Academic Programming


Highlights of Iowa School for the Deaf's Academic Program

1. Direct instruction provides clearer teaching
2. Communication mode enables all students to participate in discussion
3. Same core curriculum as hearing peers
4. Meets Iowa Board of Education graduation requirements
5. Listening curriculum benefits many students
6. Strong visual teaching approach
7. Barrier-free communication helps students progress
8. Low teacher-to-student ratio
9. Specialized reading programs
10. Mainstreaming offerings at local public school

State's only 4PLUS transition program for "fifth-year" seniors who are deaf or hard of hearing

Click here to view ISD's Draft Course Catalog

Beginning at 18 months, children living in Council Bluffs and the Southwest Iowa area may benefit from the on-campus preschool. These children do not board at ISD and return home after each class day. Children who experience ISD's language-rich environment develop stronger communication and vocabulary skills, which will ultimately narrow the learning gap between them and their hearing peers. Families choose a preschool schedule that is right for them- from daily attendance to attendance a few days a week.

The teacher is dually certified in regular early childhood education as well as early childhood education for the deaf and hard of hearing. Curriculum aligns with national preschool standards and daily schedules allow plenty of time for rest and play. Activities focus on language development, socialization, gross/fine motor skills and self-help skills.

Elementary/Middle School
In addition to regular academic classes routinely offered in any other public school program, students in ISD's elementary and middle schools take the following classes (depending on grade): art, speech/language, library, physical education, guidance, metals, greenhouse, graphic arts, technology. Small class sizes allow teachers to address diverse needs of the students, who rotate for some classes. Language and vocabulary are emphasized in each classroom. Elementary and middle school classes are separated by floors. As students advance to middle school, they rotate for all classes which increases independence and organizational skills. Curriculum is taught on grade level with modifications provided as needed. After school, students have age-associated offerings, such as bell choir, student council, girls' and boys' clubs, leadership camp, oratorical contests and sports.

High School
Students are challenged to use critical thinking, imagination and creativity in classes. Staff help foster skills and attitudes within each student leading to positive self-esteem and self-advocacy. Aside from classes typically offered in public high school programs, a transition curriculum prepares students for life outside of high shcool, both in the worlds of work and college. Some students mainstream at Lewis Central High School (located across the street) with an ISD interpreter. The trimester system is used at ISD and each credit equals one trimester of class. Diplomas are awarded by the Iowa Department of Education, as all ISD students meet Iowa's required criteria to graduate. Extracurricular activities range from sports to clubs and events.

Preschool - 8th Grade

712.366.3227 v/tty
Contact Rebecca Gaw, Principal

High School - 4PLUS Transition

712.366.3237 v/tty
Contact Rebecca Gaw, Principal

Iowa School for the Deaf | 3501 Harry Langdon Blvd. | Council Bluffs | IA | 51503 | v/tty 712.366.0571
Superintendent Steve Gettel; All rights reserved