Reengagement in Washington D.C.

The Office of State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) launched the District’s Reengagement Center in 2014 to re-engage some 7,500 out-of-school youth.

Through the Re-Engagement Center OSSE and partner organizations ensure out-of-school youth have a clear route to reconnect to an education option. The Re-Engagement Center uses targeted outreach, referrals, and an open-door policy to encourage youth to earn a diploma or GED. The Center serves as a referral hub for many agencies and non-profits. 

During the intake process, staff work with youth to identify all barriers to reengaging in an educational program, such as the need for employment and/or childcare. Relationships with other local entities enable the Center to help youth overcome these barriers. For example, Re-Engagement Center Specialists have been trained by the Division of Early Childhood Education on the child care voucher program eligibility and have been empowered to determine eligibility and provide vouchers directly to youth. In addition to providing support during the reenrollment process, staff support the youth for at least one year after reenrollment. 

Promising Practices

  • The center arranged the operating space available, to create an environment where youth want to spend time. The Center makes computers and snacks available. 

2014-2015 Activity 

  • In the first year, 332 clients completed the full intake process. This includes a full intake interview, which identifies barriers to enrollment and retention; a staff review of clients’ past academic history, and student completion of the ECASAS assessment to determine literacy and numeracy levels. 203 youth enrolled in an educational program
  • Of those, 106 clients reenrolled in an educational program in the period between October 20, 2014 and July 27, 2015, and 73.5% of youth are still enrolled or have earned secondary credential.