Who We Are
The Maryland School for the Deaf will lead in advancing innovative and rigorous academic programs that impact the global community.
The Maryland School for the Deaf, a diverse, bilingual community, in partnership with families, provides an equitable and exemplary education in a nurturing, engaging, and challenging environment to ensure our students achieve personal excellence and become responsible lifelong learners.
ASL and English Bilingual Education
The mission of MSD is to provide ASL and English language models for early language acquisition, and to provide linguistically-enriched ASL and English environments for the attainment of fluency in both languages. This mission is accomplished when all MSD students become fluent in both ASL and written English upon graduation.
Direct Access to Learning
ASL is used as the language of instruction throughout the school day, both in and out of the classroom. ASL provides MSD students full access to information, knowledge and incidental learning. Our deaf and hard of hearing students interact with teachers, staff, and peers - all day, every day - in the classroom, at lunch, during extra-curricular activities, and on the bus. At MSD, learning takes place directly, not through an interpreter.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
MSD is committed to fostering a welcoming community that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable through the ongoing process of identifying policies, practices, and programs that empower everyone in the community to make transformative changes by accepting, respecting, and celebrating diverse identities in our curriculum and environment.
Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) are central to our students' education. Each IEP is developed and maintained by a team comprised of MSD teachers, service providers, the student, family members, and county representatives.
At Maryland School for the Deaf, we believe:
- Our students learn best in a bilingual environment in which American Sign Language and English are used.
- Each student is a valued individual with unique physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs.
- Students have a right to a safe, caring, and engaging learning environment.
- Early and ongoing language acquisition is vital.
- Students are challenged to achieve their highest academic and career potential.
- Quality education and open communication is a shared responsibility between the school, its students, their families, and the community.
- Ongoing parent education and access to resources and services are essential to student success.
- Students learn in a variety of ways and have opportunities to grow and access services that support their learning styles.
- Diversity is valued and increases students' understanding and respect of different people and cultures.
- Cross-curricular literacy instruction is essential to student success.
- Our students develop academic and social behaviors through systematic application of evidence-based strategies.
- Access to and competency with current technology is essential for student learning.
- Student life and extracurricular activities promote wellness and personal growth.
Profile of Graduates
The Maryland School for the Deaf graduate will be empowered to demonstrate competency in:
Foundational Knowledge and Skills by:
- Employing skills in literacy and signacy
- Thinking critically and solving problems
- Thinking creatively
- Seeking and retrieving resources for self-advocacy
- Understanding their rights as deaf and hard of hearing individuals
- Understanding the components of a healthy lifestyle
- Possessing independent living skills
- Using and employing technology efficiently and effectively
- Developing a career plan and goals
- Meeting or exceeding state standards, achieving IEP goals, and passing appropriate assessments
Language and Communication Skills by:
- Using American Sign Language and English language effectively
- Demonstrating effective communication skills in a variety of settings
- Demonstrating active listening skills
- Using effective conversational skills
Individual and Community Awareness by:
- Understanding their personal identity
- Possessing knowledge about the Deaf community and Deaf heritage
- Possessing knowledge about the community-at-large
- Practicing open-mindedness and sensitivity to diversity, various communication modes, and different perspectives
- Respecting individual differences
Personal Qualities by:
- Demonstrating positive self-esteem and confidence
- Setting and meeting goals
- Striving for personal excellence and wellness
- Possessing a strong work ethic
- Respecting others
- Understanding and using social etiquette
- Adapting in a variety of situations
- Being a team player
- Contributing to the community
- Valuing lifelong learning
James E. Tucker
Jennifer Yost Ortiz
Dean of Student Affairs