Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who can enroll at Palo Alto Adult School?
    Answer: You may enroll in classes at Palo Alto Adult School if you are at least 18 years old. There are no enrollment restrictions associated with your place of residence or citizenship.
  2. Are your classes more expensive for students who do NOT live in Palo Alto? 
    Answer: Class fees are the same for residents and non-residents of Palo Alto.
  3. Where is Palo Alto Adult School located? 
    Answer: The Adult School main office is located in the Tower Building at Palo Alto High School at 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto, CA (at the intersection of El Camino Real and Embarcadero Road). Adult School classes are held in various locations throughout Palo Alto. Check your desired class listing for information on class location.
  4. Is there a charge for parking at Palo Alto Adult School? 
    Answer: There is NO charge for parking at most of our class locations. There is limited free parking at Escondido Village, Stanford.
  5. Is financial aid available at Palo Alto Adult School? 
    Answer: Please contact the Principal, Katya Villalobos if you are interested in scholarship assistance. All information given will remain confidential. Financial assistance for our medical and healthcare classes (Clinical Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy) is available through SLM Financial (www.slmfinancial.com).
  6. Why do Palo Alto Adult School classes often cost so much less than other schools in the area? 
    Answer: Classes for which no fee is indicated in the schedule brochure are fee-exempt by state education code. Fees for community interest self-supporting classes are calculated on the basis of number of students expected, estimated teacher salary, and Adult School and District overhead costs (e.g., facilities, advertising, office staff, etc.). Since many of our classes are held in School District buildings, we are able to pass on this cost savings to the student in a lower class fee.
  7. How are new classes selected and added to the Palo Alto Adult School schedule? 
    Answer: Both teachers and students propose classes. We examine all proposals and decide if we have a market for the class before putting it into our schedule.
  8. What is the difference between a credentialed teacher and an instructor without teaching credentials? 
    Answer: Credentialed instructors have education and experience in their subject areas as well as coursework in teaching and motivating adults. Non-credentialed instructors usually have experience in their subject areas, and may have coursework in their subject areas, but have not pursued the additional methodology coursework required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. All state-supported classes have credentialed instructors.
  9. Can I get a refund if I don’t like the class? 
    Answer: Teachers’ salaries are paid by the fees collected. Therefore, we must limit our refund policy. Refund of fees will only be given if requested at least 72 hours before the first class meeting. Please choose your classes carefully. Deposits and tuition for parent education classes are entirely non-refundable.
  10. Can I get a certificate or document that shows that I completed a class?
    Answer: A certificate of completion and/or a letter stating participation in any Adult School class will be given to any student upon request to the office and verification of attendance.
  11. How do I know which ESL class I should sign up for? 
    Answer: Students enter ESL by registering and taking a placement exam which is given on Mondays: Monday mornings at 9 a.m. at Greendell, and on Monday evenings at Palo Alto High School at 6:30 p.m. The placement tester will advise students of their level and which classes are available. If no openings are available, students will be placed on a waiting list and a postcard will be sent when an opening occurs.