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The paper is a reflection about the visit to Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) in St. Louis, MO. CID aims to teach deaf and hard of hearing children listen, talk, read and succeed by partnering with families and collaborating with professionals and institutions of higher learning. The institution wants to assist learners to communicate and achieve their best globally.
The reflection covers the climate of the school; health and safety; and policy and procedure issues.
The Climate of the School
The CID school climate is designed in an acoustically friendly manner to ensure that children can learn to listen and talk. For instance, the new school, known as ‘quiet school’, has incorporated several aspects of modern designs and is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to support acoustics learning for the best listening and speaking outcomes for deaf children. Also, the school was carefully designed according to ASHA standards for optimal benefits for learners’ residual hearing abilities and therefore, the design incorporated modern technologies to enhance speech.
The CID school was relocated to South Taylor Avenue away from the noise of the US interstate highway. Still, its landscaping was done to act as a sound buffer while construction materials and designs were chosen to block external noise and absorb noise that originates within the building. Moreover, the building’s design also incorporated noise reduction technologies in the floor designs, heating systems, as well as in cooling applications. Finally, the CID school environment was intended to accommodate both children’s and parents’ needs with its observation rooms, colorful child-sized furnishing, 20 classrooms, a library, art room, offices, discovery rooms and living room among others.
Health and Safety
Health and safety issues are top priorities at the CID school as it strives for both students’ and parents’ safety and health and therefore, all employees are responsible for ensuring a secure, safe environment.
Fire warning signs and installed hand sanitizer, for instance, are in washrooms while visible emergency exit plans, fire drill maps, and the building map can be noticed on walls. Although the CID is designed to ensure a safe, secure environment, it lacks adequate resources for unexpected emergencies such as fire outbreaks.
A lack of such vital resources can interrupt learning and affect the school negatively given the nature of learners. The school team, however, is responsible for meeting the required safety standards, offering guidelines and implementing them to support students, parents, and faculty. Also, the CID supports children to learn personal health and safety skills.
Policies and Procedures
The CID has certain observable policies and procedures. Parental involvement, for example, is vital for the CID school since it encourages parents to play active roles in all aspects involving their children. Parents are therefore encouraged to visit classes, offer their inputs on the learning, safety, and health of their children.
The visitor protocol requires all visitors to the school to sign in and get their identification badges as clearly indicated in handbooks and guidelines whereas all faculty and other staff members must also wear their badges at all times when at school. Further, the Serious Incident Report for all observed or reported behaviors from faculty, students, parents, and other visitors are noted for follow-up. Additionally, harassment procedures have been adopted for cases that could originate from any members of the staff, parents or visitors, and children are trained to recognize and report any form of harassment. Finally, the institution has security systems to ensure the safety of faculty, students, parents, and visitors.