Summit View High School expands learning opportunities

Oct. 13, 2022

Fast facts:

  • New Thursday evening sessions provides more flexibility for students
  • Summit View High School is an individualized learning environment
  • Students work one-on-one with teachers and at their own pace
  • Students can work toward their diploma until the end of the school year in which they turn 21 years old

For students attending Summit View High School, graduation is the goal, but the path to get there can look very different depending on the person. And that’s by design.

Student with teacher

Summit View freshman Chiara Jones works with a teacher

Located on the CASEE campus in Brush Prairie, Summit View provides an individualized learning environment that pairs students up one-on-one with a teacher. Curriculum is adapted to each student and schedules are designed to work around them, providing either more time for a student to work toward graduation or an accelerated pathway for those looking to graduate sooner. Students can work toward their diploma through the end of the school year in which they turn 21.

This year, Summit View is reintroducing evening hours from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays to accommodate students who need to attend sessions outside of traditional school hours. Principal Kevin Palena says they’ve seen growing interest already this school year, with nearly 40 students attending their most recent Thursday session.

“I have students earning good money at their job,” Palena said. “It’s sometimes difficult for them to give that up. Sometimes they don’t even have that option. So these Thursday sessions will give them a chance to schedule classes on their time so they don’t have to choose between getting a good education and earning a living.”

Senior Cassidy Marsing says the Thursday evening sessions lets her mom pick up her sister at Prairie High School and still be

Cassidy Marsing

Cassidy Marsing is a senior at Summit View High School

able to give her a ride. “Plus when I get a job, I can just have the morning to go to work,” she said. “And then I’m able to just come here during the night without everyone being overloaded.”

Now 20, Jacob Falconer and his family moved around quite a bit, making it difficult for him to graduate. After dropping out during his senior year of high school and moving again, he looked into options for completing his secondary education and discovered Summit View.

“My mom kind of looked at Google and I was like, ‘Hey, let’s do this one,’” he said. “I did the orientation and found out it was awesome.”

Falconer says he enjoys the pace. “It’s very laid back. You can get your work done as fast as you want, or as slow as you want. If you need to take some extra time, you can. I feel like it’s just more student-based.”

Palena describes Summit View as “high school simplified,” putting nearly all of the focus on core standards. Students who attend are still able to play sports at the comprehensive high schools in the district, but can otherwise schedule their education around other demands.

Summit View also caters to students who are looking for a more focused environment in which to study. The school offers mastery-based learning, so students study the material until they are proficient, rather than having to move at the pace of a larger group due to scheduling dynamics of a traditional school environment.

Chiara Jones is a freshman at the school and said, “It feels like I’m not pressured as much as in a regular classroom. It’s more of a personalized pace and I have time to actually understand the work that I’m doing.”

Jacob Falconer

Jacob Falconer is finishing up his final year of high school at Summit View

“The teachers here at Summit View, they’ll work with you to make sure you can understand the subject,” Marsing said. “They’ll make sure you study, put things you really need to know in bold, things like that. It helps you actually focus on things. You’re not feeling like you’re rolling up a hill and then just giving up and letting it tumble over you.”

“It isn’t rushed, isn’t strict,” agreed Falconer. “ As long as you show that you’re putting an effort, you’ll get something out of it.”

“It’s a safe place,” Jones added. “You get your work done at your own pace. There’s no judgment from other kids. They’re all just trying to get to the same point you are.”

Students who are interested in attending Summit View High School should talk to their high school counselor about applying.

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