In our ASL-English Bilingual Philosophy, we recognize and affirm the value of fluency in both languages; American Sign Language (ASL) as the most accessible language for the deaf/hard-of-hearing community; and English as the majority language in the United States. Using our students' visual/spatial strengths, ASL provides our students with clear, complete, and consistent access to linguistic and curricular information. Fluency in ASL provides a foundation of language knowledge and skills, which supports students' development of English skills (reading, writing, and if appropriate, speaking and listening), and increases opportunities for academic success. MSAD's bilingual philosophy also includes emphasis on promoting development of students' cultural identities, recognizing the unique experiences within Deaf culture, as well as supporting the multiple cultural identities of each individual child.
As part of our instructional approach, we strive to ensure that MSAD students can develop proficiency in both languages, using both languages appropriately in different situations. MSAD continually works to ensure a language-rich environment throughout the school by including language development as part of their curricula and/or activities, and providing direct/indirect instruction related to receptive and expressive language in all content areas. We believe that by ensuring full access to language and communication throughout the school, we can provide for greater growth in academic, linguistic, cognitive, and social skills.
Click to learn more about our philosophy (MSA Policy 121), and our mission/vision/belief statements.