Students, Alumnus, and Faculty React to Closing of Austine School for the Deaf

It has been nearly a month since the April 11th meeting that decided the fate of Austine School for the Deaf (Also referred to as Brattleboro School for the Deaf) and by now, the news has been fairly widespread.

The results had been announced by the Brattleboro Reformer: the board voted 8-1 to close the school. They are hoping that maybe in 2016 they will be able to develop a residential program. This decision closed a school that has been working with students for 106 years.

Sirena Caputi, a seventh grader that attends Austine School has been going to the k-12 program for ten years now and she says, "I like socializing with a lot of friends. I like playing outside -- everything" (Wcax.com)

When the news broke that the school for the Deaf would close, alumnus have reacted in sadness to hear that the school would be closing. Here's some recent reactions to the article on  Wcax.com

Faculty have also expressed sadness that the school is closing, but they are focused on their job. During the interview with Wcax, the reporter was able to see how a speech class works at the Austine school.

"I like to wear my bright blue galoshes when it is raining -- I like to wear my bright blue galoshes when it is raining," said Ms. Tychsen.

Chloe Huges, another student shares her feelings, "I'm depressed," said Hughes.

While this is a very small school, it is also a very tight community. So tight the administrators are working hard to find placement for their students and faculty. But that doesn't mean they are giving up on the idea of re-opening the school in a couple of years.

Bill Gurney's (VCDHH President) team has plans to look at ways to modernize the campus and expand the types of students they teach. They have set a goal to re-open with a larger student body and new hands-on career training opportunities.

"Our hope is that we will have those folks back here in two years -- either working or as students," said Gurney.

Written by Mary Pat Withem