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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Education Notebook

The West Valley Virtual Learning Center, which launched last fall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, is now licensed to enroll students who live anywhere in Washington state.

The learning center, housed inside Seth Woodard Elementary School, was created after the school district realized some had come to prefer online learning. It had 50 students in grades K-8 when it opened and interest kept growing.

When the learning center opened, it was only allowed to enroll 10% of its students from outside the school district and those slots were quickly filled. The district petitioned the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to allow a greater number of out-of-district students, a request that was recently approved.

Each student in the virtual learning program has a dedicated teacher. The district provides all the curriculum, materials and technology needed for students enrolled in the learning center.

For more information about the Virtual Learning Center, including how to enroll, visit

UW, Medical Lake program wins grant

UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company has donated a $600,000 Empowering Health grant to University of Washington School Mental Health Assessment, Research, and Training (SMART) Center in partnership with the Richland and Medical Lake school districts.

The grant money will be used to strengthen an evidence-based comprehensive school mental health model and mental health services within the community.

The plan is for an interconnected approach that will increase participation and active engagement of community partners, educators, families and youth with an emphasis on suicide prevention, supporting the mental health strengths and needs of more than 15,500 students across the two school districts.

‘Path to College Night’

Palouse Pathways is hosting a free “Path to College Night” for ninth- and 10th-grade families at the 1912 Building in Moscow, Idaho, 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The event will provide resources around higher education and a panel discussion with middle and high school teachers from Moscow; Genesee, Idaho; Pullman; and Colton and Palouse, Washington.

Skylynne McCaughey contributed to this report.