Walla Walla Sch. Dist.
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District to start school year in a comprehensive online program following new state guidelines for reopening schools - 08/05/20

SAFELY REOPENING SCHOOLS WEBSITE

WALLA WALLA - New guidance from the Washington State Department of Health released August 5 necessitates Walla Walla Public Schools start the 2020-2021 school year remotely for most students. Currently Walla Walla County maintains a viral transmission rate more than double what is recommended to provide campus wide in-person instruction. Walla Walla Public Schools is launching its Comprehensive Distance Learning 2.0 Program with plans to promptly pivot to in-person instruction through its AM/PM schedule as soon as local COVID-19 infection rates meet state guidelines for safety. Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith says the safety of staff, students and families is the district’s top priority.

“While we developed plans to bring students back for in-person instruction to start the school year, we continued to explore and communicate the possibility of a remote start if local COVID-19 cases did not subside,” said Superintendent Smith. “We have worked for months on a robust program we are calling Comprehensive Distance Learning 2.0, an engaging and interactive learning experience developed exclusively for Walla Walla Public Schools students.”

A vast improvement over last spring’s model, it features daily, live virtual learning for all students, state of the art digital curriculum and access to Chromebooks and materials for all students. Under the Distance Learning 2.0 model, students will receive approximately half of their instruction in a synchronous online setting with their classroom teachers, including daily, scheduled classroom instruction over videoconferencing from their teacher(s). Students will complete their remaining instruction in a distance learning format from home. Teachers and support staff will be in their school buildings to deliver Distance Learning. 2.0 to support a traditional school day schedule and experience for students remotely. Attendance will be taken daily and all students will be checked out a Chromebook to support their learning.

“Our students in the Comprehensive Distance Learning 2.0 Program will interact live with their Walla Walla teachers daily,” said Superintendent Smith. “Our goal is to personalize instruction in all subject areas to maximize the learning experience.”

Distance Learning 2.0 at a Glance

Transitional Kindergarten – Elementary
All Transitional Kindergarten and elementary students will participate in at least two, live virtual lessons with their teachers daily. Core instruction, extension learning, and specific individualized instruction in areas such as special education, EL dual, and Tier 2 supports will be provided live as well. In addition, comprehensive learning experiences provided by school specialists (PE, Music), high quality virtual learning in areas such as science and social studies, and optional exploratory programs in areas such as typing and coding are also available. The district has also purchased an online Reading A-Z and Raz Kids subscriptions for all students providing access to grade level reading materials online in both English and Spanish. Chromebooks (and when needed, wifi hotspots), at-home supplies and supplementary materials will be provided to each student to support their comprehensive Distance Learning 2.0 experience.

Middle and High School
Middle and high school students will attend daily, live virtual learning every morning. In the afternoon they will apply their learning with 3 hours of independent coursework. Students will attend periods 1-3 on one day and periods 4-6 the next, alternating every day. In the afternoon, teachers will be available for independent support, may arrange for small group activities during period-specific office hours, and will be available/making contact daily with students during open office hours.

Chromebooks (and when needed, wifi hotspots) and necessary supplementary materials will be provided to each student to support their comprehensive Distance Learning 2.0 experience. Additionally, students attending SEATech Skills Center and specific CTE/Visual Arts classes at WaHi may arrange for open lab access to apply their virtual learning.

Other in-person programs
The district will offer special education students in self-contained programs an on-site experience at reduced classroom sizes in order to meet their Individual Education Plan requirements. SEATech Skills Center staff will offer onsite student lab hours for five or less students in an area. CTE/Visual Arts will also offer onsite student lab hours for hands-on courses for five students or less in an area. For families with transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students, the district will plan an in-person orientation the week of September 8-11. The kindergarten orientation includes individual parent-teacher-student conferences and a program overview. Comprehensive cleaning, screening and safety measures will be in place for all in-person experiences.

Walla Walla Online
This option is for families who do not wish to have their children return to school for on-site, in-person learning in the 2020-2021 school year. Registration is currently open for Walla Walla Online by visiting the website: https://wallawallaonline.org/

Walla Walla Public Schools has also developed a roadmap for safely reopening its schools based on five color-coded stages linked to local COVID-19 conditions. Red is the most restrictive stage, with Blue being a full-day return to traditional in-person experience for all students with continued safety measures in place. The district is currently in the orange stage which is the second most restrictive phase. Yellow allows for in-person instruction for PK-2 through an AM/PM model and Green allows a districtwide AM/PM schedule to be implemented.

Parent Informational Webinars:
Learn more about programs offered this fall.

When: Aug 11, 2020 05:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Walla Walla Online Information Webinar
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://zoom.us/j/95704156898
Phone: 12532158782,,95704156898#

When: Aug 11, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Fall 2020: Special Education Overview Webinar (in partnership with WW Valley 
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://zoom.us/j/99960856220
Phone:12532158782,,99960856220#

When: Aug 12, 2020 05:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Fall 2020: Dual Program Information Webinar
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://zoom.us/j/96614956318 
Phone:12532158782,,96614956318#

Topic: Fall 2020: High School CTE and SeaTech Skills Center Information
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://zoom.us/j/91031194684
Phone:12532158782,,91031194684#

Topic: Fall 2020: Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten Webinar
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://zoom.us/j/97292095112
Phone:12532158782,,97292095112#

Visit www.wwps.org and select the Safely Reopening Schools link at the top of the page for additional information.

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District names Mabton administrator its new Technology Director (Photo) - 07/27/20

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla Public Schools named Sergio Razo its new Director of Technology and Informational Services. Razo has served as the Information Technology Director in the Mabton School District in the Yakima Valley the past seven years. He also has technology management and support experience for Yakima Valley Libraries, Central Washington University and Washington State Migrant Council over his 20-year career in education and business environments.

“I am passionate about harnessing technology to continually find ways to support instruction and learning that translates into more student success,” said Razo. “Given the increasing role of technology in today's world, I am excited to collaborate to equip students with solid technology skills that will make them sought-after graduates.”

Razo earned two Bachelor’s degrees from Central Washington University. He holds degrees in Administrative Management & Business Education with a concentration in Information Technology and Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish and English Language and Literature. Razo was raised in the Yakima Valley and is bilingual, bicultural.

“I was pleased to learn Walla Walla Public Schools’ promotes a workplace culture of collaboration, excellence, and incentives for continued professional development,” said Razo. “Creative and supportive use of technology is important under normal circumstances, but it has now become a critical issue with new pandemic-related challenges that require both careful planning and quick actions.”

Razo says he is excited to team with staff to find creative solutions that meet not just short-term but also long-term instructional needs across the district. Razo begins his tenure in early August.

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Walla Walla Public Schools announces options for families as planning for safely reopening schools continues (Photo) - 07/22/20

District fall programs request survey launched

VIDEO - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc_JyPsFR8k&feature=youtu.be

SURVEY - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J5VFGGF

WEBSITE - https://www.wwps.org/safely-reopening-schools

Walla Walla Public Schools is seeking input from families regarding which educational model best meets their families’ needs as the district continues developing plans to safely and effectively reopening schools Sept. 8. The 6-foot social distancing state mandate for all schools limits Walla Walla Public Schools’ ability to serve its entire school population at the same time.

“Over the last three months, staff, parents and students have been deeply engaged in helping the school district develop its safe return to school plans,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “Thousands of respondents have provided critical survey feedback, as well as input from focus group interviews with students and 10 different workgroups consisting of dozens of staff and community partners helped refine our approach.”

If circumstances surrounding the virus allow the school district to safely provide in-school instruction in the fall, the district will be implementing an AM/PM Model based on prior parent and stakeholder feedback. Under this program, students attend approximately half their student day in-person on campus, Monday thru Friday, and half their day in a formal distance learning format from home. If, by mid-August, it is deemed not safe to reopen schools in September, the district will start off with a robust distance learning program and transition to in person instruction as soon as it is safe to do so.

Additionally, for those who are seeking a 100 percent digital online program regardless, the district is able to offer services through its new Walla Walla Online School.

A parent survey was released today as district leaders seek parent request for fall student enrollment. Responses are due by Sunday, July 26.

Parent Survey Link: Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J5VFGGF

“Our district is following guidance from local, state and national health experts in developing comprehensive cleaning, screening, and protection protocols to ensure the safest learning experience possible,” said Smith. “Routine classroom cleaning between AM/PM shifts and class periods, deep cleaning measures, hand sanitization supplies readily available, frequent handwashing practices and facility modifications have all been implemented to support the health and wellbeing of all.”

Visit www.wwps.org and select the Safely Reopening Schools link at the top of the page for additional information.

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Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: July 21, 2020 - 07/17/20

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

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Walla Walla Public Schools Announces Fully Online Learning Option for Families in the Fall (Photo) - 07/13/20

Coming this fall, families may request a fully online experience through Walla Walla Online for their K-12 student. With the launch of the program’s website at https://wallawallaonline.org, school officials are sharing information about the free, online public school learning platform being offered by Walla Walla Public Schools in September. Enrollment requests will begin on July 22, where families completing the fall 2020 survey can select the Walla Walla Online option for their child.  

“This fully online experience will serve students in all grades who may need an alternative setting for health or safety reasons, but is also intended to serve students and families who may experience better learning success in an online delivery model,” noted Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. 

Walla Walla Online utilizes award-winning digital curriculum that is aligned to Washington State learning standards. A full-time online school program, Walla Walla Online students will participate in similar coursework as students in the traditional school setting. An individualized learning plan is established for each student, where a WWPS certificated teacher serves as the student’s learning coach throughout the school year. Additionally, the program’s support team, including content specialists and support staff, stand ready to assist students and families in order to ensure a successful online experience.

Elementary students learn math, language arts/reading, science and social studies, and have access to select electives. The elementary learning program includes both online curriculum as well as workbook materials.  Secondary students are assigned similar grade-level coursework as their traditional school peers. Courses are built to standards to meet middle school progression and high school graduation requirements with a rigorous curriculum. Engaging content keeps students interested and motivated to succeed. At the same time, courses are designed to help students learn independently but with assistance from a Walla Walla certified learning coach. 

“We are pleased to be able to offer this alternative learning option as we anticipate many families will need or want this service based on prior feedback,” stated Superintendent Smith. “While online learning is not right for every child and family, we did hear many stories of students who thrived with this fully-digital experience this spring and we want to continue to be able to make this an option for them.”

Walla Walla Online will feature multiple curriculum options to meet the needs of diverse learners. Every student will be provided a Chromebook to access their learning from home. Walla Walla Online includes a plethora of middle and high school classes with more than 100 state-aligned courses, including core, honors and advanced placement. As an enrolled student of Walla Walla Public Schools, online learners maintain access to many of the district’s athletic and club programs. Additionally, on a case-by-case basis, online students may be able to participate in select elective classes at school sites not offered through the online school such as SEATech, CTE courses, band/music, etc.

To learn more about Walla Walla Online please visit the website for program and contact information at: https://wallawallaonline.org

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Walla Walla Public Schools Bond Oversight Committee Meeting: July 14, 2020 - 07/10/20

In accordance with their duties to review the 2018 Bond program, a meeting of the WWPS Bond Oversight Committee will be held on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. via Online/Virtual Zoom Meeting.

Members of the public who wish to listen to the meeting via telephone may do so. The call in number is 1-253-215-8782. An access code is required and can 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

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Special Meeting/School Board Retreat: July 13, 2020 - 07/10/20

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