Admissions & Enrollment

The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB) is a Colorado funded, State Operated Program, serving children from age birth – 21.  There is no tuition to attend CSDB for Colorado residents.  Children who qualify for special education services in the areas of hearing and/or vision loss may be considered for enrollment.  To be eligible for placement, your child must meet enrollment guidelines as stated in CSDB Policy Regulation, below.

The enrollment process is an organized partnership between the parents/guardians and child, CSDB staff, and if requested, a representative from the child’s home school district (LEA).  Every parent/guardian seeking possible admission to CSDB must meet with the Director of Special Education, Ms. Kathy Emter, before enrollment can be offered.  Pre-enrollment procedures include a personal interview, review of current IEP and assessments, a classroom observation, and a campus tour.

If your student is placed at CSDB, your home school district will also remain involved with your child.  The LEA will continue to be invited to attend all IEP meetings and any other significant decisions related to your child.

 Kathy Emter, Director of Special Education

 Julie Cuccaro, Registrar

Eligibility General

Students, age 3 to 21, who have not graduated from high school nor received any document evidencing completion of the equivalent of a secondary curriculum and reside within the boundaries of this state may be permitted to attend CSDB.  A birth certificate and current Individualized Education Program (IEP) shall be required for enrollment. Additionally, a current audiogram and/or eye report is required by the school.  CSDB recognizes that parents of students with hearing and/or vision loss may benefit from having a choice of programs specializing in the unique needs of sensory loss that is not limited by local school district boundaries.

Students, served by school districts in Colorado who require a specialized, unique, learning environment in the area of hearing and/or vision loss, as outlined in their current IEP, may be accepted, pursuant to policy, to enroll in CSDB programs. Eligible students must present educational needs which can be met through the unique environment of CSDB and within the scope of CSDB resources.  Admission determination occurs through an enrollment process, taking into consideration the individual educational needs of the student, and additional enrollment criteria to include but not limited to current cognitive functioning level, and any behavioral considerations (JF-R: Admission and Denial of Admission).

 Residential General

The residential program at CSDB is available to meet the needs of students who are eligible for enrollment at the school and (a) live at such distance from CSDB that they cannot practically be transported to and from school on a daily basis and/or (b) have educational needs that can be met only through a residential placement of specified duration.  When a child has educational needs identified on the IEP, s/he shall be served in the least restrictive environment. Residential placement is available only when that is the least restrictive environment in which a child's educational needs can be met.

Eligibility for residential placement at CSDB is recommended by the student’s IEP staffing team based upon the following criteria:  The student must be eligible for enrollment at CSDB and (a) live at such distance from CSDB [i.e., out of the Pikes Peak Region Districts (which are #2, #3, #8, #11, #12, #14, #20, #38 and #49)] that the student cannot practically be transported to and from school on a daily basis and/or (b) has educational needs that can be met only through a residential placement of a specified duration.  Residential placements which are made for educational needs must be reviewed annually (or more often as needed) by the IEP staffing team.  When the staffing team decides that a less restrictive placement is appropriate to meet the child's educational needs, the child may not be enrolled in the residential program.  Examples of residential placement requests that do not indicate educational needs include but are not limited to:

  1. participation in sports and extra-curricular activities
  2. childcare
  3. foster care

Denial of Admission

When it appears that a student applying for admission to CSDB may be ineligible for admission on any of the grounds identified in Policy JF, or the student does not meet CSDB’s enrollment guidelines, the Director of Special Education will provide written notification of the grounds(s) or reasons(s) for denial of admissions to the students’ parents/guardian.  The Director’s decision shall be subject to the appeal process set forth in Section V of this regulation.

Issued:  November 1982 – October 1993

Revised:  February 1994

Adopted and revised by Board of Trustees:  June 27, 2005

Revised and Approved by the Board of Trustees: May 9, 2019

Enrollment Guidelines

To be considered for enrollment at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB), Colorado students must meet the following guidelines:

Cognitive Criteria

Children shall possess a minimum cognitive functioning level to be considered eligible for enrollment. Cognitive abilities with comparable adaptive behavior skills as measured by no more than three standard deviations below the mean on an individually administered assessment as part of a multi-disciplinary team evaluation.

  1. Determination of cognitive functioning must be completed by a qualified school psychologist or other qualified professional with experience in the assessment of students who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired and cognitive functioning.  Functioning level will be determined by formal standardized assessment, developmental checklist or other assessment determined appropriate for the level and disabilities of the student.
  2. Assessment of adaptive functioning must be completed by examiners who are qualified to conduct this assessment such as a school psychologist or a social worker.

Behavioral Criteria

The presence and severity of behavioral issues will be considered.  Students ineligible due to not meeting behavioral criteria include, but are not limited to, those who demonstrate:

  1. Unpredictable assaultive behavior and/or a pattern of predictably assaultive behavior directed towards authority figures and/or peers
  2. Dangerousness to self (self-abusive behaviors) and/or others
  3. Mental disorders of severity which require close medical/psychiatric interventions or needs that must be addressed in a hospital setting or residential treatment facility.
  4. Enrollment of a student at CSDB, who poses a safety risk to self or others, will be denied unless an individualized safety plan can be reasonably implemented within existing CSDB resources, to effectively mitigate unsafe behaviors

Additional Grounds for Denial of Admission

The following shall constitute additional grounds for denial of admission to CSDB, upon review of the prospective student’s current IEP, educational records, and behavior history:

  1. Having been expelled from any school district during the preceding twelve months.
  2. Failure to comply with the immunization requirements of C.R.S. 25-4-901 et seq.;
  3. Behavior in another school district in the preceding twelve months that is detrimental to the welfare or safety of other pupils or of school personnel.

Determination of these behaviors will occur through a review of records, and interviews with parent/guardian, student and other pertinent professionals who are familiar with the child. If concerns are identified in this area, appropriate members of the assessment team will review the information to determine appropriateness of placement.

1:1 Support

The student must be able to function in an educational environment safely without the need for continuous adult supervision (1:1 aide for medical, physical, educational, or behavioral reasons).

CSDB may not accept a student for enrollment if CSDB resources cannot provide for adequate supervision, safety, and personal care for a student.  If a student is denied admission due to the need for 1:1 support, CSDB may enter into an interagency agreement with the local school district whereby the district may provide additional resources to support the student’s educational placement at CSDB.

Age Criteria

All prospective new students must have a current IEP from their local district prior to enrolling at CSDB.

  1. Entrance into day preschool requires that the child be three years of age.
  2. Entrance into kindergarten requires that the child be five years of age on or before October 1.
  3. Entrance into the first grade requires that the child be six years of age on or before October 1.
  4. Under extenuating circumstances, the superintendent may make exceptions to the age requirements based upon the individual needs of the child.

Eligibility Following Graduation/GED Completion

Students who have met high school graduation requirements and have not received a high school diploma, or who have successfully passed the GED test may be eligible to enroll in CSDB’s transition program, as determined by the student’s IEP team.  The superintendent shall make the final decision regarding enrollment of such students and the waiver of any other CSDB eligibility criteria.

Diagnostic Assessment Period

Prospective students may enroll in a 30-60 school day diagnostic placement period if CSDB does not have adequate documentation on whether CSDB is the least restrictive environment.  Parents/guardians may also request a diagnostic period at CSDB.  A diagnostic placement period can be scheduled to gain more information through formal assessments and observations. A CSDB staffing team will review the information and recommend the appropriate assessments to determine best placement options.

Enrollment of Out-of-State Students

CSDB may enroll out-of-state students.  The school will first determine if there is appropriate space within programs prior to initiating the enrollment process.  The school district-of-residence must support the placement and sign a letter of agreement clarifying the responsibilities of CSDB and the district of residence.  The letter of agreement will specify the cost the district of residence would be required to pay.  The admissions guidelines and the enrollment procedure will be the same for out-of-state students.

Enrollment Procedure

Any student requesting enrollment at CSDB must follow the below process:

  1. Parent/guardians make an initial inquiry regarding enrollment to CSDB.  If a student or parent/guardian arrives unexpectedly after school hours, he/she will be asked to return the next day to initiate the enrollment procedure.
  2. Parents/guardians complete a form with basic student and family information including name, address, disability/severity of needs, grade, and date of birth and school district of residence. Parents must provide CSDB a copy of a current IEP, audiogram and/or eye report.
  3. CSDB will schedule a pre-enrollment meeting for the purpose of allowing CSDB service provider(s) the opportunity to review student records, meet the student and his/her family, and acquire awareness of medical, educational, or other concerns.
  4. Upon meeting with the family and reviewing the student’s IEP, a determination can be made if CSDB could be considered as an appropriate placement to meet the student’s instructional needs.  
  5. CSDB will contact the student’s home district’s director of special education by letter or phone to inform him or her of the student’s enrollment.  CSDB will also work with the director of special education to determine a plan to address placement, which may involve a direct transfer of the student to CSDB, a diagnostic placement, or the school district may wish to hold an IEP review staffing prior to the student’s departure.
  6. CSDB sends the parents/guardians a registration packet.

Appeal Procedure

The student’s parents/guardians or school district of residence may appeal CSDB’s enrollment decision. 

The parents or school district of residence must submit a written appeal, with justification, to the Director of Special Education at CSDB within five (5) working days of the denial of enrollment.  The Director of Special Education will review the appeal and provide recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the merits of the appeal within ten (10) working days of his or her receipt of the appeal.

The Superintendent shall review the appeal as well as the recommended action and make a decision regarding enrollment. Such decision shall be made within ten (10) working days of receipt of the Director’s recommendation and shall be final.

In a timely manner, the Superintendent shall inform the Board of Trustees of all written appeals filed pursuant to this procedure and the decision reached with each appeal.

Issued:  November 1982 – October 1993

Revised:  February 1994; September 2009

Adopted and Revised by Superintendent:  September 21, 2009

Revised and Approved by the Superintendent:  September 2, 2014

Revised and Approved by the Superintendent: May 9, 2019