New Website, BackOnTrackDC, Empowers District Youth and Adults to Reconnect with Education

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – In an effort to connect more District residents with educational options that lead to a secondary education credential and career pathway, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has launched, a new website that directs users to a range of alternative and adult-serving education programs throughout the District.

Developed by OSSE’s ReEngagement Center in partnership with Raise DCNext Step Public Charter School and The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, BackOnTrackDC gives users the option to browse up-to-date and reliable information on more than 20 education programs throughout the District and lists programmatic information, enrollment eligibility and timing, addresses and contact information for each.

Users can filter for relevant programming, including secondary credentials offered; additional program offerings, such as English classes, workforce readiness and career training; and additional supports and services, such as night classes, job or post-secondary placement, bilingual instruction or childcare provided. Schools, the District’s ReEngagement Center, and other partners identified these supports as important to students as they return to and persist in school.

“BackOnTrackDC acts as a one-stop, ‘front door’ resource to empower thousands of District youth and adults to reconnect and get ‘back on track’ with their educational and career goals,” said Kilin Boardman-Schroyer, OSSE’s deputy assistant superintendent for Postsecondary and Career Education. “We are excited to provide this tool and grateful to our partners at Raise DC, Next Step PCS, and The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region whose support made this initiative possible.”

BackOnTrackDC complements the work of the OSSE’s DC ReEngagement Center, a facility located at 4058 Minnesota Ave. NE that provides support to District residents ages 16-24 who need assistance as they reconnect to educational options and other critical services that support their attainment of a high school diploma or GED.

“The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is pleased to be able to support OSSE’s efforts to connect the District’s youth to high-quality school and nonprofit programs through BackOnTrackDC,” said Bruce McNamer, President & CEO of The Community Foundation. “Helping young people succeed in school is core to our mission to invest in programs to increase economic opportunity for all of our region’s residents.”

BackOnTrackDC resulted from a collaboration among the Raise DC Disconnected Youth Change Network and the Youth Employment Change Network, whose members include OSSE, Next Step PCS, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and representatives from several education and job-training community-based organizations, local education agencies, and philanthropies.

The concept for the website was explored by these groups before OSSE established the DC ReEngagement Center and was originally intended to be a non-government initiative. However, when the DC ReEngagement Center was created it became clear that BackOnTrackDC should be connected to the ReEngagement Center to augment its presence in the community.

Next Step PCS provided in-kind web-design services and The Community Foundation of the National Capital Region provided financial support with the understanding that OSSE and the DC ReEngagement Center would host the website, update the information on a consistent basis, and provide staff support to users, as needed.