[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
75°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 16
2000 - Rancho Camulos designated a National Historic Landmark [story]
Rancho Camulos


| Tuesday, Jan 21, 2020
Hansen
Kaye Hansen shares stories about how she helped to create some of the first special education programs in the Santa Clarita Valley. January 14, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

 

Back in the 1960s, there weren’t any special education programs in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Instead, special needs children were considered “uneducable” and were only permitted to attend kindergarten.

So, when Kaye and Arlen Hansen’s son Kelly started kindergarten at Santa Clarita Elementary in the fall of 1962, it didn’t take them long to decide that something must be done.

“All the other kids got to go and do all these things and he just always wondered how come he couldn’t do the same,” Kaye Hansen said. “After that, he wasn’t educable enough to take into the school system, so we had him home. He was 6 years old, and we didn’t know what to do with him.”

Seeing the need for her son and thinking there must be others who could benefit, Hansen called a special education program in Los Angeles, inquiring if it could be brought to the SCV.

She was told if she could find 10 “uneducable” children and a place to hold a class, they would provide a teacher. Dr. Bowen, the special education representative she met with, then asked to meet Kelly, who sealed the deal.

“Here he was riding a tricycle, wet, runny nose, I mean, he just put on a really good show from the very beginning,” Hansen added, chuckling.

With the help of Myron Sproul, longtime SCV educator and vice principal at Hart High School at the time, Hansen was able to find a total of seven special needs children. Though just shy of the 10 kids needed, Hansen pressed on.

Soon, she was put in contact with the Rev. Charles Dennis at the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, where a recent addition of classrooms and restrooms to their church made for the perfect home for the program.

“They sent this wonderful lady (to head the program) that was just a perfect fit for these children,” Hansen added. “In fact, when Kelly became of age to go to the junior high, they told me that he could really go to an inclusion program, which they called something else in those days, but I didn’t want him to go to the junior high … Kelly was happy.”

The special education program remained at the church until 1968, when it was moved to a side building at Emblem Elementary, with the help of Arlen Hansen, who was also a building contractor.

“They built a whole little section right in front for the school,” Hansen said.

Kelly continued through the program until he was 21, when he was, again, left with nowhere to go.

The Hansens again went to work to create another special education program, this one for adults.

In December 1969, Pleasantview Industries, a nonprofit organization serving adults with disabilities, opened a workshop at the old Saugus Union School District offices.

Here, adults with special needs could not only develop work skills, but also find supported employment.

“We started out as primarily a facility-based program with a work activity center, which we still do have, and over the years have been able to place people into jobs in the community,” said Gerry Howard, executive director at Pleasantview. “We currently have 66 people working in jobs in the community, which has surpassed the number we have in the facility.”

Howard attributes that to the implementation of the transportation system in the SCV, which made the industrial centers more accessible.

Since then, Pleasantview has moved into an old Saugus Elementary School building that was cut into three sections and transported to the Rosedell Elementary School property.

“Arlen was president of the board when I was hired in 1977,” Howard said. “I was hired as executive director right out of college and I was first and only up until this point.”

“The Hansens were very instrumental in getting the program started, and I was appreciative of the board and Arlen’s support, as we were all kind of finding our way,” he added.

Today, Emblem Elementary has a facility dedicated to special education and all five school districts work together to provide special education.

The Hansen family has continued to have a hand in the community, such as Kelly’s sister Karla Posner, who not only works with the special education program at Mountain View Elementary School, but also works with Major Impact Theater, a nonprofit theater troupe for adults with disabilities.

“So, Kelly’s always in my heart,” she added, smiling.

Looking back, Hansen never expected her and her husband’s efforts to lead to this.

“We didn’t know what we were doing when we started the school, we just went out on a limb and worked together,” she said. “We met the most wonderful people. People who needed us and we needed them, and the (special needs) community was so accepted… and the school district was just a great help in every way.”

Hansen Family

A family portrait of the Hansen Children, including Kelly, whose special needs inspired his mother to help build some of the first special education programs in the Santa Clarita Valley. January 14, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.


Karla Posner and Kaye Hansen

Kaye Hansen, right, sits next to her daughter Karla Posner, left, who followed in her mother’s footsteps and now also works with special needs children. January 14, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.


Kaye Hansen

Kaye Hansen, right, sits next to her daughter Karla Posner, left, who followed in her mother’s footsteps and now also works with special needs children. January 14, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


LOCAL SCHOOL LINKS
Related Content
LATEST SCHOOL NEWS
Thursday, Feb 13, 2020
Thanks to our wonderful community and generous corporate donors, WiSH Education Foundation continues to open and outfit wellness centers across the Hart District schools.
Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020
Students from Rio Norte Junior High School unveiled their artwork for display on the community wall at Westfield Valencia Town Center on Friday evening.
Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020
The Sulphur Springs Union and William S. Hart Union High school districts will host the fourth annual “Many Families, One Community” Family Resource Fair at Golden Valley High School on Saturday, February 22, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Monday, Feb 10, 2020
The Saugus Union School District will hold a community meeting to discuss the options of student relocation during construction at Charles Helmers Elementary School at the campus’ multipurpose room Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Monday, Feb 10, 2020
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board recently resolved to make February Career Technical Education Month.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
2000 - Rancho Camulos designated a National Historic Landmark [story]
Rancho Camulos
1939 - Los Angeles premiere of John Ford's "Stagecoach"; approx. 7 seconds shot in SCV [Watch Clip]
Stagecoach
The Trump administration is deploying tactical units of border patrol agents as part of a stepped-up arrest operation in so-called "sanctuary cities" across the United States, including Los Angeles, the New York Times reported Friday evening.
Villanueva Rips Feds’ Deployment of Border Patrol Agents in LA County
The city of Santa Clarita has received a petition from a Walnut Creek attorney on behalf of a group of voters to comply with the California Voting Rights Act, alleging the local government’s at-large election system dilutes the votes of Latino residents.
Santa Clarita Faced with Potential Lawsuit Over At-large Election System
The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation received a significant recognition this week from the California Association for Local Economic Development and has been honored with an Award of Excellence in their Programs Category for SCVEDC's LiveWorkSCV.com job board.
SCVEDC Receives CALED Award of Excellence
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Code for America said Thursday that nearly 66,000 marijuana convictions eligible for relief under Proposition 64 will be dismissed as part of their cutting-edge partnership.
LA County to Dismiss 66,000 Marijuana Convictions
Valencia, California-based Princess Cruises on Thursday evening confirmed that Japanese health officials had diagnosed 44 new positive cases of the deadly COVID-19 virus among people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
COVID-19 Update: 219 Cases Aboard Diamond Princess; KHTS Owners OK, But Companion Down
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies have responded to multiple, odd calls but perhaps none like the one on Friday afternoon: a bear arm on a Valencia street.
Sheriff’s ‘Out of the Ordinary’ Call: Bear Arm Found on Creekside Road
Caltrans delivered 10 travel trailers on Thursday to a site in South Los Angeles to provide temporary housing for families experiencing homelessness.
State Delivers Travel Trailers to South LA for Homeless
California’s state auditor said Thursday that law enforcement agencies including the Los Angeles Police Department have flouted privacy laws meant to ensure that license plate photos captured by automated cameras aren't abused and are safeguarded from hackers.
Cops’ Horde of License Plate Photos Slammed by State Auditor
The California High-Speed Rail Authority issued its Draft 2020 Business Plan on Wednesday for public review and comment, as the agency seeks to advance California’s leadership in building a modern, clean and sustainable transportation system.
High-Speed Rail Authority Issues Draft 2020 Business Plan
Joe Lopez, 38, of Littlerock, who was convicted of slamming into the back of a parked car on the shoulder of Highway 14 in 2017, killing the occupant, was sentenced Thursday to 15 years to life in prison.
Lopez Sentenced to 15 Years for Murder, Gross Vehicular Manslaughter
Detectives investigating the Golden Stop Liquor shooting that occurred Feb. 2 believe the store owner acted in self-defense when he reportedly shot and killed a suspect during a robbery.
Detectives: Golden Stop Liquor Shooting ‘Self-defense’
California slipped into drought once again as dry skies prevailed throughout the back half of January and the first half of February.
Much of California Plunges Into Drought After Dry January, February
1939 - Newhall Elementary School burns down; pupils rejoice [story]
Newhall school
Three years after the disappearance of Will Cierzan, homicide detectives returned Thursday morning to the man’s Saugus home where they began searching and conducting fresh tests.
Homicide Detectives Return to Missing Saugus Man’s Home
Love is in the air for the city of Santa Clarita with the exciting news of marriage services now available at City Hall.
Marriage Services Now Available at City Hall
Join the city of Santa Clarita in a community-wide effort to recycle right. There are many misconceptions as to which items can go in the recycle bin and which should not.
City Launches Community-Wide Effort to Recycle Right
Triumph Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to improve the lives of people living with disabilities, hosts the 9th Annual Wheelchair Sports Festival featuring fifteen adaptive recreational sporting activities that are open to the general public with free participation on Saturday, April 25 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 26 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex.
April 25-26: Triumph Foundation’s Annual Wheelchair Sports Festival
Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Shelia Kuehl introduced a motion Tuesday unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors to reduce the threat of wildland fires caused by power lines. The motion allocates state grant funding to Los Angeles County to prepare for, respond to and potentially mitigate the impact of ongoing Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
State Grants Coming to Communities Impacted by Power Shutoffs
The Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), and representatives with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) reminded Californians Thursday that starting Oct. 1, 2020, all travelers will need a REAL ID or another acceptable form of identification to board flights within the United States.
Officials Remind Californians REAL ID Deadline Quickly Approaching
Multiple shots were fired at a resident in a parking lot on the 29600 block of Sierra Highway near Stater Bros. around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night, according to Lt. Eric Lasko of the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
Sheriff’s Officials Investigate Shooting in Canyon Country Parking Lot
Thanks to our wonderful community and generous corporate donors, WiSH Education Foundation continues to open and outfit wellness centers across the Hart District schools.
WiSH Foundation Announces Upcoming Ways to Support Student Wellness
The threat posed by the use and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is rising, a Defense Department official told a House Armed Services Committee panel.
DOD Officials: Weapons of Mass Destruction Use on the Rise
%d bloggers like this: