Welcome to WELS

  • Waskowitz Environmental Leadership & Service (WELS) is a recuperative program for 10th -12th grade students. WELS provides opportunities for students who seek an innovative approach to their education, and allows the student to be in control of their own academic success. Often high school student that have experienced multiple indicators of educational adversities, desire a safe and nurturing school environment for academic success. WELS provides a learning community that offers rigorous academics with authentic learning experiences based on a relationship-centered approach. For years, counselors and family members have recommended students for the program. Students complete an application and interview to insure the right attitude, aptitude, and physical stamina to be a leader in our 6th grade residential outdoor environmental education program (ROEE) at Waskowitz.  We are a Career and Technical Education (CTE) rich program providing multiple 21st century skills learning opportunities and skills for jobs in the outdoor recreation/education and environmental science fields.

    WELS students enroll in Puget Sound High School; a collaboration of Puget Sound Skill Center and Waskowitz Outdoor Education. WELS/PSHS creates a pathway for students to take control of their future as a Scholar and Leader in service to their community.

    The WELS approach creates advisories that become a learning cohort for all classes. While WELS is an innovative program of choice; all students maintain the WELS class offerings and stay on the educational pathway determined at their time of enrollment. We currently do not offer foreign language, chemistry, or any advanced math classes. We do offer proven success in COE completion, state mandated test prep and many articulations with local colleges for dual credit. All of our students have reached graduation success, as well as college and trade support for 13th year!

    All WELS curriculum is based on the education philosophies found with John Dewey’s experiential educational theory, drawing upon real world experiences to derive meaning and educative opportunities. Attending to the social emotional learning of each student through the importance of community building and a student-centered approach is another hallmark of the program. Finally, the program is rich with active learning opportunities, reaching various learning styles supporting the success of the individual not just the class. WELS/PSHS welcomes students that desire a smaller learning community and are willing to work hard and commit to full participation. Students will move through the pathways according to their credit attainment. A junior in WELS classic would move to the senior program while a sophomore in WELS classic could be a WELS student for all three years, advancing to our Central, then Senior program.

    Highline Public Schools, District #401, complies with all federal rules and regulations and does not discriminate in admission, access, treatment, or employment in education programs or hiring practices on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, sex sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, marital status, honorably-discharged veteran or military status, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. This holds true for all students who are interested in participating in educational programs and/or extracurricular activities.