Enrollment & IEPs

Momma and baby meeting NMSD staff The enrollment process is a coordinated effort involving the parents and child, the child's Local Education Agency (LEA) and the New Mexico School for the Deaf (NMSD). The procedure differs slightly for children under 3 years old and children who are 3 years old and older. NMSD accepts students as early as 18 months through 21 years old.

General Procedure:
  1. All families are encouraged to visit NMSD and are welcome to spend a day or two as program participants. During their visit, families can tour the program facility, observe classes and meet students and staff members and ask questions.

  2. NMSD will collect and review current evaluation/assessment information in order to determine whether or not the child meets NMSD's basic enrollment criteria. If more information is needed, additional evaluations may be requested or conducted on campus. The basic enrollment criteria is as follows:

    • Hearing loss as determined by an audiological evaluation
    • Child is between 18 months and 22 years of age
    • Resident of New Mexico*
    • Adequate evaluation/assessment information
    • Deaf/Hard of Hearing is the primary impacting factor on the child’s educational needs

  3. NMSD along with the family, LEA, and all applicable team members, will participate in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting to determine if the child’s Deaf/hard of hearing eligibility is the primary impacting condition on education, language, and overall development. The team will also need to determine that NMSD is the most appropriate environment to provide educational services and supports to meet the student's goals and objectives. The procedure differs slightly for children who are under three years old and require an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP).

  4. If NMSD is determined to be the appropriate placement, the family will then register their child as a student of NMSD.

    *Children who reside outside of the state of NM will be accepted on a case by case basis, subject to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with their LEA, student’s eligibility for services, and availability of space. 

To make arrangements for a visit or to find out more information about enrolling a child at NMSD, contact our Family Support Specialist. Click here for our Family Support Specialist’s contact information.

Residential Program having dinnerResidential Program Eligibility:

Eligibility for NMSD’s Instructional Services does not mean that the child is automatically eligible for residential services. In order to qualify for residential services, the child has to meet specific criteria that include the following: Child lives too far to commute on a daily basis (certain exceptions are considered). Child is five years or older by September 1st. Child must have basic self-help skills and are not a danger to themselves and others and do not engage in illegal activities.  Child does not require one-on-one assistance or supervision and is able to follow the residential program’s age-appropriate schedule.

Individualized Education Program (IEP) /Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP):

Each child at NMSD has an IFSP (If under 3 years old) or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to support each child’s learning.

  • Under 3 years old: To be considered for toddler program at NMSD, an initial comprehensive developmental and audiological evaluation will be conducted. The child’s Part C (IDEA) Service Coordinator will schedule an IFSP meeting.

  • 3 Years Old and Above: When the child turns 3, they will go through transition process to switch to what is called IDEA Part B services (school age 3- 21 year old).  During the transition, information is gathered to see if child meets the needs for placement in NMSD’s Part B (PreK-12 Grade) program. 

After the child becomes a student at NMSD, all IEPs are conducted on the NMSD campus with trained facilitators at least once per year. The IEP team may include but is not limited to parents, teachers, students, support staff and evaluators. If you would like to know more about the IEP process, contact Scott Mohan, Special Education Director.

Rights/Safeguards are currently available in English, Spanish, and Navajo (Spoken/Written) among other languages near the bottom of New Mexico Public Educations Department's website here.

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