Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind News

Michelle Tanner

School has begun!  What a wonderful time of year!  The students are eager to start and believe it or not, the teachers can’t wait to get back to the job they love…. Teaching.

The beginning of the school year is extremely busy.  Each division director has been working tirelessly to make the first day, week and month of school a happy start for all.  Although there were some hiccups, we had a very smooth beginning to this school year.

We are starting the new school year with a number of changes that have included new teachers, new assignments for old faces and even new locations.  Students attending Millcreek Elementary are grateful for a portable, since we lost classroom space in the building last spring.  In the Orem area we have established an ASL/English class for preschool age students.  It is my hope that this will be the start of many more classes to come.  At JMS the playground has gotten a facelift and construction on the new building is in full swing.  Now we are preparing for other projects on the Ogden and JMS campuses as well as preparing for increased needs in the Orem area.

As always USDB is need of substitutes to instruct in our classrooms when the teacher is absent. If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a substitute teacher at USDB, please apply at statejobs.utah.gov for all locations under the category of education and the department will be 400 – Utah State Board of Education.  We would love to have lots of people to interview for these positions.

PIP Update

Paula Pittman

We have had a fun and busy summer in PIP making visits to families and focusing on language opportunities that the summer provides.  Many of our staff have had visits with families in parks, the zoo, grocery stores and at least one appointment was held at the local swimming pool.  So staff and families have enjoyed some fun events this past summer and children have had exposure to new activities and new vocabulary through the summer.

We started our summer with a very successful PIP Family Camp in June, and now with the launch of a new school year, we are gearing up for September and the start of LSL and ASL/English Toddler Groups, Listening Time sessions, and ASL Story Time.  This year we will also be offering an ASL class for families at the Highland office to give families who are using ASL/English an additional opportunity to learn and use ASL and also will allow families opportunities to socialize and share experiences with one another.

As we begin the new school year, we are excited to have a new Deaf Mentor, Sierra McKeachnie, and a new Parent Advisor, Jennifer Barone, who are doing a wonderful job for us.  We are still searching for one more Deaf Mentor and we also are trying to fill a part time position for an LSL Toddler Group teacher, so we are not quite fully staffed, but we are hopeful that these positions will be filled soon.

We are fortunate to have such a wonderful team of professionals in PIP.  They have done an amazing job serving our babies and their families this past year! This year we will be focusing even more on the quality of services that we are providing to families. We will be reviewing data and looking at individual child progress on a regular basis, ensuring that we are doing all that we can to support and educate families and help the babies in our PIP program reach their full potential.

Thank you for your support of our program.  Here’s to a wonderful new school year!

President’s Corner

We are thrilled to have Sean Forbes come and give a performance on Thursday, September 17 at Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He is an hip hop artist, very talented. For more information, please see flyer on page 4.  Be sure to buy your ticket now as it is in very popular demand.  Share your friends and families about event.  Come and show support for our community!

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 from8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Check the flyer on page 13 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 uad.org and click on ‘Join Us.’

Donations to UAD are always appreciated. To donate, contact Adele Sigoda at fab622@comcast.net.

Philippe Montalette, President

To a Higher Glory

July 31, 2015 – Clara Kendall, 82, passed away. Clara worked tirelessly in the manufacturing industry to provide for her family. She enjoyed traveling, bowling, bingo, and being a part of Deaf Seniors. She is survived by her sister Lila West and brother Myron Bosshardt. Her daughters Karen Kendall and Margie Reynolds, and a grandson, Jeremy Kendall-Thomas also survive her. Her husband John L. Kendall passed away July 3, 1990. Funeral services took place In West Jordan.

Wedding Bells

August 6, 2015 – Carol Peck and Dan Tomkinson were united in marriage at the Payson LDS Temple.  An open house honored the couple on August 8 at the Lehi Deaf Branch.


Ron Heinrich won 2nd place trophy at the Far West Golf Association for the Deaf tournament. The tournament took place July 27-30 in Ventura, California.

Jean Massieu School News

Aimee Breinholt

Welcome to the start of a great school year.  We are excited to be back in the classroom after the summer break.  Teachers in our elementary grades are implementing the new math curriculum, Math in Focus.  The staff will begin our weekly professional learning communities (PLC) groups this coming month.  Our focus is on reading instruction and improving the reading level of each and every student.  We invite you to support us as we work together to help each student.  On Wednesday, September 2nd we will be having our first parent class discussing reading strategies that can be used with your child at home.  Our reading specialist, Trish Vierra, will explain our reading clinic available to our students and what that will look like through this coming year.  Please join us from 7-8pm at the deaf center.  In addition to that we are looking for individuals to share their love of books with our students.  We would like to invite community members into the school to share a favorite book.  If you would be willing to do this, please contact me (aimeeb@usdb.org).  In September we will begin our ASL family classes at JMS.  These classes will be taught weekly on Wednesday evening from 4-6pm by Molly O’Hara.  Drama auditions and rehearsals are underway for the upcoming Shakespeare festival in Cedar City.  Thank you for your support of JMS.  We would love to have a lot of involvement from the Deaf community.  Please continue to partner with us as we provide educational opportunities to our students.

September 2015 Holidays

7    Labor Day
11  9/11 Remembrance
13  Grandparents Day
13  Rosh Hashanah
17  Constitution Day
21  International Peace Day
22  Yom Kippur
25  Native American Day

Sean Forbes Performance - September 17 (Click Events on Top)





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