Curriculum instruction at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) is based on the Florida Department of Education Course Descriptions, Next Generation of Sunshine State Standards or the Next Generation Sunshine State Access Points (as appropriate), and the Common Core State Standards.
To maintain a standard curriculum, FSDB instructional staff members have access to cutting-edge technologies and quality instructional materials. FSDB purchases materials for K-12 curriculum instruction from the approved Florida Instructional Materials adopted list. We follow the same adoption schedule as all other Florida school districts.
What sets FSDB apart is that all of our teachers and support staff members have received extensive professional development in order to adapt and modify instructional materials to meet the needs of students who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired. We strive to provide accessible formats for all of our students (braille, large print, digital media, American Sign Language translations, etc.). Classroom teachers at FSDB are highly qualified and certified in both the content areas they teach, and certified in the education of students who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired.
At FSDB we enable each student to access the curriculum (Common Core State Standards, NGSSS and Access Points) through interaction in small classroom environments. Instructional approaches can be differentiated to meet individualized student needs, based on where each student is in his/her learning processes. We take into account language development, depth of knowledge, learning challenges, interests, and preferred modes of communication. In alignment with the practices of Carol Ann Tomlinson, noted authority on differentiated instruction, FSDB focuses on “ensuring that what a student learns, how s/he learns it, and how the student demonstrates what s/he has learned is a match for his/her readiness level, interests, and preferred mode of learning” (Ellis, E., Gable, R.A., Gregg, M & Rock, M.L (2008) REACH: A Framework for Differentiating Classroom Instruction, 2008. Preventing School Failure, 52).
Florida Statutes Section 1008.25 mandate that each student’s progression from one grade to another be determined, in part, upon proficiency in reading, writing, science, and mathematics; that district school board policies facilitate such proficiency; and that each student and his or her parent be informed of that student’s academic progress. Each district school board is required to establish a comprehensive program for student progression as well as standards for evaluating each student’s performance.
The Student Progression Plan is reviewed, updated and approved by the FSDB Board of Trustees at the start of each school year. This annual plan helps to ensure that the required program of study, placement, promotion, reporting, retention, and assessment procedures are equitable and comprehensive, thereby providing accountability for all students.
For more information, contact:
Tracie C. Snow, Administrator of Instructional Services
Elisha Zuaro, Reading Specialist, Blind Department
Judy Williams, Reading Specialist, Deaf Elementary School
Kathy Pyle, Reading Specialist, Deaf Middle School
Brent Bechtold, Reading Specialist, Deaf High School
Sue Clark, Math Specialist, Deaf Elementary, Middle and High Schools
Mark Largent, Math Specialist, Blind Elementary, Middle and High Schools
Byron Bridges, ASL-English Specialist, Deaf Department