Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 15, 2022

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School Board Regular Business Meeting and Executive Session

Tuesday, April 19
Walla Walla Public Schools District Office (364 S. Park St.)
5:30 p.m. – Regular Business Meeting (open to the public, in-person)
Board Meeting Agendas, Minutes & Remote Viewing Access: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997
Executive Session (immediately following business meeting - not open to the public)


State Board of Health votes no on COVID vaccine requirement for students

This week the Washington State Board of Health (SBOH) voted COVID-19 vaccines will not be required for students to attend school this fall. Before making this decision, the State Board of Health organized a technical advisory group (TAG) made up of doctors, public health officials, school representatives and other community members. Over a series of meetings, the TAG met to understand the benefits and challenges of requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for students.

In late February, the TAG concluded their work and recommended to the State Board of Health that the vaccine not be required. The SBOH meeting reviewed the TAG’s recommendation and agreed with their findings. State Board of Health April 13 Meeting recap 

There have not been any changes as it relates to Governor Inslee’s prior proclamation that requires school employees be vaccinated or seek an accommodation.


Salazar named Assistant Principal at Walla Walla High School 

Longtime Walla Walla Public Schools educator Claudia Salazar is returning to her alma mater after being named Assistant Principal at Walla Walla High School. Salazar is a Class of 2000 graduate of Walla Walla High School.

“Returning to Walla Walla High School as an assistant principal and serving our community in this capacity is truly an honor,” said Salazar. “I’m excited to work with our students and families to continue the work of developing Washington’s most sought after graduates.”

Salazar began her career in the school district in 2004 as a bilingual paraeducator at Prospect Point Elementary. She has spent the past 14 years as a bilingual teacher at Sharpstein Elementary and most recently at Pioneer Middle School. Salazar received the district’s Bilingual Administrators Scholarship in 2021 and has been serving as an administrative intern this school year at Pioneer Middle School.

“I’m especially proud to represent our diverse community,” said Salazar. “As an immigrant myself, I know firsthand of the difficulties and obstacles that many of our students face and must overcome to achieve success. I cannot wait to use my own experiences to support many of our students at Wa-Hi.”

Salazar received her Associates of Arts degree from Walla Walla Community College and her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Washington State University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in reading from Grand Canyon University and a Principal Certification from Gonzaga University.

Salazar replaces current Assistant Principal Stacy Estes who is transferring to Pioneer Middle School in the same role next school year. Salazar will report to her new position July 1, 2022.


Kindergarten registration and Open Enrollment begins Monday, April 18

Kindergarten & Open Enrollment Information

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten registration opens Monday, April 18 for families that have four or five-year-old children. Open Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year also opens Monday, April 18. Priority is given to families who complete the open enrollment paperwork during the first two weeks of the open enrollment period.
Application for dual language programming is currently open as well. See detailed information below for programs available to Walla Walla families. REGISTRATION & OPEN ENROLLMENT

Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Two-Way Dual Language Kindergarten Registration
• Walla Walla Public Schools’ Transitional Kindergarten (four-years-old by August 31) and Kindergarten (five-years-old by August 31) registration period begins April 18. Click HERE to register online. Paper registration packets are available upon request by calling your home/attendance area school or the district office at 509-526-6717.
• If you would like your kindergarten child to participate in the district’s Two-Way Dual Language Program, housed at Edison and Green Park Elementary Schools, please complete the online general registration process and mark “dual programming.” Also, complete the kindergarten dual application found online.

Elementary Open Enrollment
• Elementary parents/guardians, who live in the Walla Walla Public Schools’ district boundary and wish to open enroll their child to a different WWPS school outside their attendance area, will see paperwork come home with their child this week and information will also be available on the district’s website.
• Open Enrollment forms will be accepted at your child’s attendance area school starting Monday, April 18.
• Priority will be given to forms returned starting April 18 and through April 30.
Middle School Registration & Open Enrollment
• Look for information coming home with fifth graders this week regarding middle school open enrollment and registration for 2022-2023.

Choice Transfer for students living outside the WWPS boundary
• Parents/Guardians, who live outside the Walla Walla Public Schools boundary and wish to Choice Transfer/request enrollment into the WWPS boundary, will need to complete a Choice Transfer Request online.

Open enrollment requests for Walla Walla Public Schools will be granted according to priorities outlined in School Board Policy & Procedure 3130. The priorities are also listed on the backside of the open enrollment paperwork.
• Policy 3130
• Procedure 3130 (open-enrollment,-and-employees-student-placement)

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all schools and the Administration Office at 364 S. Park St,


Kindergarten & Early Learning Roundup success

There was a great turnout at the Kindergarten & Early Learning Roundup at the fairgrounds following a two-year hiatus due to COVID. More than 120 students and their families were in attendance. Parents and children had a chance to meet with staff to learn about kindergarten and the amazing early learning programs available in the district. Community agencies were also in attendance to showcase their programs and services. Kindergarten registration opens Monday, April 18. Thanks to Family Engagement Coordinator Pam Clayton for all her hard work organizing this terrific event for the community. 


School Stories
Sharpstein students produce debate podcast

Justin James' 5th grade class produced podcasts inspired by the American Public Media show Smash Boom Best, an introductory debate program. Sharpstein Principal Maria Garcia served as host, and School Board member Terri Trick joined several fourth graders as guest judges.

“Justin sent the finished podcasts to the Smash Boom Best team at American Public Media, and received a reply that their team would be super excited to listen to all of them,” said Garcia.


Sharpstein’s Wonderful Wuzical Wednesdays return

Sharpstein Elementary hosted its first Wonderful Wuzical Wednesday this week since suspending the program due to the COVID shutdown. JR VanSlyke and his son Kellen (a former Stomper) performed music on guitar and fiddle for Sharpstein students in the gym at the beginning of the day. Retired Walla Walla teacher and former Sharpstein grandparent Kay Barga organizes the program. The program features different music and dance performances every Wednesday from 7:45-8:05 a.m. Next week the school is scheduled to have the Garrison Middle School Jazz Band perform.

“I am super excited to have a dance and drumming group from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation booked for later in May,” said Principal Maria Garcia.


Garrison Middle School students take second place in state tech competition

Congratulations to Garrison Middle School students Sofia Jenkins, Joseph Newton, Oliver Ma and Stanley Hammond for taking second place in the annual Washington State Technology Student Association’s (TSA) TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science) Challenge. The challenge was organized into three parts -- an essay, a multiple choice exam and an engineering challenge which the students completed in one day.

Each year the TEAMS program selects a different theme. The 2022 TEAMS competition focused on engineering in entertainment. Students explored topics including amusement parks, video games, virtual reality and sports venues. Students were required to bring their original academic and innovative concepts to the competition. This challenge required students to demonstrate critical job-readiness skills like collaboration, analytical thinking and multi-dimensional problem-solving. Thanks to Garrison Middle School STEM teacher Mike Bertram for preparing the students for competition.


Wa-Hi students named to serve on Washington State Youth Advisory Council 

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School sophomore Marcela McLendon for being selected to be a member of the Washington State Youth Advisory Council. Approximately 400 people applied and she was one of 20 youth selected. Marcela is active in the Wa-Hi Sources of Strength program and is helping Mental Health Specialist Kristin Duede present at the Blue Zones Summit. She will also be helping at the Reach Out Suicide Prevention Walk in May.

Marcela’s role on the advisory council is to meet via virtually every other month:
• Members who are selected will be able to share thoughts, opinions, advice and recommendations on important and current health topics, including reproductive health, physical health, mental health, and healthy relationships.
• Members will also be invited to review and give feedback on adolescent health materials—like flyers and webpages - that will be shared with families and young people.
• See more: https://waportal.org/partners/home/adolescent-health/council-meetings

Marcela’s parents are Phil and Jennifer Provost.


Wa-Hi student named 2022 Carson Scholar

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School junior Kaitlin King for receiving a $1000 scholarship through the national Carson Scholars award program. She is a highly involved student at Walla Walla High School.

Varsity and JV Soccer (9,10,11)
- Honor Scholar Athlete Award
- All League Honorable Mention

Varsity and JV Softball (9,10)
- Honor Scholar Athlete Award

Interact Club (10,11)
- Vice President (11)

Students for Social Justice (10,11)
- Co-Founder (10)
- Vice President (10)
- President (11)

Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (10,11)
Girls League (10,11)
Green Club (10,11)
Film Club (10,11)
Debate Team (10)
Gay Straight Alliance (11)

“I have always known Kaitlyn to be driven, pragmatic in her solution-seeking, and confident in her ability to make an impact in her school and surrounding community,” Wa-Hi Library Media Specialist and National Honor Society Advisor Kim Cassetto mentioned in her letter nominating Kaitlyn. “Kaitlyn is appropriately ambitious while balancing a rigorous academic schedule in addition to donating her time to extra-curricular school and community commitments for which she feels most passionate.”



47th Annual District Vocal Festival video

Check out the 47th Annual District Choral Festival VIDEO 

The festival is typically held in the Walla Walla High School large gym, however this facility was unavailable due to bond improvements.

“This year there was no school venue to host this event with the capacity to hold all the performers and audience members,” said District Music Coordinator Roger Garcia. “We will look forward to a live performance of this event next year!”

Special thanks to William Hammond and Armondo Rubio for the video recording and production.


Free workshop series focuses on strengthening emotional wellbeing

WWPS Family and Community Engagement, WWCC Parenting Education, Early Learning Coalition and the Community Resilience Initiative have partnered to offer two workshops and a resource fair for families, child care providers, early learning professionals and educators. The series is called “From Chaos to Calm: Finding Balance.”

“Given the great amount of concern over social emotional wellbeing that we have heard from families, child care providers, and educators, we wanted to do something about it,” said Family Engagement Coordinator Pam Clayton.

Workshop Series Schedule:
Resilience: Building Strategies for Children and Adults
• Saturday, April 23, 10-11:30 am at Walla Walla Community College.
• (English & Spanish / virtual & in-person)

Strengthening Connections and Finding Shared Joy
• Saturday, May 14, 10-11:30 am at Walla Walla Community College.
• (English only / virtual & in-person)

Activity and Community Resource Fair
• Sunday, May 22, 9 am-noon at the WW Center for Children & Families
• (English & Spanish / in-person only)

“To help you and your family strengthen its social and emotional balance again, we've brought together a collection of community organizations for a morning of fun and support,” said Clayton. “We'll have activities, resources, tips, and strategies to share that will help us all breathe a little easier and smile a little wider.”

Register at: www.bit.ly/supportingww


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.


Community Stories
The Walla Walla Valley Disability Network promotes Autism Awareness Month 

April is Autism Awareness Month and The Walla Walla Valley Disability Network is raising awareness in the community. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We know there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in the daily lives. While others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.

Autism Facts:
• Center for Disease Control states 1 in every 44 births will have ASD
• Males are 4 times more likely to have autism than females.
• All persons with autism have some sensory issues.
• Anxiety disorder affects up to 42 percent of people on the spectrum.
• Depression affects an estimated 7% of children and 26% of adults with ASD.

Some people who have/had Autism Spectrum Disorder: Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Dan Aykroyd, Susan Boyle, Hans Christian Anderson, Jerry Seinfeld, Sir Isaac Newton, Temple Grandin, Steve Jobs, Mozart, Bill Gates and Charles Darwin.

The Walla Walla Valley Disability Network’s mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families through community inclusion and support


Children’s Home Society Diaper Drive

Children’s Home Society is in need of diapers, pullups (all sizes), baby wipes and diaper rash cream. CHS is conducting a Diaper Drive now through May 12. Please drop off items at 1612 Penny Lane, Walla Walla between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 


Class of 2012 plans 10 year reunion this summer

• WWHS Class of 2012--10 Year Reunion
• Sat, July 23, 2022
• 6-11 p.m.
• Courtyard by Marriott Walla Walla (550 West Rose Street)
• Ticket price: $40 (includes dinner and dessert). Please purchase tickets for your plus ones.
• Ticket Site: WWHS Class of 2012--10 Year Reunion
Information:
Emma Wolpert: 509-520-1306, emmaeskil@gmail.com
Ana Andrade: 509-301-0682, aaandradelara.3@gmail.com


Carnival for Child Advocates April 16

Whitman Theta is proud to introduce our Carnival for Child Advocates April 16 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the campus of Whitman College (Cordiner Hall side-lawn). There will be games, prizes and snacks. Tickets are $10. All proceeds from this event support the Walla Walla County Child Advocates program. Child advocates are volunteers that work with children involved in court proceedings due to abuse or neglect. They spend quality time with these children, not only becoming a stable figure in their lives but also providing an objective perspective to the court on what is in the child’s best interest. Child advocates have the ability to make a large, positive difference in these children’s lives. Children with an advocate are more likely to find a permanent home and spend less time in foster care.

For more information, check out Walla Walla County Child Advocates website 
Click HERE for more information. 


Walla Walla Public Library plans Children’s Book Day event

Walla Walla Public Library invites all community youth to El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) also known simply as “Día,” Saturday, May 7 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the library at 238 E. Alder Street in Walla Walla. This celebration of children and literacy, a national initiative of the American Library Association, will feature craft projects, guest readers, book giveaways, and delicious food.

The Walla Walla Public Library celebration will emphasize Mexican culture in our community, including art and craft projects inspired by artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, paper flower making, music, and Amate bark painting. Tamales and fruit will be served on the Alder Street lawn from 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Guest readers will perform read-alouds at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Door prize book giveaways will continue throughout the event, every half hour from 10:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
• Please do not attend this event if you are feeling unwell or have any symptoms of illness.
• Visit the library calendar at https://www.wallawallapubliclibrary.org/calendar for more community programs, follow our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WWPL99362/ , or call 509-527-4550.
• Questions? Contact Liz George, Young People’s Librarian, at egeorge@wallawallawa.gov, or 509-524-4431.



Strengthening Families Workshop for Families and Youth

• Ages 10-14
• Starting April 20
This workshop is named the #1 prevention program with long term positive effects by the World Health Organization and is led by three certified course facilitators from Commitment to Community. Each week of the seven week series begins with a shared dinner, followed by small group learning, with youth and adults reunited during the end of class to reflect and share.

The benefits of attending include:

Strengthen communication skills and build empathy within the family, learn how to navigate topics such as peer pressure, talking about substance use, family expectations and clear communication. These classes are free. Register in advance by contacting AmandaTP@BMACWW.org or calling 509-520-0887.

Brought to you by Reach Out Walla Walla, Blue Mountain Action Council, and the Washington State Health Care Authority.


Community invited to Blue Zones Connect Summit

Please join Blue Zones Project for the Connect Summit this April. Walla Walla Public Schools is working with Blue Zones Project to promote well-being throughout the district and would like to encourage community members to attend one, or more, of the free activities. Learn how you can become healthier and happier in the Walla Walla Valley.

Activity details and registration 


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, Recreation, and Aquatics. Positions available for those 15 years of age and over.
• Blue Mountain Boys Baseball. Open to grades 6-10. Cost is $60
• Warrior Soccer Academy. Open to boys and girls ages 5-11. Cost is $50
• Blue Mountain Girls Softball. Open to grades K-6. Cost is $40-$50
• Adult Softball League (Men’s and Co-Ed). Cost is $920 per team
• Lifeguard Training open to ages 15 and over. Cost is $190.

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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