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Founded by parents... providing excellence in education, one child at a time.
Founded by parents... providing excellence in education, one child at a time.

FAQs

Q.
Does The Willie Ross School use only sign language?

No. Willie Ross employs a total communication approach which utilizes sign language, spoken English and other augmentative methods to meet the individual communication needs of each student. 

Q.
Does signing interfere with the development of language?

No. This is a common misconception. Research suggests that the sooner a child with a hearing loss uses sign language, the quicker they will develop communication skills. Hearing babies are learning sign language in early ed centers to help them develop language.

Q.
Do students at Willie Ross receive speech services?

Yes. Our Speech and Listening Therapy Department provides individualized and group therapy to students when needed. WRSD provides a range of services including a strong auditory/oral program at all sites.

Q.
Do you have students with cochlear implants at Willie Ross?

Yes. We have a number of students with implants enrolled at Willie Ross. We offer specialized speech and listening services to our students with implants.

Q.
Why does The Willie Ross School have a Longmeadow Campus and a Partnership Campus in East Longmeadow?

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.

Q.
How does the Longmeadow Campus differ from the East Longmeadow Partnership Campus?

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.

Q.
Are Willie Ross students at the Partnership Campus isolated? Do they receive the same services as the students who attend the Longmeadow Campus?

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.

Q.
Why does The Willie Ross School offer mainstreaming services?

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.

Q.
Does The Willie Ross School provide vocational and work-study opportunities?

Yes. We offer a transitional program to prepare all of our students for life after WRSD. A Work-Study Coordinator and other staff members work with the students and supervise their community-based internships.

Q.
Why does Willie Ross offer a variety of approaches?

Students with a hearing loss are not all alike and cannot be adequately served by a single teaching approach or method. Willie Ross provides a variety of instructional and communicational opportunities for students and their ever-changing needs, one child at a time.

Q.
How do The Willie Ross School's mainstreaming services differ from services that public schools could provide on their own?

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.

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