GATE Partnership Advisory Committee
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GATE Partnership Advisory Committee

The GATE Partnership Advisory Committee is a broad base of youth and family serving agencies and organizations that meets quarterly 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.

Interested groups and individuals should attend a meeting or contact us at

Next GATE Advisory Meeting

The Role We All Play in Helping Students
Plan for Life After Graduation

December 13, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
ESD 113, Thurston Room
6005 Tyee Drive SW
Tumwater, WA 98512

Through effective local and statewide partnerships, the GATE initiative works to remove barriers to services and learning, improve academic success, reduce dropouts and increase graduation rates. Information will be shared at the December 13 GATE Advisory Committee by K-12 school counselors, community members, school principals, and various state agency directors about ways to help vulnerable and underrepresented students through panel discussions and group activities.


Get updates from Danise Ackelson on ESHB 2224 and we will have two amazing panel discussions with activities:

School Counselors and Community Member Success Stories Panel

  • Laura Conklin, Mary M Knight K-12 School District
  • Stephanie Benfield, Reeves Middle School, Olympia School District
  • Jim Parker, Centralia High School, Centralia School District
  • Kathy Thompson, Community Member, Tumwater​

How agency partners are supporting vulnerable students with resources

  • WA Student Achievement Council (WSAC): Associate Director Christina Winstead and Yokiko Saguil—12th Year Campaign/GEAR UP and College Bound Scholarship Outreach
  • WA College Access Network (WCAN): Dale Yee Tamayose, Communications Manager—College Knowledge Project
  • Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP): James Hester, Principal, Washington High School, Franklin Pierce School District—Impact of 24-Credit Diploma



Past Meetings

September 13, 2017: Student Equity Measures: Are we Making Progress? How are we Doing It?

Presentation | Agenda

+ June 6, 2017: Systematic Approaches to 100% Graduation: Increasing Capacity by Working Smarter

Work smarter by building systems into your district that increase equity among student groups. Register your leadership team to reflect and plan for the year to come. This day is designed to train teams in the foundational systems that bring graduation success.

Topics included:

  • 45-Day Action Planning for School Leaders - The Sunnyside turnaround team, Dr. Chuck Salina and Dr. Suzann Girtz will guide you through the process of creating a flexible plan to start next school year off with quick wins. Together they changed Sunnyside High School's graduation rate from 41% to 85% in 7 years and they want to share their success with you.
  • Collecting Data with Communication in Mind – Take a deeper look at your district data and how to convey your strengths and plan to grow to your community.
  • Equity Analytics Training – Guided training on how to use the OSPI Equity Analytics and how to use them to increase equity in your district.

Email for materials.

+ March 16, 2017: Engaging Students in Civics Education: Cultivating Active Citizens

Join us to Learn more about engaging students in civic education through the 6 Proven Practices with keynote speaker, Walter Parker.

Breakout sessions will be on:

Classroom Instruction in government, history, law, and democracy

Discussion of current events and Controversial Ideas

Service Learning

Extracurricular Activities

School Governance

  • Susan Fortin: Director, Association of Washington Student Leaders (AWSL)
  • Vincent Perez: Co-Director, La Cima (The Summit) Bilingual Leadership Camp

Simulations of Democratic Processes

+ December 6, 2016: Strengthening School Mental Health Systems: Successful Partnerships Panel

Current research and data on mental health

District/School/Community Panel Discussion:

  • How they got their system started and how they've changed over time
  • Strategies that are working and measures of success
  • Barriers to sustaining their systems
  • Where they are heading next

Successful Partnerships Panel: Panel will share their experiences with school mental health and answer audience questions.

  • Sandra Mathewson, MA
    Director of Social-Emotional Learning
    Battle Ground Public Schools
  • Denise Dishongh LMHC, CDP
    AWARE Mental Health/Threat Assessment Coordinator: Prevention and Youth Services - ESD 112
  • Sara Ellsworth, MA, LMHC, CDP
    Behavioral Health Clinical Services Manager - Capital Region ESD 113
  • Sara Rigel MPH, CHES
    Public Health Seattle & King County's School-Based Partnerships / Washington School Based Health Alliance

Please contact us at with questions.

+ December 8, 2015: Planning for Post-Secondary Success

A look at how we can better engage youth in planning for success after high school, and support them toward their goal.

+ September 15, 2014: Attendance

Attendance is an equity issue. Absenteeism is a symptom. Addressing the root causes requires supports both in the school and the community.

+ June 2, 2015: Transitions Transitions:
Transitions can be multi-dimensional and complex for youth, families and systems. For students, especially those with challenges, transitions can also be an easy spot to disengage. How we plan for and support youth through transitions can directly affect student achievement.
+ March 10, 2015: Student and Adult Engagement
  • Agenda (PDF)
  • Healthy Youth Survey (PDF)
    - Results from the 2014 Healthy Youth Survey. Trends in substance use, risk and protective factors, and how these correlate with academic performance.
  • Boys and Girls Club (PDF)
    - A presentation featuring B&G clubs of Thurston County and B&G Club of South Puget Sound. The presentation includes elements of engagement, aligning outcome measures with partner schools, aligning supports to meet those goals.

+ December 9, 2014: Multi-tier System of Supports (MTSS)
+ June 10, 2014: Post Graduation Achievement
+ March 11, 2014: Wellbeing and Civic Engagement
+ March 5, 2013
  • ERDC on the Educational Outcomes and Beyond (PDF)
    A briefing on the P20 for K12 reports, also known as the high school feedback reports, and how those are used at the building level. Additionally an Overview of the postsecondary enrollment research brief and other ERDC projects. Katie Weaver-Randall, Office of Financial Management.
  • Ready for Life?
    How Career and Technical Education, 21st Century Skills, and Worksite learning tie together to lead students to post graduation success. Bryan Erickson, Evergreen Public Schools
  • The Role of Internships in Dropout Prevention (PDF)
    A chance to learn about the PASS Act-funded Opportunity Internship Program administered by the Workforce Training Board. Mike Brennan, Workforce Training Board.
  • The Keys to Student Success: Attendance Matters (PDF)
    An overview of the efforts in Franklin Pierce School District to align data and school policy, and the positive results they are seeing in student outcomes. Wendy Dolan, School Counselor, Elmhurst Elementary, Franklin Pierce School District.

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   Updated 11/8/2017

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