Frequently Asked Questions
If there is an interpreter at the public school, why should students attend Iowa School for the Deaf?
Direct instruction is best. Interpreters are state-licensed professionals who are experts in interpreting, not teaching. They relay information to students. If an interpreter is not familiar with a subject, the vocabulary and key points of the lesson won't be clear to the interpreter, and concise signing won't be provided to the student.
Why not just give notes and have captioning for deaf students and keep them in public schools?
Most students with a hearing loss are born into hearing families. When children can't hear language to imitate and learn it, they have large vocabulary gaps and struggle in school. The written word may have no meaning for a deaf student.
Do ISD students talk?
It is anything but quiet at Iowa School for the Deaf! Our students have a variety of hearing losses, and a variety of speech abilities.Nearly 25% use cochlear implants. Whether in the classroom or in a social setting, the chatter of student voices can be heard complementing their signing. If a student wants to use their voice, they are supported in the classroom and dorms. Speech language pathologists work with students throughout the class day.
Is ISD easier than public school?
ISD maintains rigorous academic standards. Most students find our direct instruction enables them to focus on content and participate in class discussions. Communication barriers they faced in public school are eliminated. In this manner, they may consider ISD to be "easier" than their public schools.
Do you have hearing impaired students?
We respect individual and family preferences regarding classifying a child's hearing loss. Although an audiology report may show three different students have the same degree of loss, one child may consider himself deaf; another may want to be referred to as hard of hearing; and the third may classify himself as hearing impaired. At ISD, most students consider themselves deaf or hard of hearing. To them, "hearing impaired" implies an imperfection exists.
What diplomas are awarded?
ISD students meet the same Iowa Board of Education criteria to graduate (same as public school students) and are issued standard Iowa high school diplomas.
What do ISD students do after graduation?
Some pursue work or college on their own. Othes find our two-year transitional program, 4PLUS, provides welcomed support to be successful with employment and/or at college.
How many students are on campus?
ISD has maintained a steady enrollment of about 110 over the last decade.
What is the school calendar?
The school year begins in mid-August and concludes in late May, just as public schools in Iowa.
How much is tuition?
Most of ISD's funding is appropriated through the state of Iowa. There is no cost to attend.