CAMARILLO, Calif. -- Construction of a school specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder is completed in Ventura County, but opening day is on hold due to COVID-19.
The Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE) announced the completion of the new the Mary E. Samples Education Services Center building in Camarillo.
A new Ventura County school for students with autism had to put their first day of school on hold due to the Coronavirus.
“This is amazing,” said Conner Partington who is a senior at Triton Academy in Camarillo.
Partington had an opportunity to walk the halls for the first time inside the newly-built school for students with autism.
“I thought it was amazing,” said Partington. “I think they did a really good job constructing the site.”
“We actually did a drive-by,” said Conners mother Aggie Partington. “They did a virtual tour on the first day of school, but Connor wanted to see the physical building. So we did a drive-by so he could see the structure and piece together what he had seen online, and its very impressive.”
The new two story building will serve students from third to 12th grade who have autism.
“We serve all the districts in Ventura County plus Los Virgenes,” said Sarah Galloway, who is the Triton Academy Principal. “If a child is not being successful in their district, and it can be for a variety of reasons, then the district will make a decision with the family to refer them to Triton and they would come here where we have a more intensive team. We have behaviorist, speech therapist, and we teach social skills.”
The school was previously located at the camarillo airport while construction took place for nearly two years. Now the school has 11 classrooms, a brand new playground with sensory equipment, and more.
“In the lifeskills classroom there is a refrigerator, a dishwasher, a stove, and washer and dryer,” said Galloway. “We are trying to teach as many skills as possible to live as independently as possible.”
The classrooms are full of sensory gadgets, especially for students who are seated.
Triton Academy was set to open last week, but it's closed because of the pandemic. Seventy-one students are already enrolled, currently doing distant learning.
“We have been doing online schooling and it’s been pretty hard,” said Connor Partington. “So I would feel really great if we can come back here safely of course.”
“Its spectacular,” said Aggie Partington. “It is almost like you win the lottery when your kid get admitted to Triton because they have all of the services here and you also have a community, not just with the student but with the parents who are all raising kids with similar challenges.”
For more information about the school, click here.