Adult school prepares fun and education for spring

Comfortable environment takes away intimidation, student says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The Placer School for Adults is ready for the spring, with a plethora of new classes and opportunities for the local community. Judy McCoy, principal of Placer School for Adults, based on Finley Street in Auburn, said some of the classes are geared toward career development, some for learning about technology and some are just for fun. “For some people, our new class in auto mechanics would be fun,” McCoy said. “It’s a class in Foresthill, and it’s going to be a mix of high school and adult (students). It’s going to be a first for us.” The school, which is the adult division of Placer Union High School District, is also offering a class about learning to work with electronic health records. Other classes include Local Business Online Success and Introduction to Online Marketing. McCoy said these classes are ideal for keeping a business thriving. “(It’s about) how do you help your local business to be successful?” McCoy said. “How do you put yourself at the top of a Google search?” The school is offering an Eat, Pray, Love class, which will take students to three different local locations that will emulate the journey taken in the book and movie. Other new classes include a Go Green with Beauty and Skin Care class, a Before You Book Your Flight pre-travel class, swimming classes and more. The school offers a number of financial classes, social networking classes, technology tutoring classes, welding, GED, dance, art, cooking, fitness and more. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday and classes range in price from free to $3,600, with average prices around $50, McCoy said. McCoy said there are several things that set Placer School for Adults apart, including that its students range in age from 16 to 95 years old. “We believe in a personalized approach to education,” she said. “We do not have an automated phone system. Our beliefs are we are members of the community. We work here, we live here, we have families here.” McCoy said the school hopes to help students uncover the unknown jewels in the Auburn area. “It takes so long to just discover all the wonderful things we have,” McCoy said. “I look at what Sierra (College) offers, and I look at what the Auburn Area Recreation and Parks District offers, and I look to find new classes, things that haven’t been done before.” The school also has a tutorial class for the iPad, and a class called Battle of the Smartphones where students decide which phones are right for them. Auburn resident Bethany Arnold is a student in the Clinical Medical Assistant class offered at the school in partnership with Boston Reed College. Arnold said the Placer School for Adults’ non-intimidating environment and variety of classes make it less stressful for those who might be hesitant about returning to a school setting. “I feel like it really helps, especially middle-aged people,” Arnold said. “It makes them feel comfortable I guess. It makes them feel like they can go back to school and not feel embarrassed about starting school up again.” Dutch Flat resident Michelle Lippincott said the school’s flexible class schedules made it possible for her to enroll in the Clinical Medical Assistant program. “It just makes it easier for people,” Lippincott said. “It makes goals more obtainable. I have a daughter, and school didn’t seem like it would be feasible, but they make it easy.” Auburn resident Karen Arnold, who is also enrolled in the Clinical Medical Assistant program, said the school gives students the help they need to get on the right track with their lives. “Many people may not have completed high school or may not have any type of specific skills to get a job, and Placer School for Adults offers that,” Karen Arnold said. Carey Shannon, Clinical Medical Assistant instructor, said she encourages those who are nervous about taking classes to give the school a shot. “(They should) give it a try, because I think they will be pleasantly surprised at the experience they will have,” Shannon said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to have the variation of class types the Placer School for Adults offers in our community.” Reach Bridget Jones at ----------------------------------------------------- Placer School for Adults What: An Auburn-based school offering a variety of fun and career preparation courses for adults. Where: 390 Finley St., Auburn Website: Information or registration: Call (530) 885-8585