MSSD offers a broad range of academic and communication services that support student success in all areas of learning and living. Providers are certified or licensed in their specialty area and fluent in ASL. Services include:
IEP case managers are classroom teachers who work with students, parents or legal guardians, and the IEP coordinator and other school personnel to develop an educational plan tailored to each student’s needs and postsecondary goals.
Case managers also help monitor student progress and ensure students are progressing toward their IEP goals and becoming self-directed, independent, and resourceful learners.
ASL and New Signers
Academic instruction at MSSD is provided in ASL. Students enrolling at MSSD with limited ASL proficiency may initially need support. The Emerging Signers Program provides students with a range of services that may include in-classroom interpreting services, direct ASL instruction, and social-emotional support.
Students can receive a wide variety of audiological services at no cost. Services may include, but are not limited to, comprehensive audiological evaluations, technology assessments and management (e.g., hearing aids, implants, assistive devices), and counseling for students and their families. A cochlear implant (CI) support group meets during the year for students with CIs or students interested in learning more about the technology. All students receive audiological services throughout the year on an as-needed basis.
Multicultural and Transliteration Services (MTS)
MTS provides interpreting, translating and cultural mediation services to students enrolled at MSSD, their families, and the teachers and staff working with them. Services include:
- Interpreting and translation services: Bilingual and trilingual services are provided to teachers and staff in the Clerc Center and to families that speak languages other than English whose deaf/hard of hearing children are enrolled in MSSD.
- Multi-Cultural Support Services: Cultural and informational support is provided to families from diverse cultural backgrounds whose children are interested in, or are enrolled in MSSD to ensure a smooth transition to and through their academic careers.
- Language HelpLine: MTS runs a phone line open during regular business hours as well as after hours for non English-speaking parents of students at MSSD. Parents and/or guardians can use this line to contact the school to leave a message for staff members or to use in case of emergencies.
MSSD counselors provide students with a variety of services that support their access to the academic curriculum, foster emotional intelligence, help strengthen transition skills that they will need in postsecondary environments, and increase their understanding of broader societal issues. In addition to providing individual or group services as outlined in students’ IEPs or in response to immediate needs, school counselors also coordinate school-wide workshops and programs on critical issues such as bullying prevention, positive mental wellness, and increasing awareness about multiple communities within our own.
The school psychologist provides cognitive, socio-emotional, academic, and behavioral assessments that aid in the development of educational and transition plans. The school psychologist also works with teachers and students to support implementation of instructional strategies outlined in the students’ IEPs.
The MSSD social worker provides student counseling, family support, community outreach, and collaboration.
Speech-language services are individualized based on each student’s IEP. Services may include assessment of students’ speech, language, and communication skills. Areas addressed in therapy may include spoken English, language, auditory training, literacy support, and general communication skill development. Services are provided individually, in small groups, or integrated within the classroom.
Students at MSSD are encouraged to dream and think big as they pursue goals after their high school studies. Alumni have gone on to successful careers in business, education, law, government service, the arts, social work, and many more fields.
MSSD offers students a variety of programs and transition services that encourage college exploration and career planning. Every year the school hosts a fair that showcases deaf and hard of hearing professionals in a variety of fields. Students work with transition staff and receive career counseling that helps them determine their postsecondary goals.
- Work Experience: All seniors participate in the MSSD Internship Program, a semester-long learning experience that provides opportunities to develop positive work habits, learn how to interact with supervisors and coworkers, gain exposure to a variety of careers, and develop positive work attitudes and ethics. This type of career-based learning provides all students with knowledge, skills, and experiences that All seniors participate in the MSSD Internship Program, a semester-long learning experience that provides opportunities to develop positive work habits, learn how to interact with supervisors and coworkers, gain exposure to a variety of careers, and develop positive work attitudes and ethics. This type of career-based learning provides all students with knowledge, skills, and experiences that support their achievement during and beyond high school. The MSSD Internship Program occurs during the school year. Seniors work on the Gallaudet University campus or off campus in a variety of government, private, and nonprofit settings in the Washington, D.C., metro area.
- College Planning: MSSD assists students with the registration and coordination of testing accommodations for the ACT and the SAT, providing students with a convenient means of applying to colleges. MSSD transition staff are available to assist with college searches, applications for scholarships and other forms of financial assistance, and the coordination of visits to and from admissions counselors at Gallaudet University and other institutions of higher education throughout the nation.
- Community Service: MSSD students are required to complete a number of community service hours prior to graduation. Students have the option of fulfilling this requirement at home or through volunteer opportunities offered by MSSD. These volunteer opportunities vary and include serving at food drives, animal shelters, and community-based events. These experiences broaden students’ exposure to civic engagement and bring valuable perspectives that color their postsecondary goals.
Students can schedule appointments with teachers after school for additional academic support. Tutoring is also available in the residential hall during weekday evenings.