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

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School Board Regular Study Meeting 

Tuesday, Nov. 1
Walla Walla Public Schools District Office (364 S. Park St.)
5:30 p.m. – Regular Study Meeting
Board Meeting Agendas, Minutes & Recordings: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997

Remember to Vote: General Election – November 8, 2022

Please remember to vote in the November 8, 2022 General Election. Ballots have mailed to voters and must be postmarked by November 8, 2022. Contact the Walla Walla County Elections Department for more information.

Walla Walla County Elections
315 West Main St., Room 203
PO Box 1856
Walla Walla, WA 99362

Friday, Nov. 4 - 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 Nov. 4, 2022.

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

No School Days – November 2022

• Friday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day)
• Nov. 24 & 25 (Thanksgiving Break)
• NOTE: Early Dismissals – Nov. 4 and Nov. 23

Guaranteed Admissions Program paves way for Walla Walla students to enroll in college

Walla Walla Public Schools has partnered with the Guaranteed Admissions Program to offer eligible district graduates guaranteed admission to Pacific Lutheran University, Eastern Washington University, Evergreen State College, Washington State University and Western Washington University.

The Guaranteed Admissions Program (GAP) lets students learn if they will be admitted to these partner institutions before they even apply. Through data sharing partnerships with Walla Walla Public Schools, the participating institutions engage with high school juniors to ready them for college. This engagement process helps familiarize Walla Walla Public Schools’ students with how to apply through guaranteed admissions or, if not eligible, through the general admissions process.

The Guaranteed Admissions Program (GAP) eligibility criteria includes:
• A minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher
• On track to complete the College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs)
• District has an agreement with the participating universities and college to be part of the program
• If all of these are true, GAP guarantees WWPS students will be admitted to all five participating Washington four-year, public institutions.

To learn more about GAP, speak to your high school advisor or visit https://bit.ly/WaGap

American Education Week: November 13-19, 2022

Together for Safe, Just & Equitable Schools

The concept of a free or public education for all American children is not a new one. Its roots lie with our Founding Fathers, when Thomas Jefferson proposed a system of decentralized education in Virginia. Successful across the US, it did however it take a few more years until American Education Week was created.

Celebrated the week before Thanksgiving, American Education Week has been recognized since 1921. Following on from World War I when it was discovered that many of the military draftees were illiterate, the American Legion and the American Education Association joined together to develop ways in which public education could be improved and highlighted. Since then many other public educational organizations have joined forces to promote the awareness campaign and provide vast amounts of information and materials for all to use.

American Education week exists to celebrate the potential of all American Students, recognize and give thanks to the teachers and professionals working within the education system as well as honoring the parents and guardians who support and encourage. It also works to continuously improve the education system and ensure that learning is lifelong and not just restricted to a class room.

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. 

If you have questions, contact Susie Golden at (509) 526-6715 or sgolden@wwps.org

State Department of Health further relaxes COVID requirements for schools

This week the Washington State Department of Health released revised COVID guidance, removing many of the current requirements for schools as the state transitions to the endemic phase of COVID. Current protocols including prolonged isolation requirements are no longer required from schools. As a result, Walla Walla Public Schools has revised many of its protocols accordingly. While no longer required, the district will continue to update their daily COVID tracking sheet and will continue to offer free testing for families.

Walla Walla Public Schools has updated its COVID safety protocols as follows:

• Although no longer required, Walla Walla Public Schools will continue to update its online dashboard of daily COVID cases for the remainder of the school year to provide another layer of transparency to the public. This resource continues to be available on the district’s website here: https://www.wwps.org/covidprotocols/covid-dashboard

• Walla Walla Public Schools will continue to offer free COVID testing for students/staff and continue to provide home tests.

• The 5-day isolation of COVID positive individuals is no longer required. If students are symptomatic at school, health services staff will contact parents to pick them up and inform them that their child can return upon symptom improvement. This approach is the same for staff. If staff members are sick they should stay home, and return to work once their symptoms improve.

• All vaccination mandates for staff and volunteers will be lifted and no longer a requirement after October 31, 2022.

“We will continue to work closely with local health officials and monitor guidance from the Washington State Department of Health to ensure we provide a safe learning environment for students and staff,” said Health Services Director Andrea DeLong, BSN, RN. “We appreciate everyone’s support and diligence as we move beyond the pandemic to normal school health services operations.”

School Stories
Wa-Hi plans Veterans Day Assembly – All veterans invited to attend

The Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devils” Cadet Battalion and the Associated Student Body (ASB) will host an assembly to honor all veterans on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022 in the Main Gym.

"The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets have an extensive program planned to include presentation of all the Military Services honoring our Veterans, Color Guard presentation, and Fallen Comrades’ ceremony. Veterans and their guests are invited to arrive at 9:30 a.m., meet in the WaHi Wrestling Room with ceremonies to begin at 10:26 a.m.," said cadet Lt. Col. Kaden Kerr, the battalion commander. "Veterans of all periods and conflicts (including the Cold War) from all branches ... Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and all their components ... active, reserve, guard, and retired will be recognized for their service to the nation."

Special parking has been arranged and assistance will be available for those with limited mobility between the small gym and the tennis courts, according to a battalion official. There will be coffee before the event and light refreshments provided immediately following the assembly.

"This event is free and open to veterans, their families, survivors, friends of veterans, and the general public. All are welcome to attend. Please share this with every veteran you know in our community," said Kerr.

For more information call the WWHS JROTC department at 509-527-3035, or email to -- wwhs_rotc@wwps.org 

District welcomes Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Walla Walla Public Schools is proud to partner with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) for a special performance in Walla Walla Nov. 17 to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. District 4th and 7th grade students will travel to Cordiner Hall on the campus of Whitman College to be part of this event.

Walla Walla Public Schools is working with CTUIR to further enhance opportunities for students to explore the heritage, culture, and experience of Indigenous peoples both historically and in American life today.

National Bison Day part of Native American Heritage Month

Walla Walla Public Schools will serve Bison tacos for lunch at school cafeterias across the district Monday November 7. The event is connected to November’s National Native American Heritage Month. Students will learn the following about bison.

Bison Facts:
• Largest Land Mammal in North America
• Healthy Food Source (better then beef, chicken, or salmon)
• Low Fat and Calories. Good Source of Iron, Protein, and B-12
• Males weigh up to 2,000 pounds and are 6ft tall
• Bison can run 35 miles per hour
• Bison are NOT friendly
• In the 1800s, 60 million bison were killed, Today there about 30,000 left in the wild

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

Sharpstein Elementary Blue Zones Project Celebration 

The Sharpstein Elementary Blue Zones Project Approval Celebration was held October 27. Fun activities were scheduled 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 started with a Walking School Bus at 7:35 a.m. at the Rose Garden in Pioneer Park on Division and Whitman. School buses dropped students off at that location so they could join the walk. The Walla Walla University Steel Drum Band performed in front of the school. Sharpstein also plans a veggie sample program at lunch organized by Walla Walla Valley Farm-to-School. Principal Maria Garcia and Angela Hudiburg from Communities in Schools centered all of the experiences on encouraging students to connect with each other.

Special thanks to City of Walla Walla police officers and firefighters for supporting the event, and Walla Walla High School students in the National Honor Society for volunteering for crosswalk duties and walking with students. Sweet Lou from the Walla Walla Sweets also made a special appearance.

Fall Sports – Championship and Post season play update for Friday, October 28 by Athletic Director Chris Ferenz

On Tuesday, October 25 the girls soccer team dropped a hard fought, well-played game by a score of 2-0 to the Mount Spokane Wildcats. This was the second year in a row the soccer program has earned a home berth in the 3A District 8 soccer tournament. A relatively young team, the girls soccer program will look to build on the momentum of this season in 2023.

The Blue Devil slow-pitch softball team earned the #3 seed in the state softball tournament and will take on the #6 Kelso Hilanders, Friday, October 28 at 12 p.m. All games are played at the Gateway Sports Complex in Yakima, Washington. You may follow the tournament on the WIAA website (link): https://www.wiaa.com/subcontent.aspx?SecID=1208

Reminder!! 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 WWHS Volleyball team has earned the #1 seed in the District 8 3A Volleyball tournament with a 5 set win over the Kennewick Lions in their last regular season contest. The Blue Devils will host a first round contest on Tuesday, November 1 at 6 p.m. in the large Wa-Hi gym. The opponent from the Greater Spokane League is yet to be determined.

New Latino Club Video Showcases Program
Students involved in the Walla Walla High School Latino Club have been busy this fall. These students continue to make a difference on campus and in the community. Check out this fun video highlighting this fall's activities.


Community Stories
Walla2Hoops AAU basketball finalizes teams for 2022-2023 season 

Walla2Hoops AAU Basketball Club has named teams and coaches for boys and girls in grades 2-8 for the 2022-2023 season. The 2022-2023 AAU basketball season runs from October 2022 to March 2023. There are currently 157 players registered, with approximately 140 players competing on teams. Players represent schools/school districts from throughout the Walla Walla valley, including Walla Walla Public Schools, College Place Public Schools, Assumption/DeSales, Liberty Christian, Rogers, homeschool, Athena-Weston, St. Basel Academy, Touchet, Pendleton, and Milton-Freewater.

Membership in Walla2Hoops includes, free gym space for practice, team practice equipment, skill development with Coach Stephen Garnett, discounted fees for 3Cities Hoops league play, shooting sessions with Matthew Price-Huntington, free entrance in Walla Walla Tournament of Hoops and winter and summer break camps.

2022-2023 Season Teams and Coaches:
2nd Grade Boys - Jake Bleth (head coach), Zach Armijo (assistant coach)
3rd Grade Boys - Lloyd Redberg
4th Grade Boys - Matt Weseman & Justin Rodriguez
5th Grade Boys - Curtis Pumphrey (head coach), Dustin Stocking (assistant coach)
5th Grade Boys - Curtis Sloan
6th/7th Grade Boys - Stephen Garnett
6th/7th Grade Boys - Will Hutchens & Ricky Kulberg
6th/7th Grade Boys - Jake Oltman (head coach), Josh Oltman (assistant coach)
8th Grade Boys - Stephen Garnett
8th Grade Boys - Ricky Kulberg

4th Grade Girls - Becky Tompkins
5th Grade Girls - Katie Davenport (head coach), Judy Moser (assistant coach)
6th Grade Girls - Kevin McNeil
7th/8th Grade Girls - Ryan Davenport

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.

Board of Directors
President – Matthew Price-Huntington
Vice President – Mark Higgins
Secretary – Annie Boyd
Treasurer – Joey Vargas
Program Development and Tryout Director– Stephen Garnett
Registrar/Uniform and Equipment Director – Erik McCollaugh
District Liaison – Tina Dumser

To learn more about Walla2Hoops, contact:
• Email: walla2hoops@gmail.com
• Facebook: walla2hoops
• Mail: PO Box 3383 – Walla Walla, WA 99362
• Club Contact: President Matthew Price-Huntington

WW County Health Department plans no cost childhood immunization event 

All families and kids 6 months & up are welcome to attend this FREE immunization event.
• Thursday, November 3 from 3-7 p.m.
• Providence Southgate (1025 South 2nd Avenue, Walla Walla, WA 99362)
• No insurance required

Get all school-required vaccines at this event:
• DTaP/Tdap (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis
• Hepatitis B
• Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B)
• MMR (Measles, mumps rubella)
• PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate)
• Polio
• Varicella (Chickenpox)

Other recommended vaccines available include:
• HPV (human papillomavirus)
• Pediatric flu
• COVID-19

What you need to know
• Kids under 18 must be with parent or legal guardian
• All kids welcome regardless of what school they attend
• Bring your vaccination records for all vaccines – go to https://wa.myir.net/rorl?next=/ to get your records!
• No immunization exemptions/waivers will be issued
• Vaccines available on a first-come, first-served basis
• Kids can get multiple vaccines as needed
• No appointment, insurance, or proof of residence needed
• $20 gift cards available while supplies last. Plus chance to win $200 gift card

Call Walla Walla County Dept. of Community Health.
(509) 524-2650

The Little Watts Family Series continues at Gesa Power House Theatre

The Little Watts Family Series continues at Gesa Power House Theatre with Circus Luminescence on Sunday, November 20 at 2:00 p.m.

Circus Luminescence features the award-winning duo Eli March and Scramble James, performing a contemporary vaudeville variety show that is appropriate for the whole family. This production includes partner juggling, breathtaking acrobatics, visual displays, tricks, and comedy.

Reserved seating tickets ($12 adults, $8 youth 12 and under) are available online at www.phtww.org or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500. Gesa Power House Theatre is located at 111 N. 6th Avenue, Walla Walla.

The Little Watts Family Series is sponsored in part by Walla Walla Valley Honda, and receives grant support from Yancey P. Winans Foundation, and AAUW - Walla Walla.

Save the Date for Great Explorations 2023

Great Explorations, the amazing day of science exploration workshops is back on in full force. The event will be held once again at Whitman College, and this year on March 11, 2023. A major change is that Great Explorations will be open to all students, boys and girls, in grades 5, 6, and 7. More details will be available as the workshops get finalized; each will surely be a great STEM experience. So mark your calendars now for this fun filled day of science.

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 

Limited spots open for Camp Fire afterschool program

November as-needed registration is still open, with limited spots available at Prospect Point, Green Park, Berney, Sharpstein and the Center for Children and Families. As of Nov 1, the annual fee is prorated to an average cost of $14 a day, making that a more economical option for campers who will attend the program three days a week or more. Apply for enrollment at https://www.wwcampfire.org/programs

Camp Fire's theme for the week of 10/31-11/4 is Monster Mash. Campers will explore their spooky side with monster themed crafts and activities.

Follow us on Instagram at @campfire_wallawalla.

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