Why is Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School important to the community of Firebaugh? Let's first look at the demographics of the community and to look at the needs of the community. Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District (FLDUSD) is located on the western edge of the Central San Joaquin Valley. FLDUSD is considered a rural school district and the local economy is agriculture-based. The district has an enrollment of 2266 students and consists of five schools, serving children from Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grade and adults enrolled at Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School. The total population of Firebaugh (2014) is 8,300 residents. Of these residents, 20% are unemployed. The median (50th percentile) family income is around half of the state average ($33,742) and the per capita income is $12,048 per year. Demographically, the community consists of 91.2 % Hispanic, 7% white, and 2% other races. These demographics also mirror the racial and ethnic composition of the school district itself. Approximately 55% of the community (adults 18 years of age or older) do not have a high school diploma, and 37.1% (3,117 residents) are foreign-born.
Based on the community demographics described above, most adult residents of Firebaugh do not possess a high school diploma or equivalent and are thus at a disadvantage for entering or re-entering the workforce. Also noted above was the figure of 37.1% of all residents in the community being foreign-born and thus not having the level of English fluency necessary to satisfactorily operate within the framework of a workplace environment. These two factors have been prioritized by Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School and are seen as necessary in order to address the 20% unemployment rate of the community of Firebaugh and to address the high level of residents living below the federal poverty index. The English as a Second Language (ESL) offerings at Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School are the most popular courses. Students take a pre-test upon enrollment and the majority score below the 8th grade level in English language arts (ELA) and math, and therefore receive the Adult Basic Education curriculum. Over time, students make progress and demonstrate academic ability at higher grade levels. In spite of the fact that most adult students in the three ESL courses are Spanish-speaking, Firebaugh has seen a large influx of families from the Middle East and their primary language is Arabic. Many of these adults also lack English fluency and a high school diploma.
Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School, an entity of Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District, is a “training service provider” under the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board and West Hills Adult Education Consortium. As a member of this consortium, Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School provides adult education and literacy activities, including activities of English language acquisition and integrated education and training programs, provided concurrently or in combination with another training service. Because of the instructional priorities identified, Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School is providing the academic instruction and literacy skills development to prepare adults in Firebaugh to participate in “regional sector pathway” programs with the ultimate goal of attaining industry-recognized post-secondary skills and/or credentials needed by employers in our region. These training services (adult education) are provided through the local America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) One-Stop System of service delivery in coordination with the West Hills Adult Education Consortium. WHAEC maintains a Workforce Connections Center office in Firebaugh, located at 1511 9th St., Firebaugh, CA 93622.