What is Elementary like at PDSD?
The average class size is 6 students (with a range of 4 to 9 students), providing maximum opportunity for individualization. On average, we have two classes at each grade level, working together as a department for students in K– 5th grade.
Our dedicated teachers are all certified through the Arizona Department of Education and have degrees in Deaf Education and/or Special Education. They are fluent in American Sign Language. They focus on developing language and communication skills throughout the school day, while providing academic instruction aligned with Arizona state standards.
The emphasis of our instructional program is language development and literacy through a dual language approach using American Sign Language and English. Our program should be considered for any student who can benefit from American Sign Language to fully access academic and social information. Our teachers follow the Arizona State Standards specific to their grade level. Other components that drive instruction are Individualized Education Plans (IEP), Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) testing (2nd-5th), Teaching Strategies GOLD (K-1st), state assessment and various other school based assessments.
Students’ homeroom teacher is responsible for all content areas, including English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.
Students in our program receive the following services:
- direct instruction provided by a certified Teacher of the Deaf throughout the school day
- access to direct communication with deaf and hard of hearing peers their own age for communication and socialization
- access to deaf and hard of hearing adult role models
- opportunities to attend specials such as PE, Fine Arts, Technology and Deaf Studies
- support from Related Services staff as outlined in Individual Education Plans (IEPs) as needed, including: speech and auditory training, OT, PT, counseling and behavior support.
- Our current curriculum and resources include:
- National Geographic (for ELA)
- Bilingual Grammar Curriculum
- Accelerated Reading
- Reading A-Z
- Teaching Strategies GOLD (K-1)
- GoMath from ThinkCentral
- McGraw Hill Science: A Closer Look
- McGraw Hill Timelinks (Social Studies)