The Austine School for the Deaf provides education from pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Our programs encourage both independent and collaborative learning. With a low student-to-staff ratio, Austine students enjoy individualized, personal attention from instructors and support staff and we take the time to ensure that every child knows not only their peers, but all our staff by name
The Elementary School serves students of preschool age though fifth grade. We provide a comprehensive, developmentally appropriate and academically focused educational program. Incorporating the “SPICE philosophy”, which encompasses the social, physical, intellectual, communicative and emotional aspects of development, our program focuses on the whole child.
The Elementary School promotes maximum progress for each student through the methods that meet the needs of deaf children and integrate Montessori methods as needed based on the needs of each child, as well as the State of Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities and the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union (WSESU) curriculum framework. This multi-faceted approach results in a child-centered educational environment in which each child is encouraged to explore and discover the art of both independent and collaborative learning. The goal of the elementary school program is for students to develop a foundation of knowledge, communication proficiency, critical thinking and conflict resolution skills while achieving the level of maturity necessary for a successful transition into the Middle School and beyond.
For Austine’s middle school students, daily studies focus on developing a strong knowledge base as well as successful living skills. We have high academic expectations that align with the Vermont Framework for instruction in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, art, health, physical education and keyboarding. Teachers also focus on helping each child discover his or her own strengths and interests to help gain confidence in the qualities that make him or her unique.
At the same time, we present students with important opportunities to enhance their communication skills and gain confidence through activities like public speaking engagements and Space Camp.
Austine High School aims to challenge students with a rigorous academic curriculum based on the Vermont Framework and to prepare older students for their next step, whether college or employment.
The Austine High School academic program is housed at Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS). Each morning the students are transported to BUHS at 7:30 and return to the Austine campus at 3:30. While Austine maintains its identity separate from BUHS, this special arrangement offers students the full range of academic and technical training resources, while also receiving the specialized assistance of a deaf educator and the support of a close-knit community of deaf and hard of hearing peers. Students have access to the latest technologies as well as individualized college-preparation, transition planning and/or supported job training programs. Students age 14 and older are encouraged to pursue supported internships and work study opportunities with local businesses. Students also enjoy academic extracurricular activities such as the Gallaudet Academic Bowl, Math Bowl and educational trips.
Independent Living Skills Class
Austine offers a life skills education program for deaf students with additional disabilities. These students' classes generally offer a lower staff-to-student ratio and focus on the development of functional academic and independent living skills. Instruction is based upon the Syracuse Community-Based Curriculum, which meets the Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities.
Career and Technical Educational
The Austine School for the Deaf strives to prepare students for entry into college and careers by making learning relevant to everyday life. While classes and activities adhere to the Vermont Frameworks of Standards and Learning Opportunities, the focus of career and technology education is on Personal Development Standards. Students participate in senior life skills classes, business education, work-based learning, technical education and receive support services, vocational assessments and transition planning assistance.
High school students can apply to the Windham Regional Career Center (WRCC) for technical education courses that promote the development of specific employment skills. Austine assists students in applying to the WRCC, provides interpreter services to make the courses accessible and offers tutoring related to the course work. The WRCC offers courses in approximately 16 different fields, including: Performing Arts, Architectural Design/Drafting, Culinary Arts, Electronics and Fiber Optic Technology, Construction Trades, Natural Resources, Horticulture, Business Academy, Early Childhood Education and Medical/Human Resources.
In addition, Austine offers work-based learning opportunities to students through our Work-Study Program, which includes on- and off-campus work placements for students that align with their Individual Education Plans. We provide job coaching and interpreter services to support students in their employment setting.
We also provide vocational assessments to assist high school students in choosing classes and identifying career interests, and we conduct transition planning for all students age 14 or older.
Vermont Academy Partnership
The Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VCDHH) entered into a partnership with Vermont Academy (VA) a preparatory school based in Saxtons River, Vermont. This collaboration enables Deaf and Hard of Hearing students enrolled at the Austine School to take classes on the VA campus while enjoying the rich residential program at Austine.
Austine/VA students must meet VA admission requirements. Typically a student would spend their academic day at VA and return to the Austine campus in the afternoon for residence and after school activities. Austine would provide accommodations to make the VA classroom experience accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students.
For admission information please contact:
Director of Admissions
OrDr. Janet Dickinson
Director of The Austine School for the Deaf