Community

At PSD our school community extends beyond the borders of our campus. Our relationships and collaborations with local, regional and national organizations and programs grow annually, for which we are extremely grateful. Building relationships both near and far will directly impact and further our mission and vision of “educating students to become contributing and respected members and leaders of their communities and the world.” It is through these vast connections that we are able to provide enriching experiences and resources to our students and families, to enhance their preparedness for life after graduation. Staff members also benefit through these unique opportunities of co-collaboration.

PSD welcomes and truly values the thoughts and interests of organizations that wish to connect with us and become a member of our community. Reach out today!

Community Outreach

PSD strives to make the larger community around our campus DEAF AWARE! Our Community Outreach office does this daily by answering telephone, email, or letter requests for information about deafness, Deaf Culture, and sign language. We often attend community related events which support our school’s mission and vision. We actively seek out new and creative ways to promote our students and school program.

Through our many connections with city and state entities as well as our local businesses and neighbors, we steadily bridge the gap between hearing and Deaf worlds. These efforts not only benefit our students but also the community as a whole.

Educational Outreach

PSD is pleased to offer the following services upon request:

  • Speech & Language Assessment and/or Therapy
  • Independent Psycho-Educational Evaluation (for children)
  • Itinerant Services (hearing support for Deaf/Hard of Hearing children in other programs)
  • Early intervention Services through our First Conversations Program, including consultation to programs for children with cochlear implants
  • Parent Support Group, for hearing parents with young Deaf children and Deaf parents with young hearing children

Stay tuned with the PSD community.

Deaf Culture & Heritage Center

PSD is fortunate to have our Heritage Center which showcases the many rare and interesting artifacts of our school history. As the third oldest school for the deaf, we have amassed quite a collection. Our story and our place in history is a crucial thread within the fabric of our school culture. Our legacy and responsibility to honor our past which allows us to forge our future.

PSD’s place in history is something we take great pride and the items which remind of us of our past and how far we have come within the Deaf community are handled with humility and respect.

At PSD’s Heritage Center you can find just about anything related to PSD and our Philadelphia story. When you are in the museum you become transported to a time of letterman jackets and uniform blazers. We even have the china dishes used when PSD was a residential institution.

Memorabilia related to sports, clubs and organizations have found their forever home in our museum. Even equipment of days gone by that had been used to diagnose, treat and “correct” deafness are on display. We have many rare and precious photographs, books and documents that are cared for so that they will be available to future generations of our PSD family and beyond.

PSD sincerely thanks each and every individual who dedicated their time, energy and efforts to ensure the formation of our Heritage Center. The PSD community remains indebted to you eternally.

Family Support

Families are critical to the success of our PSD students. Our parents and family members are the most important part of the educational team. Families influence student achievement and success more than any teacher will. Positive and consistent parent and family input, feedback and perspectives are strongly encouraged to ensure that a child’s experience at PSD is a successful one.

Parent Support

PSD facilitates two Parent Support Groups: one is for hearing parents of young deaf children that meets on Saturdays, and the other group is for Deaf parents with young hearing children that meets on Wednesday evenings. Each group has two 12-week cycles, and enrollment is open to PSD and community families. Transportation, childcare and refreshments are provided for each meeting.

Both groups have discussions about various topics that pertain to child development, family dynamics, community resources and other issues that are of importance to the group participants. The Saturday group goes on community outings approximately one-a-month to places such as the Philadelphia Zoo, Please Touch Museum and Linvilla Orchard. A Spanish language interpreter is also present at the Saturday group.

Shared Reading

The Shared Reading Project is designed to teach parents and other caregivers how to read to their Deaf child using American Sign Language and how to use strategies to make book sharing more fun and effective. Deaf tutors visit the home to demonstrate how to sign the stories and provide instant feedback to family members.

The Shared Reading Program is provided at no cost to PSD families and is provided at a time that is convenient for the family. Many families take advantage of this additional opportunity of connection with their child.

American Sign Language

PSD offers family sign classes to meet the needs and schedules of busy families. These classes are held on campus and are provided at no-cost to families of our PSD students. Every PSD family member is invited to participate!

The sessions are taught by PSD staff members in six (6) week sessions throughout the year and a five (5) week program in the summer. The content of the course is intended to boost useful communication and language between the family and their child with hearing loss. Activities are designed to promote interactive exchanges both in the class setting and at home. We offer our Family Sign Classes on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings and afternoons.

We welcome families (including extended families and other people involved in the lives of our students) to join us for any sessions held throughout the year.

PATCH&S

Family involvement increases student achievement. Our PATCH&S group is a “quilt” of child-centered partnerships here at PSD. PATCH&S is comprised of families, students, PSD staff, and community partners, that provide family-friendly practices and activities to PSD families. PATCH&S meets bi-monthly for lunch on Wednesdays at 11:30 am – 1:00 pm in the Family Welcome Center located in the West Wing building of PSD (formerly known as the CCPS Building).

Overall Goal: 80% family involvement in every grade through high school.

Parental Support

  • Strengthen PSD’s library resources for parents, including books, magazine articles, internet resources, DVDs and more. These will be located in the professional library, which can serve as an additional space for parents when the Family Welcome Center is occupied.
  • Set up computers in the family welcome center with recommended websites on a variety of topics pertinent to all ages, from birth to 21. Include a small library of DVDs to watch on the computer or TV.
  • Establish dedicated time for access by parents to the Center during school hours.
  • Encourage more school-family collaboration

Communication and Information

  • Keep Family Section of the PSD website updated
  • Continue sharing summaries of new school policies via our Family Newsletter
  • Seek to engage ongoing parent relations with the Family Newsletter
  • Maintain PSD Family Service List
  • Continue to educate teachers on communicating with non-English speaking families

Volunteering

  • Identify fundraisers for PATCH&S for the 2018-19 school year
  • Develop an accounting system for prospective ASDC attendee
  • Continue to educate teachers on communicating with non-English speaking families
  • Develop serve list for each prospective ASDC and People of Color Conference attendees
  • Follow up with the Family Volunteer Sign Up list, both in soliciting and responding

Learning at Home

  • Encourage families to use PSD website, Facebook pages and Schooltube to acquire information about school events and find educational resources beneficial to Deaf students.
  • Work closely with our Educational Technology Department, to provide free computers to our families.
  • Provide technology training with “Family Education Series” and the “Chat and Chews”

Decision Making

  • Continue to provide families access to community services and school events

Collaborating with the Community

  • Make a “No Place for Hate” video to include community members
  • Partner in implementing May “Fish Fry for Families and First Responders” Event
  • Participate as volunteers/supporters for all PATCH&S events
  • Strengthen bonds with Alumni by creating Alumni and Student partners
  • Distribute pens to neighborhood communities with notes from students

Resources

Post Secondary Education for Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Camden County Community College
Community College of Philadelphia
Gallaudet University
Hiram G. Andrews Vocational Center: 1 (800) 762-4211
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf

Cultural Events
Art-Reach
Cinema/Movie Theaters (CC)
HANDS UP PRODUCTIONS
The Clay Studio
The Philly Fun Guide

Government
PA Department of Labor Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Organizations/Groups
Association of Late Deafened Adults
Center on Hearing and Deafness
Hearing Loss Association of America – Pennsylvania Chapter
National Association of the Deaf
National Black Deaf Advocates
Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf
The Helen Keller Center – National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults
The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf Alumni