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Opinion >  Letters

Investing in graduation

I have always been proud of the East Valley High School community, but never more so than how we all came together on behalf of our students during the incredibly challenging impacts of the pandemic. These challenges, of course, continue.

One example of our commitment to students has been the ongoing partnership with the Center for High School Success through an OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) pilot project that proactively supports ninth-graders with their transition into high school. The ninth grade is the most important year of high school and intervening early if a student is struggling is critical in ensuring that they remain on track for graduation.

Our Ninth Grade Success Team has created a mentoring program where we work with students one-on-one to help them succeed academically. It’s incredible how each student has not just individual needs, but also the ability to succeed if given support and opportunity.

The early data on student outcomes is encouraging and it’s my hope that the pilot project expands so that more students can enjoy the same level of support that we are working to provide here in the Spokane area. The state Legislature has an opportunity to expand this program by including additional funds in the state budget so that OSPI may support 80 more high schools across Washington.

The pandemic has laid bare the need for supporting students throughout their academic journey. I look forward to the day when every educator in Washington may access this encouraging program.

Jabez Harlan

Spokane Valley

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