After months of uncertainty over the future of its adult education program following sharp cuts in its annual budget, the East Hampton School District has announced that a pilot program will run from mid-March to mid-April, with two courses continuing into June. The program will operate at no additional cost to the district.
Courses include basic drawing, bridge for beginners, bridge for intermediate players, computer literacy, introduction to Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, introduction to QuickBooks, defensive driving, intermediate and advanced English as a second language, preparation for the United States citizenship test, Test of English as a foreign language preparation, and a five-hour course required to obtain a New York State driver’s license.
The courses, ranging from $55 to $155 with checks made payable directly to the instructor, will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings at East Hampton High School. Admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
Course catalogs, which contain information related to registration, are available at www.ehufsd.org (scroll to Links/Adult Education and then past the blank page).
“It’s such a great give-back to the community that we couldn’t just leave it in the dust,” said Bridget LeRoy, the district’s communications consultant, who will oversee the program. “I hope it works this way, as a public service to both instructors and those who sign up.”
“I really appreciate [Superintendent of Schools Richard J. Burns] and the board being open enough to give it a try this way,” she added. “If it doesn’t work, it’ll be back to the drawing board, but I hope the program thrives and expands in years to come.”
Faced with a 2-percent cap on property tax increases last year, the East Hampton School Board voted to slice over $2 million from the budget. Joan Carlson, who had run the adult education program for more than 20 years, was among the positions cut. The program’s future has been iffy ever since, until now.