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Work Getting Underway On New Public School Campus On South Coast for Kids With Autism

(Ventura County Office Of Education image)
Artists rendering of new Triton Academy campus in Ventura County for children, teens on the autism spectrum

It’s a diagnosis no parent wants to hear. Trevor Jenkins parents heard it while he was still a pre-schooler.

He is on the autism spectrum.

Jackie Jenkins says while hearing her son had autism was hard, the early diagnosis was a good thing, because children do much better when there is early intervention.

The Camarillo family is lucky in another way. Unlike many areas around the country, Ventura County has a specialized school for children on the autism spectrum.

Now, Triton Academy is going through some big changes. It’s been based at a former elementary school campus in Camarillo.  With enrollment growing, the Pleasant Valley School District needs the campus back, so Triton has been forced to move.

There’s a short term and a long term plan for Triton. Short term, it will move a few miles away, to a temporary home.  It will be based at Camarillo Airport, where the Ventura County Office of Education has some existing facilities.

Work officially got underway Monday a long term solution. Triton Academy is going to get its own permanent home. Groundbreaking ceremonies took place Monday night on a brand new, $15 million dollar, 30,000 square foot campus in Camarillo. It will be on the 5100 block of Adolfo Road, near its parent, the Ventura County Office of Education.

It’s being funded by Proposition 51, a statewide school bond measure approved by voters in 2016.

Parents like Jackie Jenkins say having a resource like Triton available has made all the difference for her son. Jenkins says it wasn’t just having specialized staff which helped. She says her son could also directly relate to some of his classmates at the 80 plus students school. The teen just graduated from Triton, and the 17 year old is now headed to Ventura College.

Plans call for the new Triton school to be ready for use sometime during the 2019-2020 school year.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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