DEAF/HARD OF HEARING program
Four Seasons Elementary Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program
At Four Seasons, we offer the highest levels of support for Deaf/Hard of Hearing elementary students within the St. Paul Public School District. We pride ourselves on providing an environment that accommodates each individual student and acknowledges their specific needs, in order to serve them in the best way possible. Providing students with a community of Deaf/Hard of Hearing peers, we work towards strengthening students’ self-awareness and empowering each child to become an advocate for themselves as an individual with a hearing loss.
Kindergarten Through 5th Grade, D/HH Programming
Our Four Seasons D/HH educators pride themselves on providing our learners with a setting that will best support their educational needs. Students are given the necessary accommodations and environments to allow access to curriculum, as well as help develop independence and self-advocacy skills.
Students receive their education through a variety of settings. Most of our D/HH learners are integrated into the mainstream classroom with a D/HH teacher providing services in a co-taught setting. Within this structure, students have access to appropriate accommodations for their individual needs. This may include an ASL interpreter, communication facilitator, signing EAs, state-of-the-art listening technology, a general education teacher who has had training and experience in accommodating D/HH students, and/or any additional individual student specific needs.
The Four Seasons D/HH program also provides our students with pull-out services. Students who may require additional supports, not available in the mainstream setting, are provided a quiet environment with direct instruction from a D/HH teacher. This setting allows for the opportunity to focus on more intensified, specific needs for each learner. Four Seasons students also receive on-site support from three speech-language pathologists, an audiologist, a physical therapist and an occupational therapist.
As an arts based school, our Deaf/Hard of Hearing students are involved in theatre, dance, art, and music. Our specialist teachers learn about each student as an individual and, with support from the D/HH teachers, provide a setting that is equitable for our D/HH students. At the end of the year, all Four Seasons students participate in a school wide musical. Our D/HH students are able to participate fully, along with their peers, in a fun and festive end of the year celebration.
Creating a Community
The development of Deaf/Hard of Hearing community within the school is a top priority for all school staff. Three days a week, students in our program participate in a social club called the D/HH Breakfast Club. All of our D/HH students gather together to learn about each other, their hearing loss, develop compensatory skills, and connect with one another through activities and games. Many students have developed lasting friendships with each other and students feel a strong sense of community with their fellow D/HH peers. Throughout the school year, our learners also attend field trips in the greater Twin Cities area, where they are able to connect with other Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals.
Early Childhood Special Education
The preschool program serves children who are deaf or hard of hearing from ages 3 to 5 years old. Our program is divided into two half-day classes: Total Communication and Oral/Aural. During the Total Communication class, staff utilize sign language paired with spoken English. In the Oral/Aural class, instruction is provided through spoken English. Both classes emphasize language development while following the district's Pre-K curriculum (Discovering Our World). Our Preschool DHH classrooms have a strong emphasis on meeting the unique needs of young children with hearing loss.
Our program offers a family sign language class that meets 3 times per month during the school year at Four Seasons.
Contact our Program
For any additional questions about the Deaf/Hard of Hearing program or services at Four Seasons Elementary, please contact our principal, Heidi George at 651-290-7595, or Diane Dohnalik, Special Education Coach at 651-603-4898.
Parent Sign Language Class
We offer a FREE Sign Language class to parents of our students who are Birth-3 years old.