County to Open School for Students With Special Needs

The Los Angeles County Office of Education is planning to open a special needs school in El Segundo this fall to accommodate the overflow of students in special education programs in the South Bay.

County education officials have signed a five-year lease to open the Imperial School. The former elementary school, which was leased by the county in the 1970s for special needs programs, was shut down 21 years ago when enrollment in the El Segundo Unified School District declined.

Imperial School is being renovated and will serve medically fragile and developmentally disabled students from 12 South Bay school districts, including El Segundo.

Bob Farran, a special education director for the county, which serves 10,000 special needs students, said enrollment in the programs has increased 6% over the past two years.

Special needs students in the South Bay are served at three schools in Redondo Beach, which are full.

Farran said Imperial School was selected to expand the program because it already has the equipment to meet their needs, such as ramps and bathrooms in the classrooms. The county will lease the school from the El Segundo district for $185,515 per year.

About 90 students will be enrolled at the school on East Imperial Avenue. Farran said the student body will largely be composed of elementary and middle school students. El Segundo High School will use one of the classrooms on campus for a general education course so that disabled students will be exposed to students without disabilities and vice versa.

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