Early Childhood Programs » Early Childhood Programs

Early Childhood Programs

Early Childhood Programs at Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD) provide students with full and ongoing access to both American Sign Language (ASL) and English in a language-rich environment, promoting both incidental and planned learning.

Students are provided with opportunities to acquire language based on their individual needs, recognizing the value of both ASL and English.

Our goal is for all children and their parents to learn, use, and understand ASL since early exposure to accessible language is key to their overall development.

We recognize and value:

  • The most important learning environment for children is the one created at home.
  • Family involvement which is a vital component of our early childhood programs.
  • Collaboration with Early Intervention (EI), teachers, specialists, and families.
  • Opportunities for our families to network with other families and the learning community of teachers and support staff.
  • Bilingual education - ASL and English (Written and/or spoken English) educational programming.
  • Individual communication and other development needs of young children.

Our Early Childhood Programs offer:

  • The F.I.R.S.T. (Family Instructional Resource Service Team) Program, a home-based program for infants, toddlers, and twos from birth to 18 months of age and a center-based program for children from 18 months to 3 years of age at our Early Childhood Center (ECC).
  • A full-day Preschool Program for children ages 3 and 4.
  • The F.I.R.S.T. and Preschool programs provide reduced ratio classrooms. Students receive services to meet their academic, language, and social-emotional needs. Students and families work with our Certified Teachers of the Deaf and Speech Language Pathologists to help them meet their IFSP and IEP goals.
  • An Extended School Year (ESY) Summer Program, during July and August, designed to support the ongoing educational and social development needs of young children.
All Early Childhood Program services are free-of-charge to those families whose children fall within the guidelines to attend RSD and who reside in the 23-county area surrounding Rochester, New York.

For assistance in applying to RSD, to arrange for a campus tour, or for general intake referral information, call 585-336-5854; 585-286-2806 (VP) or e-mail: Info@RSDeaf.org.
Karen Windhorn
Director, Early Childhood Programs
Enrollment Assistance
  • For help in applying to RSD.
  • To schedule a campus tour.
  • For general intake referral information.
Call: 585-336-5854

RSD Parent Handbook

View and download a PDF file of the Parent Handbook.
An app for families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing attending IEP meetings, 504 meetings, or other meetings.