In 2007, the Washington State Legislature directed OSPI to create the Building Bridges state-level workgroup (HB 1573) to make recommendations on the development of a statewide comprehensive dropout prevention, intervention, and retrieval system. The Workgroup also was charged with identifying needed additional resources and ways to eliminate the fiscal, legal, and regulatory barriers that prevent coordination of local and state programs.
The primary purpose: to increase the number of Washington students who graduate from high school on time and re-engage students who have already dropped out of school by developing an infrastructure for coordinating services for vulnerable youth.
Washington school counseling leaders saw a clear connection between their Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling approach (see Framework) and the work emerging from the Building Bridges Workgroup. As a result, school counselors became more actively involved in collaborating on the dropout issue including hosting the February 2010 Dropout Prevention Summit.
In the 2010 session, the Legislature passed HB 2609 which more sharply defined the expected outcome of the Building Bridges Workgroup. Namely, to develop a system that provides all of the following functions:
(a) Engaging in school improvement planning.
(b) Providing prevention activities.
(c) Identifying vulnerable students based on a dropout early warning and intervention data system.
(d) Timely academic and non-academic group and individual interventions for vulnerable students based on a response to intervention model.
(e) Providing graduation coaches, mentors, and/or case managers for vulnerable students identified as needing a more intensive one-on-one adult relationship.
(f) Establishing and providing staff to coordinate a school/family/community partnership that assists in building a K-12 drop-out prevention, intervention, and re-engagement system.
(g) Providing retrieval or reentry activities.
(h) Providing alternative educational programming.