Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Oct. 21, 2022

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors named state’s School Board of the Year

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors were surprised during the October 18 school board meeting with an unscheduled announcement they received the Washington State School Directors Association Board of the Year award for medium-sized school districts. WSSDA's Tricia Lubach, Director of Leadership Development, popped up on a Zoom screen during the meeting to deliver the good news. Lubach first informed board members they were one of only 17 medium-sized districts, out of 74 in the state, to earn a 2022 Board of Distinction honor. This is the fifth time in school district history Walla Walla has received this state recognition.

The biggest surprise came when Lubach announced that WWPS was not only a Board of Distinction, but the state's School Board of the Year for all medium-sized districts. This is the first time since 2001 the board has earned this prestigious honor.

“It is such an honor to have our hard work recognized at the state level,” said School Board President Ruth Ladderud. “This acknowledgment highlights ways we have successfully worked to close the achievement gap and communicate openly and transparently. We are all the more motivated to further support the success of all students and to improve communication and involvement with our students and their parents.”

According to Lubach, "This is always the most competitive category, and Walla Walla rose to the top from 17 Boards of Distinction for this honor." She commended the district's transparent operations. This included their successful bond program that delivered on its promises. Additionally, she lauded the board's leadership throughout the pandemic and their academic recovery response. She also noted the commendable support plans the Board developed for students and families, and their continued work to close the opportunity gap for students.

WSSDA’s Boards of Distinction program sets a high bar for district school boards. Recipients must demonstrate clear data and connections between positive outcomes and decisions or actions taken. Additionally, board’s must demonstrate how their actions closed opportunity gaps and exemplified Washington School Board Standards.

Walla Walla Public Schools’ Board of Directors will be formally recognized at the WSSDA Annual Conference in November and their stories are shared via WSSDA’s website and in feature articles in Direct, WSSDA’s quarterly newsmagazine.

10-10 Board Brief (from Oct. 18, 2022 school board meeting)

Click HERE to read the 10-10 Board Brief recapping the Oct. 18, 2022 school board meeting.

Updates on:
- School Board of the Year
- Personnel Report
- Building Belonging Award
- Strategic Planning process
- Afterschool Program Performance

New webpage highlights commitment to family involvement in curriculum

Walla Walla Public Schools believes parents are critical partners in their children's education and has developed a consolidated webpage to better inform families and the greater community about practices and procedures related to important district topics. The new Commitment to Family Involvement in Curriculum website has detailed information on how library books are selected, the introduction of human growth and development at 5th grade and parental ability to monitor their child's library access.

“We value family input and involvement and want to make accessing this information even easier,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “In 2017, our School Board adopted as one of the district's core values, the importance of family and community and this new website strengthens this commitment.”

Superintendent Smith says this pillar of the Strategic Plan linked to community engagement models the school board’s belief in open and transparent communications.

“This commitment, among other accomplishments, is one reason the Walla Walla Public School Board has consistently been recognized as a Board of Distinction, and more recently, Board of the Year,” said Superintendent Smith. “We encourage you to visit our Commitment to Family Involvement in Curriculum website and learn more about these important topics.”

Click HERE to visit the Commitment to Family Involvement in Curriculum website.

District moves to Peachjar for digital flyer distribution

Walla Walla Public Schools is excited to share information about our partnership with Peachjar to help us unite schools, parents and communities through digital flyer communications. Parents will receive email notifications when new electronic, digital flyers are posted on the school’s Peachjar virtual flyer bulletin board. Community agencies wanting to submit flyers will register for an account as a community organization on Peachjar.com 

The district will go live with Peachjar Tuesday, Nov. 1. In addition to the convenience of receiving digital flyers on electronic devices, by going paperless, Peachjar helps the district’s efforts to be environmentally friendly, embrace innovative technology and maintain fiscal responsibility.

For more information including helpful links, visit the district’s Peachjar flyer distribution website  

School Stories
Fall Sports – Championship and Post season play update for Friday, October 21 – By Athletic Director Chris Ferenz

Thursday, October 20, the Walla Walla High School slow-pitch softball team captured the District 8 2A/3A championship with a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Mt. Spokane Wildcats. Sophomore Anna Delarosa led the 7th off with a long single that she stretched into a double. Sara Justice followed with an extra base hit to right to score Delarosa and clinch the championship for coach Bill Plucker’s squad. The team advances to the state championship tournament, October 28 and 29 in Yakima, WA. The bracket with teams and game times will be announced by the WIAA on Sunday, October 23.

Also on Thursday, the Blue Devil cross-country teams traveled to Kennewick for the MCC League championships. Top 10 3A finishers on the girl’s side were: Emmalyne Jimenez in 2nd and Macy Eggart in 4th place. For the boys harriers, Brody Hartley ran to the district championship and was followed by Gabe Coram – 6th, Ian Lash – 8th, and Turner Van Slyke – 9th.

The Blue Devil swim and dive team competed in the MCC championships on October 14 and 15. Sophomore Elliot Zanes placed 7th in the dive championships at East Wenatchee. Relay teams had three top-10 finishes while nine individuals scored points in their event.

Post season contests in Walla Walla this upcoming week include the Girls soccer team in a first round playoff game with Mt. Spokane, Tuesday, October 25 at 3:30 p.m. on the WWHS pitch. Cross-country will be hosting the District 8 3A/4A MCC/GSL Championships at Veterans Memorial Golf Course on Saturday, October 29. Races begin at 1 p.m. with the girl’s 3A championship. State births are on the line. Please come out and support the Blue Devils. The swim and dive team heads to Kelso, WA, for the 3A District Championships on Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29.

Wa-Hi Trunk or Treat – Safe Halloween fun for the entire community

• Wa-Hi Trunk or Treat – Monday, Oct. 31
• 4 to 6 p.m.
• Wa-Hi parking lot off Abbott Road near FFA Barn
• Fun, games and candy
• Please bring a canned food donation
• Sponsored by Wa-Hi ASB and Wa-Hi Clubs

Garrison Middle School Dia De Los Muertos event

• Dia De Los Muertos Family Cultural Night
• Thursday, Oct. 27
• 5 to 7 p.m.
• Garrison Middle School (906 Chase Ave.)
• Learn about Hispanic Heritage through traditional music, papel picado, sugar skulls and more

Sharpstein Elementary Blue Zones Project Celebration planned for Oct. 27

The Sharpstein Elementary Blue Zones Project Approval Celebration is planned for October 27. Fun activities are planned throughout the day to celebrate Sharpstein’s Blue Zones Project approval which enhances the school environment to make it easier for students and adults to make healthy choices.

The day will start with a Walking School Bus at 7:35 a.m. at the Rose Garden in Pioneer Park on Division and Whitman. School buses will be dropping students off at that location so they can join the walk. Sharpstein will also be having a veggie sample program at lunch organized by Walla Walla Valley Farm-to-School. Principal Maria Garcia and Angela Hudiberg from Communities in Schools are planning some additional experiences throughout the day encouraging students to connect with each other.

Garcia lends hand conducting prestigious Air Force band

Longtime district Music Coordinator Roger Garcia was honored to conduct the US Air Force Band when they traveled to Walla Walla to perform in the Walla Walla High School gym October 18. Roger worked on getting this prestigious service band to come to Walla Walla for nearly a year. About three weeks ago, Roger was asked if he would like to conduct the band performing Kungl Livregementets grenadiers marsch. It is a Swedish March performed in honor of Sweden joining NATO.

“I of course said yes,” said Roger. “Colonel Don Schofield (the Commander of the US Air Force Band) told me conducting them is like driving a sports car, just give them a tweak here and there and they will respond.”

The US Air Force Band is one of four premiere service bands in the country, joining The Presidents Own Marine Band, The West Point Band and The Navy Band. These are some of the finest wind and percussionists in the country, according to Roger.

This opportunity to conduct the US Air Force Band was extra special for Roger since he grew up in a career Air Force family and was born on Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. Roger’s dad, who has long since passed, was an Air Force veteran.

“I know I would have made him proud,” said Roger. “This was a special honor.”

Pioneer MS Sources of Strength program receives Building Belonging Award

Tuesday night's Building Belonging Board Recognition celebrated Pioneer's Sources of Strength, a student group working to create an inclusive, supporting culture focused on helping peers discover their own strengths and support systems. The Sources of Strength membership is representative of the population of Pioneer Middle School and works hard to make sure all students feel heard and valued, according to Dr. Julie Perron, Director of Equity and Dual Programs.

"They focus on positive messaging throughout the school as well as activities that showcase where middle school students can find strength and resilience," said Perron.

Nicole Duncan
Matt Manley
Dakotah Fryatt

Jaci Harding
Chelsea Faden
Gianna Goff
Jackson Follett

Community Stories
Camp Fire afterschool program registration

November as-needed registration for Camp Fire after school programming is available today, Friday, October 21st. As-needed registration is accepted on a first come first serve basis if space is available. Register at wwcampfire.org.

We are hiring! We have full schedule (18-20 hours a week) and substitute teacher (hours vary) positions open for our elementary after school programs. Apply at wwcampfire.org.

Our theme this coming week is Animals. Campers will explore their creativity with animal-themed craft projects and coloring pages, and exercise their brains with animal trivia questions.

Follow us on our new Instagram for real-time updates and our increasingly popular virtual camper art gallery: @campfire_wallawalla

Parks and Recreation Update

• Indoor Soccer registration is open. Grades K-8. This league is co-ed. Cost is $50 (early registration ends November 18).
• Spooktacular Decorating Contest - Decorate your porch, yard, car, pickup, tractor, or other vehicle. FREE! October 21 is the deadline to register.
• Downtown Trick-or-Treating - Stop by the Parks and Recreation tent on October 31 between 3pm and 5pm!
• Fencing - 8 years and over. Cost is $20-$75.

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 or parks@wallawallawa.gov.

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