Washougal opens reworked high school programs in new building

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Washougal — Washougal School District’s new Excelsior building opened on Sept. 12. The alternative high school provides specialized support for students while helping them graduate on time. The school opened with new programs that were developed by teachers, counselors, community members, career specialists and administrators. The two programs they came up with will provide more personalized supports for students. The Freshman Academy will offer additional field trips and guest speakers, as well as project-based learning of core academic skills through a team teaching approach. The “On Track” program will engage students with hands-on project-based learning and focus on personalized pathways based on each students’ interests, needs and previous knowledge. They will collaborate with others, think critically, problem-solve and manage their progress. The building will also house an Advanced Placement culinary course and potentially some AP science courses in the future. The new $4.8 million building was funded when voters passed a bond in February 2015.