Parents of special needs students tour controversial classrooms

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SAN DIEGO – Upset parents and students Friday toured two portable trailers currently slated to serve as classrooms for students with special needs in Solana Beach.

Parents of those students have been calling on the San Dieguito Union High School District to make a change after seeing the disparity between the temporary classrooms and the state-of-the-art facility for mainstream students at the newly built Early Warren Jr. High.

Over 60 special needs students are enrolled in the Adult Transition Program, also known as ATP, which prepares teen students with special needs for the real world.

Students say after walking through their would-be classrooms, they feel a desperate change is needed.

“I don’t really necessarily want to be back on a middle school campus that belongs to 14- and 15-year-olds. I want to be with a group my age who’s 18, 19, going into college,” a student said.

“I didn’t have the heart to tell her that we’ve worked so hard in high school, you’re going back to middle school,” said a mother of another student.

At a town hall-style meeting Friday, parents aired their frustrations about the disparity between the classrooms.

“I stood up and accepted responsibility for some promises that were made that we didn’t deliver on,” Superintendent Eric Dill told FOX 5.

Now, with only 30 days before the first day of school, it will be a race to find a suitable campus for the adult transition program schools.

“We’re working as quickly as we can and Monday we hit the ground running to try and find some more solutions in order to make it better for as many students as we possibly can,” Dill said.

FOX 5 spoke with 13 families, all of which said they would prefer to move the entire adult transition program to La Costa Canyon.

School officials said they are considering the proposal and make a decision by Monday.

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