The campus-based program in Great Falls provides an education for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired or deafblind that is equivalent to the education provided in the public schools. The campus-based program serves school aged students based on IEP recommendations. In addition, teams may also recommend participation in the Preschool program (available at age 18 months) or Post High School program (available to age 21). The vision of the education program is to have students leave with the educational skills, communication skills and independent living skills necessary to achieve their greatest potential.
Educating Students as Individuals
Education at MSDB is tailored to each student's unique needs. The student works with a team to develop an Individual Education Program (IEP). Families, teachers, specialists, a school administrator and a representative from the local district where the student resides make a decision about appropriate placement and educational goals for the student on an annual basis.
Some students may take classes and/or participate in extracurricular activities at MSDB, Great Falls Public Schools, Great Falls Central Catholic School, or a combination thereof. MSDB provides sign language interpreters for deaf or hard of hearing students attending partner public schools and may provide support specialists for blind or visually impaired students depending on needs. MSDB is located near the following partner schools -- Lewis and Clark Elementary School, East Middle School, and Great Falls High School.
A Specialized Staff
MSDB maintains a staff of highly skilled and experienced Teachers, ParaEducators, Interpreters, Braille Transcriptionists and Specialists trained to meet the specific educational needs of students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired or deafblind. Specialists include a School Psychologist, Behavior Specialist, Guidance Counselor, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Speech Language Pathologist, ASL/Bilingual Specialist and an Audiologist.
Transition from School to Life
Transition from high school to post-secondary education, technical training, or employment is an important aspect of education for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired or deafblind. MSDB provides a Post High School Program for students whose teams have determined they need bridging activities to support life after high school. Students enrolled in this program have opportunities that include but are not limited to: attending Great Falls post-secondary institutions, holding part-time jobs and living in their own apartment on or off campus depending on team recommendation.
The general education program follows the Montana School Accreditation Standards and Procedures Manual. MSDB is a member of the Golden Triangle Curriculum Consortium.
MSDB completes accreditation cycles through the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI), the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD), and the National Accrediting Council for Agencies Serving People with Blindness or Visual Impairment (NAC).