By Kristy Higginson-Holland, The Associated PressSchools and communities across California have been grappling with rising numbers of students with vision impairments in recent years.
But the latest figures from the California Department of Education show the number of students at schools with limited vision has dropped significantly since 2010.
Schools have seen an average of one student per class with a vision impairment from about 2008 to 2012.
By 2019, that number had dropped to one.
In Rancho, the number dropped to less than one per class between 2008 and 2012, and now that number is down to one per student.
That could mean the school has lost students, said Larry Mancuso, director of the Rancho Rancho Community School District.
“It’s a sad day for Rancho,” said Mancaso, who is also a retired teacher.
School district spokesman Michael Kostecki said he was unaware of the school district’s numbers, but added that the district continues to evaluate schools with disabilities and works with local school boards to ensure access to education for students with special needs.
Mancusa said the district has already begun working with local businesses to provide more space for students to use the facility.
The California Department for Education did not respond to a request for comment.
The Rancho school district is located in the southern part of the state, which is among the most economically depressed areas in the nation.
The area is home to about 2.3 million people, most of them Latinos and Asians.
Rancho, a ranching community of about 7,000, is located at the southern end of the San Gabriel Mountains.