Willie Ross recognizes that deaf and hard-of-hearing students are individuals who require a variety of instructional methods to meet their needs. The programs offered on both campuses provide students with a combination of instruction, support services and peer interaction designed to meet their individual needs.
The Longmeadow Campus is the home of The Willie Ross School for the Deaf and is for students who will benefit from learning in an environment with other deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The Partnership Campus is located in the East Longmeadow Public Schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and allows deaf students to learn in an environment with hearing students. The Partnership Campus is also staffed by Willie Ross School personnel.
The Partnership Campus students are not isolated at all. They interact with both Willie Ross and East Longmeadow Public School students. Each of the levels is fully staffed by Willie Ross personnel and administered by the Director of Educational Services. All of the support services that are available to students at the Longmeadow Campus are also available at the Partnership Campus.
The Willie Ross School offers mainstreaming services because it provides an opportunity for students to be educated with hearing peers at their grade level in a regular school setting. Willie Ross conducts mainstreaming on a case-by-case basis. Students may be accompanied by sign language interpreters, oral interpreters or, in instances where the IEP calls for an aural/oral setting, with no interpreter at all.
Willie Ross' use of mainstreaming is not based on the premise that all students with a hearing loss should be in the regular classroom for the entire school day. Rather, WRSD views mainstreaming from a student perspective and offers mainstreaming on an incremental basis. Individualized academic opportunities and comprehensive audiological support services are also in place to enhance mainstreaming services. The students who are enrolled at Willie Ross receive all of the benefits of being in a Special Education Chapter 766-approved school for students with a hearing loss and are taught by teachers of the deaf using the Willie Ross curriculum.