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November 8, 2005 > School for the Deaf's annual open house

School for the Deaf's annual open house

by David Koutney

Diversity, personal growth, and opportunity are the ideals realized at the California School for the Deaf (CSD) in Fremont which will hold its annual open house on November 11th, Veterans Day. Last year 1,500 guests, students and parents took advantage of the opportunity to learn about staff, the campus and the vision that it offers.

CSD began operating in a rented home on Tehama Street in San Francisco in 1860 where the school remained for nine years. Theophilus d,Estrella was the first student. In 1869, CSD was moved to a former dairy in a stone building of Gothic style architecture, costing over $150,000 on a site in the foothills of the new town of Berkeley, where it predated the University of California. In 1875 after a fire destroyed the school, 40 men donated a $1,000 each and built a temporary wooden structure allowing the school to re-open with 75 students.

In 1900, the principal of CSD, William Caldwell added driver training to the school curriculum and began what are believed to be the first driver training classes for the deaf in the U.S.

Herbert Hoover's inaugural address in 1929 was the first time CSD students "heard" remarks broadcast by radio that were interpreted. In the summer of 1980 the school moved from Berkeley to Fremont. Henry Klopping, Ph.D., the current principal of CSD has provided enthusiastic dynamic leadership for the students and faculty since 1975. In 1986 Klopping was appointed by President Reagan to a national commission on deaf education. The California Association of the Hearing Impaired recognized him for his accomplishments in improving education of the deaf and his leadership in deaf education throughout the nation. Klopping has focused the school on parental involvement and hospitality and emphasizes to all new parents that he has an "open door policy." CSD instills high expectations in students and is committed to providing students with skills needed to function in a hearing world. The ever present smiles on student faces show that they enjoy the schools' environment.

Challenges faced universally by students and schools include language problems, career opportunities after school and the all important STAR test. CSD is no different but clearly the sooner a student who is deaf joins the community at CSD, the greater their opportunities for success in school and their chance to go on to either a college or university or to find a career that is rewarding. CSD provides each student with a vocational education in subjects such as webpage design, graphic arts, food service training, computer programming, horticulture, automotive courses and animal husbandry.

CSD Open House
Friday, November 11
8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
39350 Gallaudet Dr., Fremont
Voice (510) 794-3666
TTY (510) 794-3672

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