Walla Walla Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting & Executive Session: July 20, 2021 - 07/16/21

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

State Health Department updates outdoor masking requirement for schools - 07/08/21

WALLA WALLA - The outdoor masking requirement has been updated by the Washington State Department of Health in the K-12 Schools Requirements 2021-2022. Masks are no longer required for staff or students when outdoors, including recess. 

Summary of July 6, 2021 Changes:

- The current changes are technical revisions to align with the amended Secretary of Health’s Mask Order and amended Governor’s Proclamation 20-25 (previously Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery).

- Specifically, this update clarifies that face coverings/masks are not required outdoors. People who are unvaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings such as sporting events, fairs, concerts and similar settings where it’s hard to maintain physical distance.

- A more comprehensive update in consideration of CDC recommendations will be completed later this summer.

These modifications are effective immediately. Parents are encouraged to talk to their students participating in the Summer Sol Program regarding if they wish them to continue wearing masks while outside.

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District 16th Legislators tour Walla Walla Center for Children & Families as part of Early Learning Roundtable - 06/29/21

WALLA WALLA – Today Walla Walla Public Schools and the Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition hosted an Early Learning Roundtable with District 16 Legislators Senator Perry Dozier, Representative Mark Klicker and Representative Skyler Rude at the Walla Walla Center for Children & Families (WWCCF). 

The event included a tour of the new early learning center, an overview of local early learning projects benefiting from state investments and a celebration of the Fair Start for Kids Act’s impact on families and early learning. Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith kicked off the roundtable with a recap of how the district re-purposed Blue Ridge Elementary School into a regional early learning center for children and families beginning last school year.

WWCCF provides birth-to-five services for youth and parents as a coordinated and comprehensive community learning hub. From parenting education and support to infant care and early learning, the center is far more than just a preschool. Its services will address and help overcome the staggering access gap for many Walla Walla youth and families, promoting an inclusive community resource that encourages integration, engagement and opportunity for all.

“This was an excellent opportunity to recognize the Walla Walla valley as a unique early learning community,” said Samantha Bowen, director of WWCCF. “We appreciate our 16th District Legislators for taking time from their busy schedules to learn more about how we work in partnership with community resources and providers to scaffold programs and services for children and families in the Walla Walla valley.”

Representatives from regional agencies and non-profit organizations expressed the challenges families face accessing quality childcare and early learning programs in the region. Bowen said WWCCF is excited to help meet these important needs in the community.

Families or community members interested in learning more about the available programs or who would like to take a tour of the facility, may visit the website at www.wwccf.org or call (509) 527-3066.

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Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent receives state most effective administrator award - 06/29/21

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith received the 2021 PEMCO Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Award for large school districts during the June 29 Washington Association of School Administrators Summer Conference.
 
Established in 2002, this award recognizes outstanding Washington public school administrators. One highly effective superintendent, central office administrator, or building administrator is selected from a small district (up to 500 students), medium-sized district (501–2,000 students), and large district (over 2,000 students). A peer committee selects the recipients from nominations that describe how each nominee is taking part in realizing the nine characteristics of high performing schools/districts as defined by research from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
 
“The recognition continues to pile up for the great work Superintendent Smith is doing in leading Walla Walla Public Schools,” said School Board President Derek Sarley. “On behalf of the entire school board, we are proud of his accomplishments and look forward to continue our shared work in developing schools that produce Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.“
 
Superintendent Smith worked with the board to develop a clear and shared vision for Walla Walla Public Schools by facilitating a Strategic Plan initiative in 2017. He has established high standards and expectations for all students as evident by the district’s on-time graduation rate reaching an all-time high at 91.7%, up 16.6%. The district has also closed the gap between student ethnic populations as the Hispanic graduate rate nears 88%, up 18% since 2016-17. Dr. Smith believes in shared organizational leadership and has developed school-based instructional leadership teams at all schools. Under his leadership, the district initiated a 1:1 Technology program by providing a Chromebook for all students. He has ensured the alignment between curriculum, instruction and assessment.
 
Dr. Smith's commitment to building and reinforcing a supportive environment for all students and staff is reflected in the district’s "We All Belong Here" campaign which embraces diversity and inclusion. Dr. Smith has forged community partnerships and bolstered public trust as witnessed by the passing of the district’s largest bond ever and the success of the 2020 levy; both passed at more than 70%.
 
"I am humbled by this recognition and honored to join a slate of incredible leaders who have received this award in prior years," notes Superintendent Smith. "As with any successful organization, this acknowledgment is a result of collective efficacy, reflecting the hard work from our school board, faculty and students."   
 
A $10,500 award is equally divided among the three winners. The award may be used for personal or professional growth and/or to support and disseminate information about a successful school or district program. Smith has already indicated he will be donating his share to support student-led initiatives and programs that the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council prioritizes over the coming school year.

Derek Sarley Video Congratulating Superintendent Smith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAN7LsMEw0Q

PHOTO: School Board President Derek Sarley (R) presents the 2021 PEMCO Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Award plaque to Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith (L). 

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