J.J. Cairns opens adult school in Lindsay


Adult Ed Consortium offers free registration at J.J. Cairns in Lindsay

By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN

LINDSAY – Parents send their children off to school every day before they head off to work. And every day they hope their kids come one day closer to completing their education and moving on to bigger and better things. But some of those parents have not yet completed their education themselves.

For a variety of reasons adults dropped out of school and now as adults are struggling to grasp concepts in the work force or are not able to get a job they want, all because they do not have their high school diploma. But now they are able to go back to school for free and finish what they started.

“In one way it’s continuing your eduction as an adult, and for another, it is picking something up you missed when you were a kid,” said J.J. Cairns principal of 10 years Dennis Doane. “There is a need in Lindsay for adults to build their skill sets in order to be competitive and employable, and [that is built] with getting that education.”

The adult school offers high school equivalency test (High SET) prep and testing along with General Education Development (GED) prep and testing, as well as citizenship classes. And for adults who do not use computers on a daily basis, the adult school offers traditional pencil and paper tests. Doane said that providing tests in a format students are comfortable with gives them the best chance to pass. But beyond tests and classes, the most important thing is registration and enrollment is free.

As a part of the Sequoia Education Consortium, the Lindsay Unified School District (LUSD) qualifies for state grant dollars for adult education. The consortium is made up of all the school districts that fall within their nearest community college’s district. For Lindsay the district is College of the Sequoias (COS) in Visalia. Doane noted that adult education grants can be pretty competitive but the consortium has been fortunate to come up with the money, albeit has been a three year process to secure the funds.

“We’re very fortunate that we are a part of a very strong consortium,” Doane said.

Classes for the adult school have already begun with classes meeting Monday thru Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and there is open enrollment every night with no deadlines. When students register they sit with a counselor and strategize a plan to finish classes with their GED or the High SET.

Right now the adult ed program has three certified teachers

and one citizenship teacher and have about 50 students already enrolled. Doane said that they can take in another 50 students before having to expand the program with more funding and more teachers. He added that support for the program has been outstanding.

“It’s nice to go out for something like this with support of your…superintendent behind you and the school board is behind you so you can swing the bat as hard as you want and they’re behind you,” Doane said.

As well having the school located in Lindsay is a large help to adults who do not have reliable transportation. Doane added that before adult students would have to go to Porterville or Visalia and that would pose problems for students who did not have a car and had to rely on public transportation. And while educating the adult population of Lindsay is a noble feat for the 10 year principal, Doane sees the benefit adult education provides to the entire community.

“For me I live in Lindsay so I have a vested interest in having the community be employed and educated,” Doane said.

Start typing and press Enter to search