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Wahluke School District students back in class Aug. 30

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | August 18, 2021 1:00 AM

MATTAWA — After 18 months of remote instruction or part-time classes, Wahluke School District students return to the classroom full-time Aug. 30.

Wahluke superintendent Andy Harlow said district officials have been working on changes for the 2021-22 school year, including working with Big Bend Community College to offer additional educational opportunities for students and adults.

Wahluke and BBCC officials are working to provide CDL classes and add GED classes in Mattawa. The goal is to offer more educational opportunity and expand the use of the district’s facilities, Harlow said.

Some of the details are still being worked out, he said. The goal is to kick off the new programs in mid- to late September.

“I think it’s a win-win,” he said.

Changes began even before school officially starts, with the implementation of “Jumpstart Camp.” District officials opted not to go with a traditional June-July summer school, moving classes to the first three weeks of August.

“Giving kids a little bit of a head start on the school year,” Harlow said.

Jumpstart Camp was open to students at all grade levels. Harlow estimated about 900 students attended.

Harlow said one of the advantages was that kids spent time in the class they will attend in the 2021-22 school year, rather than their class from the previous school year.

A week of teacher training begins Aug. 23, Harlow said.

The district is one of the sponsors of the revived town celebration, Wahluke Community Day, scheduled for Aug. 28.

“We’re really excited about that,” Harlow said.

The 2020 Community Day celebration was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of the events will be on the Wahluke High School campus, and include sports tournaments, booths and games. A parade and community pancake breakfast are scheduled also. The Port of Mattawa will sponsor a car show.

Some of the booths will feature district programs and school activities.

“Definitely a kickoff for school,” Harlow said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.