on December 14, 2014 by in Golden News, Comments Off on A reason to celebrate

A reason to celebrate

The Rocky Mountain Deaf School finally has a home.

After years of searching, designing and building, the school, located at 10300 W. Nassau Ave., finally opened its doors on Dec. 6 to tremendous celebration from staff, students and community members.

“This is much more than a ribbon cutting for a school,” said Amy J. Novotny, director of RMDS. “This is an opening of a new home for our students and community.”

The school is a charter school in Jefferson County and Jeffco Superintendent Dan McMinimee was on hand to welcome students and staff to their new home.

“Today symbolizes and end –; an end to the waiting for the building to open, but it’s also a beginning, and that’s the important part,” he said. “Now the great teachers and kids you have will start to fill this school with their love and skills.”

RMDS received a grant from the BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) Program through the Colorado Department of Education to build a new school specifically designed with and for deaf and hard of hearing students and every detail was considered and thought through.

Novotny said that the school’s paint job and color scheme reflects the four departments –; early learning, elementary, middle and high school –; in RMDS and allows students to have their own spaces.

All the classrooms in the LEED gold certified building have the desks arranged in half-circles so the students can see and interact with each other and features monitors and interactive wall spaces to promote communication.

“The lighting in the building is very intentional –; we use natural lighting as much as possible because it’s much easier on the eyes,” Novotny said. “All our floors have wood underneath the carpeting because it allows people to get students attention through vibrations.”

The building was designed with as few corners as possible and plenty of ways to see around them since students can’t hear someone coming.

The RMDS school isn’t just for students –; the community is invited to the American Sign Language (ASL) classes that will be hosted to teach them how to sign. Students at RMDS are also learning ASL through innovative video techniques.

The playground and field areas were all designed with the students in mind, and the community chipped in to pay for the field.

“It’s unbelievable to be standing here and see this dream come true,” said Martha Wolcott, RMDS’ first student. “The teachers here pushed me to be my very best and I’m excited to see what happens in the future.”

The future is already on the minds of RMDS staff, as they look ahead to new goals.

“This is the beginning of a new journey and new opportunities,” Novotny said. “It’s an exciting time for us.”

For more information visit www. rmds.co.

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