Alternative Learning

All students can learn!
In the Ellensburg School District, we believe in meeting all students at their level. As part of this belief, we have programs to support students wherever they may be in their educational journey. Students in these programs learn in a different environment and at their own pace while making progress towards graduating with a high school diploma.

Students in our alternative programs come from various backgrounds. Many students have struggled in the standard large high school environment. Our two programs, Excel High School and Personal Learning Center, both offer alternative methods to instruction.

Personal Learning Center (PLC)
PCL is housed in the Methodist Church across the street from the public library. The program is primarily online based with teacher support. In this program, students, parents, and teachers create a Student Learning Plan. This plan guides the learning and the time spent in the classroom. Students in grades 6-12 may attend.

Excel High School
Excel is housed on the campus of Ellensburg High School with it's own entrance and area. The program goes daily and operates on a project based learning schedule. Students from grades 9-12 attend.

At Excel High School, we believe that all students can learn skills that will impact their lives during and after Ellensburg School District. We believe in empowering students to find meaningful learning experiences that enhance their development through structured educational pathways.

Excel is a learning environment built specifically to student learning needs and upholds rigorous academic standards needed for future school and work success.

Alternative Ed Grants

Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) Grant from Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
This grant will provide training for staff and community members over the course of three years. The grant will utilize Youth Mental Health First Aid, Question, Persuade, Refer, and Hope Squad to help provide the district staff and community members with a common language to support students in mental health crisis. In addition to the trainings, all students will have the opportunity to go through a screening process to help identify students with mental health needs that have gone unidentified.

As we know, no system is complete without a method to getting students the help they need, so this grant also includes two positions to support finding services for students. There will be a single Referral Coordinator for grades 6-12 to intake referrals and make a team determination of next steps to support the student. There will also be a Project Assistant to support project goals, training scheduling, and meeting schedules.

This grant is for three years and provides $125,000 per year in funding.

Center for Prevention & Wellness Initiative (CPWI) & Washington State Healthcare Authority
This grant is a planning and implementation grant. It continues the work that our "Recovery School" task force started and will focus on community coalition and capacity building. To start, the grant will fund one position to support the community coalition's efforts towards a strategic plan for supporting all learners.

This grant is for two years and provides $100,000 per year in funding. If everything goes as planned, the grant can continue for an additional three years.

Office of System and School Improvement from OSPI
This grant will help support students in our ALE programs. In our Personal Learning Center we currently only have one ESD staff member supporting 36 students, their written student learning plans, and the state requirements for ALE programs. Through this grant we're adding a para-professional to support student needs for 20 hours a week. In addition to staffing, teachers at Excel and PLC will receive some math training support since that is an area in which students are currently struggling.

We're also adding a program to track ALE program requirements in a single location. We're currently using a combination of Google Docs, Google Forms, Microsoft Word and other offline methods to track student documentation.

This grant is for one year and provides $20,000 of funding.

Education Foundation Mini-Grant
We have applied to the Education Foundation for support with making the environment at Excel more inviting for students. Currently, with our split schedule many students leave after their day is done. We'd like students to stay so they may work on school work, make positive choices, and feel more connected to their school. This grant will help support that by helping shift a classroom space into more of a "commons" area for students to hang out.

This grant is for nearly $2,000.

Kyoko Cleveland

Counselor A-F - Ellensburg High School

Rachael Crosby

Counselor G-N - Ellensburg High School

Savannah Irvin

Special Education & Elective Teacher

Julia Karns

Migrant Recruiter/Student Support Coordinator, Referral Coordinator

Cee Szombathy


Jeff Treadwell


Melissa Wayman

Wellness Intervention Coordinator