Developing Washington’s most sought-after graduates
Walla Walla Public Schools ensures 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.
- in challenging and supporting all students
- quality instruction is critical to student success
- in investing in staff to ensure excellence
- in maximizing the impact of our resources
- in collaborative and transparent operation
- in the importance of family and community
- diversity is a strength
Goals - Initiatives – Strategies
High Quality Instruction: Supporting a districtwide culture where all instructional staff reflect on their practice, collaborate with their peers, and incorporate best-practice teaching strategies to ensure high levels of learning for all students
Shared Organizational Leadership
- Development and Support for School-based Instructional Leadership Teams
- Continued Use and Support for Board and District Committee Structures
Support for Best-practice Instructional Strategies
- Identification, Training and Implementation of Best-practice Instructional Strategies
Climate of Collaboration and Practitioner Reflection
- Fostering a Productive Climate of Collaboration (PLC's) Where Staff are Encouraged to Take Risks, Share Successes/Failures, and Explore New Practices in Order to Improve Student Learning
Aligned & Coherent Systems: Ensuring articulated programs and systems to support a comprehensive, consistent, and responsive learning environment for all students
Guaranteed & Viable Curriculum
- Comprehensive Curriculum Adoption & Support Program
- PK-12 Pathways
Technology Systems Alignment
- Technology Program Development and Implementation
Bilingual, Highly Capable & Special Education Programs
- Bilingual / Highly Capable / Special Education Program Support and Coordination
Enhancing Post-Secondary Culture
- Expanding Partnerships With Community, Business, and Outside Resources to Engage and Support Students With Their Post-secondary Options
Social & Emotional Needs: Implementing high-quality behavioral models and interventions to support the social and emotional needs of all students
Schoolwide Behavioral Support Model Development
- Development and Implementation of Site-specific Models
District-wide Behavioral Coaching & Support
- Development of a District-wide Behavioral Support Program
School-Based Health Centers
Support and Expand Student Access to School-Based Health Centers
Safe & Engaging Environment: Ensuring all students are engaged and connected to their school, peers, and community in a safe and secure educational setting
- Ensure Best-practice Safety Response Program, Implement Reporting and Training Criteria, and Identify Physical Plant Improvements to Support Student, Staff, and Patron Safety
Student Engagement Program Enhancement
- Identification and Development of Programs to Improve Student Engagement and Involvement With Their School and Their Peers.
- Coordinated Support for Latino Students and Families
School Board invests in Strategic Initiatives
April 18, 2017 marked a significant milestone in the development of a new five-year Strategic Plan as school board members approved a budget framework to address critical needs determined throughout the planning process. The School Board directive authorizes increased funding in curriculum, technology, safety, behavioral support, student engagement and Latino student and family outreach.
The Board of Directors directed Superintendent Wade Smith to strategically spend down about 1% of the district’s ending fund balance reserve to target programs, activities, and enhancements next school year and beyond. These strategic investments were a direct result of the feedback from staff, parents, students and stakeholders during the near-six-month listening campaign that helped inform the strategic direction and plan.
The four consistent themes of high quality instruction, aligned and coherent systems, social and emotional needs and safe and engaging environments which surfaced to anchor the district’s new Mission Statement are embedded in the funding decision.
2017-2018 Strategic Plan Investment Summary:
Goal 1 Additional Resources - High Quality Instruction
- Guaranteed resourcing to support the adoption and professional development of no less than one major curriculum per year. Over the next five years, WWPS will strive to ensure all of its curricula is updated to support teachers with the best instructional materials available.
- Additional resources to support high school science materials/consumables and lab material supports.
- Additional resources to help support fine arts and physical education, instrument/equipment replacement cycles.
Goal 2 Additional Resources - Aligned and Coherent Systems
Implement a best-practice technology replacement and enhancement program that includes:
- providing 40 additional classrooms with interactive technology next year
- implement a 7 year replacement cycle for desktop and 5 year replacement cycle for Chromebook systems to ensure the equipment remains in good working condition and replaced when needed.
- provide additional support through the acquisition of a .5 FTE technology coach.
- provide additional access to Chromebook carts at all levels, ensuring that there are at least one cart for every elementary grade level team and at least one cart for every four classrooms at the secondary level.
Goal 3 Additional Resources – Social and Emotional Needs
- Add one additional certificated behavior specialist
- Add two assistants to the behavior specialist next year to assign schools with specific supports for immediate response to students
- Add one highly-skilled mental health professional who will address prevention, student crises response, training, student support, establish community wrap-around resources, and provide targeted interventions to students and families.
- Resources to support schools with requested professional development, curriculum, and implementation of their individual building-specific behavior models.
- Continued support to expand school health centers across the remaining campuses in partnership with The Health Center.
Goal 4 Additional Resources - Safe and Engaging Environment
- Funds to support LEAP and LaCima programs for Latino high school students
- Hire a district Latino liaison to facilitate community engagement and resourcing to support Latino families
- Expand partnership with the Friends program to recruit additional Latino mentors
- Expand resources to support cultural celebrations across all schools
- Expand resources to improve communication with Latino families (e.g. Spanish radio time, additional school signage in Spanish)
- Additional open gym opportunities offered after school, during breaks, and during the summer months (select sites to be determined)
- Implement modest uniform and equipment rotation for athletic programs
- Incentivize new student club start-ups with $500 start-up grants
- Implement competitive soccer at both middle schools
- Eliminate middle school pay to participate fees
- Implement elementary after school programs (select sites to be determined)
- Modest school camera upgrades across various campuses
- Provide an addition campus safety guard so that each middle school will have a full time guard
- Provide additional resources for staff/student training on suicide, crises, response.
The Future for WWPS by Superintendent Wade Smith
After nearly ten months of substantial community, staff, and stakeholder engagement to inform the district’s strategic planning efforts, the Walla Walla Board of Directors recently defined a clear and affirming direction for the future of our school system. A courageous and bold course of action, at the April 18th Board Meeting the directors voted unanimously to target resources, efforts, and energy directly to the core improvement opportunities identified by their constituency.
This recent decision provides the critical framework as we collectively strive to achieve our new vision towards developing Washington’s most sought-after graduates. These strategic investments will help ensure core tenants are achieved, resulting in increased Latino student performance and family outreach, quality instructional resources and training are made available to staff, enhanced student behavioral supports are provided to meet the social/emotional needs of pupils, and expanded opportunities for student engagement are achieved both inside and outside the classroom.
As the district begins to implement the four pillars of its new strategic plan, students, staff and community will begin to take notice of the collective improvement efforts.
Following are some of the exciting strategies, programs, and investments the district will be implementing starting next school year:
- Significant efforts are being applied to enhance learning outcomes for Latino students in order to close the achievement gap, including expanded leadership and Latino outreach personnel, additional supports for culturally-relevant activities across campuses, and targeted student program investments.
- Specially-trained staff are being hired to support student social, emotional and behavioral needs in order to provide acute prevention, student crises response, staff training, and access to critical school-based health centers and community resources.
- Necessary investments will be made to ensure staff are equipped with the latest research-based curriculum, technology, and requisite training in high leverage teaching strategies, including additional support for fine arts, sciences, and stem-related fields.
- Noteworthy enhancements to engage all students are being put in place, including afterschool, summer school, and extra/co-curricular programming, implementation of middle school competitive soccer, enhanced middle school electives and Spanish language opportunities, support for additional student clubs and organizations, and the elimination of middle school pay-to-participate fees to improve access for all.
- Enhanced student safety measures that include increased campus security, surveillance, and improved training related to suicide prevention, ACES, and safety response.
This is an exciting time for students, staff, and the community of Walla Walla as we carry forward our mission to ensure 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.