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2_Dance_team_state_2017.jpg
Walla Walla High School Dance Team places 4th at state competition (Photo) - 03/27/17

WALLA WALLA - The Walla Walla High School Blue Devil Dance team finished 4th at the WIAA State Dance Competition this weekend. This is the first state appearance for the school's Dance Team since 2014. The team competed against 19 teams. Walla Walla High School graduates Emma Eskil and Merrit Morris coach the team. Community members will have an opportunity to see the Wa-Hi Dance Team perform live during the public Nights of Dance show March 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. in the Walla Walla High School Auditorium. This is also a fundraiser for the Wa-Hi Dance Team and there will be an assortment of routines performed.

"This great group of young ladies worked extremely hard over last six months and their effort paid off," said Athletic Director Dirk Hansen.

Attached Media Files: 2_Dance_team_state_2017.jpg
Highly Capable Committee parent meeting provides opportunity to learn more about expanded advanced offerings - 03/27/17

WALLA WALLA - Parents with children in the district's highly capable program and other interested parents are encouraged to come learn more about academic program expansion and enhancements and additional advanced opportunities for students being considered by the Highly Capable Committee. A parent meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 30 at 5 p.m. at the Garrison Middle School library.

Superintendent Wade Smith and Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea will facilitate the meeting to share exciting news about additional opportunities and unique learning experiences planned for next school year to support the skills and competencies of the students identified as highly capable. They will discuss how the current array of advanced and honors classes will continue to be offered students to ensure stimulating curriculum is available to challenge student learners.

This meeting is an excellent opportunity to get a progress report from the Highly Capable Committee and ask questions.

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Middle school electives, enrichment, and support classes greatly expanded beginning next school year - 03/24/17

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools is focused on expanding learning opportunities at both middle schools by adding new class and program enhancements beginning next school year, including World Language Spanish and competitive boys and girls soccer. Students in grades 6 to 8 will have twice the number of elective opportunities currently offered, according to Superintendent Wade Smith.

"These new class and program enhancements will help ensure a more engaging, challenging, and stimulating middle school experience," said Smith. "Our students are counting on us to provide them opportunities for growth and success as we work collaboratively to realize a vision of Developing Washington's most sought-after graduates."

The following list is a brief review of new and exciting programs that are under consideration at both Garrison and Pioneer Middle Schools for the 2017-18 school year:

* All 6-8th grade students will have twice the number of elective opportunities as before. This will permit students to explore their passions with increased access to fine arts, challenge their learning and critical thinking with additional rigorous exploratory classes, and discover new fields of interest in disciplines such as coding and technical education.
* Spanish world language will be offered for the first time, allowing all students interested in mastering a foreign language a head start in middle school. This early start, with the possibility of earning high school credit, will provide students an opportunity to earn the "Seal of Biliteracy" when graduating from WaHi.
* For those students who participated in dual programming during their elementary years, an opportunity to continue their comprehensive dual language programming at both middle schools through Spanish literacy.
* For students identified as highly capable, additional opportunities and unique learning experiences to support their skills and competencies.
* The current array of advanced and honors classes will continue to be offered students to ensure stimulating curriculum is available to challenge student learners.
* Additional targeted courses will be developed to offer strategic support for students who may need additional time and instruction to ensure they are prepared for the rigorous work of high school.
* Competitive middle school soccer and other enhancements to our athletic programs to expose more students to co-curricular programming.

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Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting: March 24-25, 2017 - 03/23/17

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting: March 24-25, 2017

Supporting documents are available via the following link:
http://www.wwps.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2705&Itemid=1028&jsmallfib=1&dir=JSROOT/2017/2017-03-24-25+BOARD+MEETING

State grant funds International Sources of Strength program to promote the power of connection and hope - 03/23/17

WALLA WALLA - W2 for Drug Free Youth secured a $20,000 state grant to fund high school student and staff training, follow-on support and awareness campaigns through the internationally acclaimed Sources of Strength program. Sources of Strength features 450 school teams in five countries, 26 U.S. states, three Canadian Provinces and 12 First Nation communities.

The mission of Sources of Strength is to provide the highest quality evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse by training, supporting, and empowering both peer leaders and caring adults to impact their world through the power of connection, hope, help and strength. W2 for Drug Free Youth coordinator and long-time community activist Peggy Needham wrote and secured the grant with support from Walla Walla Public Schools and Education Service District 123.

Students and Staff Training Schedule:
- Monday, March 27 -- Lincoln HS staff and partners (Health Center and Afterschool programs) 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Lincoln Terrace)
- Tuesday, March 28 -- Lincoln HS student peer leaders and adult advisors - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Lincoln Terrace)
- Wednesday, March 29 -- Wa-Hi HS staff and partners -- 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Thursday, March 30 -- Wa-Hi HS student peer leaders and adult advisors

"We want this experience to be one of hope, help and strength," said Needham. "Our community has suffered many tragic losses in the past few years. The Sources of Strength program provides a platform to bring our community together to focus on increasing communication and breaking the codes of silence. It promotes communication both peer to peer and adult to peer."

Free Sources of Strength Public Event
Thursday, March 30
6:30 p.m. (doors open)
7 p.m. (program begins)
Cordiner Hall (Whitman College)
Lincoln and Walla Walla High School students will discuss the awareness campaigns they plan to implement, including:
· Sources of Strength Awareness
· I Am Stronger Campaign
· Trusted Adult Display
· What Helps Me Campaign
· Sources of Strength Week
· A Strength a Month
· Passive messaging: posters, videos, PSA's, social media
· Active messaging: one-to-one, presentation to class, staff, and community

"Sources of Strength is an ongoing peer driven, adult guided process to promote hope, help and strength on our campuses and communities through youth and adult connectedness," said Needham. Come to Cordiner Hall on March 30th to learn more about this program and support our local youth as they introduce this program to our community.

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Wa-Hi student uses first aid training to save the life of choking teacher (Photo) - 03/17/17

WALLA WALLA - A fast-thinking Walla Walla High School senior used the Heimlich Maneuver to come to the assistance of her beloved teacher who was choking Thursday morning while teaching class. Senior Mariam Hart witnessed Fine Arts Teacher and Department Head Julie Laufenburg bent over and turning red in the face during her 3rd period Advanced Placement art class. Suddenly, Laufenburg stood up, grabbed her neck and in a raspy voice weakly asked for help. Hart soon realized her teacher was in trouble.

"I started to lose track of what was going on," said Laufenburg, following the harrowing experience. "I was trying to get air, but couldn't breathe. I definitely needed assistance."

Hart, who is a Cadet Major in the school's JROTC program quickly leaped up from her desk and let her training and instincts take over. She is CPR certified through the American Red Cross and has had extensive first aid training through the JROTC program. Although she is only 5'2" tall, Hart properly positioned her hands on her taller teacher's chest and used several powerful thrusts to clear the airway.

"It was 15 seconds of intense adrenaline," Hart said. "Something really bad could have happened, but because of being prepared, it didn't go badly."

Hart said she has tremendous respect and appreciation for Laufenburg and says she loves her hands-on approach to teaching and learning. Hart serves as the JROTC battalion's operations officer. Laufenburg said she was not surprised to see Hart step in to help.

"She has always demonstrated tremendous leadership skills," Laufenburg said. "I'm so thankful she was there for me."

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Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting & Regular Board Meeting: March 21, 2017 - 03/17/17

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting & Regular Board Meeting: March 21, 2017

Supporting documents are available via the following link:
http://www.wwps.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2705&Itemid=1028&jsmallfib=1&dir=JSROOT/2017/2017-03-21+BOARD+MEETING

District Elementary Dual Language Program now accepting applications for 2017-2018 - 03/13/17

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools is now accepting applications for kindergarten dual language programming for the 2017-18 school year. Applications to apply for this exciting opportunity at Edison Elementary School are available on the district website under the Bilingual Education tab, at neighborhood elementary schools or the district office (364 S. Park St.).

Completed applications must be returned by Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Applications may be delivered to the district office; e-mailed to kschisler@wwps.org; or mailed to: Walla Walla Public Schools, 364 South Park Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362. Once an application is received, parents will be contacted by the Teaching and Learning Department to set up a specific time for students to be tested and screened. A lottery system for enrollment may be activated based on the number of students who qualify for this program.

The goal of the program is to ensure that all students who participate achieve proficiency in both Spanish and English. Considerations for application:
* Children should be developmentally on target in his/her native language; and
* The child has already expressed an interest in different people, places and things; and
* The child desires to become fluent in Spanish and English; and
* As a family, there is support for learning a second language through school attendance, participation in school events and practice of both languages in your home.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Teaching and Learning Department at 526-6735.




Background information -- Following March 7, 2017 School Board Meeting

School board approves plan to move the Dual Language program to Edison Elementary

WALLA WALLA -- March 7, 2017 -- The Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors voted 4-1 to approve a recommendation from the Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee (BERC) to improve the district's Bilingual Education program to better meet the needs of students. Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Christy Krutulis presented the recommendation to the school board Tuesday evening following a year and a half of committee work, a dozen parent meetings in English and Spanish, hundreds of survey responses from staff, parents and community members, and multiple classroom visits. School board members Cindy Meyer and Ruth Ladderud served on the committee.

"After a very extensive process and deep commitment from committee members, the School Board was presented with a recommendation that puts Walla Walla Public Schools on track to provide the best possible bilingual programming for its students," said Krutulis. "This also includes the addition of Spanish language classes at both middle schools."

The final approved recommendation to the School Board included the following:

Model Recommendation
* The One School Model was selected to be part of the recommendation.
* The One School Model includes the opportunity to focus on success at one wall-to-wall dual program while maintaining current programming at Blue Ridge Elementary.
* One of the caveats of the committee's recommendation is that future expansion be considered at Blue Ridge for a two school model if student enrollment and learning outcomes warrant such enhancement.

School Recommendation
* Edison was selected as the site for wall-to-wall dual programming. Edison has a higher Latino population, additional physical space and technology for supporting the success of acquiring a second language, and should Blue Ridge be added will provide a two way dual program on each end of our district.

Roll Out Recommendation
* The slow roll out model was unanimously selected by the committee. The slow roll out allows students the opportunity to finish their elementary career in their current elementary school.
* The slow roll out will mean that all four kindergarten classes at Edison will be allocated for dual programming starting with the 2017-18 school year. Sharpstein and Green Park will have English only kindergarten classes with continued English language support for students not in dual programming.

Dual Language Program Enrollment Procedures
* In the next week specific information regarding enrollment procedures and timelines will be published to ensure families desiring dual programming for their kindergartener for the 2017-18 school year have information about placement notification before the district open enrollment period begins.

The primary reasons for reviewing the program and why changes are needed:
1. Increase academic performance for non-English speaking students (presently being out performed by Hispanics across the state)
2. Improve problematic "traditional" classrooms in dual language schools.
3. Increasing number of Hispanic students entering kindergarten with limited Spanish skills.
4. Some students in English-side of dual struggling academically.
5. Lack of program alignment.

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School board approves plan to move the Dual Language program to Edison Elementary - 03/08/17

WALLA WALLA -- The Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors voted 4-1 to approve a recommendation from the Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee (BERC) to improve the district's Bilingual Education program to better meet the needs of students. Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Christy Krutulis presented the recommendation to the school board Tuesday evening following a year and a half of committee work, a dozen parent meetings in English and Spanish, hundreds of survey responses from staff, parents and community members, and multiple classroom visits. School board members Cindy Meyer and Ruth Ladderud served on the committee.

"After a very extensive process and deep commitment from committee members, the School Board was presented with a recommendation that puts Walla Walla Public Schools on track to provide the best possible bilingual programming for its students," said Krutulis. "This also includes the addition of Spanish language classes at both middle schools."

The final approved recommendation to the School Board included the following:

Model Recommendation
* The One School Model was selected to be part of the recommendation.
* The One School Model includes the opportunity to focus on success at one wall-to-wall dual program while maintaining current programming at Blue Ridge Elementary.
* One of the caveats of the committee's recommendation is that future expansion be considered at Blue Ridge for a two school model if student enrollment and learning outcomes warrant such enhancement.

School Recommendation
* Edison was selected as the site for wall-to-wall dual programming. Edison has a higher Latino population, additional physical space and technology for supporting the success of acquiring a second language, and should Blue Ridge be added will provide a two way dual program on each end of our district.

Roll Out Recommendation
* The slow roll out model was unanimously selected by the committee. The slow roll out allows students the opportunity to finish their elementary career in their current elementary school.
* The slow roll out will mean that all four kindergarten classes at Edison will be allocated for dual programming starting with the 2017-18 school year. Sharpstein and Green Park will have English only kindergarten classes with continued English language support for students not in dual programming.

Dual Language Program Enrollment Procedures
* In the next week specific information regarding enrollment procedures and timelines will be published to ensure families desiring dual programming for their kindergartener for the 2017-18 school year have information about placement notification before the district open enrollment period begins.

The primary reasons for reviewing the program and why changes are needed:
1. Increase academic performance for non-English speaking students (presently being out performed by Hispanics across the state)
2. Improve problematic "traditional" classrooms in dual language schools.
3. Increasing number of Hispanic students entering kindergarten with limited Spanish skills.
4. Some students in English-side of dual struggling academically.
5. Lack of program alignment.

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Snow day cancelations push last day of school to June 14 - 03/08/17

WALLA WALLA -- Extreme winter weather conditions forced the cancelation of six school days this school year prompting the school board to unanimously approve a calendar revision pushing the last day of school to Wednesday, June 14. The last day of school will be an early dismissal.

Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency for Walla Walla County for missed days which landed within January 10 to 20, 2017. The district conducted extensive research to determine if it was eligible for a state waiver. Upon close review, it was determined the district did not meet the waiver criteria.

Initially, we thought we would be able to apply for a waiver for the two days missed in January since school was canceled during the designated two week period," Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea reported to the school board. "Before you can apply for a waiver for missed school days due to the winter weather, you must make a reasonable effort to make up the missed days as per WAC 392-129-105 and RCW 28A.150.220(2). School district's must make up at least three days and extend its school year to and through June 14 to be granted a state waiver. Therefore, since we are able to complete the snow make-up days by June 14, we are not eligible for a state waiver."

Walla Walla High School and Lincoln High School's originally scheduled graduation dates remain the same under the approved calendar revision. Lincoln High School's graduation is Thursday, June 1 and Walla Walla High School's graduation is Friday, June 2. Seniors will make up the three canceled days on Saturdays; April 29, May 6 and 13. These 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday learning sessions will include Advanced Placement test preparations, post high school planning, financial management instruction and career counseling. Finals schedules for seniors will remain as originally planned, May 30 to June 1. Finals for students in grades 9-11 will be held the last three days of school, June 12-14.

Additional Information:

Six snow make-up days (school in session on these days):
* March 2, 2017
* May 12, 2017
* June 9, 2017
* June 12, 2017
* June 13, 2017
* June 14, 2017 (early dismissal)

Six school cancelation days:
* Dec. 12, 2016
* Dec. 15, 2016
* Dec. 16, 2016
* Jan. 11, 2017
* Jan. 18, 2017
* Feb. 9, 2017

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Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting & Regular Board Meeting: March 7, 2017 - 03/03/17

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting & Regular Board Meeting: March 7, 2017

Supporting documents are available via the following link:
http://www.wwps.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2705&Itemid=1028&jsmallfib=1&dir=JSROOT/2017/2017-03-07+BOARD+MEETING