WELCOME TO OUR SCHOOL!
Joan Forney, Interim Superintendent
Welcome to the Illinois School for the Deaf, where we celebrate a rich tradition.
We invite you to read the Letter from the Superintendent.
Visit the weekly Cyberchat with the Superintendent.
An Important Message from
Interim Superintendent Joan Forney . . .
Communication and The “I” in IEP
In light of discussions that have occurred in regards to our communication philosophy at ISD, I thought it prudent that I clarify what our position is as we educate our students “to become self-supporting citizens.”
The Illinois School for the Deaf has a long history of educating students who are deaf and hard of hearing implementing a variety of methods in providing a quality education. In recent years, the entire educational establishment has been held to a high standard when it comes to assuring our students show growth in academic achievement. Students are expected to meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that are measured on state tests. In the past two and a half years, ISD implemented NWEA/MAP testing three times a year. This testing is then used to drive instruction. Data driven decision-making to drive instruction means that teachers use information regarding strengths and weaknesses students demonstrate on these tests to determine what will be taught in the classroom.
Over a number of years, students at ISD on the average score below grade level on state tests and score below grade level on the NWEA/MAP tests. Although some students are scoring at or above grade level, this is not the norm for our student population. Teachers and administrators at ISD studied student achievement results and participated in research initiatives that showed that adjustments needed to be made in our instruction. ISD’s bi-lingual – bi-cultural communication philosophy means that we use both American Sign Language (ASL) and English in instruction. Our instruction in ASL continues to thrive. Our instruction in English was not having the same success. Since state testing is in English, we searched for a variety of tools and methods to improve the instruction of English. One of these tools is the use of Cued Speech as a visual representation of spoken English. Our staff is in the early stages of implementing Cued Speech into classroom instruction in English. We are now working on building capacity in our students and staff to learn Cued Speech. Some preliminary NWEA testing results are very promising. Some students have shown significant gains in student achievement. We will continue to monitor these results carefully to both drive instruction and to determine which methods and tools demonstrate the best results for our students. In the near future, scores will be available from the January 2013 testing which will be shared with our staff.
The student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) drives how we implement instruction at ISD. This means since we have 256 students at ISD, we have 256 different programs. This is what is often described as the “I” in IEP. At the IEP, we engage in individual language planning for that student. In the IEP, we determine the specific communication needs of the student. The languages and modes of communication are determined in the IEP. We ask questions such as “Does the student need ASL? or Does the student need modes of communication such as Cued Speech, Speech, Audition, Written English or any other type of communication to best access his/her education.” The staff, parents, and local education representative determine as a team the appropriate education for that student and the placement that best meets the established needs. If the student is placed at ISD, then it is our responsibility to implement that student’s IEP to the best of our ability.
ISD continues to meet many challenges on a daily basis and these challenges will continue to be before us. As educators and as a school, it is our responsibility to provide our students with an appropriate education. We are accountable for student achievement to our parents, our students, the State of Illinois’ taxpayers, and ourselves. I have tremendous respect for the ISD staff and know that we as educators and support staff can make a positive difference in the lives of our students and will meet our mission “to educate our students to become self-supporting citizens.”
Inside Look at Illinois School for the Deaf
Take a close look at our school in this video. Experience our great tradition and culture. At ISD we are very proud of our school, students and staff.Play Video
01“Deaf Can Do It" Service Project sponsored by ISD’s LEO Club
The Illinois Service Resource Center (ISRC) is encouraging deaf and hard of hearing students from thirteen Midwest states to get involved in a service project on May 1, 2013. The theme is “People Helping People.”
ISD's LEO Club is responding with "Deaf Can Do It."
See flyer for the details: Deaf Can Do It
02ISD Summer Camps!
*NEW!!!!* Basketball Camp for D/HH Girls in Grades 5-12
June 11-15, 2013 Flier
Sports Camp for D/HH Children in Grades 5-8
June 16-21, 2013 Flier
Creative Arts Camp for D/HH Children in Grades 3-6
June 16-21, 2013 Flier
03ISD Outreach Statewide August Conference (8/5/13)
For ALL school personnel who work with children with hearing loss.
We're sorry - registration is full! If you would like to be added to the Waiting List, please register here. Flyer information in pdf: English
06ISD Technology Newsletter
Our Technology Newsletter is a good resource of the latest news in available technology. Read more about it