An Alternative to Retaking the WASL - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

An Alternative to Retaking the WASL

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YAKIMA, Wa.- Test taking isn't easy. And for many students, the pressure and stress distracts them from doing their best. Now there's an alterative for high school juniors and seniors in the Yakima Valley who didn't pass the WASL.

"We place them in a career that they're interested in already so they're going to be learning things that apply to that career," said Betty Wilkinson from the Business Education Program.

The internship program requires students to work for 180 hours in any given field. This is a part of WASL's Collection of Evidence, which exempts students from retaking the WASL.

"That's a really relevant activity that might appeal more to a student and have them more motivated to show their best work," said Peter Finch, West Valley's Assistant Superintendent.

It might be more relevant but that doesn't mean it's easier. Students will apply reading, writing and math throughout their internship and will have to write two essays to pass.

"Some students may need another way to show that they have the skills," said Finch.

And this program does just that. Interns have more than 140 businesses and non-profit organizations to choose from. Internships can range anywhere from working with local entrepreneurs to the Yakima Greenway Foundation to Yakima Valley Bank.

"It's more in depth. They gain a great skill base and knowledge in that career," said Wilkinson.   

All juniors and seniors who haven't passed the WASL yet are eligible and can pick up applications from their school counselors.

"We're just waiting for those students to say ya, this is something I really want to do," said Wilkinson.