The Help Group Schools, in general, have a monopoly in the Los Angeles area. Most of the students are funded by LAUSD and it's considered a "non-public school". My son is non-verbally autistic so Sunrise was one of the few choices available to us. The NPS has to abide by a mandated curriculum set forth by LAUSD. Children who are non-verbal (or "low functioning") are required to participate in a CBI curriculum (community based instruction). That means that they take them out in the community on public transportation to the grocery store, laundromats, the movies, etc. Occasionally they go to educational destinations like museums or experience cultural events. The extent of the academics is limited to money recognition and computer programs geared for much younger kids. The speech program consists of group speech which is woefully inadequate for these kids whose needs are so great. They disallow any outside agencies to come to the school to work with the kids. They aren't taught any effective means of communicating such as facilitated communication. Low expectations predominate and the different populations within the school aren't allowed to socialize and are confined to their area.
Sunrise is an awesome school for students with low functioning autism and other developmental disabilities. The principal and vice principal are easily approachable and return phone calls and emails in a timely manner. The 2007-2008 school year was a wonderful success with low staff turn over and all staff gave 110% effort into their jobs..okay not all, but most. I would recommend Sunrise to any parent who was in need of proper schooling for the child with disabilities.
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