Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 28, 2023

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

School board study meeting date changed to May 9

The Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors is providing notice that its next regular study meeting will be held May 9, 2023, instead of May 2, due a scheduling conflict. The May 9 meeting will be held at the Walla Walla Public Schools Administration Building, 364 S Park Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362 and is open to the public.  Board of Directors Meeting Schedule & Information:  https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule  

Early dismissal May 5 (TK-12) / NO SCHOOL Friday, May 12

Friday, May 5 - Early Dismissal for Students (TK-12)

Early Dismissal Times:
• 11:45 a.m. - 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 May 5.

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

There is NO SCHOOL Friday, May 12 for all students. (This was a possible snow day built into the calendar that was not used.)

National Administrative Professionals Day

Wednesday was National Administrative Professionals Day, and an opportunity to recognize the professionals who keep an office running smoothly every day. Annually we celebrate these professionals on the Wednesday of the last full week in April of each year. The day recognizes the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists and other administrative support professionals who are central to all district schools and departments. These professionals keep the offices organized and efficient and are excellent communicators and customer service experts. 

District plans math and English Language Arts Smarter Balanced state testing in May

This week students across the district in grades 5, 8 and 11 completed the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS). In May Walla Walla Public Schools students in grades 3-8 and 10 are required by the state to take the Smarter Balanced (SBA), or the Washington Access to Instruction and Measurement (WA-AIM) tests in math and English Language Arts (ELA).

These assessments provide accurate measures of achievement and growth toward college and career readiness benchmarks while challenging students to think critically and solve real-world problems. The SBA in math and ELA are a graduation pathway requirement. Testing gives educators and districts crucial information about how well the district is serving our students.

“In order to achieve the best outcomes for our students, teachers have been using assessment practice tools to ensure students are familiar with the format and content of the state assessment and thus, demonstrate their knowledge and skills,” said District Assessment Coordinator Schumacher. “These state assessments are like academic checkups and help our teachers and parents see how on-track students are, compared to where they need to be, in regard to grade level standards.”

Schumacher says the district also realizes it is important to protect time used for learning in the classroom, thus steps have been taken to minimize the impact on the regular school day.

“In order to minimize the amount of class time lost to testing, students at all grade levels will have a week to complete their ELA assessments and another week to complete their Math assessments,” said Schumacher.
“During these testing weeks, students will still receive instruction in other subjects and participate in specialists’ classes and electives.”

It’s important to make sure students are in attendance during these two testing weeks, so they can get back to their typical learning schedule as soon as possible. Anyone who is absent during their school’s testing day, will need to make it up during the state-established testing window.

For more information on assessments please visit our district website

Spring 2023 State Testing Timeline:
Elementary Schools:
• Math (SBA) and ELA (SBA): May 1-May 19 (including make-ups)

Please check with your student’s school for exact testing days and test order.

Garrison and Pioneer Middle Schools:
• Math (SBA): May 1-May 5
• ELA (SBA): May 8-11

Please check with your student’s school for exact testing days.

Lincoln High School
• Testing over all subjects is May 8-11.

• ELA (SBA): May 16 and 17
• Math (SBA): May 18 and 19

Walla Walla High School:
• Math (SBA): May 15 and 16
• ELA (SBA): May 22 and 23

Walla Walla Online
• Elementary and Middle School SBA: May 8 and 9
• High School SBA: May 18-19

Reminders for Testing Day
• Get adequate sleep the night before testing
• Eat a nutritious breakfast the morning of testing
• Come to school with a charged Chromebook (Middle School and High School)
• Earbuds are provided by the district, but students can use their own wired headphones (wireless headphones will not work)

Dick Neher Legacy Scholarship challenge coins still available

The Dick Neher Legacy Scholarship was created this school year which will provide funding for future graduates to pursue higher education. The scholarship, created in honor of legendary Walla Walla High School principal Dick Neher who served from 1970 to 1990, is getting its seed money from one-of-a-kind Challenge Coins with Mr. Neher’s photo and logo of Walla Walla High School. There were only 100 Challenge Coins made and a limited number remain available through the Blue Mountain Community Foundation for $1000.

Donors will also have their names included on a special plaque to be mounted in the newly renovated Walla Walla High School entry. To donate to this worthwhile cause, you can do so through the Blue Mountain Community Foundation website HERE 

Graduations and End of Year Celebrations

Opportunity and Walla Walla Online Graduation
• Wednesday, June 7
• 6:30 p.m.
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds

Lincoln High School Graduation
• Thursday, June 8
• 6 to 8 p.m.
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds

Walla Walla High School Commencement
• Friday, June 9
• 7 p.m.
• Walla Walla High School

Walla Walla Online 8th Grade Recognition
• Tuesday, June 13
• 6 p.m.
• SEATech Multipurpose Room

Pioneer Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
• Tuesday, June 13
• 7 p.m.
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds

Garrison Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
• Wednesday, June 14
• 7 p.m.
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds

School Stories
District families invited to Wa-Hi Cinco de Mayo Celebration

• Friday, May 5
• Walla Walla High School Commons
• 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• FREE dinner by Dora's Deli (First 500 people)
• Thanks to the support of the WWPS Department of Equity and Dual Programs and the Department of Family and Community Engagement and Support for the event meal
• Food trucks will also be on site
• WA-HI Club and College Fair The festival will feature a career and activity fair as part of the celebration that will include many community partners, colleges, universities, and school clubs
• Questions: Contact Marilyn Melgoza – (509) 526-8664 / mmelgoza@wwps.org

Wa-Hi Jazz bands honored at Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Congratulations to the Wa-Hi Jazz Band and Wa-Hi Jazz Combo for their outstanding performances last Saturday at the annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho.

Micah Vawter and Gabe Corwin received Outstanding Soloist awards and Ava Kirtley and Noah Bruce received Outstanding Rhythm section awards.

Wa-Hi Jazz Combo:

  • Micah Vawter--alto and tenor sax
  • Gabe Corwin--guitar
  • Ava Kirtley--bass
  • Noah Bruce--drums

Jazz Band:

Alto Sax-

  • Micah Vawter
  • Cooper Loney

Tenor Sax-

  • Jacob Nielson

Bari Sax-

  • Jacob Humphreys


  • Lily Franklin
  • John Hughett
  • Dylan Loney
  • Malachi Diaz
  • Trombone-
  • Ethan Davis
  • Theo Gryler
  • Kevin Lopez


  • Ben Clearman
  • Teresa Wheeler


  • Ava Kirtley


  • Gabe Corwin


  • Noah Bruce
  • Ari Kim-Leavitt

Wa-Hi student wins state FFA Agriscience competition

Walla Walla High School student Jackson Adams earned 1st Place in the individual category in Plant Systems Division 5 at the State of Washington FFA Agriscience Fair on Saturday, April 22.

He presented his research, "Spectrophotometric Analysis of Wine in Determining the Regional Origin of Vineyard" where Jackson determined that light spectroscopy could be used to discriminate wines from Walla Walla and Columbia Valleys to nonlocal wines from outside the region.

Placing first at state opens the door for Jackson to submit his research paper to be considered to compete at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN in early November. Jackson will be attending Northwestern University in the fall. He is the son of Dan and Teresa Adams.

Wa-Hi FFA teams excel at state competitions

The Walla Walla High School FFA Ag Mechanics team placed 8th out of 26 teams at the state competition on April 14. The state competition, hosted at Perry Technical Institute in Yakima, included arc welding, laying out a wall, fluid identification, baler part identification and manual reading, small gas engine identification and manual reading, concrete calculations, wiring three-way switches, soil identification and calculating costs on a small animal farm. The Ag Mechanics team is Brody Pingree, Josh Nelson, Kenny Gabel, Treyton Sams and Rem McBride.

The Walla Walla High School FFA Horse Evaluation team placed 10th out of 32 teams at the state competition on April 26. This event was held at the Central Washington Equine Arena in Ellensburg. The team completed a knowledge test with questions including equine vital signs, breeds, anatomy, markings, feed and tack. They judged six classes including halter, English pleasure and ranch pleasure, and completed two sets of oral reasons. The horse evaluation team is Hanna Wright, Teegan Timmons, Madison Worden and Baylee Appleford.

FFA Plant Sale dates announced

Walla Walla High School students and staff in the FFA program are having their Annual Spring Plant Sale May 3-5 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the CTE building lawn area. Parking is available in front of Wa-Hi’s CTE building on Abbott Road. Cash, check or credit card will be accepted. For more information contact Teacher Arch McHie (amchie@wwps.org).

Tickets still on sale for Saturday’s FFA Blue and Gold Shindig

Walla Walla FFA Alumni and Friends announce tickets for this year's Blue and Gold Shindig are still on sale for Saturday’s event. Join us for a night full of fun!
• Saturday, April 29
• Walla Walla County Fairgrounds Community Center
• Dinner at 6:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
• Single Dinner Tickets - $30
• Reserve a table for your family (8 tickets included) - $250
• Buy Tickets Here: https://buytickets.at/wallawallaffaalumni/852065
• All proceeds support the local FFA Chapter
• For more information: http://wallawallaffaalumni.weebly.com
• Call Staci if you have questions: (509) 386-3484

Community Stories
WW Public Library launches new Financial Aid Information & Career Pathway Resource Room

Exploring a new career path? Want to get ready for college but don’t know where to start?
Unsure how to pay for college, trade & certificate programs, or a new career pathway?
Beginning Monday May 1st, Walla Walla Public Library has free resources and help applying for financial aid in our Financial Aid Information & Career Pathway Resource Room.
Every Monday & Thursday from 5:00-6:30 p.m., the Resource Room is open with information on courses, career preparation, and pathways offered at Walla Walla Community College, SEATech Skills Center, and Columbia Basin College, along with one-on-one help filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or WAFSA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid).
Spanish speaking staff are available by appointment; please call the library at 509-527-4550 to schedule.
Provided by Walla Walla Public Library (www.wallawallapubliclibrary.org) and Blue Mountain Action Council (www.bmacww.org.)

American Association of University Women—Walla Walla Branch honors local high school students

The American Association of University Women—Walla Walla Branch honored 11 Juniors from area high schools for their work in Science, Technology and Mathematics on Monday, April, 24, 2023, at 7 p.m. This year’s event was held at the SEA-Tech Skills Center in Walla Walla, WA.

AAUW President-elect Renee Hadley welcomed everyone, gave an overview of AAUW’s purpose and mission, and highlighted some interest groups and fundraisers the organization sponsors during the year including the Book Sale and Kitchen Tour. Walla Walla High School Biology and AP Biology teacher Korrie Beemer was the keynote speaker. High Schools in our branch area include: Walla Walla High School, Lincoln High School, College Place, Touchet, and WWVA. The following young women were honored at the ceremony: Ava Herrera, Aubree Leal, Angelina Chanla, Jacee Tobin, Lia Osorio Contreras, Stephanie Sanchez, Ell Neil, Jullissa Rojas, Anna-Sofia Foster, Hope McMahon and Samantha Trees. AAUW was founded in 1881 to promote education and equity for women.

The Walla Walla Branch was chartered in 1921 and currently has almost 250 members. Membership is open to men and women who hold a two year degree or higher from an accredited college or university. According to AAUW Walla Walla President-elect Renee Hadley, “The high school scholars event was a great chance to see hope in the next generation. It was wonderful to see the students being honored by their teachers and schools for their hard work and dedication to Science, Math and Technology.”

COCOA announces Juneteenth Jubilee

COCOA would like to invite everyone in our community, especially families with children, to come to the Juneteenth Jubilee on Saturday, June 17, 2023. The event will take place in Washington Park from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Our celebration of joy and the end of enslavement in America is FREE and ALL ARE WELCOME. We will have FREE food, beverages, games, music, crafts, and more. We hope you join us! Follow us on Instagram (wwjuneteenth) and Facebook (cocoawwv).

2023 Suicide Prevention Walk – Together we can STOP Suicide in Walla Walla

• Wednesday, May 24
• 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Macy’s Parking Lot (119 E. Alder St.)
• 35+ organizations
• All are welcome

Farm to School newsletter released

Click on the link to read the latest Farm to School newsletter.  https://www.slcww.org/so/28OTnOgai?languageTag=en

Save the Date for the 26th Annual Ducky Derby – May 13

Duck Race and Family Festival to Support Local Youth and the Prevention of Child Abuse

The 26th annual Community Bank Ducky Derby will be held on Saturday, May 13, at Mill Creek on the campus of Walla Walla Community College. The duck race will begin at 2 p.m. during the Family Fun Festival that will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Last year’s Fun Fest was cancelled due to inclement weather, but the committee is committed to holding the event this year.

This annual community event is generously sponsored by Community Bank and organized by the Walla Walla Exchange Club Foundation. Proceeds from this event go toward child abuse prevention and support many programs that benefit youth in the Walla Walla Valley and surrounding areas.

The highlight of the event is the race of approximately 20,000 little yellow plastic ducks down a stretch of Mill Creek. Community members are encouraged to purchase Ducky Derby tickets (one duck for $5 or five ducks for $20) for a chance to win one of approximately 20 prizes generously donated by local businesses. Prizes will be awarded to the individuals who hold tickets with numbers matching those of the first ducks to cross the finish line.

Over $60,000 in guaranteed prizes will be awarded, with the featured prize being a $10,000 cash prize donated by Walla Walla Valley Honda. Regardless of whether you win a prize or not, each ticket is a winner in that a $5 ticket stub is good for a free ice cream at Baskin & Robbins and a $20 ticket stub is good for a free small Blizzard at Dairy Queen.

Ducky Derby tickets are available to purchase from any Exchange Club member, at community events such as the Spring Fling and Downtown Farmer's Market, and at designated ticket outlets: Any Exchange Member, Albertsons, Blue Palm Frozen Yogurt, Community Bank, Downtown on Alder, Community Bank, Hwy 125, Falkenberg Jewelers, L&G Ranch Supply, PFI Mart - Isaacs Ave, Super One, Walla Walla Daily Grind, Walla Walla Valley Honda, or wherever you can find Matt Mahan!

Last-minute tickets may be purchased before the race at the Family Fun Festival at Walla Walla Community College on May 13.

Return to the River Salmon Festival May 13

• Come celebrate our natural resources
• Saturday, May 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• WWCC (by the ballfields along Tausick Way)
• Salmon releases at noon, 1 & 2 p.m.
• Lamprey and native fish on display
• Hands-on activities like fish printing, relay races, obstacle course, demonstrations, free face painting and more

Walla Walla County survey seeks input from families on behavioral health

Walla Walla County is seeking input from parents/families about school behavioral health in local schools. All information is being gathered anonymously. They will use information to improve behavioral health in schools.

The survey will take most respondents approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. There is an option to complete the survey in English or Spanish. Please complete by May 31.

SURVEY: https://bit.ly/WallaWallaParent

City Parks & Rec Update

• Toddler Dance Party – April 28 - Ages 6 months-10 years. Cost is $10.
• Beginning Ukulele – 10 years and up. Cost is $60.
• Adult Softball League (Men’s & Co-Ed). Ages 16 years and up. Team fee is $920.
• Pickleball – Ages 9 years and up. Cost is $30-$60.
• Fencing - 8 years and up. Cost is $20-$75.
• Veterans Memorial Pool 2023 Season Passes are on sale! Prices will be at full price beginning May 1st.

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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