COVID-19 Reopening Plan

Washington Youth ChalleNGe Academy and COVID-19

Important Message from the Director of the Washington Youth Academy on Vaccines

Admission to the Washington Youth ChalleNGe Academy will require proof of the COVID-19 vaccination as defined by CDC’s Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines or by approved exemption. Applicants will need to provide a copy of the COVID-19 vaccination card or a completed exemption form, as part of the application process. All accommodation requests based on exemptions will be given the utmost consideration.

COVID-19 vaccines are effective protections against COVID-19, especially severe illness and death. COVID-19 vaccines can reduce the risk of spreading the virus and are widely accessible in the United States.

Vaccination assistance is available. Contact your Admission Specialists for details.

A Safe Reopening

Since January 2021, the Washington Youth ChalleNGe Academy, in ongoing coordination with the Kitsap Public Health District, has safely resumed residential operations.

We modified every aspect of residential Cadet life to diminish risk during the COVID pandemic. In accordance with CDC guidance and using the best practices from more than 39 Youth ChalleNGe and Job ChalleNGe programs around the country, the Washington Youth ChalleNGe Academy continues to provide a safe and professional learning environment that empowers academic and personal growth for the youth we serve.

Based on the principle of “Cadets first, staff always” and focusing plans on reducing the risk of staff or visitors introducing the virus to the cadets, the following modifications remain in effect as the pandemic recedes include:

  • Provide and require COVID testing of Cadets at Intake Day; confirmatory five days later, and when indicative symptoms present thereafter.
  • Provide and require COVID testing for all staff prior to Intake Day and on request or as recommended thereafter. Outbreaks on-campus initiate weekly testing of staff and cadets.
  • Establish separate isolation and quarantine facilities in the event Cadets develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
  • Train and require all Cadets and staff to self-monitor for and report all symptoms related to COVID-19.
  • All staff and visitors asked to self-assess their health and visiting only when free of symptoms of a contagious illness.
  • Visitors to campus must have an appointment and sign in using the visitors log sheets located at the BRC front office. Visitors not subject to testing requirements must follow visitor masking requirements, which includes wearing a mask when engaging with Cadets.
  • Reduce Cadet home visits to one late in the cycle, reduce Cadet/Mentor campus visits (contingent on COVID levels in the state) and limit off campus community service projects to locations we can secure to minimize Cadet exposure to the public.
  • Redirect staff access and movement flow across the facilities to reduce interaction and exposure to Cadets.
  • When preparing or serving food, or dispensing medication, or assessing symptomatic Cadets, staff wear masks.
  • After completion of Acclimation (first two weeks), or Isolation & Quarantine (when necessary). Cadets are not required to wear masks unless symptomatic or when preparing or serving food. Although not required, Cadets still have the option to wear program provided masks if they desire.
  • Staff and Cadets regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and perform frequent hand washing.
  • Until Cadets become a single cohort (family unit), schedule medication distribution to ensure social distancing between Cadets.
  • • During Acclimation (and when necessary, Isolation/Quarantine), Cadets have physical barriers where social distancing is not feasible such as distribution of medications and serving food.
  • Increased number of handwashing and hand-sanitizing stations throughout the campus.
  • Increased cleaning protocols in accordance with State, OSPI and CDC guidelines.
  • Provide every Cadet a laptop to facilitate virtual learning if isolated or quarantined.

These policies and procedures are supported by local, state and federal guidelines and may be modified throughout the class cycle based on new information or modified guidelines.

WYCA is known across the country as a leading Youth ChalleNGe program with a reputation for innovation and continuous improvement.

WYCA has successfully managed Cadet health, developing, training, and implementing as required contagious disease and pandemic protocols over its 13 year history and is well prepared for these unprecedented times.


We continue to limit visitors on campus but will begin scheduling professional open house tours by invitation ONLY. Please do not just drop by. Please enjoy one of our virtual information sessions and watch videos on our YouTube Channel to explore the campus.