Program opens doors for dropouts

first_imgThere’s a handwritten sign posted on a door at the Lieser Campus in Vancouver.“Whatever your past has been, your future is spotless,” it reads.That sign greets students on their way into Vancouver Public Schools’ Open Doors Reengagement Program, an alternative path to graduation or GED completion for students who have dropped out of high school and have few class credits. Educational Service District 112 also offers Open Doors classes for students who live within the boundaries of any Clark County school district.Sisters Chelseanne and Richland LaRue, both of whom are enrolled in the program, are among the students working their way toward that spotless future. Until recently, the pair was homeless, camping with their mother in her car across the county and attending four or five different high schools in two years.School became too much, 18-year-old Chelseanne said. There was no guarantee they’d have a good night’s rest, clean clothes, get their homework done. Both dropped out of high school about two years ago.“We didn’t have a stable home,” she said. “After sophomore year, we decided trying to make it every day was just too much.”The LaRue sisters’ story is not unique in Open Doors. Teacher Julia Morrison said for most students in the program, life got in the way of school — they faced poverty, moved from school to school, had to provide child care for their younger siblings or had children of their own.last_img

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