Although it may not look like much from the outside, the Roosevelt Adult School is helping to change the lives of many local residents.
Located in the heart of East Los Angeles, adjacent from Roosevelt High School, this school provides academic classes for adults. The school focuses on helping students learn English or improve upon their existing language skills.
Many students find the school appealing because of its low price of education. The rates for classes are extremely reduced compared to their private counterparts, which many of the students would not be able to afford. According to California Adult School information, the majority of classes have fees from $10 to $25. Another draw is that the school is centrally located in the community so it is easily accessible for many of the students.
Because most of the students have other responsibilities outside of the classroom, the schedule is strategically designed with classes at night. The teachers understand that the students are often swamped with other commitments in their lives such as jobs or families. Ann Marie Murray, a long-time teacher at the school, said, "The students are exhausted by the time they come to class so it is important to keep them engaged and learning." Teachers realize the difficulties that many of the students’ face and try to make accommodations to help them succeed without jeopardizing the other aspects of their lives.
With different classes for all different levels, the students are able to learn based on their individual needs. The size of each class can vary greatly depending on the level of the courses being taught. Because the courses cater to the students' needs, it is easy for students to move quickly through the various levels and complete their desired degree. Students come to the school for a variety of reasons but most of them are working towards a specific goal. For Amado Osorio, this means earning his GED so that he can achieve his dream of becoming an architect. Likewise, Santos Perfecto said, "Coming to Roosevelt was a personal goal." With his degree he hopes to eventually own his own business.
Although the school benefits many students, it still faces problems with funding. According to Jenny Moreno, one of the English language teachers at the school, the adult school is not a priority in the eyes of the Los Angeles Unified School District. She feels that the needs of the high school come long before the needs of the adult school, with some teachers even having to buy supplies out of their own pockets.
According to information provided by California Adult Schools, the funding for adult education is expected to end by June 30, 2015.
The Roosevelt Adult School is only one part of the entire East Los Angeles Service Area that provides high-quality and low-cost education for adults. Roosevelt focuses primarily on English and high school diploma classes, along with three other branches that have specialties of their own.
The East Los Angeles Skills Center dedicates itself primarily to providing adult students with career technical education. Some of the classes offered include cosmetology, graphic design, and video production. The East Los Angeles Occupational Center specializes in career technical education for construction, accounting, and many other fields of work. The Eastside Learning Center concentrates more on English and High School Diploma classes, similar to Roosevelt.
The goal of this school division is to empower students to become productive citizens through employment and education. To get a better sense of Roosevelt, take a look at the interviews below of the teachers, students, and administrators that bring this school to life.