Our Thriving Community, Chehalis, Washington

Chehalis, the county seat of Lewis County, is located halfway between Portland, OR and Seattle. Our twin city, Centralia, is just to the north on Interstate 5.


Student Achievement Initiative

In 2014 the Chehalis School District announced the launch of this initiative to focus college for Chehalis students.
  • College Degree Increase to 60% 60%
By improving the effectiveness of education in every classroom our students will be fully prepared for college and careers. The goals include increasing the percent of Chehalis students going on to earn four-year college degrees from 20% to 60% by 2024.

Today’s rates of college completion for Chehalis students is a little higher than the state average. 60% will be higher than nearly every other district in the state.

The Chehalis Foundation funded the school district’s national search for a consulting team. The district chose the BERC.

Classrooms Evaluated for Effective Teaching by the BERC group

group that has done research for the Gates Foundation and has conducted evaluations of effective teaching in more than 40,000 classrooms across the country. The student achievement initiative was begun after the school district received the BERC group’s recommendations following a district-wide, every classroom, review conducted in the fall of 2013.

The student achievement initiative was begun after the school district received the BERC group’s recommendations following a district-wide, every classroom, review conducted in the fall of 2013. The BERC group has continued working with the district funded by the Chehalis Foundation.

The results are back and, in 18 months, BERC has seen more classroom improvement here in Chehalis than in any other school district they have evaluated across the country!


Classroom learning paired with powerful teaching has increased from 37% to

Chehalis classroom teachers now display their college emblems. That’s only one example of the steps being taken to raise the level of college awareness from K-12. Chehalis School District and the teaching staff have demonstrated an amazing willingness to embrace the challenge of changing instructional habits.

The school district, staff, parents and private donors are committed to meet the goal of 60% college grads coming out of W.F. West by 2024, while providing more career opportunities for the students who won’t graduate from college.

STEM Educaton Programs

“STEM” refers to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Students will attend MATLAB and build drones

STEM education is thriving at W.F. West High School with classes in Molecular Genetics, advanced Molecular Genetics, Robotics, MATLAB (Matrix laboratory), and App creation. In a partnership between the school district and private donations from the Chehalis Foundation current STEM facilities and programs include cutting edge chemistry labs and a new custom-made digital scanning electron microscope.

Two years ago the district launched a Middle School Math focus and, with private donations offers year-round math tutors and coaches, a four week Summer Math Academy, and classes such as Mobile App Development, Robotics, MATLAB (matrix laboratory).

The high school also offers a summer STEM academy open to students across SouthWest Washington. This year 120 students will attend and build drones. The district has been recognized by the state as a “Lighthouse” for STEM education. Chehalis students consistently place highly in state, national and regional competitions in Molecular Genetics and Robotics.

Higher Education

Centralia College is the oldest continuously operating community college in the state of Washington.

Students attend Centralia College

Founded in 1925, the college has a rich heritage of professional, technical, transfer, and basic skills programs serving the community. The college has an enrollment of approximately 10,000. The college is located in the center of the town of Centralia on a tree-lined, 29-acre campus.

Centralia College is your local resource for responsive, cost-effective, just-in-time training. The college provides key vocation programs such as welding and diesel technology.

Custom training programs are available to fit numerous specific business needs. There are State funding programs available for those businesses who qualify to help pay for the cost of training. Centralia College will work with each individual business to customize training courses. Contact them to see how they can meet your company’s training needs.

Down Town Chehalis

The Chehalis Community Renaissance Team, or CCRT, is our community’s Main Street program.
CCRT was formed in 2009 as the group charged with revitalizing downtown Chehalis. Today, this well-established nonprofit organizes many events, activities, and programs enhancing downtown Chehalis. These include programs like façade improvement grants and real estate opportunity tours, physical improvements like murals, planters and bike racks, and production of online and print marketing materials.

Health Care

Lewis County is served by a progressive health care community.
Providence Centralia Hospital is a 191-bed, not-for-profit community-based hospital in Centralia and the other in Chehalis. With supporting clinics and satellite hospitals, expanding technology, this major health care facility has become a premier operation for medical care in Lewis County and surrounding areas.