Walla Walla Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting & Executive Session: September 21, 2021 - 09/17/21

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997

Board of Directors Meeting Schedule & Information:  https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Study Meeting: September 7, 2021 - 09/03/21

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997
Board of Directors Meeting Schedule & Information:  https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule
 

District releases quarantine learning contingency plans - 09/03/21

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla Public Schools has developed contingency plans for continued learning should individual students, classrooms or entire schools be required to quarantine if COVID outbreaks occur in schools. Note, fully vaccinated students do not have to quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms. Below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) addressing continued learning plans under different quarantine scenarios. 

FAQ – WWPS QUARANTINE LEARNING PLAN 

Q: When would my child need to quarantine?

A: Per WaDOH, if they are less than 3ft from an individual with COVID-19 for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24 hour period.

 

Q: How will I be notified?

A: Families will be notified personally if their child needs to quarantine and be provided instructions on monitoring, returning to school, and testing options that may expedite their return.

 

Q: How long will my child need to quarantine?

A: If your child is fully vaccinated, or recently recovered from COVID in the last 3 months, they do not need to quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms. All other students are recommended to quarantine for 14 days per WaDOH guidelines. Students may be permitted to return a few days earlier, if symptom free, and they test negative under the district’s testing protocols.

 

Q: How will my child's educational needs be met during quarantine?

A: Unless an entire classroom or school is required to quarantine, educational activities will be handled in a traditional out-of-school absence manner. This consists of daily work prepared by your child's classroom teacher(s) that is picked up at school, delivered to the home, or provided to the student electronically (e.g. via email or Google Classroom assignments).

 

Q: Under what circumstances will an entire classroom need to quarantine?

A: Per WaDOH, when multiple laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among students occur in a classroom within a 14-day period, where transmission can be linked to in-classroom spread, entire classrooms may need to quarantine. This is more likely to occur at the elementary level since vaccines are not available to students under 12. Classroom quarantine at the secondary level would only impact non-vaccinated students.

 

Q: What would learning look like for a quarantined classroom?

A: At the secondary level, whole class quarantine of all students would be rare due to the vaccination status of many middle and high school students. Under most classroom quarantine circumstances, non-vaccinated students would be sent home and receive individual educational activities provided by their teacher(s). Under an extremely rare condition, where all students in a class (vaccinated or not) are required to quarantine, the learning will consist of “zooming” to receive live instruction during their regularly scheduled in-person class time with their specific teacher. Under both scenarios, students will receive individual work from their remaining non-quarantined teachers/classes. At the preschool/elementary levels, teachers will “Zoom” with students live from 8 to 9:30 a.m. to deliver age-appropriate instruction/experiences. In addition, teachers will also provide age-appropriate independent learning activities students/families can accomplish independently. Teachers will remain available throughout the day for student/family questions/support. Students receiving special education, language services, or other supports will be contacted to coordinate appropriate service delivery during their 14 day or less quarantine period.

 

Q: Under what circumstances would an entire school need to quarantine?

A: After consultation with local health officials, if there are multiple quarantined classrooms or uncontrolled viral spread at your child’s school, it may necessitate the entire school to quarantine for up to 14 days to ensure safety and curb transmission.

 

Q: What would learning look like for a quarantined school?

A: 

  • At the secondary level: Day 1-Family communication and technology pickup for specific families (WiFi hotspots, student Chromebooks left at school).  Day 2-Learning plan commences where students will “Zoom” with their teacher and classmates per their current in-person bell schedule.

 

  • At the elementary level: Day 1-Family communication and technology pick up at school for specific students/families. Day 2-Learning plan commences at 8 a.m. with live virtual learning as noted above. Additionally, other specialists provide learning/engagement options for students/families (e.g. school wide physical education activities, school wide music experiences, etc).

 

To learn more about quarantine processes, testing availability, and other school safety measures, visit the district’s Safely Back to School website at: https://www.wwps.org/safelyback

 

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Volunteers, substitutes, and community partners required to verify vaccination or exemption status - 09/01/21

WALLA WALLA - Recently Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 21-14.1 mandating all school district employees, volunteers, substitutes and community partner employees working in schools become fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or obtain an approved medical or religious accommodation, by October 18, 2021, as a condition of continued employment. 

“We have also been busy developing internal and external processes to comply with this mandate,” said Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea. “We will be working directly with community partners and volunteers to ensure proper documentation is obtained through a confidential process.”

Gardea says the verification process is easy to complete by simply uploading a copy of your vaccination card or completing a waiver request, which was developed in consultation with the Attorney General's Office, and meets the required threshold for religious and medical exemptions.  

To verify your vaccination status or to request an appropriate waiver, please visit:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfOvbIIB2bywG8LVk2Xn0ltAGauIFMEBYBfP0sivF0P8sz_Q/viewform

For assistance, please contact Human Resources at (509) 526-6712.

Vaccination Opportunities: Walla Walla Public Schools has coordinated with the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health to maximize vaccine opportunities, where employees can either pre-register or simply “walk in” and receive your vaccine. See below and attached for times/dates, visit their website at www.covidwwc.com/clinics, sign up online at https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/?locale=en, or call their hotline for assistance at 509-524-2647.

Southgate Clinics – 1025 S 2nd Ave, Walla Walla, WA 99362

  • Wednesday, September 1 from 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 2 from 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, September 3 from 3 to 7 p.m.

Important Dates:

Vaccine

Series Dose Requirement

First Dose no Later Than

Second Dose

Completed Series

Fully Vaccinated

Pfizer

2 doses, 21 days apart

09/13/21

10/04/21

10/04/21

10/18/21

Moderna

2 doses, 28 days apart

09/06/21

10/04/21

10/04/21

10/18/21

Johnson & Johnson

Single dose

10/04/21

N/A

10/04/21

10/18/21

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Free admission to all Wa-Hi home games and drama productions (Photo) - 08/25/21

Attention Blue Devil fans! All Walla Walla High School home games and drama productions are now free for everyone to attend. The decision to drop all ticket fees aligns with the district’s Strategic Plan initiative of engaging the community in school activities.  

“We want the community to come out and support our students, coaches and advisers,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “Most community members no longer have children in schools so it’s not easy for them to stay connected with the school district. Sports, music performances and theatrical events are a great way to bring people together and celebrate our collective accomplishments.”

Senior citizens will no longer need their Gold Cards to get into games at no cost. Anyone wishing to attend home athletic contests for free simply needs to show up. Parents/guardians must accompany all middle and elementary-aged children while in attendance. Some theatrical events, like drama productions and musicals, will require pre-registration to ensure seating capacities are not exceeded. Masks are not required to attend outdoor events like football, soccer and cross country. Per the Governor’s order, masks are required, regardless of vaccination status, for all indoor activities.  

“Our Strategic Plan continues to guide our decisions and we are proud to put these initiatives into action,” said Superintendent Smith. “We remain committed to reducing barriers to engage in our schools and are proud of our school board’s commitment toward community involvement in our schools.”

Visit the Walla Walla High School Athletic Department’s website for game schedules and information. https://wallawallaathletics.com/ or our Fine and Performing Arts Events Calendar at: https://wahibluedevils.org/c-p/courses/fine-performing-arts/events-calendar

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Walla Walla High School students named to Congressional Youth Advisory Committee (Photo) - 08/24/21

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla High School Juniors Mikaile “Miki” O’Connell-Joshua and Jackson Adams were named to Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ Youth Advisory Committee. McMorris Rodgers, U.S. Representative for Washington's 5th congressional district, established the committee with the primary purpose of advising her on youth perspectives and providing participants an opportunity to learn about and get involved in government.

This group will consist of High School juniors and seniors from across the 5th District who will come together a few times a year to provide input on federal issues. Participants will get a close-up view of Congress and understanding of the legislative process and representative government.

“I really look forward to beginning work next month,” said Adams. “We will start to advise the Congresswoman on this year’s policy decisions that will have a tangible impact on my life.”

“I am really looking forward to working with new people and representing the needs of my peers,” said O’Connell-Joshua. “I hope from this experience I am able to help fight for what is most important to me and our community.”

Earlier this summer Adams participated in the Emerging Rural Leaders program at the University of Chicago which challenges participants to share ideas for changing rural education to have a positive impact on the community as a whole.

O’Connell-Joshua is involved in the Walla Walla Dance Company. She enjoys cooking, is a Wa-Hi Girls League officer and a member of Green Club and Interact Club.

O’Connell-Joshua and Adams are also members of Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith’s Student Advisory Council. Dr. Smith nominated both of them for a position on McMorris Rodgers’ Youth Advisory Committee.

“I recommended them for the position after seeing their leadership skills on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee,” said Dr. Smith. “I’m excited to see them shine and grow as leaders in this new advisory role.” 

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Walla Walla Public Schools Bond Oversight Committee Meeting: August 24, 2021 - 08/23/21

In accordance with their duties to review the 2018 Bond program, a meeting of the WWPS Bond Oversight Committee will be held on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, at 5:45 p.m. at the Walla Walla High School Library.

 

Members of the public who wish to listen to the meeting via telephone may do so. An access code is required and may be obtained ahead of time by contacting Susie Golden at 509-526-6715 or sgolden@wwps.org.

 

Details are available via the following link:  http://www.wwps.org/bond/bond-oversight-committee