General – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What makes WSD different from other schools?

A. WSD provides full accessibility for your child all day long.  Your child is never left out or in a position where they are excluded due to communication. WSD requires our staff to be fluent in both languages (American Sign Language and English) from our secretaries to teachers and teacher assistants. Teachers must be certified to teach both in Deaf Education and the area in which they teach.

Q. What grade levels does WSD have?

A. WSD serves students from age 3-21.

Young deaf adults, ages 18 through 22, who have graduated from high school or hold a GED may also enroll in our WaCAD Program. The program provides training and instruction related to employment readiness skills, work-based experience, independent living skills, and college support. To learn more about WaCAD, click here.

Q. WSD uses a bilingual approach to language learning, what does that mean?

A. We are a bilingual program in which American Sign Language (ASL) and English are the two languages used for instruction. We aim to preserve and build upon students’ abilities in both languages and strive for students to achieve fluency in both. Students develop their expressive and receptive skills in ASL. Students also develop their abilities to read and write English. We focus on individualized language planning for each student. To learn more, click here.

Q. How is the school funded?

A. WSD is a line item in the governors budget. We also receive grants.

Q. Does WSD have athletics and extracurricular activities?

A. WSD offers both athletic and extracurricular activities for students. The school’s sport teams, the Terriers, compete in football, volleyball, basketball, track and cheerleading. To learn more about athletics, click here.

We offer several club options for students that include but are not limited to Academic Bowl, Middle School Math Team, and Battle of the Books . These clubs are offered during regular school hours.  Opportunities to develop leadership and other skills are also available through working in our Terrier World Store. Our After-School Program, as well as other activities are offered after school hours during the school year.  To learn more about our clubs, click here.

Q. How can I volunteer at WSD?

A. We have many requests for volunteering at the school. Not all can be filled but we encourage persons who are interested to contact the volunteer coordinator Sharon Caton to see what opportunities are currently available. To learn more about volunteering, click here.


Admissions – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How much does it cost for students to attend school at WSD?

A. WSD is a state-funded agency and offers deaf and hard of hearing students an appropriate educational program at no cost to families.

Q. Who can attend WSD?

A. Deaf and Hard of Hearing students (ages 3 to 21) in Washington State who meet the eligibility criteria may attend WSD.

Q. How can my child become a student at WSD?

A. To learn more about the admissions process, click here.

Q. How long does it take to enroll?

A. It often takes several weeks or longer to go through the entire enrollment process. The length of time is dependent on timely submission of paperwork, the complexity of the child’s situation to be reviewed, and the scheduling of the visit and IEP meeting.

Q. How will my child get to school?

A. Depending on where the child lives, the parents may drop off the child at school, the local school system may provide a bus or car transportation, and for residential students, a charter bus is utilized for students traveling longer distances.

Q. May I visit the school for a tour?

A. At this time, we only offer tours for prospective students and their families, please contact our admissions secretary, Dawn Smith at to learn more.


Transportation – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. May my child ride another bus to spend the weekend with a friend?

A. They may go home with a friend only if that friend rides the same bus.

Q. On Sunday, if my child is sick and will not be able to go to school, who should I contact?

A. Contact the assigned bus monitor or the transportation secretary.

Q. Someone else will be picking up my child on Friday. What do I need to do?

A. Write a letter stating who will be picking up your child from the bus stop and indicate if you would like them added to the student’s authorization for pickup list.

Q. What if I am running late or cannot make it to the bus stop to pick up my child?

A. You must call the transportation secretary and the transportation secretary will contact the bus monitor to try to make alternate arrangements. This is for last minute situations & cannot happen weekly.

Please Note: Parents are required to drop off residential students on registration day. No transportation will be provided.