First Public and Charter School Partnership Gives Deaf Students a New West Valley School Option

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In an unprecedented move, the Washington Elementary School District (WESD) ) recently approved the first partnership with Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SSDHH) that will provide a new SSDHH campus on the Richard E. Miller Elementary School campus, located at 2021 West Alice in Phoenix. This is the first time public and charter schools have partnered to enhance Deaf education by sharing a campus.

On August 10 the new school year at our new campus will begin, which gives deaf and hard of hearing children in the Washington Elementary School District area a new school that provides a bilingual-bicultural approach to deaf education. We are very thankful the district saw the need and is allowing us to serve its region

Kindergarten through 5th grade deaf and hard of hearing students in the Washington Elementary School District (WESD) area will have a new school option, thanks to the WESD Governing Board's recent approval to provide space to Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SSDHH), a public charter school, on the Richard E. Miller Elementary School campus, located at 2021 West Alice in Phoenix.

"On August 10 the new school year at our new campus will begin, which gives deaf and hard of hearing children in the Washington Elementary School District area a new school that provides a bilingual-bicultural approach to deaf education. We are very thankful the district saw the need and is allowing us to serve its region," shared Dr. Angel Ramos, SSDHH Superintendent.

Since 1996, SSDHH's Mesa campus has provided deaf educational services for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Dr. Ramos said the new pilot program is the first time a public school district has partnered with a public charter school that focuses on the needs of deaf students. Plans are already underway to find a suitable partner for grades 6th-12th in the area.

"We're pleased to be able to support Sequoia School in providing an alternative for deaf and hard of hearing students in the north Phoenix area," said Dr. Susie Cook, Washington Elementary School District Superintendent. "The WESD looks forward to this partnership that will be of great benefit to these children as well as their families who otherwise may travel across the Valley to receive these services."

SSDHH utilizes a unique bilingual-bicultural approach to deaf education not found in most schools. At SSDHH all teachers instruct classes using both English and American Sign Language (ASL), which enhances the learning process. Sharing a campus with a hearing school is also an integral part of the educational philosophy of SSDHH. According to Dr. Ramos, deaf students also take some classes with their hearing peers to enable students to be more comfortable and knowledgeable about both the hearing and deaf cultures.

SSDHH will hold two Open House events at the new campus, 2021 West Alice in Phoenix, on Thursday, July 30 and August 5 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Potential students and parents are encouraged to attend and meet Teachers and learn more about SSDHH programs. Enrollment is currently underway and classes begin Monday, August 10. To enroll call 480.649.7737 ext: 2810, or visit http://www.ssdhh.info.

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