What's Happening in the School for the Deaf

Magic Multiplication

February 2023

In the School for the Deaf, Alma Sicinski’s elementary students use magic analog clocks as a magic multiplication strategy to learn the multiplication facts 3-8 quickly.

Two students explore an analog clock and point as they learn multiplication


February 2022

Oh yeah, we think outside the Bach’s. (a music pun :))

Yesterday, our music therapist, Julie, and our music therapy intern, Adrianna, presented their School for the Deaf middle school musicians. The performance included a student keyboardist playing Beethoven, two duets with electric guitar and drums, and drum soloists. It was a joy to be in the audience and to receive the gift of music.

upper left, female student on the keyboards; upper right, male student on electric guitar; lower left, Julie and Adrianna stand and smile; lower right, one student plays drums while another plays electric guitar

Library Visit

January 2023

Students, in the School for the Deaf, are now visiting our new location for the CSDB library. Tracy Ross’s English classes will be going weekly in order to check out books! This was our first week visiting and checking out books to use during our D. E. A. R. (Drop Everything And Read) time in class. The students are excited to read the variety of books that are available.

four students and one teacher stand in front of library book shelf

collage of five pictures with students using gestures to imitate the presenter

Figurative Language

December 2022

In the School for the Deaf High School English classes, students have been learning about figurative language, personification, and metaphors oh my! In these photos, the class is practicing their poetry and personification skills by mirroring an ASL poem by Ian Sanborn called, "Caterpillar". The smiles and enthusiasm are contagious as the students also play handshape games and have fun with their language.

"I Love You"

November 2022


Young student, in the School for the Deaf, proudly holds up his heart art that has three "I Love You" handshapes coming out of the heart. Student grins happily.

Young student, in the School for the Deaf, proudly holds up his heart art that has three "I Love You" handshapes coming out of the heart. Student grins happily.

Bulldog Space Center

 top left, student in an astronaut costume works on the floor with a teacher in a space helmet; top right, costumes and play space capsule displayed in the room; lower, far photo of the room with planet photos and models, space rug, cubbies and full book rack.]


November 2022

Bulldogs Space Center! Introducing our new theme for the School for the Deaf Play-Based Learning Center - the Bulldog Space Center, where our Little Dippers can learn through space exploration. -School for the Deaf Instructional Coaching Team.

Fall Fun!

top left: Mom slides with daughter; top right, kids on haystack; center, families during hayride; lower left, Halloween costume parade group; lower right, 5 students using various ASL signs

November 2022

In the School for the Deaf, Kindergarten and 1st grade class, students have been enthusiastically learning about farm animals, where we get our food and milk, and what life is like on a farm! We concluded our learning by attending the Colorado Kids Ranch located in Monument on a field trip! There were farm animals and the kids got to feed the chickens and goats! There were even pretend cows so students could get a feel for what it would be like to milk one! We took a hay ride, explored the haystack tower, the obstacle course, the tube slide and even a playpen filled with corn kernels!

The students absolutely enjoyed Halloween dressed in their fabulous costumes, participating in our annual CSDB parade and we went trick or treating around the campus! We had a wonderful storyteller, Jennifer Mclellan, share a Halloween story with K- 5th graders!

We moved on to learn about the Day of the Dead. Families sent in a photo of an ancestor and students were busy making tissue paper colorful picture frames for them. They learned what an ofrenda is and made craft flowers and candles to set one up. Students decorated sugar skull cookies and set them on the ofrenda as well before gobbling them up for their afternoon snack! The pumpkins that were brought back from the farm, students enjoyed bedazzling and painting skeleton faces on them! To wrap up our learning students sorted Halloween and Day of the Dead symbols into a Venn diagram to see visually what is different and the same between the two holidays!

We will be moving onto exploring places in our neighborhood and community heroes and there is even a play-based Bulldog Pizzeria set up in our classroom! Come in for a visit, they would love to take your order, make your pizza just how you like it and then of course, demand that you pay the cashier working that day!

by Ms. Rachella Ortiz

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Halloween Costume Parade

October 2022

Check out our Halloween Costume Parade, CUTE!

Music Therapy Strategies at CSDB

October 2022

Written by Julie Harrison, CSDB Music Therapist

A young woman holding a guitar meets a student at her school bus. The student finds it difficult to transition into the school day, and music is one of the supports she needs. The woman plays songs the student has come to associate with easing into the day. Erin smiles and begins to pat her legs. She rolls into the school building in her wheelchair.

Music therapy is a research-based health profession in which a board-certified music therapist uses music interventions to reach non-musical goals in a non-threatening environment with people of all ages and abilities. Music therapy can benefit in any setting, such as academic settings and medical settings. Music therapists work towards academic, communication, cognitive, behavioral, social and motor goals.

Music therapists, such as the one in the above story, are trained to utilize the captivating elements of music to help students with non-musical tasks such as transitions, learning the braille code, utilizing their assistive communication devices, and reinforcing Orientation and Mobility, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy goals. 

CSDB has one certified music therapist who serves as our music educator, and a music therapy intern serving students until January.  The educator/therapist often co-treats with other professionals at the school and supports academic teachers with their IEP goals. She serves the School for the Blind and the School for the Deaf. This month, she will serve the Outreach department by supporting their family programs.  While we do not currently provide one-to-one music therapy services, we incorporate music therapy strategies in all music education settings. Music is a powerful tool for many of our students and can help our students thrive and achieve at CSDB.

three students work on a science table, in the lab, with ice and other materials

October 2022


Physics students, in the School for the Deaf, are learning about properties of matter, as well as physical and chemical changes as they make their own ice cream.

Drama Class and Makeup

top left: Drama teacher paints a student's face; top right, two girls with gory face painting; below, 6 student and a teacher look at results of air brushed makeup

October 2022

Kaela Mangiaracina, one of our elementary teachers, has a background in filming and SFX (special effects makeup).  This year Kaela is teaching an elective drama class with our elementary students.  This week she has been teaching kids how to do makeup and special effects makeup, in class.  The students are completely captivated and loving it!

Social Studies Class-Landforms

October 2022

In the School for the Deaf 3rd-5th grade social studies class, with Ashley Wood, students have been learning about types of landforms. https://csdb.colorado.gov/gottlieb-elementary-landforms

 top young girl colors a landform drawing; lower photo another young girl writes about a glacier

Shooting for the Stars!

on the  left, two students working on a math paper and on the right, a group of five students wearing blue headbands with stars.

September 2022

The 1st and 2nd grade class this year, in the School for the Deaf, is starting off shooting for the stars!!!! After a few weeks of assessments and getting to know each other, students are getting right back into the swing of things.  In math class they are reviewing counting and skip counting. They have been playing games like race to 100 and working together to skip count to solve mazes.  For literacy, our class has been exploring the solar system.  We are looking at non-fiction text features and making connections to the materials they are learning about. They are reading books about the planets, sun, moon and stars.  In the coming weeks we will be making some fun crafts for the phases of the moon and learning more about astronauts and their jobs.  This past week we made hats of the planets and the order they occur in the solar system.  Students thought it was so funny that the solar system was bigger than their heads because their hats kept falling off their heads!

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Welcome to the 2022-2023 School Year!

August 2022

Storm Drain Art Project

July 2022

Remarkable creativity! Thank you to Jerry and the Colorado Springs Stormwater Enterprise as well as our CSDB art teacher, Allie Unker, for bringing this opportunity to #CSBDBulldogs students.

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Murder on 5th Avenue

July 2022

Check out Murder on 5th Avenue, a production by CSDB!

Congratulations students in the School for the Deaf, and teacher, Julie Harrison, writer and director, for a terrific production! Huge thanks to students at Cherry Creek High School for voicing the characters who use American Sign Language.

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CSDB Bulldogs 5K

June 2022

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young boy in a bear costume

Spring Performance

June 2022

A full audience watched the School for the Deaf Elementary Spring performance, yesterday. If you missed this cute show, here's the link! https://youtu.be/7pozxbb6rHA

Graduation-Class of 2022!

May 2022

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Congratulation Class of 2022!

Juan Arreola Graduation Announcement
Juan Arreola-Class of 2022

John Balagtas Graduation Announcement
John Balagtas-Class of 2022

Deborah Bunjiriri Graduation Announcement
Deborah Bunjiriri-Class of 2022

Evis Escoto-Navarro Graduation Announcement
Evis Escoto-Navarro-Class of 2022

Adriana Isais Graduation Announcement
Adriana Isais-Class of 2022

Jackson Johnston Graduation Announcement
Jackson Johnston-Class of 2022

Gideon Nyame Graduation Announcement
Gideon Nyame-Class of 2022

Marie Padilla Graduation Announcement
Marie Padilla-Class of 2022

Julio Graduation Announcment
Julio Perez-Class of 2022

Eddy Ramirez Garcia Graduation Announcement
Eddy Ramirez-Garcia-Class of 2022

Ethan Salazar Graduation Announcement
Ethan Salazar-Class of 2022

Emily Sanchez-Vazquez Graduation Announcement
Emily Sanchez-Vasquez-Class of 2022

Chayanne Toga-Trujillo Graduation Announcement
Chayanne Toga-Trujillo-Class of 2022

Deaf Safari Day

May 2022

Deaf Safari Day at the Denver Zoo!

More than 1,500 families, adults and children who are Deaf explored the zoo and visited vendor booths, including the CSDB booth! 5 staff from Outreach and The School for the Deaf represented CSDB to share information and connect with families! The excitement for being back in person, and at this event was overwhelming! We look forward to the next event!!

Two CSDB staff lean over the CSDB table communicating with two visitors

Aspen Camp

May 2022

Students from CSDB and two other schools (New Mexico SD and Utah SDB) went to the Aspen Camp for an experience where students learned construction-related job skills from experts in the field. Deaf contractors and hearing/signing contractors communicated with students about their jobs. Interpreters on-site facilitated communication when needed.

For more about this story, check out the Colorado Sun article: https://coloradosun.com/.../colorado-education-aspen.../...

Students rebuilt a deck, painted an entire lodge (outside), rebuilt benches, dug up a gas line, poured concrete, repainted the camp sign, chopped wood, learned how to use tools properly, and did some landscaping. All this to prep the camp for the summer, while learning new skills.

Students truly enjoyed the camp and made friends with students from other schools—networking skills!

top left, 6 students and 1 staff member post in front of the Aspen Camp sign; top right, female student paints outside of building; lower left, male student paints sign; lower center, male student digs out boulder; lower right, male student sits on framed deck.

left student at the bottom of the slide; right, students on a merry-go-round.

Afterschool Outdoor Adventure Club

May 2022

Students who are Deaf, in grades 2 through 5, are having a great time touring area parks and hiking trails as part of the Afterschool Outdoor Adventure club, each Wednesday.


Today is Earth Day!

April 2022

School for the Deaf young students are featured in this collage as they sign, "I Love the Earth", plant seeds into containers of dirt, look through a tube and use technology to create the world graphic.

Title "Optimist Club Contest 'Staying Optimistic in Challenging Times'", four photos of students signing.

Optimist Club Communication Contest

April 2022

Middle school and high school students participated in the yearly Optimist Club Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH).

The topic for the 2021-2022 school year is: "Staying Optimistic in Challenging Times." As a precaution for COVID, their speeches were recorded and sent to ASL judges instead of giving a presentation in front of an audience. Best of luck to all contestants!

Collage: top left, 4 eggs in nest, right, nests on tree branch; lower left, nest hanging from tree, right, student touches nest

Building Nests

April 2022

High school science students, in the School for the Deaf, designed and built strong nests, to hold up to four real eggs (representing bird eggs) for one hour, using a variety of recyclable materials. Their nests were either hung from branches or laid on branches. In the end, students' nests were able to each hold four eggs securely, after being untouched, for one hour.  It was a great experience for the high school science students.

National Library Week

April 2022

This week CSDB is celebrating National Library Week. Today, the PPLD Bookmobile was on campus, and several students from the School for the Deaf enjoyed picking out books and movies.

Two photos of two students inside the Bookmobile. One photo of the Bookmobile parked at CSDB

Four photos each containing one student presenting their presentation to audience.

Capstone Projects

March 2022

Today, Seniors presented their Capstone projects.

 students and teacher pose with their animal dioramas. Text: Animal Research Presentations Kindegarten-1st  School for the Deaf

Animal Research Projects

March 2022

In the School for the Deaf K-1 class, students gave their first academic presentation on animals and described basic information such as where the animal lives, its habitat, what it eats, and a few unique facts about their animals.

Pi Day Fun!

March 2022

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Third Space Coffee

March 2022

A place of exceptional coffee and kindness - Third Space Coffee! Our very own student, in the School for the Deaf, works at and is mentored by the terrific staff of Third Space Coffee, which is found at 5670 N. Academy in Colorado Springs. His goal is to open his own coffee shop, and he's gaining experiences now to reach that goal. Huge thanks to the staff for your support!!!

A place of exceptional coffee and kindness - Third Space Coffee! Our very own student, in the School for the Deaf, works at and is mentored by the terrific staff of Third Space Coffee, which is found at 5670 N. Academy in Colorado Springs. His goal is to open his own coffee shop, and he's gaining experiences now to reach that goal. Huge thanks to the staff for your support!!!

Left: two girls show their St. Patrick's Day box traps; Right, two girls use colorful stones on paper

March Fun in the School for the Deaf

March 2022

Students in the School for the Deaf 1st and 2nd grade have been working really hard these last few weeks researching different kinds of animals.  Our class explored what class of animals they belonged to, what coverings they had on their bodies, how they move and so much more.  We also enjoyed fun St. Patrick’s Day activities.  Students took time to make traps to catch those sneaky leprechauns.  They were sure to include lots of glitter, rainbows and green so that their traps were appealing.  Students also followed a recipe and measured to make a special St. Patrick’s Day snack.  Lastly, in math students have been working hard to learn subtraction.  They love to use the shiny rocks to help them when they are practicing their skills. It has been a very exiting March!!!

Student uses math manipulatives to work on a math sheet

Visual Cues in Math Class

March 2022

Fluency with addition and subtraction, with additional visual cues, have been the utmost focus for the students in one School for the Deaf mathematics class. A variety of manipulative approaches have been incorporated and still are used for the students to enhance their skills that align with real-life resources such as, time and money. Per time and money, the students are diligently using their adding and subtracting tools, on a daily basis, to ensure their habits with time and money are verified as they strive toward their life goals.

Written by Justin Wilson

our students look through books displayed on a table; two students write pages under the book table.

Celebrate Literacy

March 2022

Colorado Reads! This week, in the School for the Deaf, students participated in activities to celebrate literacy.

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Read Across America Day!

March 2022

Read Across America Day brought together CSDB students along with students from other schools (virtually) to enjoy stories and crafts.

Read Across America

March 2022

CUTE! Today is Read Across America Day and our students had a blast! Students from the School for the Deaf were joined by Deaf students from other schools, to watch an ASL Storyteller and make celebratory hats. Students from the School for the Blind enjoyed hearing a story, making crafts and seeing the Cat in the Hat!

 four students with the Cat in the Hat; text "Read Across America Day"; lower right, many students listen to the story.

left and center, teacher and student involved in reading together; right, library specialist reads to students; lower left, girl in wheelchair with a book in her lap

Gardening Adventures

March 2022

Students in our Deaf Elementary Family unit are learning about gardening. In this 3-month gardening adventure, students will have their own 3x4 garden plot to dig, plan, plant, and water. They will learn about the safe and proper use of garden tools and how to plant for success as they start their own tomato plants. In the Fall 2022, students will return to the garden to harvest their crop.  

Collage: students working in gardening plots with hand tools