KDES is a demonstration school of the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University. The Mission and Belief statements were approved by the National Deaf Education Committee, which is comprised of members of the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees.
The Clerc Center, a federally funded national deaf education center, ensures that the diverse population of deaf and hard of hearing students (birth through age 21) in the nation are educated and empowered and have the linguistic competence to maximize their potential as productive and contributing members of society. This is accomplished through early access to and acquisition of language, excellence in teaching, family involvement, research, identification and implementation of best practices, collaboration, and information sharing among schools and programs across the nation.
- We believe in educating the whole child and that developing each student's unique abilities and a positive sense of identity is critical for school achievement and success throughout life.
- We believe that all students, supported by high expectations and actively engaged in meaningful and challenging standards-based work, can learn, achieve and succeed.
- We believe that early access to and the acquisition of linguistic proficiency in ASL and English are integral to a deaf or hard of hearing student's overall development.
- We believe that exposure to and experience with ASL, and the diverse cultures of deaf and hard of hearing people, will enrich the lives of students and their families.
- We believe that informed and involved families are the cornerstone of a student's success and well-being.
- We believe that an active, cooperative partnership among the student, family, school, and community is essential for student growth and development.
- We believe that academic and afterschool programs should be broad, challenging, and individualized to promote a life-long desire to learn.
- We believe that competence with technology is an integral part of deaf and hard of hearing students' access to information and communication.
- We believe in an inclusive community, enhanced by the various cultures, experiences, and abilities of its members, that embraces a spirit of learning, mutual caring, and respect.