Strategic Plan

December 2022 Update on the Strategic Plan
Information on Year 1 Plans/Actions


In 2019, the RSD community came together to imagine and plan for the future.  Faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and community members participated in surveys, focus groups, and workshops to identify RSD's strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth.  Just as a five-year strategic plan was about to be rolled out, a global pandemic hit, and we needed to adjust our plans and priorities to serve and protect our students, families, and staff.  While some strategic initiatives identified in 2019 were put on hold, many were developed and advanced.
In Spring 2022, we resumed work on the strategic plan with consultants from the University of Rochester and stakeholders to take stock of the progress made, look at new issues that have emerged or been amplified by the pandemic, and adjust to the current landscape of education and needs of the RSD community.  


RSD, a leader in creating a vibrant community of lifelong learners – one student, one family, one success at a time.


Rochester School for the Deaf provides exemplary opportunities in a bilingual environment to meet students’ unique learning. Together, as a community, RSD challenges and prepares students for participation in the ever-changing world by:
  • creating an environment that empowers academic achievement, enables communication, and enriches social engagement;
  • using both proven and innovative programming along with current technologies; and
  • nurturing students in mind, body, and spiritedness culminating in self-awareness, cultural identity and pride.

Strategic Priorities


Establish universal communication norms, protocols, and expectations to build an interconnected community that supports student success.
  • Internal CommunicationImprove internal communication among all stakeholders, including administrators, staff, students, and families.
  • External Communication Improve external communication among all stakeholders, including alumni, friends, donors, and the community.

Employee Excellence, Engagement & Support

Hire, foster, develop, retain, and support well-trained, engaged, successful, and satisfied employees.
  • Hiring/mentoring – Attract and retain quality employees.

Family & Community Partnerships

Develop and nurture strong relationships with families and community partners to support student success and experiences.
  • FamiliesEnsure all families feel welcome, included, and empowered in the RSD community.
  • External Partnerships – Seek and establish partnerships with selected area businesses and colleges to support student success and experiences.
  • Alumni – Expand partnerships with RSD alums to support student success and experiences.
  • 4201 and Other Deaf Schools – Strengthen partnerships with other Deaf schools to support student academic success and enrollment.
  • School Districts and BOCES – Strengthen relationships with home school districts’ stakeholders to support student success and enrollment.


Foster a clear understanding of Board and administration roles and responsibilities.
  • Administration – Enhance the roles of the school leaders.
  • ASL Policy – Enforce ASL communication policy school-wide.
  • Board of Directors – Enhance the engagement of the Board of Directors in the school community.

Student Experience

Maintain and improve the inclusion of all students by developing student’s character and well-being in education, athletics, and programs for social and emotional growth.
  • Student Voice – Provide students the opportunity for active participation in their school and residential environment.
  • Emotional /Behavior Support for Students – Provide supports to ensure the physical and social/emotional well-being of all students.
  • Staff Awareness – Better staff awareness when dealing with emotional/behavioral students.

Student Success

All learners, no matter their circumstances, are entitled to a challenging and impactful, rigorous education.
  • Curriculum – Align curriculum and instruction to support student needs.
  • Data-Informed Instruction – Utilize data effectively to inform instruction and report achievement.
  • Professional Development – Create and implement professional development that maximizes and supports student growth and meets the needs of all school employees.
  • Student Achievement and SupportProvide programming and supports to ensure the success of all students.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

RSD will create a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion statement and bake it into the way we implement this strategic plan, our work as a staff, and our teaching and learning with students.