Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - September 9, 2022

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Latest ThoughtExchange seeks input on what is going well and what can be improved 

This month Walla Walla Public Schools is beginning Phase 2 of a six phase Strategic Planning process by gathering input from stakeholders in a variety of ways. Over the next several weeks, the district will engage parents, staff, students and community members through face-to-face meetings, focus groups and other engagements.

Phase 2 will also include a public ThoughtExchange engagement to survey stakeholders on what is going well and what can be improved. The ThoughtExchange survey opened today and will remain open through September 23 at 4 p.m. Students, parents, staff and community members are encouraged to participate and the survey is available in multiple language formats.

Phase 1 of the planning processes kicked off with an introduction and preliminary ThoughtExchange in May. When asked what are the most important skills and attributes our graduates must gain in order to prepare them for success after graduation, consistent themes across stakeholder groups emerged. The twelve thoughts receiving the highest scores included many soft skills and traits such as respect, problem solving, perseverance, critical thinking skills and work ethic.

Question: What do you value most about Walla Walla Public Schools and what can we do better to prepare our students for the challenges and opportunities of the future?

Please click HERE to join the exchange and share your input.

Learn more about ThoughtExchange 

“District leaders will begin to synthesize this feedback in late fall and then work on developing and refining a draft plan by winter,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “The district’s work will conclude in spring 2023 after the school board and district leadership team have operationalized and finalized the plan in preparation for a 2023-24 school year implementation.”

Visit the district’s Strategic Planning website to learn more.

Public invited to Ribbon Cutting Celebrations & School Tours

The district continues to deliver on its bond promises with the announcement of ribbon cutting ceremonies and campus tours of all three major renovation projects. Please mark these dates on your calendar and celebrate with the school district on these historic accomplishments.

Walla Walla High School
• Wednesday, Sept. 21 / 4 to 6 p.m.
• Ribbon Cutting, BBQ, Tour & Dick Neher Plaza Commemoration

Pioneer Middle School
• Wednesday, Sept. 28 / 4 to 6 p.m.
• Ribbon Cutting & Tour

Lincoln High School
• Wednesday, Oct. 5 / 4 to 6 p.m.
• Ribbon Cutting & Tour

National Suicide Prevention Month – September 2022

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Walla Walla Public Schools has invested in a comprehensive Social and Emotional Learning program to promote healthy mental, emotional and social development. The district remains committed to promoting a positive school climate through programs like Sources of Strength, which helps students lean on people in their lives who they trust when times are difficult. WWPS provides suicide prevention training to staff to help identify and respond to students at risk of suicide.

The district also partners with the Walla Walla County Reach Out program to reinforce the messaging of reaching out to someone when they need help. The new national 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is now active across the United States. This new, shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services. (Please note, the previous 1-800-273-TALK (8255) number will continue to function indefinitely.)

Click on the link to learn more about 988 - https://988lifeline.org/

Friday, Sept. 16 - Early Dismissal for Students

Early Dismissal Times:
• 11:45 a.m. - Preschool and transitional kindergarten students at the Walla Walla Center for Children and Families
• 11:40 a.m. - Elementary students (K-5)
• 12:25 p.m. - Middle and high school students (6-12) – Note: SEATech dismisses at 12:15 p.m.
• Note: Lincoln High School students utilize a different schedule and will not have an early dismissal Sept. 16.

Early dismissal days are an opportunity for staff to participate in professional development opportunities to support student learning.

Personnel Report (from Sept. 6, 2022 school board meeting)


Juan Faba-Lopez, Third Grade Dual Language Teacher, Green Park Elementary School
Makenzie Sheets, School Counselor, Pioneer Middle School

Tim Bennett, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op
Crystal Condron, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op
Robert Grimm, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op
Anderson Lynch, Campus Support, Walla Walla High School
Ischel Meza, Bilingual Assistant Secretary, Green Park Elementary School
Lucille Poirier, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op


Erin Griffin, Para-Educator, Special Education, 3 years
Christy Kinney, Para-Educator, Lincoln High School, 6 years
Carter Martin, Bus Assistant, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op, 1 year
Rebecca O’Connor, 21 st Century Site Coordinator, Green Park Elementary School, 5 years
Tessa Weston, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary School, 3 years
Russell White, Head Custodian, Green Park Elementary School, 37 years
BreAnna Wright, Fiscal/Purchasing Specialist, Business Office, 2 years

Carolyn McFetridge, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op, 11 years

School Stories
Principals share highlights from the first day of school

Principals from school sites joined the school board study meeting Tuesday night to present on the first day of school and plans for the school year. Pioneer Middle School Principal Kris Duncan was thrilled to report for the first time in 40 years all staff were in the same building thanks to the bond renovation.

Michelle Carpenter, Berney Elementary Principal, was happy to see parents be able to walk their children to their classrooms following two years of COVID restrictions.

Lincoln High School Principal Marci Knauft reports the school will feature a middle school program this year with 15 students currently enrolled. At Edison Elementary, Principal Amy Kasenga reported 24, 5th graders volunteered to welcome and assist younger students on their first day of class.

Principals have two goals this school year:
1. Fostering a Professional Learning Community Culture to Improve Student Outcomes.
2. Improved Student Outcomes, Voice and Experience.
Student achievement growth will be measured by iReady reading and math outcomes. Each school will have a high functioning and effective Guiding Coalition whose core mission is to assist and support the principal in embedding PLC culture, structures and practices throughout the school.

All principals reported more strategies will be in place to support positive student behavior, accountability and parent partnerships.

5th grade orchestra program

Registration for 5th grade orchestra is now open. Fifth grade students can register for either a morning (7:05-7:50) or afternoon class (2:50-3:30) & learn to play the violin, viola, cello, or double-bass. Interested students & parents can attend the informational meeting on Thursday, September 15 at 7 p.m. in the Wa-Hi auditorium. Register for class using this Google form: https://forms.gle/zhakqSrY7ZzDYodX8. For more information, contact teacher Ms. Woods at jwoods@wwps.org or (509) 527-3050 or Mr. Condie at ccondie@wwps.org or (509) 527-3040.

New Sharpstein roof part of preventative maintenance program

This summer Sharpstein Elementary received a new roof as part of the district’s ongoing preventative maintenance program. Walla Walla Public Schools focuses on preserving its assets through regular maintenance. The district is proud to support Walla Walla Valley businesses. Special thanks to S&K Mountain Construction for doing a great job.

Community Stories
National Arts Education Week Programs - September 12 – 17

In celebration of National Arts Education Week, Carnegie Picture Lab will be presenting a series of artmaking opportunities in its newly redesigned Makerspace located at 515 East Main Street, Walla Walla. Carnegie Picture Lab, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been serving youth in the Walla Walla Valley since 2010 through dynamic and innovative school and community-based art programs. National Arts in Education Week is a national celebration recognizing the transformative power of the arts in education. Passed by Congress in 2010 through House Resolution 275, the celebration is designated to bring attention to how arts are an essential part of a complete education, no matter if it happens in the home, school, or community. Students of all ages benefit from artistic learning, innovative thinking, and creativity.

Carnegie Picture Lab will be presenting the following programs during National Arts in Education Week:
Tuesday, September 13, 4:00-6:00pm: Wild Silk Workshop I
Using wild silk materials from Madagascar, workshop participants will craft unique and creative art projects while learning about the farmers in Madagascar who raise native silkworms and sew beautiful textiles from the silk. Designed for children ages 9-11. Workshop is limited to 16 participants.

Wednesday, September 14, 4:00-6:00pm: Wild Silk Workshop II
This second wild silk workshop will lead a maximum of 16 participants through a second art project. Designed for ages 9 – 11. Workshop is limited to 16 participants.

Thursday, September 15, 4:00-6:00pm: Storybook Art – The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
September 15 is International Dot Day. The Dot lesson utilizes an artful thinking exercise on George Seurat, storytelling/reading of the book, and art making where kids will create their own Dot book using a variety of dot monoprints. Designed for ages 6 – 8, with a maximum of 16 participants.

Friday, September 16, 7:00-9:00pm: Adult Art Chopped Fundraiser
First appearing last March as a family event for Walla Walla elementary schools, we now present “Art Chopped” for adults is a fundraiser for Carnegie Picture Lab. Teams of two are given a mystery box of art “ingredients” and invited to create a masterpiece! Must be 21 years or older to attend. Only 16 seats are available.

Pre-registration is required for all programs. Visit the Carnegie Picture Lab website for more information - https://www.carnegiepicturelab.com/events

Walla2Hoops AAU basketball club tryouts and parent meetings for 2022-2023 season 

Walla2Hoops AAU Basketball Club will conduct tryouts for boys and girls in grades 2-8 for the 2022-2023 season Sunday, Sept. 18 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. at the Walla Walla High School main gym. Parent meetings will coincide with the tryouts schedule.

2022-2023 Walla2Hoops AAU Tryout Schedule – Sunday, Sept. 18 at Walla Walla High School
• Grades 2-4 (boys and girls) – 12 to 1:30 p.m. (also a parent meeting at this time)
• Grades 5-6 (boys and girls) – 2 to 3:30 p.m. (also a parent meeting at this time)
• Grades 7-8 (boys and girls) - 4 to 6 p.m. (also a parent meeting at this time)

Tryout Requirements:
• Have a current AAU number - https://aausports.org/Join-AAU
• Be registered with Walla2Hoops on SportsEngine https://w2hoops.sportngin.com/register/form/554894636
• Cost for an AAU number is $14 per player and needs to be renewed annually
• There is no cost to register with W2Hoops on SportsEngine to tryout; club fees will be billed once teams are formed
• Please email us with questions or issues at walla2hoops@gmail.com

The 2022-2023 AAU basketball season runs from October 2022 to March 2023. The club consist 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, Pendleton, Waitsburg School District, Weston School District, St. Basil Academy and homeschool students.

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

City of Walla Walla Library fall events

Walla Walla Public Library has a full calendar of new events for kids of all ages, including new yoga story times every Wednesday at 3pm; Dot Day Celebration Saturday, September 17 at 10am; and Crochet 101 Wednesday, September 21 at 3pm. For a full calendar of events, visit our website at www.wallawallapubliclibrary.org, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. All WWPS students are eligible for a FREE library card, regardless of where they live, so don't forget your most important school supply--your library card! Sign up in person or on our website: It's Not Hard To Get a Library Card!

Parks and Recreation Update

• Movie in the Park – Spiderman No Way Home – September 17th – FREE
• Pickleball Skills & Drills – Ages 12 years and over - $20-$75
• Adult Golf Lessons – 16 years and over - $50
• Fencing – 8 years and over - $20-$75
• All Comers Track Meet – 1-12 years - $3 ($5 On Site Registration)

Do you have the 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

For more information or to register, please visit our website at www.wwpr.us. If you have questions, feel free to contact the Parks & Recreation Office at 509-527-4527, recreation@wallawallawa.gov 

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