We are pleased you have chosen the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) for your child’s education. We recognize that family involvement has a powerful influence on a child’s achievement in school and encourage you to take an active and supportive role in your child’s education and help make learning a positive experience both at home and at school.
The FSDB Parent Services Department offers learning, engagement, and capacity-building opportunities for parents/legal guardians of enrolled students. Classes, workshops, meetings, and events throughout the year are designed to promote parental involvement in their child’s growth and learning.
The Parent Infant Program and the Early Learning Center (ELC) are under the purview of the FSDB Parent Services Department.
Campus tours are also provided for families of prospective students during school weekdays by appointment.
Health Care Center
The Parent Services Department offers a series of educational opportunities for parents and caregivers through Parent University. This program offers classes and workshops to parents and families throughout the year to learn, increase knowledge of techniques, and promote student achievement. Classes target needs specific to parents of students who are blind/visually impaired or deaf/hard of hearing. Parents/legal guardians are encouraged to participate as informed partners with schools to support programs in an effort to encourage lifelong learning and improve student academic achievement.
Parent Engagement Workshops (PEW) are learning opportunities open to ALL FSDB parents, guardians and caregivers. During PEW, we discuss current and relevant information about our school, parenting strategies, helpful resources and so much more. Please join us for these educational events, have a fabulous lunch on us, and meet other FSDB families.
PEW Dates for the 2020-21 Academic Year
Parent Engagement Workshops will be held virtually through the first semester of the 2020-21 school year.
Oct. 9, 2020
Nov. 6, 2020 – Zoom Video Meeting Link
Dec. 4, 2020
Jan. 15, 2021
Feb. 12, 2021
April 23, 2021
*Confirm meeting dates prior to making travel plans, as these dates are tentative and may change.
Parent Sign Language Classes
FSDB Parent University is hosting two virtual sign language classes for FSDB families starting the week of Sept. 21, 2020 and continuing weekly through the end of October. Beginner and intermediate classes are available, both from 4-5 p.m. No advance registration is required and classes will be held via Zoom. Click the link below for dates and more details.
FSDB is with you every step of the way as you and your child(ren) engage in distance learning. Included below are resources to assist your family during this time. We hope you never feel alone, as we are on this journey of learning and discovery together.
I believe parents are the most influential teachers. Our role is to empower parents to educate and advocate for their children.
How many students live in the dorms on campus?
Are students alone in the dorm at night?
What is the communication philosophy at FSDB?
All forms of communication are used and encouraged, including spoken English and American Sign Language.
Do people speak in the Deaf Department schools?
We have many students who use spoken English in the Deaf Department. We have 11 speech and language teachers and pathologists.
Does FSDB offer American Sign Language classes to the public?
American Sign Language classes are available for both community and family members on the FSDB campus and through distance learning online/interactive opportunities. For campus classes, check the events calendar on a regular basis for announcements.
This is a public school, does that mean it’s free?
There is no cost for eligible, Florida-based children who attend FSDB.
I know this is a free public school, but how much is room and board?
There is no cost for Florida families whose children participate in the boarding program.
What curriculum and instructional materials do you use?
Our teachers provide instruction on the same Florida Standards and Florida Access Points as other public schools in Florida. Our students enroll in courses that are approved by the Florida Department of Education.
Do your students take state assessments?
Yes, FSDB students take a variety of standardized exams including: End of Course (EOCs) (Middle Grades Civics, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, and U.S. History), Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) and Florida Standards Alternate Assessment (FSAA).
Can kids earn a standard diploma?
Yes, students can earn a standard diploma, in accordance with state educational requirements. More than 80 percent of FSDB graduates continue their education at college, universities, or career and technical training programs. FSDB graduates are represented across a wide range of professional and technical occupations.
My child is not on grade level; can he/she get extra help?
Yes, our teachers are highly qualified and provide interventions to students in their classes. We also have a tutoring program.
Can blind children take physical education?
Yes. Visit our Physical Education page to learn more.
How can I apply for my child to attend FSDB?
Visit our Admissions page to apply online or download an application.
My child is neither deaf nor blind, can they attend?
A student must be deaf, blind and/or deaf-blind, as their primary exceptionality, in order to attend FSDB. School Board Rule 6D-3.002
My child has cochlear implants. Can he/she attend FSDB?
Many students who attend FSDB use hearing aids and cochlear implants to maximize use of residual hearing.
Does FSDB accept students from other countries?
Our school provides a free and appropriate education (FAPE) for eligible students who reside in Florida. Students enrolled at FSDB come from diverse backgrounds from across the state. Children whose families reside outside the state of Florida do pay tuition, room/board, etc.
How many students attend FSDB?
About 525 students are enrolled in pre-K and K-12 programs on campus, and more than 500 students are enrolled in Parent Infant Programs throughout the state of Florida.
How many people work here?
Approximately 650 full- and part-time personnel.
What is the average class size at FSDB?
We maintain small class sizes to allow teachers to meet each student’s specific needs. At the elementary level, the classes average between six to eight students. At the middle school level, the average class size is eight students. At the high school level, the average class size is 10 students.
How can I volunteer at FSDB?
There are many ways in which you can volunteer at FSDB. Please contact the Advancement Department at 904-827-2327 for more information.
What happens if my child gets sick during the school week?
The FSDB Health Care Center is staffed 24 hours a day when students are here. A school nurse will call you about your child’s condition and any next steps. Parents/guardians are responsible to pick up their child when he/she becomes ill.
My child takes medication every day, is that a problem?
No; our HCC has nurses assigned to coordinate medications around the clock.
What services are available for children from birth to age six?
Our Parent Infant Program serves deaf/hard of hearing and/or blind/visually impaired children (ages birth to five) and their families in their home environment. Our Early Learning Center is a Montessori-based program on the FSDB campus that serves pre-K students ages 3-5.
What kind of after-school activities are available at FSDB?
FSDB provides diverse extracurricular opportunities for student participation in athletics, clubs and activities, performing arts programs, and recreational activities that take place in state-of-the-art facilities. Students also take part in athletic and academic competitions with public and private schools in Florida and at other deaf and blind schools across the country. Academic and athletic teams at FSDB hold national championship titles and regional awards.
Does FSDB have sports?
Yes, we have most traditional high school team sports plus goalball opportunities. Visit our Athletics page to view our team sports.
Can students go off campus after school?
It depends on the age of the child. Elementary and middle school children are always with a teacher, an instructional assistant, a coach or another staff member. High school students can go off campus if we have permission from the parents in writing and they can only go to a limited area near the campus. Students also may leave campus for some academic and career and technical education courses as well as recreational opportunities.
Can I send my child spending money?
Yes; we have a student bank on campus.
Can my child attend FSDB during the day only?
Yes, if your child lives in St. Johns County or any county that touches St. Johns County, s/he can be a day student.
Do you have computers in classroom?
Every child is issued an iPad or computer starting at 3rd grade and above. Classes for younger students have a mix of iPads and computers. Additionally, many other devices are available in classrooms or assigned to students to meet their assistive technology needs, such as magnification, audio and braille devices.
Do the students go home every weekend?
Yes. Students go home each weekend on Friday and return to school Sunday evening (typical schedule) and go home for Thanksgiving (one week), Winter Break (two weeks), Spring Break (one week) and summer (10 weeks). Students also have three-day weekends throughout the school year.
What kind of transportation is available for students?
Students in the Boarding Program receive bus service to and from their hometown on weekends and holidays. Students living in the local area are transported to and from home daily. Local families also have the option of transporting their children between school and home.
If your question is not listed above, please reach out to FSDB through one of our Contact forms. We welcome your inquiries and look forward to talking with you soon.