Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Dec. 8, 2023

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School Board Regular Business Meeting 

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023
Walla Walla Public Schools District Office (364 S. Park St.)
5:30 p.m. – Regular Business Meeting
Board Meeting Agendas, Minutes & Recordings: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997

Winter Break Holiday Schedule

• Dec. 18 to Jan. 1
• Classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024

New video features Class of 52’ graduate Dean Lodmell sharing information on the Capital Levy


Wa-Hi Class of 1952 graduate Dean Lodmell takes viewers on a tour of the facilities proposed for improvements in the Capital Levy on the Feb. 13 ballot. For years Dean has served on the WWPS Community Facilities Task Force assisting in the development of long-range facility improvement plans. Most recently he joined the district’s Outdoor Athletic and Activity Facilities Recommendation Committee to develop options for improving the district’s outdoor facilities. In this video Dean visits every site targeted for improvements to share detailed information about what will be on the ballot for voter consideration.

Dean grew up in Walla Walla and was a standout athlete in football and a champion downhill skier in high school and college. He was also an accomplished quartet singer. After high school, he attended Whitman College before moving on to Columbia University, NY to continue his education in engineering. As a recent college graduate, he was hired to help manage construction of Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. He worked on several dam projects, constructed highways and bridges and built tunnels in New York City. Locally, Dean was the construction manager for the Sharpstein Elementary Bond. He also managed construction of the Walla Walla Regional Airport Terminal, Key Technology Facility, Penrose Library at Whitman College and the Walla Walla University Administration Building.

Dean is married to Betty, who owned and operated Betty’s Preschool for more than 50 years. Dean loves his community and does whatever he can to make it a great place to live, work and raise families. Visit the district’s website to learn more about the proposed Capital Levy -- https://www.wwps.org/levy2024

I AM WWPS video – Yaneth Hernandez

Garrison Middle School Intervention Specialist Yaneth Hernandez is featured in the I AM WWPS video series. She has worked in the district for 13 years specializing in supporting the social and emotional needs of students and families. Yaneth comes from a family of educators and loves doing whatever she can to remove barriers to learning and promote success in school.

School Closures and Delays Announcements

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:
• TV/Radio
• ParentSquare
• WWPS 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, visit HERE   

WWPS Levy Measures on Feb. 13 ballot

WWPS Levy Measures on Feb. 13 ballot

The renewal Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy and a Capital Levy to improve outdoor athletic and activity facilities will be on the Feb. 13, 2024 special election ballot.

The EP&O Levy, often referred to as the “Learning Levy,” is not a new tax. It replaces the expiring levy approved in 2020 and requires voter reauthorization every four years. Its renewal maintains programs and offerings not funded by the state and has been approved consecutively at the ballot box for over half a century in Walla Walla. EP&O Levy funds make up 15% of the Walla Walla Public Schools budget and provide for the continuation of honors classes, music, art, drama, school safety, technology, nursing, athletic programming, financial literacy, driver education, counseling and support staff. Altogether, the levy funds over 110 teaching and support staff full-time positions and more than 230 part-time positions across the district.

Replacing the same rate approved by voters in 2020, the EP&O “Learning Levy” remains capped at $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. It will run from 2025 to 2028.

The short-term Capital Levy will be used to update outdoor spaces for athletics, activities, JROTC, physical education, marching band and other outside programming, including community use. These improvements were identified by the independent Outdoor Athletic and Activity Advisory Committee and address the priority projects most in need of upgrades to maximize access, safety and participation. In order to minimize impact to taxpayers, the district has identified grants and outside funding sources to help reduce costs. As a result, the Capital Levy rate is estimated to be no more than 38 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value and will automatically expire after six years. The Outdoor Capital Levy would cost about $3 per month for every $100,000 of assessed value. For a home assessed at $300,000 the annual cost would be $114 per year or $9.50 per month through the six-year Capital Levy time frame.

Ballots for these levies will mail out to voters in late January. Both levy propositions require a simple majority to pass, 50% plus one vote.
• Arts Programs
• Band, Choir and Orchestra Programs
• Honors & Advanced Placement Classes
• Theater/Drama
• School Safety
• Foreign Language Programs
• School Nursing/Health Services
• Explorers and Highly Capable Program
• Athletics, Activities and Clubs
• Driver Education
• Counseling and Intervention Specialists
• Facilities Maintenance & Custodial Staff
• Classroom Technology and Technology Staff
• Physical Education
• Educational Assistants/Para-Educators
• Library and Media Services
• Staff Professional Development and Training
• Curriculum and Classroom/Lab Supplies and Materials

• Replace the 60-year-old original tennis courts at Wa-Hi
• Install an all-weather track at Pioneer MS for athlete, school and community use
• Repair the 43-year-old Garrison tennis courts (Chubb Courts) and resurface the 20-year-old track
• Consistent with all league schools, install high-quality artificial turf playing surfaces and field lighting (low spill/low glare) in order to maximize utilization, participation and post-season play at both the Klicker and Hayner Park fields at Wa-Hi
• Install outdoor lighting (low spill/low glare) in order to minimize instructional loss and maximize family participation for baseball and softball players
• Install elevated bleachers with ADA access at the Klicker Track and Field site for soccer, football and track and field spectators
• Provide adequate access to restrooms and changing rooms for high school athletes
• Construct a JROTC "Raider Obstacle Course" for student, first responder and community use

School Stories

21st Century Afterschool program plans Winter Break Hangout for K-5

21st CCLC Afterschool Program is offering a Winter Break program on December 18, 19, 20 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Sharpstein Elementary School. There will be soccer, art, robotics, gaming and more. This is open to all K-5 grade students. For more information, call Will Hammond at (509) 520-5319.

Pioneer MS National Junior Honor Society gives back to community

Thanks so much to the Pioneer Middle School National Junior Honor Society for its recent community service. On November 27 the students and advisor made and served dinner for approximately 70 people at the Christian Aid Center. On November 28 they sorted over 2,200 pounds of canned foods at the BMAC warehouse, and on Sunday, Dec. 3 raised funds and bought Christmas gifts for seven different families in our community via the Salvation Army Giving Tree program. Thanks to Advisor Stephanie Kytola and these caring, hardworking students for making a difference in our community. 

2023 Holiday concert series (remaining concerts)

Dec 11 - Wa-Hi Band Concert, Wa-Hi Auditorium 7 p.m.
Dec 12 - Prospect Pt. Program, K-1 / 9:15 a.m.; 2-3 / 10:30 a.m.; 4-5 / 1 p.m.
Dec 12 - Wa-Hi Choir Concert, Wa-Hi Auditorium 7 p.m.
Dec 13 - Wa-Hi Orchestra Concert, Wa-Hi Auditorium 7 p.m.
Dec 14 - Berney Holiday Tour
Dec 14 - Edison Program, K-1 / 9 a.m. 2-3 / 10:30 a.m. 4-5 / 1 p.m.
Dec 14 - Green Park Program, K-1 / 9 a.m., 2-3 / 10 a.m., 4-5 / 1:15 p.m.
Dec 15 - Wa-Hi Band Tour

Green Park Panther Boutique rings in the holiday spirit

Thursday the holiday spirit was in full swing at Green Park Elementary for the Third Annual Panther Boutique for 5th grade girls. Hundreds of items are on display at the school for the girls to pick and choose from for an early holiday gift. Para-Educator Kristi Richard started the program to give the girls something to look forward to around the holidays and to make them feel special. Grants and donations are used for the items, which include clothing, accessories, shoes and personal products. Green Park staff help during the event and all the girls get a colorful holiday bag to take their presents home in. They will do another event in the spring. Great job Kristi and the Green Park staff for making school extra special today for all the 5th grade girls. 

Pioneer & Garrison Middle Schools plan joint Winter Reading Challenge 

Garrison and Pioneer libraries are holding their annual Winter Reading Challenge Dec. 1 through Jan. 26. This year's challenge is a Bingo style board which asks students and staff to expand their reading experiences to include graphic novels, poetry, biographies and of course fiction and non-fiction choice reads. Participants can come to their school's library to pick up a board and check out a book to begin playing. Prize drawings will be awarded by category and grade level. Pine Cone Creamery is again sponsoring the Grand Prize, creating and naming a new ice cream flavor!

Last year’s Winter Reading Challenge proved that Garrison and Pioneer Middle School students and staff can read many books, 2239 books to be exact. 988

Community Stories
NATIONAL CIVICS BEE - Calling all Middle school students!

Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce to host middle school civics competition
NATIONAL CIVICS BEE - Calling all Middle school students!
Share your ideas and flex your civics knowledge in the National Civics Bee.

Civics Bee - ABOUT THE BEE
The Walla Walla Valley Chamber is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to host a first-of-its-kind civics competition that encourages young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. Participating 6th, 7th and 8th graders will flex their civics knowledge for a chance to win recognition and cash prizes. Finalists will be invited to Washington, DC to compete in the inaugural National Civics Bee national championship in Fall 2024.

The local competition will take place in Spring of 2024 at the Walla Walla Community College.

Website: https://www.wwvchamber.com/civicsbee/
Any 6th, 7th, or 8th grade student residing in Washington with an idea about using civics to improve their community may review the rules and submit an essay application during the application submission window.

The application submission portal will be open through January 8, 2024.

Submit Essay  

National Civics Bee Highlights Video   

The Walla Walla Valley Chamber is participating in the National Civics Bee because we believe that informed and active citizens make for a strong country, a strong economy, and a strong workforce, and that our continued prosperity depends on the strength of all three. Through the Bee, we are promoting greater civic knowledge in Washington and celebrating our civic pride.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact ceo@wwvchamber.com.

Walla2Hoops 7th grade girls AAU basketball team wins Hermiston tournament; qualifies for state 

Congratulations to the Walla2Hoops 7th grade girls AAU basketball team for winning the Autumn Kickoff Tournament in Hermiston, OR. This championship also qualifies the team for the Washington Middle School State Tournament in March in Spokane.

Coaches: Kevin McNeil, Justin Pearce
Players at tournament:
Molly Franklin, Libby Burt, Gracie Pearce, Laney Hand, Jayla Tucker, Julissa Martinez, Raelyn McNeil, Makayah Lawyer, Liliana Garcia

“Hard work pays off,” said President Matthew Price-Huntington. “We are proud of the 7th grade girls team for their commitment to getting better and their relentless energy on the court.”

About Walla2Hoops AAU Basketball Club
The 2023-2024 AAU basketball season runs from October 2023 to March 2024. The club consists of approximately 21 teams and nearly 200 athletes in grades 2-8. 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.


Saturday, December 9, 9:30 am.
Walla Walla University, Fine Arts Center room 115
(300 S College Ave, College Place)
More info: Curt Schafer 509-527-3116

City Library Update

Every Thursday through the end of the month is Papercraft and Gift Making Day at the Walla Walla Public Library. During these FREE, drop-in sessions, art & craft supplies are provided to create a unique gift, paper ornaments, and gift cards and tags, then wrap it all up at the library's free gift wrap station. The Library Giving Tree also continues through December 21st in support of the Walla Walla Alliance for the Homeless. Choose a tag from the tree or visit the library's website at www.wallawallapubliclibrary.org for a full list of requested items.

Washington State Youth Ballet performances of The Nutcracker

Magical dolls, life-sized mice, dancing snowflakes, and an enchanting kingdom of sweets return to the Gesa Power House. The Washington State Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker will transport audiences of all ages into a wonderland that has become a lasting holiday tradition not to be missed. Performances will take place:
• Friday, December 15 at 7 p.m.
• Saturday, December 16 at 2 p.m.
• Saturday, December 16 at 7 p.m.
• Sunday, December 17 at 2 p.m.

For tickets: https://phtww.org/

City Parks & Rec Update 

• The Reindeer Races December 9 – All Ages. 1K - $20/5K - $35.
• Indoor Soccer - Grades K-8. Cost is $60.
• Veterans Memorial Pool Passes on sale. Family Pass $140, Youth/Senior/Veteran $50, Adult $60.
• Qi Gong – Ages 10 years and up. FREE to everyone.
• M.E.L.T Fitness – Ages 12 years and up. Cost is $12-$40.
• Fencing – Ages 8 years and up. Cost is $20-$75.
• Pottery Studio Helpline SoupPort Bowl donations are open. $10.89 each.

Youth scholarships available. Visit www.wwpr.us or the Parks and Recreation office to apply.

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,

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