Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 10, 2022 (No School Nov. 11 - Veterans Day)

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Superintendent Smith’s Veterans Day message

By Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith

As we take time to celebrate Veterans Day, I thought it was only fitting to provide additional context as to the importance of this day in our nation's history.

What is now a national holiday, Veterans Day found its roots on the heels of World War I. While WWI officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919, fighting actually ceased seven months earlier when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect. It happened to be on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is often regarded as the end of what was believed at the time to be the “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

Nearly two decades later, a Congressional Act in 1938 decreed the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday, referred to as "Armistice Day;" a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I. However, in 1954, after World War II (a war that required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in our Nation’s history), and after American's had also fought in Korea, the word "Armistice" was replaced by with the word "Veterans" in order to honor all who served.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. It is a day to celebrate and honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for our country and her values. Nearly 700,000 Americans have lost their lives defending our freedom and over one million of our citizens wake up every morning to ensure that freedom continues to stand as an active serviceperson.

I encourage all of us to take time over the coming day to celebrate those who continue to serve, have served, and who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving of their lives to ensure our freedom and way of life.


School Board Regular Business Meeting 

Tuesday, Nov. 15
Walla Walla Public Schools District Office (364 S. Park St.)
5:30 p.m. – Regular Business Meeting (open to the public)
Board Meeting Agendas, Minutes & Remote Viewing Access:
https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997


Thanksgiving Holiday Break Schedule

• Wednesday, November 23 - Half-Day - Early Dismissal (Thanksgiving holiday)
• Thursday, November 24 & Friday, November 25 - NO SCHOOL (Thanksgiving holiday)


Safety First During Hazardous Winter Weather Conditions

Walla Walla Public Schools reminds everyone safety is the primary factor for delaying or canceling school due to inclement weather. Driving of local roads, studying weather forecasts, and communicating with surrounding school districts are components included in this thoughtful process. Decisions to delay for two hours or cancel school usually are made by 5:30 a.m. or earlier. A decision to delay or cancel school launches the district’s comprehensive School Closure/Two-Hour Delay announcement plan. The district makes every effort to begin announcements by 6 a.m.

Please be reminded that under most circumstances, afterschool activities, practices and community use events are also postponed if school is canceled for the day.

Announcements include:
• Press release
• ParentSquare Message
• WWPS Website Message
• Staff Email
• E-news Message (sign up on the district website)
• Social Media Post (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
(NOTE: Announcements are only made if the district implements a change to the normal schedule)

For more information, click HERE   


School bus drivers gear up for winter driving conditions

During this month’s in-service training at the Transportation Department, school bus drivers will be reviewing winter driving conditions and procedures. Transportation Director John Griffith says safety remains the highest priority.

“We will talk about safe following distances, appropriate speeds for the conditions and how to use the transmission gears to slow down,” said Griffith. “We will also go through a chain-up class to make sure that every single driver in the district knows how to put chains on the bus.”

All Walla Walla Public Schools buses are plugged-in each night with block heaters to make them easier to start during cold weather. School bus drivers arrive early to ensure the buses will properly start during in the cold and leave for their routes on time.

“We also make sure our drivers are briefed on current road conditions each morning,” said Griffith. “My leadership staff and I spend a lot of time during the early morning hours driving roads to make sure it is safe for all students, pedestrians and parents to be traveling on the roads to and from school.”



State patrol gives school buses thumbs up during surprise inspection

This week officers from the state patrol dropped into the Transportation Department for a surprise inspection per state law. The state patrol inspection team inspected 11 of the district’s 42 school buses.

“We received a 100% score since there were no out-of-service or inefficiencies found,” said Transportation Director John Griffith. “Our mechanics here do a fantastic job keeping the fleet up to WSP standards.”

Griffith says his entire department team works hard to make sure all students are safe getting to and from school. He also noted all school bus drivers receive a minimum of 40 hours of behind the wheel training before they are approved to drive the school bus with students on board. In addition to the driving portion of the training, all school bus drivers are trained on student management.


School Stories

Wa-Hi salutes veterans

Thursday, Nov. 10 approximately 120 area veterans attended the Walla Walla High School Veterans Day all-school assembly hosted by the Wa-Hi JROTC. Veterans were given a decorative red, white and blue boutonniere, made by students in the floriculture program, thanking them for their service. The Chamber Singers, Wa-Hi band and orchestra performed during the assembly. Veterans were also provided treats and opportunities to visit with each other on campus. Thanks again to the Walla Walla High School JROTC for organizing this outstanding event. 


Paving underway of Wa-Hi Academic parking lot

The finishing touches on the Wa-Hi bond project continue this week as contractors pave the academic parking lot next to the school’s new main entrance. Cold, wet weather has delayed the project a few days, but it is moving forward now. This renovated parking lot will include a convenient bus loop, energy efficient lighting, handicap parking spaces and attractive landscaping. The paving will be completed Nov. 11 with striping scheduled for Monday, Nov. 14. Thanks Walla Walla for your continued support of the bond program.

Stay Connected!
• Website: https://www.wwps.org/bond
• Twitter: @bondwwps

Walla Walla Public Schools Bond Program – Delivering on Our Promise


Lincoln High School 4th Ave paving completed 

This week contractors paved the drive-through loop on the 4th Ave. side of Lincoln High School. This new loop will provide a safe and convenient area to drop off and pick up students from school. This project gets the Lincoln High School bond renovation and expansion one step closer to completion. Thanks Walla Walla for your support of the bond program.

Stay Connected!
• Website: https://www.wwps.org/bond
• Twitter: @bondwwps

Walla Walla Public Schools Bond Program – Delivering on Our Promise


Fall Sports – District and State update for Thursday, November 10 by Athletic Director Chris Ferenz

Hello Blue Devil Fans!
The weekend of October 28-29 saw numerous Walla Walla High School student-athletes qualify for their respective state championships.

At the District 4/8 Swim Championships, the Girls swim team captured their first ever district championship. Led by Senior captain, Alana Miller, who captured championships in the 100 Butterfly and 100 Backstroke in state qualifying times, the team had 12 swimmers score points to outclass their opponents. Also qualifying for state swim was the 400 Freestyle Relay squad of Alana Miller, Abi Guest, Eliana Isenhower, and Emily Meliah. Audra Zanes will also head to state as the alternate for the 400 relay team. In addition, senior Felicity Matson will compete at state in the Adaptive 50 Freestyle.

The WWHS Dive team was also in Kelso for their district event. Sophomore Elliot Zanes finished second to qualify for the state championship meet. Anne Marie Hallan will also travel to state as an alternate in the dive competition after finishing 3rd.

The State Dive and Swim championships are held in Federal Way, November 10-12.

On October 29, Walla Walla hosted the District 8 Cross Country Championships at Veterans Memorial Golf Course. With a perfect day for running, the Blue Devils had one of their own, Brody Hartley set a course record by winning the 3A district championship. With the win, Brody secured a spot in the State meet in Pasco. In addition, Emmalyne Jimenez and Ian Lash both finished in the top 21 of their respective races to also qualify for the state meet.

Saturday, November 5 saw the State Cross Country Championships at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. Running with the leaders the entire course, senior Brody Hartley ran a 15:39:80 over the course to finish 2nd.

Congratulations to all our state qualifiers. Next week we will be able to celebrate and share those student-athletes who have earned Mid-Columbia Conference honors in their respective sports.


National School Psychology Week 2022

Together We Shine!

During the week of November 7-11, 2022, Walla Walla Public Schools joins schools throughout the country in celebrating National School Psychology Week (NSPW) to highlight the important work school psychologists do to help students thrive.

“Our psychologist team is a dedicated team of professionals who support staff, students and families in navigating special education services,” said Special Education Director Barb Casey. “They provide knowledge and expertise to their building teams around student support at all levels, and are deeply involved in conversation around both academic and behavioral intervention, and student social emotional support. I consider our school psychologists my field administrators of the work of special education and value the knowledge they bring to the table. I appreciate each conversation I have with them as we work together to meet the needs of students in our school district. We are fortunate to have this amazing group of professionals to support our students and families.”



Bond improvements support learning

Pioneer Middle School Science Teacher Shannon Jones loves her new classroom made possible by the successful 2018 bond measure. Mrs. Jones is thankful for having extra storage space in her classroom to safely and efficiently store her science materials. Before the bond project, Mrs. Jones stored her classroom materials in a railcar storage box outside of the school.

She also appreciates having prep rooms and more counter space so she can have multiple labs set up and ready to go when class starts. New voice amplified microphone systems are also in place thanks to the bond making it easier for students to hear their teachers. Mrs. Jones’ students recently conducted a hands-on electricity lesson using, colorful interactive circuit boards.

Stay Connected!
• Website: https://www.wwps.org/bond
• Twitter: @bondwwps

Walla Walla Public Schools Bond Program – Delivering on Our Promise


Cool Drool dog treats for sale

Walla Walla High School students in the Special Education REACH program are busy making organic dog treats to sell.

“You can support our students and make your dog(s) really happy by ordering Cool Drool Dog Treats,” said Special Education and 504 Administrator Libby Thompson. “They come in different flavors, are organic, packaged and delivered to you. Make the dog in your life love you even more by ordering them treats. My dog Bailey says they are barking good.”

Order LINK   


Community Stories
Camp Fire Afterschool Program update

Our theme for the week of 11/14-11/18 is Career Week. Campers will explore what they want to be when they grow up. 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. Register online at https://www.wwcampfire.org/programs. Additional as-needed days will be posted 11/18.

Camp Fire programs will be closed 11/11 to observe Veteran’s Day, and 11/23-11/25 for Thanksgiving break.

We are hiring substitutes for our after-school program. Apply online at wwcampfire.org/about

Follow us on Instagram at @campfire_wallawalla. Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/campfirewallawalla


Reach Out Walla Walla Community Input Survey now open

The Reach Out Coalition is seeking input from community members through its annual Reach Out Walla Walla Community Input Survey. The survey closes Nov. 15. This survey measures the adult perception of youth substance use and mental health. Results of this survey determine priority areas for programs and funding from the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative.
• English- https://www.research.net/r/WAWAWAWAEN2022
• Spanish- https://es.research.net/r/WAWAWAWASP2022


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).
• Fencing - 8 years and over. Cost is $20-$75.
• Beginning Ukulele – 10 years and over. Cost is $

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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