Elementary & Secondary


Gallaudet University Battle of the Books National Green Team Champions 2016- RI School for the Deaf


Our elementary and secondary classrooms promote the long-term development and success of the whole child.

This holistic view of deaf and hard of hearing children as healthy individuals who are often culturally distinct, have natural language rights, and deserve to be educated in a fully accessible language-rich environment is the foundation of our vibrant community of learners.  Our bilingual-bimodal, American Sign Language and English, academic environment fosters mastery of both languages in addition to the Rhode Island State Standards. Our program integrates best practices in Deaf Education and Bilingual Education.

Classroom teachers are highly qualified and certified in both the content areas they teach, and certified in the education of students who are deaf/hard of hearing. All teachers are proficient in American Sign Language and English.

At RISD, we are committed to ensuring that each student has complete access to the full curriculum (We are aligned to Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and Rhode Island Grade Level Expectations) through highly visual interactions in small classrooms. Instructional approaches are differentiated to meet individual student needs, based on where each student is in his/her learning process. Factors that influence individualized programming include the child’s language development, communication competency, depth of world or background knowledge, learning challenges, interests, and most effective modes of communication for teaching and learning.

We serve all families with deaf/hard of hearing children regardless of the degree of hearing loss.  All students follow a regular schedule of formal classes in English/reading, math, science, ASL and social studies. Supplementary academic offerings for all students include Health Education, Physical Education, Deaf Studies, and Art.

Elementary classrooms span grades 1-5.
Middle School consists of grades 6-8.
High School is comprised of grades 9-12.

Within the various grade levels, students work at their independent learning level. Additional special education support is provided for students with additional learning needs. All students have access to small group instruction as well as one-on-one instruction based on individual need.

RISD offers a fully accredited high school diploma to graduates who meet the state Performance Based Graduation Requirements (PBGR). In order to meet the diverse interests and needs of its students, the high school program offers several different programming options. Some students pursue a rigorous academic course of study designed to prepare them for post- secondary education. Other students choose to pursue vocational training based programs. There are some students who are involved in community based work-study programs with a job coach. Transition plans are developed, as part of the IEP process, for all students beginning at age fourteen.

Community interaction outside of school walls is essential for students to better understand the larger world around them. The School often invites visitors to address its students, and students participate frequently in curriculum-related fieldtrips. A long-standing relationship with RI School of Design enables all of our students to visit the its Museum several times a year.

Vocational/technical experiences are available through a partnership with East Providence Vocational Technical School. Students also have the opportunity to participate in local and state educational events and competitions. Students may be involved in Student Body Government, Academic Bowl competitions, and/or Junior National Association of the Deaf activities. In addition, students may participate in intramural or interscholastic team sports such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, and track & field with local private schools as well as with other schools for the deaf. Afterschool activities include Girl Scouts, Driver’s Education, Academic Bowl, Battle of the Books, and LEGO Robotics.

The combination of community interaction along with the offering of strong academic and afterschool programming enables our graduating students to be successful and contributing members of their families and in both the hearing and Deaf communities around them.