WSD students come from all areas of the state to attend school. Students who live outside the Vancouver, Washington area are eligible to attend the school’s Residential Program.
Residential students at WSD live in the cottages during the week and go home to their families on weekends. Academic and residential programs are offered at no cost to parents in Washington State.
The WSD residential program is part of an integrated approach to the learning and development of our students. Our program offers independent living skills, academic assistance, a language-rich environment, celebration of cultural diversity, after school programming and community-based involvement. The residential program not only includes student housing, but also encompasses extracurricular activities and student transportation.
Take a look inside the cottages (click photo to view larger):
Cottage Living Room
[We] came to the school. She fell in love with it. The teachers, the one-on-one, the bi-lingual, the support for speech, for occupational therapy Gabby had at that time. There was a plethora of resources for us. And my husband and I had children. They are our responsibility. We want the best for her. We want her to succeed in the world. Here she goes.
Before I got to WSD, I didn’t sign well. I used a little bit of gesturing. When I got here, I got better and better.
Once Nicolas started coming here, he blossomed and bloomed. I’m happy to say he walks, talks, runs, reads and plays basketball and does all the things they said he would never do.
So in one year [Jonathan] has made amazing progress. I think that just how much ASL is going on in the classroom has really made all the difference. So he is exposed to it all day.
I asked my mother to send me here. It was a big decision for her because I lived 8 hours away from here. My mother made the right choice to send me here. It was worth it.
I can tell he just feels like a whole new world has been open to him in how to communicate with his hands and he has already made soooooo much progress….I’ve always felt like I had to micromanage everything for him and like nobody else understood what he needed and it’s just so nice now to just know he is in good hands and around people who understand him in a way even I don’t and we are all just amazed at how much even a month has affected him. He wakes up begging to go to school.
We know that learning is a social activity. It’s social in nature. People learn from each other all the time. Children learn the fastest from their peers.
I am very thankful for all the support given to us as a family, for every word of encouragement and time dedicated. Since day one we had a very warm welcoming and we felt the passion and dedication that everyone has, of teaching with a smile. Thank you as well for all your patience with [her] throughout this new learning experience.
I like that I can look directly at my teacher. I don’t have to look at the interpreter. I can get the teaching directly from the teacher.
A strong language foundation is very important for their success in life. Research shows that deaf students who have American Sign Language skills are then more successful in English.
ASL-English Bilingual Program Service Director
With ASL I could learn everything. I’ve made so much progress since I came here. I’m grateful to my parents for sending me to WSD. In my opinion, you’ll want to come here.
I’ve seen a lot of changes because the communication was there to be able to interact, socialize, boost her self-esteem. The teachers, the staff, very positive reinforcements here.
Every deaf child can learn just the same as hearing children can. I think that one problem is that often there are misconceptions about deaf children’s abilities.
Former Superintendent, WSD
ASL is their language. That gives them the self-esteem and they have a foundation then to support their English development.
Work Education Teacher, Transition Needs Team
He would start telling me ‘I just want to read at recess. I don’t want anybody to talk to me,’ and I’m like ‘no’. He’s outgoing. That’s not in his spirit. We started looking at different schools and was wowed by this school because of the socialization at recess and lunch and in the classroom is amazing.
Our daughter’s first language is ASL. It’s very important she understand ASL.
It is very crucial that the children have access to language development. A natural acquisition of language right from the very beginning.