Admissions » How do I apply?

How do I apply?

The Admissions Process

The application link for the 2024-2025 school is now available!  

A referral can be made by your Local Education Agency to Kari Holtman


1. Register

Each student must be registered with their local school district before the application process can begin. Discuss with your school district the desire for your child to attend California School for the Deaf.

2. Apply

The district is responsible to refer the student and provide the family with an application packet. The district must contact the admissions office at California School for the Deaf to refer the student and acquire the online application link.

3. Review

The admissions department will review a completed application packet to determine if California School for the Deaf's program can meet the student's needs.

4. Assessment

The Assessment for Suitability of Placement is a period of time, up to 60 days, for the student to attend California School for the Deaf and have individualized assessments.

5. Placement

An IEP meeting is held at the end of the assessment period to review the results of the assessment, develop goals, and determine if California School for the Deaf is an appropriate placement.


Admission Policy

The California Schools for the Deaf are able to serve Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals between the ages of three and 22 years. The schools may also serve children younger than age three in experimental or other programs pursuant to California Education Code.


Eligibility for Enrollment in California School for the Deaf’s Day Program:

The California Schools for the Deaf provides intensive, specialized services to students with or without additional disabilities whose primary education needs are due to their deafness. An applicant who meets the following criteria may be eligible for enrollment or continued enrollment in the California School for the Deaf (CSD) Instructional Program:

  • The applicant demonstrates the ability to learn and/or use American Sign Language as the primary mode of communication to access instruction by attending to communication and others in the environment; demonstrates an understanding or awareness of the intended communication; initiates or sustains interactions with others; and has the ability to respond to instructions in academic, functional, social, and self-care situations.
  • The applicant demonstrates that his or her primary educational needs are related to a severe hearing loss with or without additional disabilities.
  • The Deaf applicant demonstrates that he or she can benefit educationally from an ASL environment.
  • The Deaf applicant demonstrates the ability to access the general education or alternative curriculum with reasonable accommodations without requiring a fundamental alteration of the educational program of CSD.


Eligibility for Enrollment in California School for the Deaf’s Residential Program:

Deaf applicants eligible for the CSD’s day program are not automatically enrolled into the residential program. Enrollment into CSD’s residential program is a separate and distinct consideration even for a student currently enrolled in CSD’s day program. Eligibility for the residential program includes:

  • The applicant resides beyond a 60-minute commute each way between home and CSD using transportation the LEA provides for day students.
  • The applicant has the ability to respond independently and appropriately to life- threatening situations.
  • The responsible local school district and parent/guardian have approved the applicant’s placement in the residential program.
  • The applicant does not have a history of un- rehabilitated behavior that poses a threat to themselves and/or others, including but not limited to substance abuse, fire-starting, sexually predatory behavior, or assault.


The Admissions Process:

For purposes of determining whether an applicant meets the criteria for enrollment, the following process shall be followed:

  • STEP 1: The school district of residence (local education agency [LEA]) must refer the applicant to CSD by contacting the admissions office and requesting an online application link.

  • STEP 2: The family and/or school district shall complete the online application by uploading all of the required educational and medical documents. All required documents are outlined in the online application.

  • STEP 3: Once a completed application has been submitted, the application will be reviewed, and an assessment of suitability for placement at CSD may be initiated. This assessment plan may include temporary assignment at CSD for purposes of determining eligibility for enrollment in the day or residential program and should include any necessary and appropriate amendments to the IEP to ensure appropriate services during this temporary assignment.

  • STEP 4: Prior to the completion of the assessment of suitability for placement at CSD, the Deaf applicant's IEP team, including the appropriate CSD personnel, shall meet to determine the appropriate placement. The IEP team may not make a determination of placement at CSD without the agreement of CSD personnel.

Note: Authority cited: Section 59020, Education Code. Reference: 5 CCR Section 3030(a); Section 56342(a), Education Code; and 34 CFR Section 300.555.