The mission of DePaul School for Hearing and Speech is to prepare students to succeed in the academic and social world with their peers with typical hearing. With early detection of hearing loss, early access to sound through hearing aids and cochlear implants, and the availability of early intervention services, students are often ready to transition to other educational settings much earlier than before. Staff members at DePaul School are available to guide parents in their choices and support students as they transition to their new schools.
The options available for educational placement include school district-based classrooms and parochial, private or charter schools. Leaving DePaul School is an exciting time for a child and often a stressful time for the parents. The DePaul staff supports the parents in making an educated choice based on their child’s academic and social skills and their child’s need for ongoing support services.
At DePaul School, the process of transitioning is extremely important to us. Our Director of Pupil Services begins to discuss transition plans with parents well in advance so we can collaboratively plan and effectively transition the child to their neighborhood school.
Most of the students transitioning from DePaul School benefit from hearing, speech, and audiological support in their new schools, but at a less intensive level. The staff at DePaul School teams with the parents and school district to ensure a plan is in place that provides for a seamless transition with continuity of services. This transition plan includes: observations by the receiving school staff at DePaul School, participation by DePaul School staff in the transition, IEP meetings and partial transitioning, wherein the student attends a series of visits to the neighborhood school prior to transitioning.
The staff at DePaul School is available as a resource to families and school districts after a student has transitioned to their new school. Our staff is available to provide professional development to general education teachers and participate in school district-based IEP meetings. Because of the strong foundation students develop at DePaul School, strong family support and strong educational support from school districts and intermediate units, our students have a history of succeeding in the transition.
Featured Alumni Story
DePaul alumna Jeannie Choi has been up to some exciting things since transitioning from DePaul in 2005! Last year, she graduated from Allegheny College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with aspirations of becoming a doctor!
Following graduation, she took a gap year to travel throughout South Korea with her family. Soon after, Jeannie began working as a Research Technician at Children’s Hospital, a job she refers to as a godsend because of the ideal location and relevance to her major. Her research focus is on Cystic Fibrosis, a disease on which she only knows the basics but one she is excited to learn more about!
Jeannie was diagnosed with bilateral severe hearing loss at age 3. Shortly thereafter, she received a Cochlear Implant for her right ear. At the time, bilateral Cochlear Implants were not common. Jeannie just got her left Cochlear Implant two years ago.
Looking back on her time at DePaul, Jeannie says, “My best memories of DePaul are the people in it, especially the friends I made and the teachers who helped me flourish. The friends I gained at DePaul, even though we are well on different paths, we still talk once in a while because of the special connection we have in terms of being able to understand what it’s like being hearing impaired. DePaul has truly helped me in terms of being able to assimilate into a public school where speaking is the norm and DePaul prepared me well for mainstreaming.”