Spring 2020: Career, College, Community Ready

(For a pdf of the mailed version, click here.)

If students are able to transition successfully between grades and schools and graduate with the skills necessary to excel in post-secondary opportunities, their ability to realize their personal goals and to be fulfilled, productive citizens will be enhanced. To that end, we have a strategic plan (bit.ly/ksd-plan) in place to support our students to be career, college and community ready when they graduate.

We're on the right track

  • 15 - number of post-graduation family information nights
  • 6 - College in the High School courses available
  • 17 - Career & Technical Education (CTE) dual credit course offerings
  • 1,000 - students participated in career related learning activities (2018-19)
  • 26 – number of credits required to graduate in KSD (vs 24 required by WA state)
  • 100% of KHS students created a high school and beyond plan that is reviewed annually

Percent of students who complete the FAFSA:

  • 53% - class of 2018
  • 63% - class of 2019
  • 100% - our goal

Graduation rates on the rise

88.4% - 2019 
87.3% - 2018
84.3% - 2017
84.2% - 2016
82.5% - 2015

We have some work to do

% of students enrolled in a 4 yr or 2 yr program in the first year after graduation62%49%
% of enrollees persisting beyond the first year of a 4-year program90%84%
% of enrollees persisting beyond the first year of a 2-year program63%50%

We Are Kelso

Career and college preparedness


The professionals facilitating our efforts around career and college preparedness do amazing work. They help students with their schedules, counsel them on course selection, assist with High School and Beyond plans, meet with students to make sure they’re on track to graduate, and so much more. Whether it’s dealing with personal challenges, prepping for mock interviews, applying to college or applying for scholarships our counselors and career center staff are dedicated to ensuring Kelso School District students are prepared for their next steps!

This group of dedicated and caring people support our students every day in many ways. We are so grateful for all their efforts! Thank you:

  • Emily Allred- CMS counselor
  • Kylie Chapman- KHS counselor
  • Kali Dalton- KHS counselor
  • Zoe Dieter-HMS counselor
  • Debby Iverson- CMS career center
  • Nicole Johnson-KHS career center
  • Angie Knowles-KHS counselor
  • Rachel Leinweber- CMS counselor
  • Denise Miles-Foges-KHS counselor
  • Makaio Mobbs – KHS counselor
  • Darcy Wishard- HMS career center
  • Christina Zepeda-HMS counselor

Kelso’s first graduating class of AVID students

Kelso’s first cohort of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) students are now seniors. They started the AVID program when they were in 9th grade. Since then, they have learned how to be successful as students, seen nearly a dozen different college campuses, and done a lot of intentional thinking and planning around their futures.

“I was a failing student,” said Jazmin Ball. “I learned how to take proper notes, how to prioritize, and which options are best for me. AVID is an awesome program.”

For Marco Estrada, AVID has helped with more than his grades. “It’s definitely helped me to push myself and get involved in other activities.”

The AVID program closes the opportunity gap by delivering inquiry-based and student-centric instruction. And as Hunter Rios can attest to, teachers inspire students to take control over their own learning. “I saw this as an opportunity to put myself in a better position,” Rios said.

Here are a few of the senior year highlights for this class, many of which (such as college applications and acceptances) will increase in the coming months:

  • 25 post-secondary letters of acceptance received to date
  • 33 challenging courses (UW/AP) enrolled in this year alone
  • 27 different clubs/sports/student organizations
  • 23 leadership roles
  • 15 paid part-time jobs
  • 3.36 class GPA throughout high school

“AVID helps us look at where we are, where we want to be, and how to work backwards to get there,” said Eli Keithley, whose goal is to be president of the United States. When asked what plans they had for their futures, other students called out psychologist, nurse, dentist, architect, university professor, movie director, and more.

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