Frequently Asked Questions
What does a typical day in preschool look like?
A typical day includes arrival time, breakfast, morning circle time, center activities, a theme based whole group activity, morning snack, pre-literacy instruction, music and movement time, math instruction, lunch, communication skills development, gross motor play, story, nap/quiet time, afternoon snack and departure. Fun theme related field trips are also embedded throughout the school year.
How many days a week is the program? What about program hours?
The program runs five days each week from 8:00 am to 3:15 pm Monday through Thursday and from 8:00 am through noon on Fridays. Your child may come to school during all of this time, or you may select days and/or hours that your child will attend the program. That is your choice after talking with the teacher about our daily schedule.
If my child starts school at VSDB, will he/she be expected to stay there throughout his/her entire educational experience?
Not at all. Some children attend only preschool, and others stay through high school. The most important determining factor is what is best for your child.
We’ll evaluate that together annually as your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed. Parents play a vital role alongside professionals on the IEP team. It is the team’s decision to determine whether or not your child will continue at VSDB. Many families choose to have their child benefit from preschool at VSDB, and then decide one or more years later that their child is ready to attend a school that is closer to home. For others, continuing at VSDB is the best option.
How will I get my child to and from VSDB?
Transportation is written into the child’s IEP. Cars outfitted with carseats are often used to transport children to preschool, as are buses equipped with child seats. Transportation will depend upon your desires as the parent, as well as resources in the school system and the number of children who will need transportation from your area.
What other benefits does an environment like VSDB offer?
VSDB is specifically designed for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, who are blind or visually impaired, who are deaf-blind, or deaf or blind with other disabilities. We have a variety of experts on-site to meet the children’s needs.
Our teachers are all specially equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the special needs of our children. Adults in the daily routines and environment of our preschoolers provide role models that help them to develop a healthy self-esteem and emotional well-being.
Finally, children walk the halls of VSDB and are able to communicate with EVERYONE they meet. This is important in developing language skills as well as fostering a feeling of acceptance, success, and capability.
What if my child has special needs in addition to a hearing loss and/or vision impairment?
Do not let that stop you from considering VSDB as a placement option for your child! Our teacher is prepared to foster growth and learning in children with motor delays, vision needs, language processing problems, cognitive delays, and other disability categories. At VSDB, we provide Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy in addition to our related services in the area of speech-language therapy and audiology. Our small class size enables us to meet the needs of each child who comes through our doors in order to promote healthy, holistic development.
For deaf children, how are speech and listening goals met in a signing environment?
We recognize the important role that speech and listening skill development has in the overall development of a deaf/hard-of-hearing child. For this reason, we emphasize listening and spoken language skills throughout ALL that we do. Listening and speech, like all learning, develop best in the child’s natural environment. We combine speech and listening activities in the context of everyday routines while also providing pull-out services for those children for whom this service strategy is appropriate.
Sign language is the language of instruction, concept development, and peer and family interaction for the children at VSDB. Giving a deaf/hard-of-hearing child access to the world through sign language is both natural and effective, and we firmly believe that sign language has a very important role in the overall development of a child with hearing loss and in the child’s family.