Walla Walla Sch. Dist.
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School Board Seeks Feedback on Early Learning and Addressing Elementary Enrollment (Photo) - 04/17/19

•    Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8RRXNKR

WALLA WALLA -  Walla Walla Public Schools is conducting a survey to get input on the school board’s Elementary Consolidation Review and Early Learning Expansion study. This comprehensive study is centered on potential elementary consolidation by the 2020-2021 school year and an assessment of early learning program needs and the potential development of an early learning center. This brief survey asks participants to share views and ideas on these topics. The survey remains open until May 1.

School board members will make site visits to elementary schools, conduct surveys, review enrollment data, analyze district finances and study preschool program options as part of the study. School board members will make a decision in early November. Visit the district website and click on the Elementary Consolidation Review and Early Learning Expansion tab to take the survey and learn more about the study.


Attached Media Files: board_of_distinction.jpg
Demand fuels dual language expansion at Green Park Elementary (Photo) - 04/17/19

WALLA WALLA – Demand for Walla Walla Public Schools’ successful Dual Language program continues to grow fueling an expansion of two new kindergarten classes at Green Park Elementary next fall. The additional interest in the program was uncovered during a series of parent informational nights explaining the two-way Dual Language Program. Bilingual Department staff followed-up the informational meetings with interviews of prospective families with kindergarten students. Following the interview process, a total of 130 kindergarten students surfaced expressing interest in participating in the two-way Dual Language program next school year. Currently the district can only serve 80 kindergarteners at Edison Elementary, the district’s magnet school for Dual Language programming, prompting the move to expand offerings at Green Park.

“Our families understand language is power,” said Dr. Victor Vergara, Director of Bilingual Education and Latina/o Outreach. “The Bilingual Education Committee’s recommendation in 2017 stated if program interest outpaces what Edison can accommodate, then expansion to additional sites should be considered.”

The district’s Dual Language Program begins in kindergarten where students will spend the majority of the day learning through Spanish instruction. The percentage of English instruction increases as students progress through the program. The program model at Green Park will be identical to Edison in support of the district’s aligned and coherent direction. The Dual Language program utilizes the buddy system where native Spanish speakers are paired with native English speakers to advance their knowledge and skill set. This also promotes cultural diversity and respect among all students.  Research shows Dual students typically outperform English-only students in the classroom by the end of their elementary years.

“Green Park Elementary has a rich history of bilingual education and has the physical space available to allow for four classrooms at every grade level,” said Vergara. “The size of the school permits for two classrooms to be dual and two classrooms to be traditional English-only. In addition, 29 of 130 students who showed interest already reside within the Green Park attendance area.”

The district is in the process of notifying families to secure their spot in the program. Human Resources is beginning the process to staff the Green Park Dual Language program. Those interested in learning more about the Dual Language Program are encouraged to contact the district’s Bilingual Education Department at (509) 526-6784.


Attached Media Files: Dr_Victor_Vergara.jpg
Finalists named for Garrison Middle School Principal position (Photo) - 04/15/19

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla Public Schools announces Mindy Meyer and Kim Doepker have been named finalists for the Garrison Middle School Principal position following an extensive applicant screening process from a vast pool of qualified candidates. Parents and staff are encouraged to meet candidates Thursday, April 18 from 4 to 5:00 p.m. during public meet and greet sessions at the Garrison Middle School Library. Attendees are asked to complete candidate feedback cards and be present, if possible, for both candidate sessions (translation services will be available).

Mindy Meyer is currently serving as assistant principal at Walla Walla High School. Meyer was Project Director for the Center for Strengthening the Teacher profession in Tacoma, WA. She was also a Wa-Hi English teacher for 14 years.

Kim Doepker is currently serving as the Principal of Blue Ridge Elementary in Walla Walla. She was assistant principal at Pioneer Middle School prior to her leadership role at Blue Ridge. Doepker also has classroom teaching experience, was a learning specialist and literacy coach.

Meet and Greet Sessions (Thursday, April 18 - Location: Garrison Middle School Library):

  • 4 p.m.               Candidate Mindy Meyer
  • 4:30 p.m.          Candidate Kim Doepker

Current Principal Robert Elizondo has accepted the Touchet School District superintendent position. His last day as Garrison Middle School Principal is June 30, 2019. The new principal will report July 1.


Attached Media Files: Mindy_Meyer_photo.jpg , Kim_Doepker.jpg
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: April 16, 2019 - 04/12/19

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

Survey open to weigh-in on Wa-Hi window options (Photo) - 04/12/19

Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WFFC7P5

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools has opened a survey seeking community input on the types of glass and paneling for the Walla Walla High School renovation. The district will be replacing the original windows throughout the campus to improve energy efficiency and safety. Safety experts recommended tinting the top panels and incorporating non-transparent bottom panels to improve safety. The district has assembled a demonstration mock-up featuring four different top window options, with varying levels of tinting. In addition, four different bottom panels are also included for input. The survey is available on the district’s website and closes May 3.

NOTE: It is recommended survey-takers visit the window mock-up located near the Walla Walla High School main entrance on Abbott Road, in person prior to taking the survey, as pictures/images in the survey do not accurately reflect the window options.


Attached Media Files: WaHi_window_options.jpg
Local Hispanic professionals to discuss career opportunities with Wa-Hi students - 04/08/19

Friday, April 12

11:30 a.m. to 12:55 p.m.

Walla Walla High School Library

WALLA WALLA – Area business Hispanic professionals are participating in a panel discussion to talk about career opportunities with Walla Walla High School students Friday, April 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. in the school’s library. Guests share their personal journey story that has taken them to where they are today. They will discuss the biggest obstacles they have had to overcome and reflect on those people in their lives who have helped along the way. Panelists will also describe an average workday and share words of wisdom to help motivate the students.

“Our goal is to reach as many students as possible with the idea there are many career opportunities available to them if they work hard and apply themselves,” said Dr. Victor Vergara, Director of Bilingual Education and Latina/o Outreach.

Business Professionals Panel:

  • Dr. Jose Miguel Alanis, Emergency Room Doctor
  • Saul Reyna - WW Police Department
  • Tobi Salazar - Business Owner (barber shop)
  • Sandra Graham - Nurse – WWCC
  • Roger Esparza - Real Estate Agent
  • Bertha Clayton – Attorney
  • Norma Hernandez - CEO Blue Mt Credit Union


Walla Walla Public Schools Bond Oversight Committee Meeting: April 9, 2019 - 04/08/19

In accordance with their duties to review the 2018 Bond program, a meeting of the WWPS Bond Oversight Committee will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. in the WWPS Administration Building Anne Golden Boardroom.

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

Curriculum adoption materials on public display; community information nights planned - 03/28/19

WALLA WALLA - Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Christy Krutulis reports the district is on target to adopt new High School Science and High School Algebra Geometry Algebra II curriculum later this spring. There will not be traditional textbooks for the science adoption. These materials will be digital to use on personal devices like Chromebooks. Math will use a textbook. Materials will be on display and public informational meetings are set April 9 (Math) and April 18 (Science). The Adoption Committee is planning to bring a recommendation to the school board in May for consideration and implementation in the fall of 2019.  A consistent cycle of adoption of new materials aligns with Goal 2 in our Strategic Plan: Aligned and Coherent Systems. Our school board has prioritized updating materials each year to ensure teachers have rigorous and standards aligned materials that support students in developing towards career, college, and civic readiness.    

Materials on Public Display

High School Math (Algebra, Geometry and Algebra II)

  • April 8-12 (WWPS District Office – 364 S. Park St.)
  • Community Information Night Tuesday, April 9 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (WWPS District Office – 364 S. Park St.)

High School Science (Physics, Chemistry and Biology)

  • April 15-19 (WWPS District Office – 364 S. Park St.)
  • Community Information Night Thursday, April 18 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (WWPS District Office – 364 S. Park St.)


Slight change to school hours to save district $400,000 annually in transportation costs (Photo) - 03/20/19

WALLA WALLA - Following weeks of study and input, school board members unanimously approved the Transportation/School Time Efficiency proposal which will save more than $400,000 a year in transportation costs by adjusting and aligning school start times. All elementary schools will start at approximately 7:50 to 8 a.m. as will 1st period at Wa-Hi. Middle Schools and 2nd period Wa-Hi will begin at 8:50 a.m.

Superintendent Wade Smith conducted a Communication and Engagement Plan over the past several weeks to elicit feedback. He met with staff to discuss the proposal. The district also sent home a fact sheet to parents and created a webpage on the district's site which housed a public survey. Superintendent Smith reviewed data from the study which included nearly 1000 completed surveys.

“There was overwhelming support for the proposal to adjust school hours slightly to enhance transportation efficiencies,” said Smith. “People understand funding is tight in today's post-McCleary public schools environment and were willing to make a minor change to further stretch our precious resources.”

Transportation Director John Griffith will begin developing new bus routes and have them completed by June. The new school start and stop times will be in place to start the 2019-20 school year.


Attached Media Files: Wade_Smith.jpg
Garrison Middle School principal position open; Elizondo named Touchet Superintendent - 03/20/19

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla Public Schools announces an opening for principal of Garrison Middle School. Current Principal Robert Elizondo has accepted Touchet School District’s superintendent position and is resigning his position at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 school year. Elizondo has been principal at Garrison Middle School since the 2013-2014 school year.

The Middle School Principal serves as the instructional and cultural leader of the school. This individual is responsible for carrying out the district’s mission at the school level, ensuring all students receive high quality instruction in an aligned and coherent system while addressing their social and emotional needs in a safe and engaging environment. Visit the district website for more information about applying for this position. The position closes April 9. The new principal will start July 1.