Interagency Academy

High School

The Columbia Center

Columbia Center at Interagency Academy

The Columbia Center at Interagency Academy opened in August of 2010 as a comprehensive intake and placement center for students eligible for Interagency Academy. This includes students who require re-entry as a result of a disciplinary infraction (behavior modification), students who need credit retrieval, or students who have not been successful in the comprehensive high school setting and need extra services.

The Columbia Center is conveniently located at 3528 S. Ferdinand St. in the heart of Columbia City.

The goals of the Columbia Center are:

  • To successfully match students with schools that can meet their specific needs and help students achieve their goals.
  • To create personalized plans that include specific goal setting for each student that are based on real, actionable data.
  • To establish an advisor for each student so progress monitoring can successfully take place creating support for students and teachers.
  • To ensure that students moving to/ from detention facilities get the supports they need to successfully finish high school with an actionable future plan.
  • To build a system of small school campuses that are accountable for measurable student growth.

Interagency Referral, Assessment, and Placement:

Step 1 – Referral

A student is referred to the Columbia Center for behavior modification, credit retrieval, or other unmet needs – referrals come from comprehensive high schools, the enrollment center at the Stanford Center, agencies, parents/guardians, mental health counselors, probation/parole officers, special education, or safety/security.

To make a referral:

A. Talk to the student and family about the referral and your recommendation for a new placement. Let them know that they are to report to The Columbia Center on the following Friday.

B. Fill out the “Columbia Center Referral Form.”

C. Email referral and supporting documentation to Kaaren Andrews, Interagency Principal, at, Jowell Rollolazo, Student Assignment Facilitator, at

D. If you have hand-written on the form, you may fax it to Columbia Center at 206-793-3931.

E. As a last step, please confirm the receipt of your referral. Our phone number is 206-793-3930.

The Columbia Center will make all placement decisions. No assignments are made to Interagency by the JSCEE Enrollment Center. Assignments to Middle College and Sugiyama High School can be made through the JSCEE or The Columbia Center.

Step 2 – Assessment of Present Levels of Performance and Goals

Assessment is done by specialists to gather baseline data for each student, including student’s goals for education – would the student ideally return to a comprehensive high school or remain in an alternative placement until graduation (or equivalent)? Before a school placement is made, the staff at the center will gather comprehensive data on every student regarding:

  • Present levels of performance — academic (reading, writing, math), behavior/safety, mental health, truancy, drug/alcohol
  • Current credit status and academic history
  • Barriers to success – learning disabilities and special education status, ELL status and eligibility, abuse issues, mental health, parenting/pregnancy, truancy, homelessness, court involvement
  • Post high school and career goals

The assessment process takes 4 days, and students are required to attend Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday from 12:30 – 3:30 in order to get a program assignment. The Columbia Center must have a referral before a student begins.

Step 3 – Creation of a Personalized Learning Plan

A personalized plan is created for each student based on the data collected, including date(s) to check progress toward student goals.

When students have completed requirements of referral (for example, completion of behavior modification), a recommendation to return to home school will follow. At every progress check point in a student’s plan, all parties included in the plan will be notified and encouraged to participate.

Step 4 – Student Placement

Each student is matched to an appropriate Interagency campus based on present levels of performance, post high school goals, and services needed. Each student will be supported by staff from The Center with frequent check-ins on goals/plan, regular visits to the campus, truancy support, and family/home contact.

Step 5 – Return to Referring School (for re-entry students who have completed behavior modification)

Once the student has completed behavior modification class, we will set up a transition meeting to support a successful return to the home school. This will require participation from the sending school. This step is essential in supporting the student if s/he is to have a successful re-entry to a school.  

High School Assignment Options Include:

Interagency Academy Campuses– YEP, Alder Academy, Beacon, Southeast, Opportunity Skyway, Southwest, UDYC, IQA, Open Doors. 

  • Placements to IA sites can be short or long term.
  • Interagency also includes King County Detention (11-18 yo) and KC Jail (18-21yo). Students transitioning from long term placements in these facilities will be supported through Interagency Case Management. Please ask Columbia Center staff for support with all of your students with probation/parole requirements.

Sugiyama High School

  • Placements to Sugiyama High School can be short or long term.

Middle College

  • Placements will be made to Middle College when students meet minimum standards and the placement is appropriate. Placements are long term and not for re-entry.

The Columbia Center will serve as the entry point for every student, regardless of the reason for referral.