Students accepted into SLDS/ARAD are placed in various programs. Age is one factor in influencing their placement. Children from birth to three years of age are eligible for the part-time Early Intervention Program in SLDS. Children who are three years of age by September 1st are eligible to enter the preschool in SLDS; while SLDS/ARAD accepts those who are five years of age by September 1st are eligible to enter the kindergarten class. First grade students must be six years of age by September 1st. Students are welcome to register anytime during the school year.

Specific to SLDS

A student’s particular visual impairment is considered when applying to our program. All SLDS students must be diagnosed by a optometrist or ophthalmologist as an individual with a visual impairment.

Specifically this means:

  • A visual acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye with correction.
  • A visual field loss in which the peripheral field is 20′ or less.
  • A reduced acuity of better than 20/70 if the child also demonstrates symptoms such as: nystagmus, high astigmatism, perceptual difficulties that interfere with learning.
  • Students who are adjusting to sudden visual loss or eye surgery are admitted on a trial basis.

Although the majority of students at SLDS have visual impairment as their sole disability, children with mild secondary handicaps may be accepted into the program at the discretion of the principal and in consultation with the parents and teachers.

ARAD students need a report from an audiologist or the recommendation of their school district.

General Admission Guidelines

Students may be referred to these two schools by a variety of sources, including physicians, audiologists, low vision clinics, school districts, intermediate units and parents. The following steps need to be completed prior to initial placement.

  1. Complete and return the New Student Application/Health Packet.
  2. Schedule an appointment to visit our school and to meet with the principal and other professionals.
  3. If the student meets the criteria for Admission, the child will enter SLDS/ARAD.
  4. Parents will sign a release of information to be forwarded to us if your child attends another school.
  5. Parents will be required to re-register annually.

The following documents are required at the time of registration:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • Passport if Applicable
  • Medical Records (ARAD students need auditory reports confirming diagnosis, SLDS students need a recent eye report)
  • Psycho-Educational Records (no more than 2 years old)
  • Behavior Reports
  • Letter from Pastor of Your Home Parish if Catholic
  • Pertinent Legal Information (custody papers)