Phoenix Day School for the Deaf

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PDSD Preschool Philosophy

We at the PDSD Preschool believe that the child comes first. Individual journeys of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children are embraced, along with providing a rich educational environment that is safe and loving. We instill confidence by providing instruction through active learning that is creative and differentiated, leading to self-discovery. Focus is given to the whole child by providing a foundation of skills in all developmental areas including: language, physical, social-emotional, and cognitive. We take pride in facilitating the language development of each child in the mode of communication that is most effective for them, in an environment that can support both American Sign Language and spoken English. With a strong emphasis on family participation as equal partners in their child’s education, our strength as a program is to meet children where they are and move them forward as a team.

Our Teachers

All teachers are Certified Teachers skilled in supporting children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Our teachers are equipped to offer a range of communication opportunities including American Sign Language and spoken English. Our teachers nurture each child and celebrate the growth that they see each day. PDSD preschool teachers love what they do and they all work hard to meet the needs of each child.

Our Families

PDSD Preschool believes in the value of child-centered education and providing a complete range of language and development opportunities. We support families in following the child’s lead in determining the most beneficial and productive developmental activities, communication methods, and learning techniques that families can use in the home to interact with and support the development of their child. We offer family sign classes and language learning activities in our “Family Room”.

Becoming a part of the PDSD program

All PDSD students come to us through the IEP process. Families need to contact their local school district to begin this process. The child’s school district will complete an evaluation and determine eligibility for services and then develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP team, including the family, will look at the child’s educational and language needs and determine the best setting to meet those needs. If the team determines that the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf Preschool program is the best placement, the family will begin the enrollment process with PDSD.

Student Services

The preschool staff emphasizes honoring and nurturing the whole child: services are provided in the following areas of development, as reflected by the Individual Education Program (IEP) · Language Development · Auditory Training · Fine and Gross Motor Development · Speech Therapy · Occupational Therapy · Physical Therapy · Audiological Services · FM/Soundfield systems available for each classroom · Small student to teacher ratios.

*There is no cost to the family for services provided by the preschool.

Contact Us

Supervising Teacher:  Amber Akapnitis (602) 771-4310 / (VP) (480) 428-4974 /

Coordinating Teacher:  Kendra Benedict (602) 771-4658 / (VP) (623) 223-7837 /

Secretary:  Alexia Riff  (VP) (623) 223-7800 /