The middle school program is comprised of 5th through 8th grades. Teachers are highly qualified and properly certified in the state of Arizona. Teachers are fluent in American Sign Language and in many cases hold various other certifications and training in core academic areas. The average student to teacher ratio is 1:8; however class sizes range from 4-10 students per classroom.
The students are instructed through the use of American Sign Language to support and bridge information to/from the English language. During these years, students are challenged with complex language structures in English as well as ASL. It is during these years that the English language becomes more complex. These challenges are addressed, with the ultimate goal of language competence in two languages, ASL and English. Keeping this goal in mind, students are provided instruction which follows the Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards specific to their grade level. Other components that drive instruction are Individualized Education Plans (IEP), Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) testing, AzMERIT state assessment and various other school based assessments.
All students receive core academic instruction for 5 class periods daily. Classes are comprised of two periods for Language Arts (English – reading and writing), Math, Science, and Social Studies. For one period each day students receive instruction in a “special” area class: fine arts, physical education, technology, or Deaf studies. The first and last period of each day is homeroom where students build independent skills in reading and math through the Accelerated Math and Accelerated Reading programs. In addition to this, they receive instruction in college readiness skills, test taking strategies, successful work habits, and have the opportunity to receive necessary intervention and additional support in target areas if needed.
Curriculum materials and resources include the most up to date and best research based instruction for middle school learners. PDSD follows the Beyond Textbooks framework for what is taught (standards) and when it is taught (calendared timelines). For more information please see the Beyond Textbooks links.
Various other curriculum and resources materials are included in instruction:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Moving Into English
- Trophies Reading
- Bridges to Literature
- Discovering Our Past
- Math Connects
- My Math
- Networks Social Studies Learning System
- Science – A Closer Look
- Timelinks Social Studies
- Integrated iScience
- Accelerated Reading
- Accelerated Math
- Math in a Flash
- STAR Math
- STAR Reading
Students have an array of extracurricular activity opportunities, both academic and athletic. Students are encouraged to get involved in the school community outside of the classroom. This leads way to leadership skills, socialization, and community involvement.
Academic related activities include:
- Student Council
- Academic Bowl
- Battle of the Books
The athletic department is part of the CYAA (Catholic Youth Athletic Association) for 5th-8th grade athletics. Sport teams include:
Boys flag football
Boys and girls basketball
At Phoenix Day School for the Deaf we strive to provide the best education for deaf and hard of hearing students. Our programs pride themselves on rising above the standard. If you are interested in our program or would like to request more information, please contact Jill Oberstein, Secondary Education Supervisor, at (602) 771-5341 / VP (602) 429-0116 or email: