West Tennessee School for the Deaf - Jackson, TN
About Our School

The West Tennessee School for the Deaf opened in the fall of 1986 as a state elementary school for children who are deaf or hearing-impaired. Academically, we serve children, ages 2-13, from throughout West Tennessee. We average 55 students for enrollment each school year.

The West Tennessee School for the Deaf is an agency of the Tennessee State Department of Education, Division of Special Schools. The school is operated by the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education.


We use a total communication approach to teach our students. Total communication incorporates a variety of communication modes to encourage signed and oral language development. We utilize an auditory training curriculum and offer speech-language services to our students. Auditory trainers are provided for all students. Each student's unique needs and abilities are addressed.

Instructional Programs

The curriculum at WTSD is designed to meet the individual needs of our students by emphasizing language development, speech, and listening skills. Classroom teachers follow the Common Core State Standards for instruction. Specialty classes such as guidance, library, keyboarding and physical education are also incorporated into the weekly curriculum. Continuous collaboration between teachers, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists provide optimal information for instructional programs.

Speech and Hearing Services

In addition to providing daily audiological services to WTSD students, the Student Services Department provides complete audiological testing services to children from birth to 5 years of age. A referral is not necessary to receive these services. Two on-site audiologists provide services including auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing, diagnostic hearing evaluations, hearing aid and classroom amplification analysis and fitting, educational consultative services, and family intervention services for newly identified infants and children with hearing-impairments.

Mission Statement

The mission of West Tennessee School for the Deaf is to prepare students to be successful at the next level as they become skilled communicators and to reach their maximum academic potential as measured by state assessments.

Through the successful creation and implementation of a model program for deaf and hard of hearing students, our vision at the West Tennessee School for the Deaf is to guide our students so that they may develop the academic and social skills necessary to enable them to integrate successfully into all settings.

  • All students possess the ability to learn, and that the key to learning is proficiency in language skills. We exist to develop successful communicators through Total Communication.
  • Our students must be able to compete as closely as possible with their counterparts in local public schools.
  • Assessment is the foundation for effective instruction and that instructional goals must be based on curriculum-based evaluations, daily student performance and standardized tests.
  • The instructional program must be child centered and data based.
  • Our policies must result in a school culture that is conducive to student achievement and to safety and order.
  • Decision making is a collaborative process involving all relevant members of a team.
  • There is a positive correlation between learning and school attendance.

The West Tennessee School for the Deaf provides instructional programs for hearing impaired children ranging in age from two through sixth grade. Our curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs of our students by emphasizing language development, speech and listening skills. Students also receive instruction in physical education, computer technology and art. All classroom teachers follow the Tennessee Curriculum Standards set forth by the Tennessee Department of Education.

An Individual Education Plan is developed for each student enrolled at WTSD. Total communication is used throughout our program by all staff members. Small class sizes and individualized programs aid in the success of our students. Continuous collaboration between teachers, speech patholoists, and audiologists provides optimal information for instructional programming.

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©2012 West Tennessee School for the Deaf