Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 11, 2022

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School Board Regular Business meeting and Executive Session

• Tuesday, March 15 – Regular Business meeting (open to the public)
• 5:30 p.m.
• WWPS Administration Building (364 S. Park St.)
• Board Meeting Agendas, Minutes & Remote Viewing Access: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997
• Executive Session to follow Regular Business meeting (not open to the public)

State updates COVID safety requirements and guidelines for schools

Tuesday, the Washington State Department of Health released revisions to COVID-19 requirements and guidance for K-12 schools. Earlier this month, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced masks will no longer be required in schools after Friday, March 11. Federal transportation rules were also updated and masks will no longer be required on school buses after Friday, March 11.

This latest update relaxes many of the mandates schools were previously required to maintain and takes effect March 12. Physical distance requirements, regular testing of student-athletes, performing arts restrictions, and other preventative measures that were required during the height of the pandemic are no longer required per these changes.

“These revised requirements are welcome news and a sign that we are on a path back to more normalized operations,” said Health Services Director Amy Ruff. “We will continue to be vigilant in our practices to keep everyone safe and will always respect personal choice as it pertains to masks.”

Per the Department of Health, vaccinations are still required for staff unless they have a medical or religious exemption. Additionally, schools must continue to exclude individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and maintain isolation and quarantine practices as outlined in this release. The district will continue to provide access to testing for staff and students and continue to work collaboratively with the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health to report cases and outbreaks.

“I want to thank our staff, students and families for adhering to the COVID safety protocols over the past two years which has opened the door for the relaxation of these state requirements,” said Ruff. “I also want to thank our community partners for the support they have provided in helping us reach this pivotal milestone.”

The district has updated its COVID Safety Protocols website with these revised guidelines.

WWPS COVID Safety Protocols website

WADoH Press Release

Celebrate Education Support Professionals Week

March 14-18, 2022 is Education Support Professionals Week (formerly Classified Employees Week), a tradition started in 1975 by Public School Employees to recognize the contributions of Education Support Professionals in the public school system.

Approximately 390 education support professionals work with and help students throughout Walla Walla Public Schools. These staff members work to maintain school buildings and grounds, provide administrative support, prepare and serve meals, provide safe transportation, keep school facilities clean and safe, assist in the classrooms, provide information technology and media services and more.

“The work done by support staff is critical to the educational system and success of educating students,” said Human Resources Director Liz Campeau. “Please take a moment to thank our district support staff for their outstanding work in education.”

Asking is Caring parent-lead suicide prevention training 

Monday parents from Walla Walla and Richland gathered with trainers from the University of Washington for their first Asking is Caring parent-lead suicide prevention training. Parent participants practiced delivering the training to other parents. They have been meeting weekly to learn about the curriculum and suicide prevention strategies.

Later this Spring, in partnership with Walla Walla County Department of Community Health, these trained parents will host trainings for parents in their districts. Dates, times and locations will be announced soon. This program is funded by the University of Washington in partnership with Walla Walla Public Schools. Dr. Jen Stuber from the University of Washington is leading the training. 

Mental Health Special Kristen Duede is the lead for Walla Walla Public Schools. Walla Walla County Behavioral Health Program Coordinator Peggy Needham is also assisting. This program aligns with Goal 3 of the district’s Strategic Plan, which focuses on supporting the social and emotional needs of all students.

Kindergarten and Early Learning Roundup returns in-person

Save the Date! Walla Walla Public Schools is excited to announce the return of the Kindergarten & Early Learning Roundup to an in-person format at the WW Fairgrounds, April 12 between 4:00-7:00 p.m. If you have a child entering kindergarten or an early learning program like TK, Headstart and ECEAP this fall then this event is for you. Learn more at wwps.org/kindergartenroundup
• Tuesday, April 12
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds
• 4 to 7 p.m.
• Meet principals, teachers and staff from your child’s new school
• Learn how and when to register for school
• Learn about Birth-to-5 options and resources for your child
• Visit community and school booths for information and resources
• Event Information: Pam Clayton: pclayton@wwps.org / (509) 526-6781

School Stories
Tickets on sale for Big Blue Boosters Fundraising Dinner & Auction

Attention Big Blue Supporters! Tickets are now available for the Annual Big Blue Boosters Fundraising Dinner & Auction on April 23, 2022. The event will take place at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds Pavilion, with doors and Silent Auction opening at 5:00 pm, dinner served at 6:00 pm, followed by a Live Auction. Tickets and Sponsorships can be purchased here: https://bigblueboosters.ejoinme.org/tickets

The Big Blue Boosters of Walla Walla is a non-profit organization which provides funds for projects and equipment at Walla Walla High School. From swim caps for the swim team to new iPads for coaches, the goal is to help our student athletes and coaches by enhancing the quality of their athletic experience. Big Blue Boosters makes this happen through its annual fundraising auction and dinner, gym sponsorship programs, and generous donations. The Big Blue Boosters of Walla Walla is a 501c3. Memberships and donations may be claimed as a charitable donation for tax purposes. Donations are accepted at any time during the year to help support athletes.

Band and choir concerts video recordings

In case you missed this week’s Band and Choir concerts, you can check them out on Big Blue Northwest. Thanks to Advisor Andrew Sayers and all the students involved with Blue Devil Northwest.
• Choir Concert: https://youtu.be/MkFzyIg9b-Q
• Band Concert:
Part 1: https://youtu.be/nEAWp8joGYA
Part 2: https://youtu.be/r0naQNYXRn8

SchooLinks provides Students a Single Online Platform for College and Career Readiness

This school year Walla Walla Public Schools teamed with SchooLinks for a one-stop shop to support students and their families on their journey towards college and career readiness.

Students in grades 8-12 have their own SchooLinks account to help them discover their interests and strengths, explore colleges and careers and complete their High School and Beyond Plan graduation requirement. Parents also have access to set up a SchooLinks account and help their child navigate a plan for life after graduation. SchooLinks features are incredibly user-friendly and content can be easily navigated by students.

“Keeping parents informed and everyone on the same page is an important piece of post-secondary planning,” said Curriculum Coordinator Casey Monahan, who is helping manage the rollout of SchooLinks. “The SchooLinks Family Engagement portal allows parents to explore their students’ pathways, keep track of their progress and communicate with counselors.”

All of the SchooLinks features are designed with students in mind to help prepare them for career, college and life. Students can also apply for college in SchooLinks. SchooLinks allows students to register for high school classes, explore career interests and research colleges. This dynamic online tool allows students to learn about financial aid options, communicate directly with counselors, request transcripts, apply for scholarships and map out a career pathway plan.

Monahan also says SchooLinks helps counselors stay up on how students are performing by allowing them to see what the students have done in real-time.

Visit the SchooLinks website to learn more: https://www.schoolinks.com/

9th Grade Transition Family Events planned this month

This week 8th graders started their transition to high school during breakout sessions at their schools, focusing on graduation requirements, electives, extracurricular programs, schedules and much more. High school students and counselors visited middle schools to share this 9th grade transition information. Middle school students had an opportunity to ask questions about high school and all the opportunities that await them.

Next week the district is planning informative family events to help prepare for high school.

Walla Walla Online
• Monday, March 14 - 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. by Zoom
• Zoom Link - http://qrco.de/WWOZoomRoom?trackSharing
• Meet Walla Walla Online teachers and staff, learn about the curriculum and get answers to your questions about online learning.

Walla Walla High School
• Wednesday, March 16 from 5 to 7 p.m.
• Come to the big gym to meet staff, learn about class offerings and electives, extracurricular options and more about Wa-Hi.
• Specific presentations for incoming 9th graders at 5:10 and 6:30 p.m.

Lincoln High School
• Thursday, March 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
• 421 S. 4th Ave (*Staff will greet families on the 3rd Ave side of the building in the portable)
• Please drop in anytime between 6-7 p.m. to meet staff, learn about Lincoln and receive a tour.

Community Stories
Parks & Rec Update

We are hiring! Parks & Recreation is looking for those interested in seasonal, part-time or full-time employment. Positions open in Park Maintenance and Recreation. Positions available for those 15 years of age and over.
• St Paddy’s Day Dash March 20. 5k, 10k, and 1k routes. Ages 5 and up. Cost is $15-$25.
• Open Arts & Crafts Studio Time. Teen and adult times available. Cost is $14-Blue Mountain Girls Softball. Open to grades K-6. Cost is $40-$50.
• Pre Teeball. Open to boys and girls ages 3-5. Cost is $35.
• Blue Mountain Boys Baseball. Open to grades 6-10. Cost is $60.
• Registration is open for the Adult Softball League (Men’s and Co-Ed). Cost is $920 per team.
• The Pottery Painting Studio SoupPort Bowls are available for painting. Deadline to paint bowls is March 27.
• 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 RecParks 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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