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Student Reengagement or How do I get back in school?

Are you looking for new options to reconnect, reengage, and succeed in achieving a high school diploma, GED, Associates degree, and/or trade certification this page should help you find the resources that might be available in your region.

Who should use this page?

  • Youth who are not finding success or resources for success in their current educational situation and are in danger of leaving school.
  • Parents, guardians, and family members of out-of-school youth.
  • Friends, advocates, and mentors of out-of-school youth.
  • School staff members, guidance counselors, and other educators.
  • Staff members at youth-serving organizations.


Academic Options

You have choices.
Washington State is working to help open doors and create options for high school education. It doesn’t matter what experiences you’ve had in the past there are options for you. Explore the suggestions listed below and contact your local school district or an individual program. Prepare for a fresh start in a program dedicated to your success.

Contact your School District

Your local school district is your best source to getting back on track. They want to see their students succeed, and most of them have programs and alternative routes set up to help complete the graduation requirements. Your school district can also find alternate paths to success such as vocational and technical training, GED preparation, and duel credit programs through a community and technical college. They are aware of the local programs that exist to work with specific needs such as child care, illness, and homelessness. If your district is not able to help, another neighboring district might. Reach out and start exploring your options.

    Code names to ask about:
    • Open Doors1418 Reengagement Programs
    • High School Completion Programs
    • Technical High School Programs
    • High School Reengagement Programs
    • Dropout Intervention Programs
    • Duel Credit Programs
    • Career and Workforce Programs


Regional Programs

These programs may not be serving your specific district, but may be able to help point you in the right direction.

    • Eastside Summit (Snohomish) ESD189 cooperative program
      Serving Index, Lake Stevens, Monroe, Snohomish and Sultan students 6th through 12th grade
      Students are offered general education opportunities, enhanced supports, building capacity for and success in school, and work-related skills required to transition to post-high school activities
    • Fast Forward (Tri-Cities)
      Serving Tri-Cities out-of-school youth, ages 16-21.
      Fast Forward partners with traditional and alternative high schools, technical schools, community colleges, and other Tri-City area alternative education programs to provide an open pathway back to school and a diploma.
    • Graduation Alternative Program (GAP)
      Serving Southwest Washington out-of-school youth or non-traditional learners ages 16 to 21.
      The ESD 112 program provides students with the opportunity to enhance personal skills in a variety of academic areas.
    • Graduation, Reality And Dual-Role Skills (GRADS)
      Serving pregnant teens and/or young parents that focus on work and family foundation skills of significance to these students.
      GRADS programs include student demonstration of skills leading to high school graduation and economic independence. Check out the program map for school districts that offer the program.
    • Gravity High School Program
      Serving out-of-school youth under 21 in Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties
      ESD 113 collaborates school districts across their region to provide the opportunity to get reconnected with an educational program designed to help them meet their specific educational goals and prepare for the next step in their plans for life-long learning and working.
    • Northwest Regional Learning Center ESD 189
      Serving Arlington, Everett, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Mukilteo, and Snohomish high school students, who may be disenfranchised or court-involved. Students have the opportunity to work on earning credits for their high school diplomas (through their resident districts); prepare for the GED; explore aptitude and interests and develop a post-school plan; and improve academic, functional, and behavioral skills for a successful transition back to their home schools or into the community.
    • Puget Sound ESD 121 Alternative Education Guide
      Providing both alternative education options and other youth services in King County.
    • Washington Youth Academy
      A federal-state partnership to help high school dropouts improve their education level, life skills, and employment potential.


High School Completion Programs at Community and Technical College

Most Washington State community and technical colleges operate one or more high school programs such as High School Completion, Technical High School, Credit Retrieval, Youth Re-engagement, External Diploma Program or other high school options. The goal of each of these various programs is to award a high school diploma to students who complete the graduation requirements.
Find a Community and Technical College near you.


College-Issued High School Diploma

Students earning an associate degree from a community or technical college can receive a high school diploma, upon written request, even if they have not otherwise met the high school graduation requirements.


+ Other Available Programs & Services for at-risk Youth


Benton County

Clark County

Clallam County

Cowlitz County

Franklin County

Grays Harbor County

Jefferson County

King County

Kitsap County

Lewis County

Mason County

Pacific County

Pierce County

Thurston County

Whatcom County


+ Is a GED an option for me?

General Educational Development (GED) is a group of five subject tests which, when passed, certify that the taker high school-level academic skills. A GED is considered an alternative for many employers and colleges that require a high school diploma.

Some area programs have a path called GEDplus. A GEDplus program works to provide an immediate connection to the next step, such as community college, pre-apprenticeship, certificate programs, vocational training, and more.

More information on the GED can be found at the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges website.


For Parents and Guardians

What are some dropout warning signs?

Each student is unique, but these are the typical early warning signs that a student is on the path to dropping out of school.

Dropout Warning Sign ABCs

A. Attendance: is the student missing class, school for any reason?
B. Behavior: is the student receiving office referrals, suspensions, etc.?
C. Course Performance: is the student showing poor performance or a sudden shift in academic performance?

Even if there are valid excuses for any of these symptoms, they have a negative effect on school performance and engagement, and increase the likelihood the student will dropout.

If a student is exhibiting one or more of these signs it is important to intervene, find the root causes of the problem, and target an intervention that addresses the specific needs of the student. School and district staff should be able to help an involved guardian facilitate this. The most powerful thing a parent or guardian can do to help is get involved.

Intervention Resources

Becoming or finding a mentor


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   Updated 1/29/2015

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