Students are referred to the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf by a variety of sources including audiologists, parents, physicians, school districts and Intermediate Units.
Many families and school districts make their initial contact to WPSD by telephone. Parents are encouraged to schedule an appointment to visit classrooms, talk with staff and tour the campus. Visits should be scheduled through the Coordinator of Children’s Services.
When parents decide to pursue a placement at the school, the Coordinator of Children’s Service will facilitate the process. Student records are requested and an admissions evaluation is scheduled. The evaluation typically consists of psycho-educational, audiological and, in some cases, speech and language testing. The school district is notified of the parents’ interest in WPSD.
The Admissions Committee reviews the results of the admissions evaluation. Acceptance decisions are based on the availability of an appropriate educational program and must be supported and approved by the child’s local school district and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Of primary importance to the academic success of any child is the strength of the family and school partnership. For this reason, WPSD offers support to parents beginning with the initial contact and continuing through every step of the child’s educational experience with WPSD.
For more information or to schedule a visit contact: (* – required)
Coordinator of Children’s Services
The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
The Admissions Evaluation is the most important procedure that each new WPSD applicant undergoes. The evaluation is conducted by professionals who are well-versed in the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing-children and are able to communicate effectively in all modes.
This critical first step in assessing a child’s educational needs includes the child’s developmental history and audiological, psycho-educational, medical and, in some cases, speech and language evaluations. On the day of the evaluation, the Coordinator of Children’s Services meets with the parents or guardian of the child and completes a case history.
The certified school psychologist administers a battery of tests to help determine the child’s candidacy for placement in the school program. The school audiologist tests the child to determine the hearing loss.
The assistant principal of the department in which the student would be placed is included in the admissions team and meets with the parents and child in order to discuss the educational program. The parents also meet with the school nurse for a medical interview. At that time the child’s complete health history as well as school health policies are discussed.
After the testing and interviews have been completed, the results of the tests are discussed with the admissions team and then with the parents. Acceptance decisions are based on the availability of an appropriate educational program and must be approved by the child’s local school district and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
If the parents and admissions team agree that a placement at WPSD could be an appropriate option for the child, the parents are given an application packet. WPSD then works cooperatively with the school district to assist them in sending necessary documentation to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Students are permitted to enroll after the child’s placement has been approved by the Department of Education.