ATP students move into new La Costa Canyon home


On Friday, Aug. 25 parents and students toured the new Adult Transition Program classrooms at La Costa Canyon High School. The Adult Transition Program (ATP) supports special needs students ages 18 to 22 and helps prepare them for adult life — the meet and greet was a way for students to explore their new home.

After parents voiced concerns about ATP’s placement into portables on the Earl Warren Middle School campus, the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) responded by moving the program into three permanent classrooms on the La Costa Canyon campus. In just a few short weeks, district staff got the classrooms ready to go for the first day of school Aug. 29.

The program has its own entrance from the LCC parking lot, leading to one classroom in its own building with a large outdoor space around it and two classrooms in an adjacent building, linked by a work space and bathroom. The classrooms have computer work stations, multiple windows and one has a small kitchen set up. The outdoor space has picnic tables, new planter boxes where students will be able to cultivate fruits and vegetables for the school’s culinary program, and temporary shade structures that will soon become permanent.

Teachers Marianne Rather, Carolyn Wong and Elizabeth Engelberg were at the meet and greet, along with SDUHSD Superintendent Eric Dill, Assistant Superintendent Mark Miller, Director of School and Student Services Meredith Wadley and SDUHSD board members.

The teachers said they were excited for the new school year and looking forward to supporting students in their continued journey toward adult independence.

Students checked out their new classrooms and enjoyed cookies and refreshments while also connecting with friends after the summer. “I see so many familiar faces!” remarked one student.

Parent Lucile Lynch said that the location of the program in the northernmost part of the district may be an adjustment for some parents but in terms of the actual space, it was a huge improvement.

“It’s probably the best the ATP program has ever had. Staff worked hard to make it happen and it showed,” Lynch said. “The LCC setting offers a wonderful learning environment with classrooms that have lots of natural light and space. One of the areas has a lot of space for outdoor activities to help teach students about our environment as well as vocational skills. I am very excited to see what everyone can do working together as we move forward.”