Introducing our newest Board Member
Please help us welcome our newest board member Dr. Linda K. Smith. Dr. Smith was school principal at W.F. West High School from1989 to 2011. In 2001, she helped establish the W.F. West High School College Scholarship Program and as of 2011 this program has become part of the Chehalis Foundation. It has been our pleasure to be working with her for over 5 years.
“I remember Chehalis as a close knit community when I moved here my freshman year of high school. After I graduated, I left for 24 years and when I returned as principal of W.F. West High School, I was welcomed back by classmates who were now dentists, attorneys, business owners, city leaders, and teachers. I know this community gave me so much when I was in high school. I received an outstanding education, a safe place to grow up, lifelong friendships, and amazing mentors. It is time to give back. We need help to keep this community vibrant and a place where our grads will want to come back and raise their families. I am excited about the forward planning of the foundation” — Dr. Smith
Niko goes to the nationals
Niko Bhagwandin, W.F. West High School senior heading to International Science Competition, said the resources provided by the school and the FIRST Robotics Team SWAG 4060 have helped him live out his engineering dreams. He said without transferring to W.F. West, he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what he has so far.
Clifton White, physics and robotics teacher, credited Chehalis Foundation for its continued support of the program, something he said was a big component of the robotics team’s success because of the funds they allocate to the program.
Niko is a shining example of how the Chehalis Foundation can support student achievement initiatives to excel beyond K-12. We look forward to hearing of your continued success, Niko!
A commitment to educational excellence
Beyond K-12 Student Achievement Initiative
You may have been hearing about this initiative which aims to prepare every W.F. West graduate to be career and college ready. It is very exciting and we want to update you on the great news.
In 2011 the Chehalis Foundation began a partnership with the Chehalis School District to improve student achievement by increasing the quality of instructional practice, classroom organization, professional development and teaching effectiveness. The investment also went to W.F. West High School’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs. These investments have proven to be a huge success. The award winning STEM programs are quickly becoming nationally recognized as some of the very best! In a very short time, classroom improvements here in Chehalis are better than any other school district evaluated across the country. The baseline measurement of 37% of classrooms aligned with Powerful Teaching and Learning it is now up to 60%. The three-year goal is 80%. We are doing better than expected!
The Next Five Years
Based on the success of the past five years, the Chehalis Foundation is committed to supporting and enhancing the investment in Chehalis students over the next five years. The Beyond K-12 Student Achievement Initiative wants to make every W.F. West graduate career and college ready. We have expanded our partnership beyond city government and the school district to include Centralia College, private donors, and other philanthropic organizations. Because our investments have been so successful, Chehalis Foundation has recently committed to fund the expansion of these programs beyond W.F. West High School. We are now offering more to all Chehalis students and we will be providing key leadership and fundraising to make the Beyond K-12 Student Achievement Initiative even more successful.
Metrics of early successes
- 100% of eligible (lower income) students signed up for College Bound Scholarships in 8th grade
- 8th grade students enrolled in algebra increased from 25%to 44%
- 15% average increase (from 36% to 51%) over the last 2 years in the percentage of graduates meeting high school course requirements for admission to a Washington 4-year college
- 3% increase in W.F. West grads going directly to college (55% to 63.1%)
- 2016 Chehalis School District earns Career Guidance Award from Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
These steps forward in education will allow the community to flourish and make Chehalis a better place for everyone who lives here. Together we’re getting things done. You will be hearing more about Beyond K-12 very soon!