Friday, April 4, 2008

Univeristy School Closed Deaf Program

University School, which I graduated in 1985, announced that it ends involvement in the deaf program. It’ll be closed for the first time in about 40 years. It was opened before I was in the preschool with the deaf program when I was three years old. It’s kinda sad to see it ended like that. It’ll be no longer in University School due to low CSAP scores on the test, and probably that District 6 aren’t happy with the way the school controlled the curriculum. I assume the news was in the newspapers last year. I don’t get involved with University School and just talked with few of my friends about the situation of what they heard from University School.

The District 6 has no details of how the program would be transitioned. It’s still unknown, but I think they need to get it arranged now about what they would do next after they learned from University School as a surprise. They have about few months left to go. They know what they need to have the deaf program restructured by having great supervision, more assistance, and more support. Hopefully, it will be done by end of this summer before schools return.
I hope it will be located in our hometown as well because they have more than 30 deaf students in middle and high schools.

I learned something else from the comments. University School has failed to meet the deaf students’ needs. They didn’t help that much and kept the students’ education delayed.
The District 6 just pushed the parents to send students to Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind. It made the parents angry because they don’t want to send their kids to live in a dorm. They’re hoping for District 6 that they’ll restructure the program as soon as possible. It must be hard because time is very short. I saw one of the comments that one of the parents would go ahead to send her 13-year-old deaf daughter to Colorado School for Deaf and Blind and District 6 will be paying her transportation there and back on weekends. It’s about 2 ½ hours drive on one way.

I guess if I can keep you updated by end of this summer before school returns. I know it’s sad news for most of the parents and students. I am thinking if I can get involved and help them to restructure the deaf program, but I don’t know if I can.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope the parents of their deaf children will fight it. I only know two parents that are. They wanted to get alumni deaf student who graduated from University and fight along with them. I will try to get more info and what is their plans.

Take care...Kim

Anonymous said...

Hi Deb,
I finally found your e-mail after I was cleaning out my wallet.
Anyway, just let you know that the University is no longer house the
deaf program due to the fact that the District 6 wants to control
University education. The rules was that Dist. 6 wanted University to
follow their rules to do their curriculum only not the University's
curriculums. I found out that other schools in Colorado are having
the
same problems by isolating the deaf kids and not have any leaderships
among the"groups" of deaf kids. The "hearing" head person or the so
called the dist. boards wanted to control and refused to see the stand
point of views of the deaf kids. I am wondering how the deaf kids are
going to handle themselves once they go to school by themselves at
other
public school. It is hard to be the ONLY deaf in the public school
where
there is no other deaf kids there. I have been there and done that
myself
when I was in school in Kersey. Right now that the parents of the deaf
children are protesting. They are gathering other parents to call the
Greeley Trib, 9News, and 7news. to some research and get news on the TV

Hopefully, will be able to get the attentions to get the job done and
fight for the deaf kids's rights. Let me know what you think and some
advise. I have already talked to former governor Dave Owen which he
happened to be our very good friends of ours. Shawn used to be his
campaign manger few years ago. He doesn't know about this until we
told
him. Hopefully he will do some more research for us but can't promise
that.

Deb Ann said...

Please let us know and leave a comment here so the others can see and get involved as well.

shawn said...

Deb,

Kim thought I should write and share with you what I know so far.
There
was an article in Tuesday's Tribune that a "sudden" decision had been
made to drop the DHHP program at UH, citing a impasse between Dist 6
over
control of curriculum and UH over funding. Remember the "sudden"
announcement that apparently caught District 6 "by surprise." Today,
the
Tribune reports that the K-8 students will be housed at Chappelow
magnet
school. So, the "sudden" announcement is followed in two days by a
story
that the program has already been set up at another school? It doesn't
make sense. There was also an article about the increasing drop-out
rate
in District 6, just what the DHHP kids need to encounter. Fort Collins
paper ALSO had an article on how the drop out rate in Fort Collins is
going DOWN.

ALL the students at UH are angry about this, not just the DHHP
students.
I've met with one parent that wants to get this out on the news, and
it's
already been in the paper, but she recommended contacting Channel 7 and
9
out of Denver to cover this also.

In order to do something about this, there will need to be solid
organization of the parents and DHHP students, parents and students of
UH
in general, past alumni of the program, and anyone in a position of
governmental authority that we can enlist. I have contacted former
State
Senator Dave Owen about this, but he has retired, and does not know who
to contact. I suggest getting in touch with Jim Riesberg (ironic
because
I campaigned against him, twice!), or rather, Senator Scott Renfroe
about
this. That, and contacting anyone on city council and Mayer Ed Clark
(who is also Head of Security) at UH. The more resources we can throw
against this decision, the better.

My opinion on this matter: both District 6 and UH share the blame for
this. District 6, because I believe they set this situation up, over
control of curriculum at UH (WHY would UH want District 6's curriculum
as
a condition for keeping DHHP, when UH consisently out-performs District
6
across-the-board), but it's also UH's fault for not handling this
better
by informing ALL the students and parents this situation was occuring.
Shawn Harmer, Director
Signs of Faith Ministries

Anonymous said...

It is devastating to see that the deaf programs are the first to go when schools see that certain problems of education are due to oversights by the leaders in the Deaf ed program at US or UH? Perhaps its a blessing in disguise to transfer students to the CSDB altho transportation is cumbersomely LONG with a 2.5 hour ride. Here in MA, we only allow an hour for transportation to schools or programs for the Deaf.

The drop-out rate of this school is an issue besides the curriculum (quality education). This is going to be a tough battle but like Shawn says, best to let the media know and contact the local and state politicians for help and support.

Each to its own....wish you all the best of luck. Educating Deaf and hard of hearing children have been challenging feat and one that's not easy except for a few and I must admit RARE schools for the Deaf.

Good luck and I don't wish this problem for anyone but in this day and age of ineptitude and crooked politics we will continue to see our people slide left and right.

In the lives, of Deaf and hard of hearing children: A SOLID BILINGUAL EDUCATION IS A MUST! The cultural aspects will just find its way in, easily!

Peace in this process! Gather your allies and march forward!

Suzy

Anonymous said...

Next time please clarify the location of the school. You gave my heart a skipped beat with "University School" because there is a large deaf program at a school with similiar name in Southern California - Irvine. I thought, "Impossible! It is such a large program and quite successful" and then I read further and went, "Oh. Colorado."

Please don't take this the wrong way...this is not to say closing the deaf program at that school in Colorado is not a big deal...just that it is better to make the message clear to readers where the school is because there are first sentences of your post shown on Deafread and at that first glance, it looked like the deaf program in Irvine, CA. :)

Cy

coloradodeafie said...

Seems that Colorado has a history of closing deaf programs. They closed my elementary school in Denver that had a deaf program for many years. And then I just learned that they also closed the deaf program at my high school. I'm not sure why. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing program in the state of Colorado needs to be investigated to see why they are constantly closing programs as I'm sure it affects a lot of deaf children. I also wonder about CSDB, if they are doing well there too.

Deb Ann said...

Thank you for all the comments and I just got back home from my family vacation. I'm so exhaused from a long drive.

I'll be back to you all as soon as possible.

Deb Ann said...

I feel so much better this morning!

Thank you, Kim, Shawn, and Suzy for all your strong comments on this issue! It means a lot to me.

Cy,
I'm sorry, but thank you for letting me know that there's another one in Irvine, CA.

Coloradodeafie,
It's a good information. Yes, we need to do something about it. I'm not sure about CSDB if they have a good education. My deaf brother graduated from there. I can call him and my friends who have been to CSDB.

I need to go to the library to make a copy from the Greeley Tribunes to see if they have a recent article about this issue. I will have it published soon.

I just talked with Kim through VP, and we were thinking about having our retired teachers ,who worked with deaf students, involved to support. I'll keep you updated on the info.