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The mission of Kelso Public Schools is to prepare every student for living, learning, and achieving success as a citizen of our changing world.


100% of Kelso students graduate and are enrolled in post-secondary opportunities: college, apprenticeships, the trades, or military.


To fulfill our mission, reach our 100% goal, and maintain Kelso’s tradition of excellence, we follow a strategic plan. Learn more about it here:

Graduation Rate

Kelso School District's graduation rate in 2021 was 89.9%. The Washington State average graduation rate in 2021 was 82.5%.
























Twice As Nice: Dual Credit

Dual Credit is a dual enrollment, dual credit program that prepares students for high-skill, high-wage careers. Students earn college credit while attending classes in high school. Like Running Start in reverse, it allows students to earn free college credit while remaining in high school. To qualify for free college credits, students must receive a “B” or better in dual credit high school courses.

Continuous improvement is a core belief in the Kelso School District Tradition of Excellence. We are always looking for ways to enhance the quality instructional offerings for our students. Next year, not only are we adding considerably to our dual credit classes, we’re also expanding them to include virtual options directly at Kelso Virtual Academy through Arizona State University.


  • 178.5 total credits available

  • Through 4 institutions (Lower Columbia College, University of Washington, Clark College, Perry Tech)

  • 39 dual credit classes

    • 2 Automotive

    • 9 Business

    • 1 Chemistry

    • 2 Computer Aided Design

    • 1 Construction

    • 2 Criminal Justice

    • 2 Early Childhood Ed

    • 2 English

    • 5 Health Sciences

    • 1 Japanese

    • 6 Math, Industrial Math

    • 6 Welding


  • 32 more credits (for a total of 210.5)

  • 1 institution (ASU, for a total of 5)

  • 9 more classes (for a total of 48)

    • 1 Biology

    • 1 Criminal Justice

    • 2 English

    • 1 Health

    • 3 Math

    • 1 Psychology

Career Pathways Lead to Bright Futures

In Kelso, the vision we hold for our students is that they graduate from our district as engaged citizens, both career and college-ready. We support students in actively working toward their futures with the introduction of career pathways.

There are six career pathways to help students focus on their interests when making plans for their futures. In each pathway, certificates and dual credits are available that give students a competitive edge when entering college, apprenticeships, the trades, or military.

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Business and Marketing

  • Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Health Sciences

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)

  • Skilled and Technical Sciences

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Huntington Middle School AVID students hosted their first annual career fair in January. Students created brochures, gave presentations, and answered questions about their career choice and college requirements.

Advancing Students Through AVID

The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) mission is to close the opportunity gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Kelso School District has committed to bringing AVID into all of our schools. As part of our strategic plan to have 100% of Kelso graduates be college, career, and community ready, AVID is a foundational piece to making this goal a reality.

Our K-12 AVID approach is four-pronged:

  • Equity: AVID is closing the opportunity gap in college graduation rates among diverse and underrepresented demographic groups.

  • Leadership: AVID leaders shift the campus culture to drive change and implement best practices.

  • Teacher Effectiveness: The AVID Effect is realized through the delivery of inquiry-based and student-centered instruction, which increases levels of effectiveness.

  • Student Learning: With AVID, teachers inspire students to take responsibility for their own learning.

We're Proud Of Our AVID Seniors!

  • 3.28 average GPA

  • 83% accepted to a 4-year college

  • 83% are varsity athletes

  • 2 Presidential scholarships to Oregon State University

  • 1 full ride scholarship to St. Martin’s ($95K)

New Math Materials Are On The Way!

It has been 11 years since we’ve updated math instructional materials. To achieve our strategic goal of increasing student achievement in mathematics, we are in the process of adopting new math materials for all grades for the 2022-23 school year.

Learn more about the process at

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STEAM fields are the areas of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. These programs teach students innovation, critical thinking, and use engineering or technology in imaginative designs or creative approaches to real-world problems while building on students’ mathematics and science base. STEAM programs add art to STEM curriculum by drawing on reasoning and design principles, and encouraging creative solutions.

STEAM is a district-wide focus in Kelso, from pre-K through high school.

Photos: Wallace Elementary students study STEAM subjects while building a five-foot vessel as part of the Columbia River Maritime Museum Miniboat program.

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Early Learning In Kelso

The importance of early learning cannot be overstated. Children who take part in early childhood education programs have improved social skills and do better in school. They also learn essential life skills that stay with them forever. When students entering Kelso School District have access to high quality early learning experiences, their ability to meet or exceed standards by the end of third grade in English language arts and mathematics is greatly enhanced.

One of our strategic goals in Kelso is to develop and implement a comprehensive plan which improves school readiness and strengthens the transition to kindergarten. Early learning offerings in Kelso include Preschool Pups and Transitional Kindergarten.

Preschool Pups is an inclusive preschool program comprised of typically-developing children who play and learn alongside children with disabilities. This program is housed at Wallace Elementary School.

  • Morning and afternoon sessions, four half-days a week

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is a pre-kindergarten program for children not yet age five on August 31st who do not have access to a high-quality early learning program and would benefit from additional preparation to be successful in kindergarten the following year.

  • Full day, 5 days a week

  • Held at Barnes, Butler Acres, Lexington, and Wallace


  • Registration opens for kindergarten

  • Applications open for Preschool Pups and TK

Join us for Kinderpalooza!

May 3, 5:00 – 7:00 PM at Coweeman

Learn more about kindergarten and our early learning programs at this fun event.