Building Bridges

Contact Information

Dixie Grunenfelder
K12 System Supports Director

The legislature created the Building Bridges Program to support a comprehensive engagement and reengagement system. This program includes grants to local partnerships of schools, families, and communities, attendance initiatives, engagement and reengagement, school leadership support, and shared best practices. The efforts are led through recommendations of the Graduation A Team Effort (GATE) Advisory Committee. Read our 2023 Building Bridges Legislative Report.

Building Bridges Grant Program

Partnering with black, indigenous, and people of color youth-serving community-based organizations to offer timely supports to students identified for supports.

Read RCW 28A.175.025.

Powerless to Powerful

To support implementation of a multi-tiered system of support for school leaders.

Open Doors Youth Reengagement

Open Doors Youth Reengagement is a reengagement system that provides education and services to older youth, ages 16-21, who have dropped out of school or are not expected to graduate from high school by the age of 21. Open Doors reengages disconnected youth through programs that encourage community partnerships, create multiple pathways for students to realize success, and provide an on-ramp to post-secondary achievement through a performance-based, individualized support model.

Read RCW 28A.175.100.

GATE Advisory Committee

The Graduation A Team Effort (GATE) Partnership Advisory Committee is a broad base of youth and family-serving agencies and organizations that meet quarterly. This committee works to provide a wide lens of input on specific goals and topics related to the development and implementation of a dropout prevention, intervention, and reengagement system across cradle-to-career milestones.

Read RCW 28A.175.075.

Attendance, Truancy, & Chronic Absenteeism

Attendance is a crucial component of engagement and reengagement. If students are not present, they cannot engage in learning. Attendance is a powerful signal and leading indicator of equity. It can signal when students need additional support and areas for system and school improvement. Chronic absenteeism impacts all students—no matter their age. Students that miss just two days a month for any reason are more likely to not read at grade level and more likely not to graduate.


Multi-tiered System of Supports

Flexibility matters. A school’s ability to offer timely supports is highly dependent on the systems they have in place for shared leadership, teams, data practices, supports, and family, student, and community engagement. A multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) combines the power of early warning indicators with the ability to provide proactive evidence-based responses to student needs and address gaps between student groups with continuous staff capacity building.

Graduation Equity Webinar Series

Graduation: A Team Effort (GATE) Equity webinars help growth-minded educators and education advocates to learn from Washington districts that are closing opportunity gaps. The National Equity Project defines educational equity as each child receiving what he or she needs to develop his or her full academic and social potential. Using OSPI data and experience from Washington schools, Graduation Equity Webinars reveal the systems that drive success, an equity focus, and the key strategies that are getting students to graduation.