Open Doors

Spokane County Open Doors Reengagement Program (referred to as Open Doors) is a program designed to offer young adults, ages 16-21, who do not yet have a diploma or high school equivalency (HSE), an educational option other than dropping out of high school. For many reasons, there are students who are significantly behind in high school credits, at risk of dropping out, or have already dropped out of school. They are now without a high school diploma or HSE, which significantly lowers their future options. 

However, these young adults can find hope through the Open Doors program at the Next Generation Zone. In the 2018 – 2019 school year, 162 students graduated from Open Doors with their GED. This was made possible because of the hard work of both our students and staff as well as a new partnership that has been formed with YouthBuild/Spokane Service Team. This partnership has allowed our Open Doors program to have our own GED testing center. 

Open Doors is a consortium of school districts (Central Valley, Cheney, Chewelah, Colville, Deer Park, East Valley, Mead, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane and West Valley), Spokane Falls Community College (Gateway to College), Spokane Community College (instruction), and Northeast Washington ESD 101(instruction and case management).  

This program has two pathways. The high school diploma pathway is through the Gateway to College program at Spokane Falls Community College. Not only are students working on their diploma, they are taking college classes and learning how to be college students. The HSE pathway is located at the Next Generation Zone, where programs center on building college and work readiness skills as well as vocational exploration.

New students are eligible if their school district is a consortium member. A student remains enrolled in their home district as an "Open Doors -1418" student (referencing the authorizing legislation, House Bill 1418). New students attend an orientation at the Next Generation Zone (every Wednesday at 9:30) and learn about options for a high school diploma (through Gateway to College) or HSE (completed at the Next Generation Zone). This includes a four-day long GED Introduction program that aids the new students in getting adjusted to the Open Doors GED classroom and learning about the various services at the Next Generation Zone.
 

As mentioned, Open Doors is a program where students can work toward their high school diploma or prepare for, and take, the HSE. In addition, students will receive case management support and have access to the Workforce Opportunity and Innovation Act (WIOA) programs available at the Next Generation Zone. 

These workplace readiness and preparation programs include a 21st Century Work Skills Academy, industry tours, job shadows, college tours and internships. Open Doors staff work hard to show the relevancy between education and entering the work force. They help students see future possibilities, learn what is necessary to get there and start taking steps towards attaining their goals. 

Case management is an integral part of the Open Doors program. All educational plans are individualized to include career counseling and wrap-around services. Students and the case manager build healthy and safe relationships which provide support in good times and bad.

Our Open Doors case management team: 

  • Shawn Wash
  • Jessi Bingham
  • Lisa Terkeurst
  • Terrance Nixon
  • Leyna Krow
  • Jared Brown 

Case manager’s help students troubleshoot when barriers arise and check in to see how things are going. In addition, the case manager will challenge students to push themselves so they can reach the goals they didn't think they would ever attain.

Open Doors Brochure

Next Generation Zone Brochure

Gateway to College

For more information, contact:

Larry Gardner, Director
509-477-2451
lgardner@esd101.net

Terrence Nixon, Program Manager
509-340-7820
terrencen@nextgenzone.org

Shawn Wash, Case Manager
509-340-7824
shawn.wash@scc.spokane.edu

Mick Miller, Assistant Superintendent, NEWESD 101
509-789-3539
mmiller@esd101.net