Our purpose is to use our specialized skills to maximize student potential and to create an environment which increases understanding and acceptance of children with hearing loss.
To Promote literacy of students with hearing loss, we will make English more visible, and accessible through (simultaneous) communication using Signing Exact English or the auditory/oral approach.
· To close the achievement gap between children with hearing and children without hearing loss to help our students become productive members of society.
· To facilitate their acceptance in the school community.
· To provide specialized knowledge to faculty, staff and local community.
Live Oak Elementary is the home of a deaf education program that is not only unique to our region, but indeed unique to our entire state. The title Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD) describes a collection of services for children, pre-school age through the fifth grade, designed to meet the challenges faced by students with varying degrees of hearing loss.
Of the 450 students enrolled at Live Oak Elementary, 60 are either deaf or hard of hearing. The RDSPD has a two track communication program. Total communication students utilize sign language while oral students rely on auditory and visual information. All of the students strive to maximize the use of their residual hearing and develop intelligible speech.
Thirteen of the forty-three teaching staff members on campus are deaf education teachers. The RDSPD itinerant teachers offices at Live Oak Elementary. The program also employs three instructional aides and six educational interpreters.
The RDSPD program within the Round Rock Independent School District provides services for surrounding districts within the northern half of Region XIII. While some student who are deaf reside within the Live Oak boundaries, many live in other areas of the district. Students are also bused to the campus from near by districts such as Manor ISD, Eanes ISD, Pflugerville ISD, Georgetown ISD, Leander ISD, Marble Falls ISD, Liberty Hill ISD and Burnet ISD.
The program is overseen by the Deaf Education Coordinator who offices on site. The Deaf Education Coordinator is accountable to the Director of Special Education for Live Oak Elementary School, Deerpark Middle School and McNeil High School deaf education programs. Responsibilities include coordination of services, collaboration with local and surrounding district administrators, evaluation of educational interpreters, budgeting and hiring of deaf education staff.
The RDSPD works collaboratively with the Education Service Center, Region XIII to access support services for students, family and staff. ESC support personnel include a regional coordinator, teacher and interpreter consultants, educational audiologist and counselor.
An educational plan for a student who is deaf or hard of hearing is designed around the unique needs of the child. It is typical for all RDSPD students to be included in art, music and physical education along with an educational interpreter, dependent upon the communication mode of the student. Most all RDSPD students are included in general education settings for mathematics, science and social studies with an educational interpreter, again based upon communication mode. The deaf education program provides extensive inclusion support services from deaf education teachers for content areas. Many of the students who are deaf or hard of hearing are in a deaf education resource classroom setting for language arts. One critical feature to note, deaf students who use sign language are not placed in general or special education settings with deaf students who do not use sign language. Therefore, most grade levels will have at least two classrooms where RDSPD students are included.
The deaf education program at Live Oak Elementary School is highly successful and extremely unique. This is a school where deafness is as common as hearing, where students who are hearing use sign language and where hearing aids are seen as often as glasses.