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Westside Digest

Malibu : Priority for Minorities

February 27, 1992

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board voted Monday to give minority students enrollment priority at Malibu High School when it opens this fall.

Board members said they want the school to eventually have at least a 35% minority enrollment.

The school board voted to change Malibu Park Middle School into a high school last spring in response to pressure from parents to establish a local high school in Malibu.

The middle school operates well below its capacity, with 340 students in sixth through eighth grade. An additional grade will be added each fall until the school holds grades six through 12 in 1995. Plans call for admitting 90 students to the ninth grade this fall.

Board members said that the district will recruit minority students for the new school from inside and outside the district by promoting Malibu High as a small-school alternative with a rural atmosphere. Administrators believe that the school has the potential to become a magnet for oceanographic and environmental studies, Malibu Park Middle School Principal Bob Donahue said.

In part, the recruitment effort is in response to criticism raised last year that the new high school would become a virtually all-white school for wealthy Malibu residents and would divert needed resources from Santa Monica High School.

Registration for the new school begins March 12.

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