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Old 01-28-2019, 03:15 PM
 
9 posts, read 6,808 times
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I'm interested in relocating my family to Ventura County and had questions about public schools and which part of the county might be the best fit for us.

First, I have a son currently in kindergarten who is special needs (high functioning autism) and a daughter in pre-school (4 years old) who is neurotypical (not special needs). I want to buy a home in a top performing school district that supports both of our kiddos gifts and needs. I've heard good things about the special education services in Ventura County, specifically Conejo Unified SD (but not much else). I'm curious if anyone has any recommendations on high-performing school districts and/or elementary schools that have progressive and well resourced special education services (Inclusion, enough paraprofessional and therapeutic staff, individualized support in the classroom, etc.)?

Also, as a family, we are slightly left of center politically and even more so socially. We are older parents (mid 40's) with a young family and are easy going, creative, and open-minded (at least we think we are). We have been looking at real estate in Ventura County (Thousand Oaks area) and would like to find an area where we could get more space for the $ (but would buy a home in Thousand Oaks). We want to make friends and build a community for ourselves and for our kids. Can anyone suggest areas in the VC metro area that might be a good or better fit for community building and affordable real estate?
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:07 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 12,806,640 times
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You could start your school search here: https://www.vcoe.org/Schools/Special-Education-Schools. There is also Triton Academy in Camarillo (they take out-of-district students) for autism https://www.vcoe.org/triton-move

All the local USD's are really good---Conejo Valley, Oak Park, Las Virgenes, Simi Valley.

What is your "affordable" housing budget and for how much room? Simi Valley has the best bang for the buck.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:30 PM
DKM
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
5,497 posts, read 1,992,267 times
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Affordable real estate and high performing schools are diametrically opposed in VC. You'll have to figure out your compromise on that. School districts in most areas have good and bad schools. Its a mistake to assume all CVUSD schools are good because the district itself is good. Nobody cares about your politics as long as you don't try to impose them on others. Where I live locals aren't very pleased when someone moves in and tries to support whatever liberal do gooder causes they want the rest of us to pay for.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:35 AM
 
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Because of the high COL, VUSD is hemorrhaging students every year. They are losing 1-2% of their students per year, and the trend is accelerating. This results in a sort of accelerated social darwinism for schools. So, the basic rules apply: Look for large, high-performing, good-testing schools. These will vampire off the dwindling supply of good students, while being enhanced by the larger percentage of involved parents.

While it is now harder to afford children in Ventura, and thus there are fewer of them, those parents who do make the commitment are--generally--more invested in their children.

Each large city--with the exception of Oxnard--has a high-performing Elementary school. Ventura has Mound (and Portola). Camarillo has CAPE. Thousand Oaks has Sycamore Canyon (and one or two others). There are more high-performing schools in TO than the other cities, because it is more family-oriented, housing is somewhat cheaper, and it has a more well-heeled suburban vibe. Think rich soccer moms involved in social causes. The other cities have higher crime and more eclectic populations with more focus on DINKS and singletons than kids. All the high-performing schools are more-or-less equal, though Mound is consistently the best school in the county.

On the other side of the coin: Beware dying schools. Low-performers with small populations go into a death spiral as parents pull their kids and send them to the better schools. Then they lay off teachers and combine classes. They market themselves as small schools where you'll know all the other parents (who bother or have the ability to be involved) but the point of school isn't to make parents feel good about themselves, is it? Watch out for any school that has combined classes, low test scores (especially ones which have declined year-over-year), and a small population of students.
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:32 PM
 
9 posts, read 6,808 times
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Thanks to everyone for your responses. I'll move forward and investigate some of the districts you recommended- especially Simi Valley and Conejo. The primary sped requirement we're looking for is inclusion, meaning push in, services rather than primarily pull out services. I've spoken to Conejo and discovered that they're primarily pulling out (meaning removing the child from the mainstream classroom for special education). Thanks again!
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, California
10,408 posts, read 2,433,547 times
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Just curious to hear what you chose. I haven't been on here in a while, but I have some information that would probably help you (if you haven't already moved here).

I have lived in Thousand Oaks / Newbury Park since the 70s and have a very good feel for the area. I raised my two (now grown) children in the area, and they attended CVUSD schools. I have also have worked for CVUSD for many years. My daughter works in SPED for CVUSD, too! So if you have any specific questions, please ask!
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:47 PM
 
25 posts, read 10,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malatono View Post
Thanks to everyone for your responses. I'll move forward and investigate some of the districts you recommended- especially Simi Valley and Conejo. The primary sped requirement we're looking for is inclusion, meaning push in, services rather than primarily pull out services. I've spoken to Conejo and discovered that they're primarily pulling out (meaning removing the child from the mainstream classroom for special education). Thanks again!

Know this is an old thread, but wanted to add my two cents.


My sister has special needs and we first lived in Thousand Oaks, then Oak Park. Thousand Oaks has a designated special needs program for students, so they are more accustomed to catering to needs, have classes of students, students don't feel so isolated, etc. At Oak Park, there are a high number of kids with "ADD/ADHD" but not a lot who are actually special needs. There was one girl in my grade, one in the grade below me, and then my sister - four grades below me. My sister is high functioning, and knew very well that she was the only special needs kid her year. We tried to get her transferred to the TO school system, but they didn't accept us because we were out of the area.


Although it was challenging, she ended up enjoying her time in high school because of a group of nice kids and a few great aids. Plus, since she was the only special needs student, they were able to do a lot for her - like make a greenhouse and set up a classroom for her to learn to cook.
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