Jean Massieu School News

Aimee Breinholt

Summer has been packed full of fun and learning.  We have had several camps during the month of July.  Students have participated in an adventure camp in Ogden, several preschool camps, soccer camp, dance camp, drama camp and our first summer reading clinic.  We would like to express our gratitude to all who have made these camps a success.  We would especially like to thank the Deaf Center for hosting all of our camps this summer!

Summer has brought lots of construction to JMS.  The new roof is nearing completion.  Lizzie (our secretary) and I will be moving back into the building this Friday.  The JMS office will be open starting August 3rd.  The playground is in the process of being moved and we anticipate the completion for that prior to school starting.  They have started working on clearing the ground for the new building.  As you come by please be patient with us as this construction continues throughout the year.  It is anticipated that new building for USDB will be completed next summer.

It is so exciting that the new school year is just around the corner!  We will have several new faces at JMS.  We have hired 5 new teachers for this coming school year.  Please help us welcome Shari Solomon-Klebba, Meme Kerr, Janelle Cox, Jeanna Chiodo, and Brynn Roemen as instructors.  We are currently advertising for aide positions.  The job will be posted until August 2nd and interviews will be held the first week in August.

In the fall, we will be offering a reading clinic for students and quarterly workshops for parents on literacy strategies to implement at home with your child.  The first workshop will be September 2nd from 7-8pm.  Please mark your calendar.  Parent/family ASL classes will continue to be offered throughout the school year.  More information will follow as school starts.  Our back to school night will be held August 26th from 6-8pm.

We can’t wait to see our students on August 19th for the first day of school.  (Preschool and Kindergarten will start August 24th.)   Please stop by sometime and meet all the new faces and see the changes at JMS.  We would love to have a lot of involvement from the Deaf community.

Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind News

Michelle Tanner

The summer has been busy with a number of summer camps.  Each camp was well attended and children enjoyed the time spent learning with friends.  Now USDB is preparing for the upcoming school year.

There have been a number of changes that have occurred over the summer. At JMS we have updated and added to the new playground as the new building has begun to take shape.  Construction will continue throughout the school year and we anticipate the new building will be completed in August of 2016.  When this is completed, the building will be used to house administration, several classrooms, related service providers, theatre and a full size gym built to specifically accommodate the Deaf and hard of hearing.

I would also like to make you aware that the relationship with Sound Beginnings, as a third party provider of USDB services to deaf and hard of hearing students in the Cache Valley area, has ended.  Although we have appreciated our association with Sound Beginnings over the years, USDB will be resuming our role as the only authorized provider of these services for the State of Utah (UCA 53A-25b-103) in the Cache Valley area.   This means that beginning this 2015-16 school year, USDB will be the sole responsible party for meeting all the service requirements for IEPs and IFSPs in the Cache Valley area.  We are confident that will be able to honor the IEPs/IFSPs that have been established for our students in this region, as we do with all of our students throughout the state.

Finally, over the summer each division has hired many teachers and we have added several new related service providers.  We are still looking for two Speech Language Pathologists, a few paraprofessionals (aides) and substitute teachers.  If you know of anyone that would meet these needs, please contact for more information about specific positions.  With all the great staff we have at USDB, we are looking forward to a great year!

President’s Corner

We have exciting news – the National Association of the Deaf quarterly board meeting will be held in Salt Lake City on January 14 to 16, 2016.  A town hall will be held on Friday evening at the Sanderson Community Center.  The NAD board will visit two deaf schools – Jean Massieu School and Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. On Saturday, the board will meet all day at the Sanderson Community Center.  Everyone is welcome to meet the NAD board.

The 2015 UAD biennial conference will be held in Provo October 16 and 17. Do save the date! Informational announcements will be posted through UAD Announce and UAD Bulletin. Do join us!  UAD and UTRID are partnering for this conference.  We have posted ticket prices in advance for the conference.  We offer different plans such as early bird and seniors/students. Check it out on the UAD website.

We are partnering with the Sanderson Community Center to host a legislative training for the first time. It will be on Saturday, November 14 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Check the flyer on page 12 for more information. It is FREE. You will benefit in learning how to build relationships with important people in your area.  Don’t miss out on it!  Lunch will be provided.

We strongly encourage you to join UAD as a member and support UAD; membership strengthens the organization. UAD needs your voice and your opinion to help move it forward in the future. Membership is only $15 a year and is tax deductible.  To join, go to and click on ‘Join Us.’

Donations to UAD are always appreciated. To donate, contact Adele Sigoda at

Philippe Montalette, President

PIP Update

Paula Pittman

Our big event for June was our PIP Family Camp, which was held June 5-6.  Our theme this year was “Life is a Circus: Let’s Play!”.  Friday night we met at the Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  Families enjoyed a meal and time to meet other families, and in each room of the Deaf Center we focused on a particular type of play.  Play is what children love to do more than anything, and through play, parents can help build their child’s thinking, communication and language skills.  The children had a wonderful time, and the parents seemed to enjoy the activities, but I think our staff had just as much fun as any of the kids! Our thanks to the staff at the Deaf Center who, as always, went out of their way to help us make the night a success!  A special thanks to Jim, who went above and beyond the call of duty to help us clean up the “moon sand” that the children loved, but that was a real pain to get cleaned up!

Saturday the event moved from Salt Lake City to Ogden, where we literally took over the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind campus!  Parents were in workshops all day learning more about play and the benefits of play for their children.  They got an opportunity to think of ways they can incorporate play into their everyday routines and encourage their child’s language development through play.

While the parents were learning, the kids were playing!! We had 89 children who attended our PIP camp (a total of 194 people in all), and they all seemed to have a blast, except maybe our tiny babies, who really just wanted their mommies!  The zoo came and brought 5 animals (including a snake!) that the kids got to learn about.  This was blissful for the kids and a lot of fun for staff too.  We broke the kids up into age groups and each group had story time, a circus video, charades and a variety of games.  At lunch time we had a great group come out and do balloon animals for the kids (and parents!), and we also had a fun photo booth that parents and kids could enjoy together.  We decided to bring in food trucks for our lunches this year.  We had hot dogs provided by Eiffel Dogs and wonderful hamburgers provided by Rolling Mountain Bistro, both delicious!

In the afternoon, we hosted circus games and activities for the kids to participate in.  By the time the day came to a close, parents had learned new info and children were happy, but worn out!  We had reports that many of the children were sound asleep by the time their cars rolled out of the USDB parking lot.

Huge thanks to our PIP staff, the 17 volunteers who gave up their Saturday to help us, and to the maintenance crew at USDB who helped us to set up the school and clean up afterward, especially Mary and Aaron, who worked non-stop to keep things going at the USDB campus.  Thank you all for making this year’s PIP Family Camp a huge success!!

August 2015 Holidays

3    National Watermelon Day
10  National S’mores Day
13  Left Hander’s Day
30  National Marshmallow Toasting Day



RedRockWATERBASH27th WDM Tour 2015 Oct 1 JPEG




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