The College Prep Program is designed for deaf/hard-of-hearing students who are focused on achieving a high school diploma and continuing on to post-secondary education. The curricula used by teachers in the College Prep Program are aligned with New York State Core Curricula and New York State Standards. The progress towards the New York State Standards is measured by the New York State Regents exams. Students can also access educational opportunities at other facilities in the Rome area such as, Board of Cooperative Educational Services Vocational Programs, and classes at Strough Jr. High School or Rome Free Academy.
NYSSD students are provided a variety of opportunities to participate in educational activities outside the general education classroom. Such as, Youth Education Summit, Close Up, SADD Conferences, performances at local colleges and high schools, and student council. The College Prep Program encourages students to begin thinking about future post-secondary opportunities by inviting speakers from various colleges that have programs for the deaf, and offering field trips to college fairs and colleges within the area.
Our academic program provides a variety of supports that enable students to maximize their potential and meet the New York State Learning Standards such as an after school study hall program, tutorial services, instructor assistance, and a cooperative relationship with parents and the child care staff in the residential program.
The Career Prep Program is designed for the deaf/hard-of-hearing student who, because of cognitive, physical, emotional, or personal reasons, would benefit from a non-traditional academic school environment. It is a program that supports and encourages a belief that these students, despite their multiple problems, can learn to function independently in the community when provided with the appropriate learning environment.
The Career Prep Program stresses pre-work and life skills, along with an emphasis on functional communication throughout all activities. In general, the goal of the program is to prepare students for independent living whether it be in an apartment, group home, or with their own families. As part of this independent living, it is also expected that they will be able to maintain a job whether in competitive industry or a sheltered workshop. In order to accomplish these goals, the classroom is used only as a general headquarters.
Some individual and group work is conducted in the classroom in order to refine skills taught in more natural settings. The majority of activities are programmed in the setting in which they would normally occur. For example, the teaching of money skills occurs in selling newspapers, buying food at the local grocery store, or paying for a ride on the bus. The necessary math skills needed for these activities can be reinforced in the classroom. Academics such as reading, math, and social studies, are not treated as subjects in a 50-minute period, but rather as experiences in life. Through activity oriented learning, students are encouraged to achieve continuing levels of success, in this way positive attitudes develop along with skills and knowledge.
Development of self-esteem and an appropriate life attitude is given as much emphasis as the skills and knowledge needed to survive in the world. This program is implemented and supported by innovative and dedicated teachers who must develop materials and activities that allow academics to come to life and truly serve the needs of our student population.
The Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) provides a variety of educational opportunities we are able to access for both our students and our staff. Students with the aptitude and appropriate attitude are offered the opportunity to enroll in a vocational, technical course that will enable them to develop entry level skills and knowledge in a vocational area of their choice. BOCES offers courses in areas such as automotive repair, carpentry, computer technology, culinary skills, childcare, health-related services, and agriculture.
Students at the New York State School for the Deaf who enroll in a BOCES Program are required to take a pre-BOCES course during their sophomore year. The pre-BOCES course offers them an opportunity to explore the variety of career areas offered by BOCES and assists them in developing independent learning skills such as asking questions, seeking help, taking notes, keeping notes and materials organized, developing strategies for long range assignments, and developing responsible behaviors.
Students who attend BOCES continue to receive the support of a NYSSD instructor who communicates weekly with the instructors at the BOCES complex. This NYSSD instructor then offers tutorial services or guidance to the student on how to advocate for him or herself. Students in a BOCES program are still focused on earning a High School Diploma and must complete the core courses required for graduation.