As with many other major US cities, DC faces a crisis of connection for youth and young adults. There are currently at least 7,493 youth (ages 16-24) residing in the District of Columbia who are not enrolled in school or other educational programs and who do not have a high school diploma or credential.
As the District continues its efforts to ensure that all students within its pre-K-12 system receive a quality education, it is critical that students who have dropped out also have solid on-ramps to reconnect back to education options that will prepare them for successful adulthood. In response to this need, the District is establishing a Re-Engagement Center to serve as a “single-door” through which youth (ages 16-24) who have dropped out can reconnect back to educational options and other critical services to support their attainment of a high school diploma or GED. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education is spearheading this effort with strong support from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education, the Department of Employment Services, other key partner agencies, Raise DC’s Disconnected Youth Change Network, schools, and community-based organizations.
In alignment with nationwide best practices, the DC ReEngagement Center’s core activities will include:
Conducting targeted outreach to a defined list of dropouts, as well as engaging walk-ins and referrals;
Assessing academic status and non-academic needs of youth and using this information to help them develop individualized education plans;
Identifying good-fit educational options;
Supporting the re-enrollment process (e.g. collecting required documents, accompanying youth on site visits, connecting to resources that will address reconnection barriers); and
Providing ongoing support for at least one year once re-enrolled.