Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program
The Burbank Unified School District/Foothill SELPA Deaf and Hard of Hearing program serves students from Burbank, Glendale and La Canada as well as Pasadena, per a MOU agreement with the Foothill SELPA. The program is a model co-enrollment program where deaf and hard of hearing students are co-enrolled with their hearing peers.
The Foothill SELPA Early Start Program serves children birth to age 3 who have solely low incidence disabilities (hearing, vision and/or orthopedic impairments). The program provides a variety of services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. Families receive home visits from a Teacher of the Deaf and hard of Hearing (DHH Teacher) and a Speech/Language Pathologist (SLP). In addition, families are invited to attend our Parent Infant Toddler Group (PIT), which meets once per week on the school site. The program provides time for parents to interact with each other and the DHH teacher. Parents also have the opportunity to meet with a Social Worker and discuss issues relating to hearing loss, child development and many other topics. All of the families enrolled in the program have the opportunity to consult with the SELPA’s Educational Audiologist. Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) are written for all of the enrollees and reviewed every six months. Between the ages of 2 years, 6 months and 2 years, 9 months the SELPA and the families begin to plan the child’s transition to preschool.
Montessori-based Preschool/Kindergarten Program
The Preschool/Kindergarten program is a reversed mainstreamed classroom where two-thirds of the children are deaf or hard of hearing and one-third are typically developing hearing children who have a deaf brother or sister or deaf parents. The ratio is strictly adhered to throughout the school year. Specific criteria have been set up to control the admittance of hearing children into the program to assure that the deaf and hard of hearing children have full access to communication in their environment. The curriculum is based on the Montessori philosophy, or a “child centered approach” so that children are able to learn academics in a environment that is rich in language, academics, and structure. Developing strong responsibility, independence, concentration and self help skills are also stressed.
Grades 1 through 5
All of our teachers in Grades 1 - 5 have both general education and DHH credentials. Our model eliminates the need of placing an interpreter in the classroom because instruction is direct from teacher-to-student to avoid a “third-party” interpretation. From constant exposure to sign language during the day, hearing students in these classrooms often become fluent signers and communicate directly with the deaf and hard of hearing student. Our students are working on the standard grade-level curriculum that their hearing peers are working on. Some students require modifications to the grade level work while others are working at or above grade level.
The district's DHH Specialist is housed at Washington and provides support to the teachers, instructional aides and other service providers in addition to supporting our students and parents.
·Speech and Language Services: Provided at the school site based on the amount of time determined by the IEP team.
- Additional support services, OT, APE, PT, etc. are all offered to students based on their IEP’s.