Students can attend the Educational Program on MSDB’s campus in Great Falls for a number of reasons. Attendance in the Campus Education Program can be as a day student for those residing near Great Falls or as a residential student for those who live farther away.

Attendance can be:

  • Full-time at MSDB
  • Part-time attendance at MSDB and part-time attendance at our partnering schools in the Great Falls Public School district
  • Part-time attendance at MSDB 1-2 weeks per month and part-time attendance at the student’s home school or district

student fishing

Some students attend MSDB throughout their school years. Others come and go, attending MSDB, gaining independent skills, and returning to their home school after a few years. Educational placement is an IEP team annual discussion as students may need different resources through their 12+ years in school.

MSDB may assist in determining the needs of children and students, from birth through age 21, identified with or suspected of meeting the qualifying disability category of deafness, hearing impairment, visual impairment, or deafblindness.

  • Children in the Great Falls area, ages 18 months to 3 years old, will need a letter of referral to the Campus Education Program by their Part C Provider to the Preschool Program.
  • Students aged 3 and above will need a letter of referral to the Campus Education Program by the Public School they attend or the District in which they reside.

The MSDB Admissions Team will help determine if placement at MSDB is an appropriate way to meet the individual child’s/student’s needs.

If the student requires residential placement, please see the Residential Services information.

Procedure for MSDB Referral

  • label First Step – Writing the Referral and Referral File
    1. The Part C Provider or the Public School or District will write a letter of referral stating the reason for the referral, the needs of the child/student, and any specific accommodations needed.
    2. The Part C Provider or the Public School or District will collect and send to MSDB (with referral letter or soon after):
      1. Release of information signed by parent/guardian
      2. Evaluation Reports
      3. Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or the Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
      4. Audiogram, if applicable
      5. Vision Report, if applicable
      6. Medical Reports of any educational (and residential, if appropriate) significance
      7. Educational assessment results
      8. Functional Behavior Assessment, if applicable
      9. High school transcripts and schedule, if applicable
      10. Attendance reports
      11. Discipline reports
      12. Most recent report card
      13. Achievements scores
      14. Immunization records
      15. Birth Certificate
  • label Second Step – MSDB Admissions Team Meeting
    1. The MSDB Admissions Team, including the School Administrator, School Psychologist, Program Supervisor, Support Specialists as appropriate, Classroom Teachers as appropriate, and/or Student Life Staff as appropriate, will review the student’s file.
    2. The MSDB Admissions Team will make a recommendation for a 10-day Observation period at MSDB for the student if:
      1. The student meets the qualifying disability categories of deaf, hearing impairment, visual impairment, or deafblindness.
      2. The student’s current academic, developmental, medical, social-emotional, and behavior needs, according to the referral packet, can be met by the available resources at MSDB.
    3. The MSDB Admissions Team will NOT recommend a 10-day Observation period at MSDB for the student if:
      1. The student is a danger to himself/herself or others
      2. The student presents with medical or safety issues which are beyond the scope of care provided by the Education or Health Services Staff.
    4. If any of the goals of the student’s current IEP cannot be addressed by MSDB Staff for the 10-day Observation period, some modifications may be made to and noted in the IEP before the 10-day Observation period begins.
  • label Third Step – 10-day Observation Period
    1. Parent/Guardian will complete the MSDB Enrollment Packet to ensure MSDB has the necessary information, including medical information and needs, to serve the child/student on campus.
    2. Dates for the 10-day Observation period will be determined.
    3. An evaluation and observation plan will be completed by the parent/guardian and the School Administrator/School Psychologist. The plan may include observations and/or assessments for hearing, vision, cognitive/developmental, speech, language (English and ASL, if appropriate) and communication, and residential assessments, if applicable. The plan may also include learning media, technology, orientation and mobility, and cottage life observations and/or assessments, if applicable.
    4. An academic schedule will be developed to meet the educational needs of the student during the 10-day Observation period.
    5. The IEP written by the referring district will remain in effect (with any noted modifications made by the MSDB Admissions Team) and the responsibility for free and appropriate public education (FAPE) remains with the referring district during the 10-day Observation period.
  • label Fourth Step – Placement Decision

    At the end of the 10-day Observation period, the IEP team will reconvene to discuss the following:

    1. Results of any observations and assessments completed during the 10-day Observation Period.
    2. Educational needs and recommendations for accommodations and services.
    3. Placement recommendation.

    If placement at MSDB is recommended, the student may continue to receive educational services on MSDB’s campus. The IEP team will decide to adopt and follow the current IEP or develop a new IEP based on results from the 10-day Observation period.

    In accordance with an interagency agreement between the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and MSDB, a student may not be placed in the campus educational program at MSDB by an IEP team without the concurrence of the MSDB representative.

    If placement at MSDB is NOT recommended, the student will return to the referring district for educational services. MSDB Outreach may continue to provide consultative services to the family and the school.

    If the student requires residential placement, please see the Residential Services information.

If you have any questions regarding the MSDB Admissions process, you may contact: