Students with Special Needs Get Student Government and Prom

Port View Preparatory Breaks Norms Around Social Activities

YORBA LINDA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Port View Preparatory, a K-22 school serving students from Orange,
Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties with autism
and other special needs
, has rolled out an innovative student
government program, prom and other activities that most students take
for granted, but those with special needs rarely enjoy.

“We’ve never seen these life milestones offered to students and
wondered, ‘Why not?’” says co-founder and principal, Dr. Edward Miguel
of Port View. “Since launching the Student Government, student
confidence has soared,” he adds.

Formed in June, Port View’s student government elective program is
comprised of a student president, vice-president, campus chair, events
chair, secretary and classroom representative. The group meets monthly
to discuss items the school should purchase, event ideas, planning and
much more.

“The reward of seeing their ideas implemented for the whole school is
highly empowering as it would be for any other student,” says Dr.
Melaura Erickson Tomaino, co-founder, principal and advisor to the
group. Student-led programs like student government are a staple at
schools and valued for the lessons of teamwork and individual

The students’ first initiatives were planning Halloween decor and a
related flyer for parents, a talent show, and requesting new equipment
for recess. The talent show, held in August, was captured in part on the
video “A
Day at Port View.

Parents raising children with special needs know all too well how often
their kids are left out of social opportunities widely available to
other students. “Before coming here, a prom, visits to restaurants where
kids learn to order their own meals, yoga, and cross-fit training
weren’t even on the menu,” says parent Veronica Barin, whose son
previously attended a variety of schools.

Andrea Dougherty, whose child also attends Port View, credits the
school’s philosophy. “It’s Port View’s way because they see our kids as
they are: students who just happen to have special needs. They hold them
accountable and provide them with great opportunities to succeed.”

Co-founders and principals Miguel and Tomaino are just getting started.
“We are passionate about seeking out opportunities that help our
students to thrive. Quite simply, it is the biggest reward either of us
could ask for,” says Miguel.

About Port View Preparatory School:

Port View Preparatory is a non-public school that operates like the best
private schools in the country for students K-22 with special needs.
Small class sizes, high teacher-to-student ratios, (currently 1:12), use
of applied behavior analysis, speech-language and occupational
therapies, the PEERS program, social skills training, Port View also
provides vocational education and career development for students.
Community integration and training programs, fitness and unique
educational field trips are also offered. Additionally, the school
provides top-of-the-line equipment and student transportation. With a
vision to see beyond the challenges, Port View Preparatory charts
educational opportunities that allow each student to fulfill his or her
full potential while providing a personalized education for all.

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Port View Preparatory School
Lisa Odendaal, 714-463-6394