By Shana LiVIGNI
“We are celebrating back-toschool night and our silver anniversary – 25 years of our school becoming a school,” boasted College View school principal Ms. Jay Schwartz at the jubilee last Friday night. “In 1970, it started as a program to educate children with special needs. Then it became the Glendale Developmental Center and in 1984 it was named College View School. It turned the tides for our programs to turn into real expert education for children with special needs. We serve children with severe cognitive disabilities and other disabilities.”
The on-site event included a $5 dinner, a tent that housed a student song recital and a wall that held up a large colorful mural of the school mascot, the giraffe. The fences and tables were peppered with large helium balloons in the school colors of blue and white. One of the many families that attended this celebration was Aaron and Amy Rogers, their daughter Moira (9) and their son Soren (6), who has been attending the school for the past three years. Amy explained her son’s routine. “He takes the bus every morning and you can tell that he gets that it’s a part of his routine, when the day starts. He really loves being in a group of kids and responds much better with the voices of kids and it motivates him to do more because he sees what they’re doing. It’s a great school and Soren will probably be attending until he’s 22.”
College View School opened its doors in 1977 as a special needs school serving kids from Glendale, La Cañada and Burbank and is part of the Glendale Unified School District. It houses eight classrooms with one teacher and anywhere from three to nine students per class. The students range in age from pre-school to approximately 22 years old, with a total of 76 to 96 students at any given time. These special needs students face an array of medical challenges from learning disabilities to genetic disorders. Some of the common ailments include autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Down syndrome and Angelman’s syndrome – a genetic disorder that causes developmental delay and neurological problems.
The campus features an on site kitchen, adaptive equipment, a full time nurse and speech therapist, a large play structure designed for ages 2 to 5 and is built on rubberized safety surfacing.
In addition, there’s a winding path and grassy, parklike setting and a larger playground area for the older students featuring two shade structures, four swings and one slide surrounded by ample space to walk or ride tricycles.
The College View staff offers monthly canine therapy visits, a therapy swimming pool and safe and secure playgrounds. College View School also incorporates popular field trips to the Los Angeles Zoo, a Dairy Council cow visit, the Cabrillo Maritime Museum and hosts annual events like Snow Day, Wheel-A-Walk-
A-Thon and the upcoming Halloween Carnival.
“We got a grant last year for a ‘Take your family to school’ event, but families can’t really come and observe their children here because it would disrupt the children’s day. So instead, we had a movie made so parents could see what happens in a day,” Amy explained. “It’s about 30 minutes long and amazing and inspiring. It’s really incredible and you can see it on the website [www. collegeviewglendale.org].”
In these times of economic difficulties, College View School always appreciates and needs donations to fund specific projects like the playground and sensory room. Other ways the community can help is by donating new children’s story and picture books, puzzles, toys with music and lights, outdoor toys like balls, yard games and adult tricycles, mats and bean bag chairs, towels, blankets and pillows, storage and filing cabinets as well as office furniture (new or used). All donations are tax-deductible. For details, contact administrative secretary Julie Niles at (818) 246-8363.
College View School is located at 1700 E Mountain St. in Glendale.