The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) provides the highest quality educational programs and services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students of all ages, their families and others who may benefit. WPSD maintains an accessible communication climate. All staff and students interact freely without language barriers. Students participate fully in every aspect of campus life. WPSD has specially trained teachers and staff who provide high-quality instruction. In a caring, yet challenging environment, students have the opportunity to reach their highest potential academically, socially and personally. Together with their families, WPSD encourages students to become independent and self-supporting. The agency's responsibility is: Preparing Students. For Life. Vision: WPSD provides a total learning environment for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Students achieve at the same levels as other children in our society. Students reach their highest potential in academics and citizenshipositive self-esteem, high personal aspirations and pride. As part of strategic planning, WPSD has made a commitment to ensuring that its students are well positioned to succeed following graduation. For WPSD, “Preparing Students. For Life” is more than a marketing tagline—it’s the focus.
Impact Summary from the Nonprofit Accomplishments 1. WPSD was selected as a National Association of Special Education Teachers’ School of Excellence, the highest level of recognition a private special education school can achieve. 2. WPSD holds itself accountable. Working with one of the foremost experts in deaf education, Dr. Marc Marschark as its consultant, each year he analyzes the performance of the academic program. The success of the program is borne out by test scores: of the 15 seniors who took the PSSA tests, 13 of them (87%) scored “proficient” and one other scored “basic.” Although those results are strong for a school for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, the staff will continue to strive for improvement. 3. WPSD launched its new LionWorks Printing & Graphics program. This new state-of-the-art facility is housed in the main building and offers full-service printing and graphics design. It provides new revenue streams as services are offered to other nonprofits and community groups. And it provides students with exposure to an industry where deaf and hard-of-hearing people traditionally have been successful. 4. WPSD completed renovation of a 10-unit apartment complex, renting space to members of the deaf community, parents of WPSD students and staff. Current goals: 1. Successfully raise funds to support program operations, new technology purchases and capital improvements to classrooms and residence halls. 2. Complete and implement a new strategic plan. 3. Continue to improve student performance and enhance the academic and residential offerings. 4. Per the request of Governor Edward Rendell and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, establish an educational program at the former Scranton State School for the Deaf. 5. Continue to encourage the neighboring communities to work together through Commitment to the Community meetings that bring together the key stakeholders of Edgewood and Wilkinsburg.
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