I am writing in response to last week’s article, “Special Education program lost in Point Dume debate.” I am not one of the petitioners in the Point Dume Charter application. However, when the petitioners contacted me as a community leader in special education, I was willing to comply as I am also an advocate of Education Reform and Charter Schools. The petitioners wanted a person with a child in our local special ed program to take a look at the program which was proposed in their petition. I felt it reflected the fine special education program already in place at Point Dume.
The petitioners also met with an ad hoc committee from the district’s Special Education District Advisory Committee. This ad hoc committee reviewed the special ad program proposed in the petition and wrote a letter in support of it.
The charter petition never addressed the Pre-School Special Ed program at Point Dume because it is a district run program. The petition does not include a pre-school program because there are no General Ed pre-school programs at any of the other public school sites in Malibu. Point Dume is a K-5 elementary school.
The current special ed pre-school at Point Dume is an excellent program run by a highly qualified teacher and dedicated support staff. The program has the advantage of including their students in activities with “neuro-typical” students who attend the privately operated pre-school which rents space on the Point Dume campus. The petitioners have already gone on record stating their desire to keep the SE pre-school program at the Point Dume site should the Charter be granted.