PISD opens regional day school program for deaf

PISD opens regional day school program for the deaf
Posted on 08/22/2018
This is the image for the news article titled PISD opens regional day school program for the deafBy: Jade Wise
Pasadena ISD Communications

Pasadena ISD recently partnered with Region 4 Education Service Center to open the district’s first in-house Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD). 

RDSPD is housed at South Belt Elementary, Melillo Middle, Beverly Hills Intermediate, Dobie9 and Dobie Main, and will provide services to about 65 hearing impaired students, from birth up to 22 years old.

The new “cluster sites” will offer deaf education teachers advanced in-class support, co-teaching opportunities and additional specialized resources. Also at each site are Parent Infant Advisors, who work with families of hearing impaired children at their homes.

“By partnering with Region 4, our teachers will be coached in the classroom on the most effective methods to teach curriculum to students with hearing loss,” said Debbie Barrett, executive director of Special Education.

Prior to the opening of the RDSPD at Pasadena ISD, students with hearing loss were transported to Goose Creek ISD as a part of the Tri-County co-op deaf education program. 

“This program was exactly what we were looking for,” said Barrett. “It keeps our kids inside Pasadena ISD and solves the issue of students spending extended time on a school bus. It also allows us to implement PISD curriculum and make the best educational decisions for our students.”

Barrett says that one of the biggest deciding factors in choosing to partner with Region 4 was the use of the Signing Exact English (SEE) curriculum in conjunction with American Sign Language (ASL). 

“SEE is not a language; it’s a way of teaching students all the pieces of the English language,” said Barrett. “We feel that, educationally, this gives students an advantage when it comes to reading for college or a career because they will already be familiar with how the English language works.”

The focus on helping children, now and in the future is one of the key values that Region 4 Education Service Center shares with PISD.

“Our tagline is ‘Removing Barriers and Building Dreams’ and that is something we firmly embrace,” said Marina McCormick, Region 4 RDSPD Coordinator. “We are committed to ensuring equal access so that all of the students who go through this program have success, whether that be career or college.”

Ribbon Cutting for RDSPD
(L to R): Marina McCormick, Region 4 RDSPD Coordinator; Ginger Gates, Region 4 Special Education Solutions; Pam Wells, Region 4 Director; Dr. DeeAnn Powell, PISD Superintendent of Schools; Diane Wheeler, Principal Melillo Middle; Candy Howard, Principal South Belt Elementary; Jennifer Louzon ,PISD Special Education Lead Teacher; Franklin Moses, Principal Dobie High