Student Development Team
The Student Development Team (SDT) at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf is an important part of the educational leadership team. SDT members provide a challenging and supportive environment where intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development are considered interdependent. SDT staff members spend most of their time in direct service to and contact with students, classroom teachers, staff, other professionals and families.
SDT staff works with classroom teachers, staff and families to collect data to help determine clear goals for creating, managing and maintaining positive behavior support throughout the school to maximize students' academic performance and minimize inappropriate behaviors.
- Students develop best in a challenging and supportive environment where academic and social development is integrated.
- A high level of student involvement is encouraged in activities that promote decision-making, leadership, positive work habits, responsibility, independence, social interaction and community service.
- Crucial components in the development of each student's positive sense of self-worth include interacting with a diverse Deaf community and respecting cultural differences in the society at large.
- The environment at PSD is designed to provide various opportunities for the teachers, support staff, and parents to work together in enhancing each student's overall growth and development.
- ASCA Model practices to address the developmental needs of all students. Professional school counselors deliver a comprehensive school counseling program encouraging all students' academic, career, personal/social and sexual development by identifying evidence-based interventions that enhance and help all students in maximizing achievement.
- Positive Behavior Support strategies are used to ensure that academics and behaviors are systematically aligned.
Key activities include screening to identify students with early indicators of mental health challenges, and training teachers and other school personnel to identify and respond to the earliest signs of children's mental health concerns and to create a school environment that fosters mental health and resilience. Additionally, SDT staff collaborates and refers students and families to outside agencies and consults with professionals ensuring the adequate provision of services to students in need.
The Student Development Team is competent in a wide range of interventions (whole school, classroom guidance, small group and individual counseling) and collaborates with classroom staff to ensure that students have more success both academically and behaviorally.