Educational Program

The Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf provides a free educational setting on a beautiful 40-acre campus for Deaf/Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind students. ages Birth - 21 years of age. 

MSAD believes in the ASL/English Bilingual philosophy, where licensed Deaf/Hard of Hearing teachers, who are fluent in both American Sign Langauge (ASL) and English provide instruction through the use of both social and academic language. MSAD recognizes that ASL is the most accessible language for our students and through the use of visual/spatial means, students are presented 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' access to developing skills in English (reading, writing, speaking and listening) allowing for greater growth in reading/writing proficiency and increasing academic success. MSAD's bilingual philosophy includes emphasis within Deaf culture, as well as supporting the multiple cultural identities of each individual child. 

Individual Education Programs are designed for each student and implemented throughout the educational program in both school and residential settings.

The curriculum is designed to meet Minnesota State Standards while accommodating the needs of Deaf/Hard of Hearing students.

  • Early childhood children ages 0-5 receive services according to each child's age. For children in the classroom setting who have IFSP/IEP services such as speech, occupational therapy or physical therapy, our specialists come into the classroom and work with the children in that setting.  For those children who would benefit from pull-out services, these are also provided through MSAD.  Home visits are provided for students birth to age 3.
  • Elementary students receive instruction using a team approach which incorporates thematic and interdisciplinary teaching methods.
  • Middle school instruction emphasizes active and experiential learning using cooperative teaching techniques. Exploratory courses are offered and daily advisory periods provide students with academic support.
  • High school students follow a schedule of courses preparing them for post-secondary educational programs as well as the transition to work settings. Special course options include a variety of vocational courses, work experience opportunities and a student-run enterprise.
  • All students have the opportunity to participate in mainstream classes in the Faribault Public Schools. Interpreters, note-takers, transportation as well as support from the Mainstream Coordinator is provided to all involved.


Residential Program

The residential program offers a nurturing environment which promotes opportunities for socialization among Deaf/Hard of Hearing peers.

Opportunities are provided and students are strongly encouraged to participate in a wealth of clubs, activities, athletic and co-curricular activities. Through the years, Trojan athletic programs have been synonymous with success and have received national recognition

Living Skills Training Centers within each dormitory provide space and facilities for students to practice life skills development. High School students participate in a semi-independent living program which challenges students to apply good decision-making skills and choices in order to prepare them for the transition to independence and adulthood.

Student Support Services

Student Support Service staff members take a holistic approach to promoting growth through a range of personalized services to students, their families, school districts and communities. Staff members fluent in American Sign Language provide services, including assessments, direct intervention and community resource partnerships that address learning, speech or spoken English, social-emotional, communication/language and transition needs.

Family Involvement

The Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf believes that family involvement is paramount to providing quality education for every student. The family is the first and most influential teacher in the life of a child, a fact of even greater significance to families of deaf children. We strive to involve families in the education of their children and in the improvement of the educational process.