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An adult high school or adult school is a high school facility designed for adult education. It is intended for adults who have not completed high school to continue their education. Some adult high schools offer child care, special integration programs for immigrants and refugees, career and other programs and services geared toward the special needs of adult students. Some adult high schools may also offer general interest programs such as computer skills or other continuing education courses.
A few cities in the United States and Canada have dedicated adult high school facilities. In most other cities, students age out of the system at 19 or 20 leaving them no other option than getting their GED or attend an online high school program. This is a problem for students who still need many classes to gain the skills they need to pass a GED test. This problem is compounded for the United States' growing foreign born population who are not familiar with the American school systems and are still learning English, especially if they come into the United States in their teens and are expected to catch up with their American peers by the time they reach the age of 19 or 20.
Samuel Fox is credited with helping William Singleton to start the first ‘Adult School’ in 1798. Initially, the classes were for young women from local lace and hosiery factories. William Singleton, a Methodist started the school, but it was Fox and the staff from his grocer shop that maintained it. Fox's staff was expected to teach at this school and Fox provided breakfast at 9 a.m. on a Sunday after they had completed two hours of teaching. The school grew to include men, but it was said that Fox was specifically interested in improving adult education. Lessons are believed to have started with a Bible reading, but the book was then used as a text book to enable scholars to practise reading and writing. Fox conducted lessons for three mornings a week for students of more advanced arithmetic and he would fund some to go to become teachers themselves.