Curricula

About

Curriculum instruction at FSDB is based on the Florida Department of Education Course Descriptions, Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Science and Social Studies, and B.E.S.T Standards for Math and English Language Arts, as well as the Next Generation Sunshine State Access Points and the B.E.S.T Standards Access Points (as appropriate).

To maintain a standard curriculum, FSDB instructional staff members have access to cutting-edge technologies and quality instructional materials. FSDB purchases materials for K-12 curriculum instruction from the approved Florida Instructional Materials adopted list. We follow the same adoption schedule as all other Florida school districts.

Blind student using a brailler while looking at a distributed video.

What sets FSDB apart is that all of our teachers and support staff members have received extensive professional development in order to adapt instructional materials to meet the needs of students who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired. We strive to provide accessible formats for all of our students (braille, large print, digital media, American Sign Language translations, etc.). Classroom teachers at FSDB are expected to be certified in both the content areas they teach, and certified in the education of students who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired.

At FSDB we enable each student to access the curriculum (B.E.S.T Math, B.E.S.T ELA, NGSSS and Access Points) through interaction in small classroom environments. Instructional approaches can be differentiated to the individual needs of students, based on where each student is in his/her learning processes. We take into account language development, depth of knowledge, learning challenges, interests, and preferred modes of communication. In alignment with the practices of Carol Ann Tomlinson, noted authority on differentiated instruction, FSDB focuses on “ensuring that what a student learns, how s/he learns it, and how the student demonstrates what s/he has learned is a match for his/her readiness level, interests, and preferred mode of learning” (Ellis, E., Gable, R.A., Gregg, M & Rock, M.L (2008) REACH: A Framework for Differentiating Classroom Instruction, 2008. Preventing School Failure, 52).

Florida Statutes Section 1008.25 mandate that each student’s progression from one grade to another be determined, in part, upon proficiency in reading, writing, science, and mathematics; that district school board policies facilitate such proficiency; and that each student and his or her parent be informed of that student’s academic progress. Each district school board is required to establish a comprehensive program for student progression as well as standards for evaluating each student’s performance.

 

The FSDB Student Progression Plan is reviewed, updated and approved by the Board of Trustees at the start of each school year. This annual plan helps to ensure that the required program of study, placement, promotion, reporting, retention, and assessment procedures are equitable and comprehensive, thereby providing accountability for all students.

Exemptions from Instruction

Reproductive Health & Disease Education

Any student whose parent/guardian presents a written request to the principal shall be exempted from instruction on reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS, its symptoms, development and treatment. A student so exempted shall not be penalized by reason of the exemption. The exemption must be requested annually. (1003.42(3) F.S.) 7th Grade – Reproductive health and disease is addressed during the first semester in 7th-grade deaf department science classes and second semester in 7th-grade blind department science classes. HOPE – Parents may request to review the instructional resources used for HOPE by contacting the Curriculum and Professional Development Department at 904-827-2247. 

 

Biological Experiments 

Students may be excused from conducting biological dissections upon written request of a parent/legal guardian to the principal. (1003.47 F.S.) 

 

Literary Study 

Any student whose parent/legal guardian presents a written request to the principal shall be exempted from a proposed supplemental literary study, the content or presentation of which causes parent/legal guardian concern. The student so exempted shall be provided an alternative selection and shall not be penalized by reason of the exemption. 

Curriculum Team

Randi Mitchell

Randi Mitchell

Executive Director of Curriculum and Professional Development

Cally Traetto

Cally Traetto

Reading Specialist,

Deaf Elementary School

Za Alexander

Joseph "Za" Alexander

Math Specialist,

Blind Elementary School

BJ Mayo

Billie Jo Mayo

Math Specialist,

Deaf Middle and High Schools

April Wallace

April Wallace

Reading Specialist,

Blind Elementary School

Yvonne Samuels

Yvonne Samuels

Reading Specialist,

Deaf Middle School

Mark Largent

Mark Largent

Math Specialist,

Blind Middle and High Schools

Janelle Berry

Janelle Berry

Bilingual (ASL & English) Specialist,

Deaf Department

Elisha Zuaro

Elisha Zuaro

Reading Specialist,

Blind Middle and High Schools

Brent Bechtold

Brent Bechtold

Reading Specialist,

Deaf High School

Andrea Binder

Andrea Binder

Math Specialist,

Deaf Elementary School