, urban, and rural – are operating near, at, or above capacity,” said Reykdal. “What might be a mild illness for a student-athlete could be serious or even life threatening if transmitted to a child or adult with chronic conditions. The health care system is so stressed there are impacts to health that go beyond COVID-19. Washingtonians currently are unable to have important but scheduled medical procedures. Continuing mitigation measures can help protect the most vulnerable in our community, protect our healthcare system, and keep our schools open and safer for all.”

Walla Walla Public Schools Health Services Director Amy Ruff coordinates testing for the school district and reports the district will implement the changes immediately.

February Early Dismissal & No School Dates

• Feb. 4 – Early Dismissal (TK-12)
• Feb. 10-11 – No School (Grades K-5) - Parent/Teacher Conferences
• Feb. 21 – No School (all students) - Presidents Day

December 2021 bond update


Bond construction rolls on! Contractors are busy at Wa-Hi, Pioneer MS & Lincoln HS delivering on the district’s bond promises. All projects remain on schedule and on budget. Check out the December Bond Update for specific details on all three of these exciting projects.

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

Walla Walla Public Schools Bond Program – Delivering on Our Promise

Highly Capable Referral Period  

Walla Walla School District's Highly Capable programming provides students of high academic and intellectual ability with designated time to explore concepts in greater depth. The goal of the Highly Capable Program is to encourage the development of higher level thinking skills.

Information on Highly Capable Program services and the 2022 referral process is currently available on the district website. Referral forms are available in all district schools and on the district website. Click HERE

The annual selection process for in-district students takes place in late winter/early spring. Following the testing and selection process, all parents will be notified in writing of the results of the process.

Students in 2nd and 5th grade will all take a cognitive abilities screener in February. Results of the screening process, along with other data points, will be used to determine which students will be recommended to participate in the next steps of the identification process. Parents will be notified of screening results in early March.
• Parent/guardian referral paperwork will be due March 23, 2022.

Parents/guardians of students in K, 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade should talk with their child’s teacher(s) at conference time to determine if Highly Capable testing is recommended. Parent/guardian referral paperwork is due dates are by grade level.
• K/1st: March 29, 2022
• 3rd/4th: March 9, 2022
• 6th-8th: February 2, 2022

Students in grades one through eight selected for Highly Capable programming will begin services at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. For more information, please contact Carrie LaRoy, Assessment Coordinator. claroy@wwps.org or 526-6786.

School Stories
Cupcake Wars competition a fun way to show off cooking skills

Walla Walla High School students in Sarah Moore’s Culinary Arts classes showed off their cooking and creative skills during finals week through their Cupcake Wars competition. Groups of students in each of Sarah’s classes were challenged to make a dozen cupcakes and design them with a Disney theme.

Walla Walla High School staff members served as judges each period to name the winners. Students used the brand new kitchen spaces made available thanks to the bond program. Sarah said she was amazed at the artistic skills her students demonstrated with their creations and is proud of how hard they worked to make the event a success. She also said the students loved having staff members come in and support their program by judging their work.

Ready for Kindergarten Sessions

Don't miss out on our upcoming Ready for Kindergarten sessions. If you are a parent of a young child (ages 0-5) these sessions are for you. Classes are free and so are the materials you get to keep to encourage purposeful play moments at home.

To register for these and other dates go to: http:bit.ly/rfkreg2021

February 1: for parents of 4-5 year olds (Zoom session)- 5:45-7:15 pm
February 17: for parents of 0-1 year olds (in person)- 5:30-7:00 pm
February 17: for parents of 1-2 year olds (in person)- 5:30-7:00 pm
February 17: for parents of 2-3 year olds (in person)- 5:30-7:00 pm
February 28: for parents of 3-4 year olds (in person)- 5:45-7:15 pm

Pam Clayton, WWPS Family and Community Engagement Coordinator

Facebook: wwfamiliesandschools
Instagram: wwpsfamilyengagement
Twitter: @WWPSFamilies
509.526.6781 (Office) / pclayton@wwps.org
302.402.3916 (Text)

Community Stories
Walla Walla Union Bulletin seeks nominations for Young Leaders publication

Every year, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin is recognizing 39 remarkable young leaders under the age of 39 who are making a difference in the Valley. Public nominations for the following categories are now being accepted:
• arts and culture
• nonprofits and advocacy
• health care
• public service, education and business

This is the second year the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin is highlighting people making exceptional contributions to the community.The deadline for nominations is Jan. 28, and the honorees will be announced in March.

Make your nomination: https://ubne.ws/39_under_39_2022

AAUW announces annual book sale – Feb. 18-20

The 57th Annual AAUW (American Association of University Women) Book Sale will be held February 18 - 20 at the Marcus Whitman Hotel.  Sale hours will be Friday and Saturday, 9 am – 7 pm; and Sunday, 9 am – 4 pm.  Approximately 40,000 high-quality books, CDs and DVDs, sorted into 40 categories. Paperbacks $2.50.  Hardbacks $4.  Each child receives a free book from the picture or chapter book sections.  Rare and collectible section priced individually.  Proceeds fund scholarships for local women returning to college, and educational projects and events.

Parks & Rec Update

• Mother-Son Superhero Bash February 12. Open to all ages. Cost is $20 per mother.
• Youth Volleyball Clinic. Open to boys and girls grades 4-8. Cost is $50.
• Father-Daughter Ball March 5. Open to all ages. Cost is $20 per father.
• Pee Wee Multisport Series. Open to boys and girls ages 3-5. Cost is $50.
• Spring Soccer League. Open to boys and girls grades K-8. Cost is $50.
• Spring NFL Flag Football. Open to boys and girls grades K-8. Cost is $50.
• Walla Walla Soccer Alliance Skills Clinic. Open to boys and girls ages 5-10. Cost is $65.
• Fencing for Youth and Adults. Cost is $20-$75. Ages 8 and up.
• 2022 Season Pool Passes are on sale. Prices will increase again on February 1st.
• The Pottery Painting Studio hours are Thursday and Friday 4pm-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm.

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 or recreation@wallawallawa.gov 

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