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Wade_Smith.jpg
District leaders make decision on Walla Walla High School window options following community input  (Photo) - 05/20/19

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools has made a decision on the type of glass and paneling to be used for the Walla Walla High School renovation following a community survey and consultation with design experts.

There was overwhelming support for the frosted bottom panel, option E on the survey. It allows in natural light while obscuring sight inside along the portion of the window closest to ground level. There was a virtual tie between C and D for the top panels, the most tinted options. The district consulted with design experts following the survey results and selected panel D to break the tie based on natural light differences. Option D lets in nearly twice the amount of natural light compared to C, providing the best indoor experience for students and faculty.

The district will be replacing the original windows throughout the campus to improve energy efficiency and safety. The district assembled a demonstration mock-up featuring eight different window options, with varying levels of tinting and visibility for the community to weigh in on. Nearly 200 people participated in the survey.

“Safety experts recommended tinting the top panels and incorporating non-transparent bottom panels to improve safety,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “We appreciate the feedback we received and are looking forward to replacing the windows with safer and more energy efficient models.”

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Attached Media Files: Wade_Smith.jpg , WaHi_window_options.jpg
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: May 21, 2019 - 05/17/19

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835

Nancy_Taylor.jpg
Nancy_Taylor.jpg
Taylor named School Business Official of the Year (Photo) - 05/16/19

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools Director of Fiscal Services Nancy Taylor has been named School Business Official of the Year by the Washington Association of School Business Officials. Taylor oversees the district’s budget operations, accounts payable, payroll and numerous compliance regulatory functions linked to district business procedures. The award includes a trip to the National School Business Official's conference in Maryland.

"There are so many talented School Business Officials across the state that I consider it an honor to be considered among them,” said Taylor. “I appreciate my team and others for nominating me."

Taylor was nominated by Business Office employees Melinda Gee and DeeDee Delaney. Her application packet included letters of recommendation from Superintendent Wade Smith, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Christy Krutulis and Administrative Assistant Kim Locken. Taylor was honored at the Washington Association of School Business Officials awards ceremony May 9.

"Nancy works diligently on her own tasks, but she does not hesitate to drop what she's doing to help others and put them first,” said Gee. “She is committed to her duties and is dedicated to the staff. Her extensive knowledge on all aspects about Washington State school finance makes her an outstanding leader."

The Washington Schools Business Officials Association coordinates monthly fiscal user group meetings, trainings, certification programs and an annual professional development workshop and awards program.

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Attached Media Files: Nancy_Taylor.jpg
District celebrates graduation rates soaring above state average - 05/14/19

WALLA WALLA - School board members received an update during their May 7 board meeting on last year's graduation rates, which have soared past the state average. Walla Walla High School's four-year graduation rate is 91 percent for the Class of 2018, which is 10 percent higher than the state average. Lincoln High School's four-year rate is 85 percent, which represents a 15 percent improvement over the past five years and nearly 5 percent above the statewide mark. Wa-Hi has seen a seven percent increase over a five-year span and represents one of the highest rates in recent years, despite increased diploma rigor. The district's overall graduation percentage is 83 percent, nearly reaching the Board's 2022 strategic plan goal of 85 percent.  

Graduation rates for Hispanic students at Wa-Hi have rocketed 11 percent above state averages to 86 percent. District-wide Hispanic rates have increased 15 percent increase over the last five years, nearly matching the graduation rate for all students. 

This year's statistics represent the last year that the Walla Walla Community College ran AEP Program, that accepts students from across the valley, will impact Walla Walla district-wide performance data.    

“This is exceptional performance we should all be proud of as a community and school district,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “Regardless of your role as teacher, neighbor, coach, business leader or support services staff, you all play a part in connecting, inspiring and supporting our students across the finish line.” 

Board members also learned fewer district graduates who entered college are needing to take remedial courses based on National Student Clearinghouse data. This data target is also a strategic plan focus area for the School Board. Walla Walla Public Schools college enrollment numbers dipped slightly in students attending two and four year college institutions last year. However, the district still maintained more than 56 percent of its students attending post high school education and this figure does not include many of the trade school and other institutions not tracked by the College Clearinghouse.

“Our post-secondary enrollment and remediation rates also showed positive signs,” said Smith. “What was very impressive is that we saw the lowest remediation rates in history for our four-year college going students at eight percent, with the state average sitting at 12 percent. And, although we are still above the state average, we saw an 8 percent decrease in students taking remedial courses who attended two-year institutions.”  

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Finalists named for Edison Elementary School Principal position - 05/14/19

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools announces JP Richards and Jason Olson have been named finalists for the Edison Elementary School Principal position. A required qualification, both candidates are bilingual. Parents and staff are encouraged to meet candidates Thursday, May 16 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. during public meet and greet sessions at the Edison Elementary School Library. Attendees are asked to complete candidate feedback cards and be present, if possible, for both candidate sessions (translation services will be available). 

JP Richards currently serves as the Director of Human Resources in the Three Rivers School District in Grants Pass, OR. Prior to that he was in Tillamook, OR. He began as their Director of ELD before being promoted to elementary principal. Before his tenure in Tillamook, JP was a Vice Principal, and then Principal of Ponderosa Jr. High in Klamath Falls, OR. Before administration, he spent eight years as a Spanish teacher at the secondary level in addition to supervising Migrant/ELL summer school for K-6 students.

Jason Olson began his career in education as a middle school Spanish teacher, spending 6 years teaching Spanish at Valor Middle School in Woodburn, Or. He later served as student services specialist at the middle school for two years and was then promoted to assistant principal, where he served for four years. Jason then worked as an elementary principal at a dual language school in Hillsboro before moving to the West Linn/Wilsonville area, where he has since served in various elementary and middle school teaching and coordinator roles.  

Meet and Greet Sessions (Thursday, May 16 - Location: Edison Elementary School Library):
•    3:30 p.m.    Candidate JP Richards
•    4:00 p.m.    Candidate Jason Olson

Current Principal Dr. Julie Perron has accepted the WWPS Director of Bilingual Education position. Her last day as Edison Elementary School Principal is June 30, 2019. The new principal will report July 1. 

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Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Special Meeting: May 8, 2019 - 05/03/19

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Study Meeting: May 7, 2019 - 05/03/19

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835

Big Blue Boosters Silent and Live Auction May 18 - 04/26/19

WALLA WALLA - Big Blue Boosters is beginning a new tradition with its inaugural Silent and Live Auction fundraiser Saturday, May 18 at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds Pavilion from 5 to 9 p.m. Auction packages include outdoor adventures, tickets to Seattle sporting events and gift certificates to local businesses. Tickets are $40 per person, which include a catered prime rib dinner, side dishes and beverage. Table and sponsor packages are also available. 

Proceeds benefit Walla Walla High School athletics to ensure local coaches and athletes have the support necessary to field competitive teams and provide a quality experience for student-athletes. Funds will be used to purchase sports equipment, technology for coaches and other necessary projects for the athletic program. 

“The Big Blue Boosters promotes athletic excellence, pride and sportsmanship,” said Big Blue Boosters President Steve Wanichek. “This auction will serve as an annual fundraiser, celebration of the athletic year and an appreciation for our supporters.”

Silent and Live Auction Items:
•    Reserved parking spots at home contests
•    Pheasant hunts
•    Fishing trips
•    Fair, Round-up, and Farm City Pro Rodeo passes
•    Weekend stay at Cameo Heights 
•    Gift certificates to local merchants
•    Tickets to Seattle sporting events
•    Box tickets and bus ride to a WSU event
•    House cleaning
•    Dump run
•    Assistant coach for your favorite Blue Devil team
•    Tennis lessons from Wa-Hi coaches
•    Pickleball paddles, balls, and lessons
•    And many more items are still coming in

To purchase tickets, visit the Big Blue Booster website: www.bigblueboosters.org/

Contact: Steve Wanichek: gobigblue999@gmail.com
 

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Julie_Perron.jpg
Julie_Perron.jpg
Director of Bilingual Education accepts Federal Way position; Edison Principal named replacement (Photo) - 04/24/19

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools Director of Bilingual Education and Latina/o Outreach Dr. Victor Vergara has accepted a position with the Federal Way School District. His last day will be July 1. Superintendent Wade Smith has appointed Edison Elementary Principal Dr. Julie Perron to replace Vergara.

“We wish Dr. Vergara and his family the best as he takes the next step in his career,” said Smith. “We appreciate all he has done to improve our Bilingual Education program, including leading an expansion of the dual language program to Green Park Elementary next school year.”

Perron is fluent in Spanish with strong skills in additional languages. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, a Master of Arts in Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, and a PhD in Leadership Studies. Her dissertation was a case study on the efficacy of dual language. Dr. Perron has also consulted for various school districts throughout her 20-year career in the areas of Sheltered English for Academics, Equity and Diversity and Social Justice, as well as English Language Development strategies, Common Core, and building school community. Prior to accepting the Edison principal position in 2016, she was principal of Whitaker Elementary, in California.

“While I am going to miss Edison immensely, I am elated to know that I will continue to help lead Walla Walla Public Schools in a new capacity, and look forward to supporting Edison, as well as other areas of the district,” said Dr. Perron.

Walla Walla Public Schools has opened the Edison Elementary principal position and is seeking highly qualified bilingual principal candidates. The position closes May 10. Hiring information is available on the district’s website (www.wwps.org) under the Employment tab.

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Attached Media Files: Julie_Perron.jpg , Dr_Victor_Vergara.jpg