Working to transform the child welfare system.

Sponsored by Representative Reykdal, HB 1276 establishes a farm engagement pilot project for a three-year period beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction will choose two pilot projects from school districts that agree to partner with community-based organizations, food banks, and farms or gardens to establish an alternative high school program targeted primarily to at-risk youth who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out of high school. One of the selected projects must be a currently operating program with a record of success in engaging low-income and disengaged youth. The second will create a new program in a different community. These projects must also provide youth with opportunities for community service and with the opportunity to earn core and elective credits toward high school graduation. They must also offer youth development support and services, including social emotional learning, counseling, leadership training, and career and college guidance, as well as improving food security for youth and their communities through farm or garden projects. After the projects have been operating for two years, OSPI will evaluate their outcomes and recommend whether they should be continued or replicated. Outcomes measured will include GPA, number of earned credits, incidence of discipline issues, attendance rates, high school graduation and GED attainment, student health and nutrition, acreage used for fresh produce, volume of produce produced and made available to students and their communities, and hours of community service activity.