Lompoc Unified School District’s adult education program is on the verge of a fresh makeover.
District leaders proposed a rebranding of the adult curriculum, which has been offered by LUSD for more than 50 years, during Tuesday night’s meeting of the LUSD board of education. As part of that rebranding, the program’s name would change from Lompoc Adult School to the Lompoc Adult School and Career Center and the program would also get a new logo.
That latter portion of the new name was added to reflect a change in education emphasis, according to Mary Coggins, the principal of the adult school program.
“We have a population that (is) either underemployed, unemployed or they’re in the workplace and they want to make some type of advancement,” Coggins said to the board Tuesday. “With that in mind, we’re asking the board to consider and approve our name change to reflect that. We still are Lompoc Adult School, but we are now a career center.”
LUSD Superintendent Trevor McDonald noted after Coggins’ presentation that the board does not necessarily need to vote on the change. The district can just move forward with it, he said, “unless there was some major objection.”
None of the four board members present at Tuesday’s meeting — Richard King was absent — offered any objections.
Board member Dick Barrett, in fact, offered his backing. He said he attended the Adult School’s graduation ceremony this spring and came away impressed by what the program offers.
“It’s really important that we support this,” Barrett said. “We talk about how we need more people on our local schools’ advisory councils, and it’s hard for some people who don’t speak the language to feel like they (are) included in that sort of thing. But, I think the more people that go through our program, especially where they’re learning the English language and mastering that skill, we can get them involved at the local level and … it makes the individual schools stronger.”
In the past, LUSD’s Adult School had offered courses in community education, career technical, English as a second language (ESL), high school diploma and GED preparation classes. Over time, however, a reduction in funding limited courses to just high school diploma and ESL classes, according to a staff report provided to the board.
The staff report went on to note that the California state budget currently allocates funding to eligible groups comprised of community college and adult education providers to collaborate and offer services to adult education students.
Coggins noted Tuesday that LUSD’s Adult School is collaborating with Hancock College to offer eligible programs that include focuses on workforce readiness and the skills needed to achieve personal and professional goals.
“We have the funding, we have the possibility, and we have the population that’s ready,” Coggins said.
Coggins went on to note that, in addition to its partnership with Hancock College, the school would also collaborate with local high school academies. She suggested that further expansion could be imminent.
“We have much more ahead of us,” she said.
In other action Tuesday, the board voted 4-0, with the one absence, to approve a $103,716 contract with Lompoc-based Miller Landscaping and Maintenance, Inc., for the firm to provide gopher wire and sod services at La Canada Elementary School.
That total includes a $94,288 base bid, with another $9,428 in contingency funds. Of that total cost, half will come from the Audacious Foundation, which donated $51,858 in matching funds for the project. The remaining half will come from the district’s deferred maintenance funds, according to district staff.
District administrators noted that similar maintenance work on fields will be performed at other schools around the district in the coming months.
The LUSD board will reconvene for a special meeting at 8 a.m. Monday to discuss district goals. The next regular meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 26.
Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.