Learning-disabled high school students to tour UC Berkeley 

San Francisco high school students, many of whom suffer from learning disabilities, will hunt for newspapers and clothing Monday, and maybe they'll find ambition to pursue higher education, too.

Teachers at Gateway High School in San Francisco are taking their incoming freshman class to University of California at Berkeley for the school's fifth annual scavenger hunt and meet and greet on Monday.

"We want our students to share a commitment to college and a sense that they can get there," said Sharon Olken, principal of the school. "This event is a 'welcome to high school' and a way to start thinking ahead through the next four years and beyond."

The Gateway High School faculty teaches a diverse student body of 450, almost one quarter of whom have been diagnosed learning disabilities.

The school's learning-disabled students receive the same quality of education and remain just as competitive as their peers, Olken said.

"They're going to the same universities as the other students," Olken said.

Ninety-six to 100 percent of all students at Gateway High School go on to two- or four-year universities every year, according to a statement from the school. The schools run the gamut, from University of California schools to independent out-of-state institutions, Olken said.

Approval has been given to Gateway High School to open a middle school in 2011 because of its success.

The UC Berkeley event will kick off Monday 11 a.m. at the entrance of campus at The Crescent and University Avenue.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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