Potential Mainstream Program, Input Wanted!!!


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Apr 27, 2020
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Hello, I'm a deaf studies minor. I'm planning on opening a K-12 school and I would like that school to have a great deaf program. I would love the opinion of any Deaf, deaf, or HoH.
I would like to know if any of you would actually rather attend a mainstream program than an all deaf school.

Here's the plan:
  • The school will be made as much of a deaf space as possible with open sightlines, wide hallways, ramps instead of stairs, and plenty of lighting.
  • ASL (as well as English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese) will be part of the regular curriculum and taught from Kindergarten through 9th grade (I know it sounds like a lot but I've seen similar things done in a way that doesn't overwhelm the students). After 9th it will become optional, but if things go as planned, by 9th grade they will already be near-fluent.
  • Deaf and HoH students will be included and encouraged to join any and all school activities, competitions, sports, clubs, and field trips. If most people in the school can sign as planned, there won't be any need for interpreters in these situations.

This is the part I need help with.

Option 1: Create separate deaf classes where students learn the same thing as their hearing peers but do it in an all-deaf environment. However, since there are less deaf students than hearing students, the will be only a few classes (such as "Elementary Class", "Middle School Class", and "High School Class") and the students will often have separate coursework than their classmates in certain subjects.

Option 2: Have one classroom per grade that contains hearing students and a hearing teacher, as well as all the deaf students in that grade (assuming there won't be more than 10 per grade level) and a deaf educator. Similar to a bilingual class, there will be one teacher who speaks English, and one teacher who signs, and students will learn both languages. Since it is a deaf educator and not a translator, the teacher will be able to teach one-on-one when needed, further explain concepts, and participate in the education of the students just as any teacher would.

There's also the potential of combining and doing both, but that would be more difficult and more costly.

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Preferences? I would love to hear from you guys