In September, Spero Center welcomed students back to a fresh, new facility on the ESD 112 campus. An existing office space was converted into a welcoming environment where students could learn, socialize, and participate in group or individual activities and educational programming.

“Spero Center staff and students were very excited to start the school year in the new building,” said Jillany Wellman, Spero Outpatient Program Director. “We’re all so happy and appreciative to be in such a thoughtfully-designed space that allows for plenty of natural light and open spaces for students to move around and take breaks, and extra classroom space to allow for the program to grow in the years ahead.”

Spero is a therapeutic learning program that specializes in whole child support for sixth through twelfth graders facing mental health challenges that are the primary barrier to school attendance and participation. Eligible students, identified through an individualized education program (IEP), receive specialized support upon recommendation by a district’s IEP team. Students who may be a good fit for Spero may struggle with conventional school environments, have irregular attendance, keep to themselves emotionally, and require significant social-emotional support.

The program merges academic assistance with mental health care in a safe, small, therapeutic educational setting, helping students with anxiety, depression, or similar conditions to ease back into a group learning space with their peers.

Spero serves as a bridge back to traditional education, aiming to reengage students with their schooling pathway. Typically, the program spans six to eight months from the initial referral until the student returns to their regular school environment.

Students are referred to Spero through their school district. If a student is struggling with attendance despite various interventions, contact Spero to discuss potential fit. For referrals that may be a good fit, a screening form will be provided, and staff will participate in an IEP meeting. Call 360-949-1440 or email for more information.