HSDB is a “Public Separate Facility” for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, ages 3 to 21, as defined by Public Law 94-142 (Education for All Handicapped Children Act). For this reason, students who want to attend HSDB must be:
- enrolled in their home school,
- have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), and
- the IEP Team must determine that HSDB is the best educational placement.
NOTE: The IEP is a document that is developed for each public school child who needs special education and states where the child should be educated. The local school district’s IEP team will recommend transfer to HSDB if they determine that HSDB is the best educational placement for the student.
The full process for enrolling students at HSDB is as follows:
- Enroll the child at the home elementary, middle or high school.
- Once enrolled, parents should contact the home school administrator to request an IEP review meeting.
- During the IEP meeting, of which parents are an integral member, parents should show proof that their child is Deaf/Hard of Hearing or Deaf-Blind, by providing copies of their child’s IEP from the previous school(s) (if not available, an audiogram), evaluation reports and medical reports to the home school to prove that their child is eligible for special education as a student who is Deaf/Hard of Hearing or Deaf-Blind.
- After a review of all the documents from the parents, the IEP Team (composed of school personnel, parents) will determine if the student is, or continues to be eligible for special education and a new IEP is developed by the IEP Team.
- After the IEP is developed, the IEP Team will decide where the best place to receive the Special Education services described in the IEP will be. These services include not only educational services but also social and emotional services. The IEP Team will discuss options such as a) staying at the home school, with or without support, b.) placement at a nearby regular education school for hearing students that has a program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students with supports, or c.) placement in a separate public facility such as HSDB.
- If the decision is to place the child at HSDB, then the home school will set up another IEP Team meeting and invite an HSDB representative to come to the next meeting to review the information on the child and determine if the educational services provided by HSDB will meet the needs of the child.
- Should the IEP Team and HSDB determine that HSDB is the most appropriate placement for the child, and HSDB meets the definition of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) according to PL 94-142, the child will be recommended for transfer to HSDB.
- The final part of the enrollment process is for the parents to withdraw from the local school by completing: (1) release form from local school and (2) enrollment form for HSDB.
Please remember that the decision by the IEP Team is a team decision, where parents have an integral voice, and that all decisions must be made in the best interest of the child.
NOTE: By law, students cannot enroll at HSDB without first enrolling in, and being released from their local school.