Olympic Academy to Open Northern Site Fall 2024

Boy looking at mountains

Olympic Academy has a new building ready to open its doors to students next fall. You may feel a sudden sense of déjà vu as though you’ve read this not too long ago. You would not be mistaken.

However, this is actually a second site for Olympic Academy: Olympic Academy North.

Located at 550 E K St. in Shelton, Olympic Academy North will complement the original building in Centralia, now known as Olympic Academy South. The building is the former site of Mountain View Elementary School.

“The need in the region is growing, so we need to expand to help support more students,” says Program Director Joshua Maerzke. “Even though we’re in a new building this year, we wanted to add and help students [who live] further away.”

Having a northern location will mean a shorter commute for many. It's been tough for districts in the coastal part of the region to utilize the Olympic Academy's services, but the new location should lighten the travel load for those students and families.

Olympic Academy South will also benefit from the lightened student load, lessening the risk of outgrowing its location.

Stefanie Lamont will lead Olympic Academy North as its program director. It will provide the same services, including the Summit Program, which launched a year ago.

Stefanie Lamont
Stefanie Lamont

“We want these supports to be more accessible to students in the region,” states Lamont. “With the way it’s located in Chehalis right now, we can only reach so far.”

Lamont and Maerzke hope that Olympic Academy can inspire school districts to learn and implement some of the strategies from the program. They believe that by being able to focus on specific populations in each area, they can further partner with the districts by allowing them to use their resources to push trainings and consultations.

While they strengthen their relationship with the districts, they also want to continue growing their staff to allow for increased capacity to support the students who need the supports that Olympic Academy provides.

“The program is rapidly expanding to meet the needs of the districts,” said Maerzke. “It’s based on a lot of the positive feedback we’ve received from OSPI, AESD, the districts, and families.

"Olympic Academy is a strong program, and I'm excited to bring that to another area in the region," added Lamont. “The supports that are being provided here are really valuable for students with significant behavioral challenges. Making it more accessible means more time with their family or possibly a better quality of life overall.

“We’re not just expanding; we’re working on improving the program. On the summit side, they’re doing lots of work to not just expand, but do so with a quality program.”