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Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education

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Reducing Absenteeism and Reconnecting Youth to Educational Opportunities

Too many students across the District are chronically truant and thousands of older youth (ages 16-24) are disconnected from school and work.  DME is committed to improving collaboration across agencies and key stakeholders to develop strategies to re-engage these populations of young people.

Currently, DME is leading the following District-wide efforts to reclaim students who are falling off track to graduation and who have already dropped out of school:

  • Every Day Counts! Taskforce. The Every Day Counts! Taskforce is chaired by the Deputy Mayor of Education and is a partnership of diverse District of Columbia agencies and stakeholders that collectively advance and coordinate strategies to increase student attendance and reduce truancy. The group includes representatives from education, justice, health clusters of the Administration, allowing for holistic development and implementation of attendance policy.
  • Graduation Pathways Project. Through the Graduation Pathways Project, the DME, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, DCPS, the DC Public Charter School Board and other partners are working together to develop a “pathways” approach to graduation that is tailored to meet the needs of students who are academically at-risk.  This work includes identifying key segments of students who are off-track for graduation in both DCPS and public charter schools, assessing the efficacy of current practices in re-engaging these students, and articulating strategies to scale up effective interventions to better help students reach this critical milestone on their path to college and careers.
  • Youth Re-Engagement Center. 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 has launched 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. More information.

To contact the Re-Engagement Center:

(202) 671-2539
[email protected]
4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC


Additionally, the DME is an engaged partner in Raise DC’s Disconnected Youth and Youth Employment Change Networks, which are city-wide collaborative action groups dedicated to connecting youth to education and career paths.  For more information about Raise DC, please visit the Raise DC website.