In the CID Virginia J. Browning Primary School, children ages 6 through 12 are are grouped by their abilities and learning needs in each subject area. Intentional grouping allows for mastery teaching, high motivation and a successful educational experience. The children are partnered with others with skills similar to their own and work with one or more teachers each day. Daily subjects are language, speech and listening skills, reading, writing, literature, math, science and social studies. Every classroom has a large-screen interactive SmartBoard along with a teacher trained to use it to enhance learning.
The CID primary school is directed by a master coordinating educator who works with the other teachers to continually review and revise each child’s educational program. The student–teacher ratio is better than 5–1. Using a speech-language pathologist’s formal assessment of receptive and expressive speech and language along with daily language sampling and lesson reflection, the teachers stay attuned to each child’s skills and pursue precise educational goals. Flexible scheduling enables them to quickly adjust educational objectives and procedures to foster the most possible progress for each child.
The children work hard, have fun and experience success. Each time they achieve a new goal, they’re energized to take on the next challenge.
Regular special subjects are tailored for each age-group and include physical education, art and music. The students attend a health and growth class with a counselor who is deaf. They go on educational field trips in the St. Louis community two or three times a year.
Preparing students for general education involves getting them used to homework, giving them greater independence with school-related tasks and engaging them in discussions about school and social life with typically hearing peers. Family conferences and report cards are part of the process. CID offers a Ready, Set, Go! program for parents of students who are preparing to enter general education programs.