“Kindness is the language which the Deaf can hear and the Blind can see.” Mark Twain
The foundations of a rigorous, life preparatory education are built in elementary school. Children begin to acquire languages, knowledge and skills, but also develop executive functioning and metacognition. As Kindergartners, our youngest students learn what it means to be a part of a community. And how to navigate between languages and cultures. As fifth graders, they become leaders and role models for their peers. By the time students graduate elementary school, they have found their identity and developed the confidence to use it. The elementary school program revolves around the Achieve 3000 model delivered directly in American Sign Language.
Hawai’i School for the Deaf and the Blind is a student-centered, holistic methodology that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth equally. Every day starts with a morning meeting, which includes a greeting, a time for sharing, a group activity, and announcements. At the end of the day, classes regroup, recap and reflect on each day’s accomplishments and challenges in a similar closing meeting. Through this deliberate routine, students learn to practice signing, listening, and responding in a community of caring and respectful learners. The end result is a safe environment for children to take the risks necessary for growth. Elementary school teachers work together, a structure designed to help teachers collaborate to develop curriculum and assessments in response to the specific needs of their students.
Here at HSDB, we instill a moral code – C.A.R.E.S.
- Aloha spirit
Our goal is to create an environment to challenge young minds, foster a commitment to learning, and, concurrently with academics, instill a moral framework so that students understand the concept of “us” as well as “me.” Well prepared for middle school, students leave elementary school confident and comfortable in their own skin with the skills they will need to succeed.