NWSFHIC teachers work hard to keep students on grade level, using the same kinds of general education materials and curricula offered in their home schools. For all grades, the empirically-grounded curriculum draws on best practices in the areas of developmentally-sequenced English, reading, writing, spelling, grammar, speech, and audition, and integrates these across the curriculum into literacy, math, social studies, and science lessons.
Our expectations are high as we nurture students to meet their own potential. Small class size, averaging six students to one teacher of the deaf and one teaching assistant, allows individualization in all aspects of instruction to meet each student’s specific needs. Additionally, every student receives daily 1:1 tutoring from the teacher of the deaf. We assist our students in becoming active thinkers, listeners, and speakers who will be self confident, life-long learners. Curricula are aligned with the Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) outlined by the State of Washington. Teachers employ research based instructional methods and effective teaching strategies.
The school-wide use of grammatically-correct oral English and simultaneous Signing Exact English (SEE), provides the aural and visual language models essential for students to achieve academic English language proficiency in addition to normal social language skills. This strong foundation in English enables students to better understand general education curricula and to compete successfully with hearing peers at their grade level.
As students demonstrate grade level proficiency and confidence, they are integrated into general education classes with typically developing hearing students their age. Careful collaboration with general education teachers, monitoring of student progress, and direct instruction on coping with a hearing loss in a general education classroom are essential to preparing students for confident, successful participation in regular school programs.