NEW YEAR FOR NYSSD — The New York State School for the Deaf, whose roots in Rome date back to 1875, is preparing for a new school year including its opening day which will be Monday. Shown here is an activity that was part of the school’s 143rd anniversary celebration earlier this year. (Photo submitted)

New school year to begin at NYSSD on Monday

Published Sep 7, 2018 at 12:00pm

The new 2018-19 school year “looks like a great year for the staff and students” at the New York State School for the Deaf, says NYSSD Superintendent David Hubman.

With the first day of school for 2018-19 upcoming on Monday, the 401 Turin St. site is “preparing to welcome back returning students, welcome several new students, and will be preparing for an accreditation process,” Hubman said Wednesday.

NYSSD includes pre-K to grade 12 students from various locations in the state. Its enrollment of 57 includes 14 students in pre-school, 13 in grades K-5, 13 in grades 6-8 and 17 in grades 9-12. Many of the new students will be in one of three pre-school classrooms, said Hubman.

The school also is welcoming several new staff members, said Hubman, adding “2017-18 saw several retirements, and we are very happy to have new staff to replace them.”

The accreditation review process, meanwhile, involves preparations for a visit this fall by the Conference of Educational Administrators for Schools of the Deaf (CEASD), Hubman noted.

For the past two years the school staff, students and parents have been participating in a self-study and improvement plan process, he remarked.

The process will “conclude this fall when representatives will visit the school and community for three days to interview staff and families, visit classrooms, and talk with members of the state Education Department to see if we meet the standards as set forth by CEASD,” Hubman said.

A CEASD accreditation “provides us an opportunity to measure our educational program against other deaf education programs from across the country,” explained Hubman. He observed there are 11 schools for the deaf in New York, and currently only St. Mary’s of Buffalo is CEASD-accredited. An accreditation “also allows us to build a five-year strategic plan to improve our educational programs and ultimately increase student learning,” he added.

Among the school’s other initiatives for 2018-19, said Hubman, “one of our big focus areas is on increasing our reading, language and math scores. We are building plans to focus on our language goals and curriculum.” Every child who comes to NYSSD “has a language delay,” he added, and “our focus is to build a program using American Sign language and English to improve our language development.”

NYSSD also is planning several events this fall, said Hubman, including an annual Friendship Soccer Tournament on Oct. 12 and 13 plus a Family Learning Weekend whose date has not yet been set.

The facility that came to be known as NYSSD opened in 1875 in a rented house on Madison Street. It is affiliated with the state Education Department system and includes a multi-building complex on a 17-acre campus at 401 Turin St.