HISTORY OF RMDS


From 1990 to the present Colorado’s Deaf community has spearheaded efforts to expand use of American Sign Language in Deaf education and to establish a day school, primarily for Deaf students in the Denver Metropolitan area. By 1993 this effort had become identified with Colorado’s emerging charter school movement. The Colorado Association of the Deaf appointed a “steering committee” to guide the charter school effort. During charter application and appeals in 1994 and 1995, the steering committee developed a smaller “core” group handling day to day efforts to establish the Magnet School for the Deaf.

Jefferson County School District and the Colorado State Board of Education turned down the MSD charter school application and appeal for the second straight year in 1995. While MSD supporters had completed many tasks in connection with 1995 application, both Clifford Moers, the leader of steering and core committees and William Bethke, an attorney recruited to pursue appeals to the State Board concluded by the summer of 1995 that a language policy was an element of the proposal that was under developed. Moers and Bethke solicited policies from bilingual Deaf schools around nation. Third charter school application was submitted and approved by the Jefferson County Public School in 1996.

In 1997, Magnet School for the Deaf began on September 2nd with enrollment of 11 students ages 3 to 9 years old. Lisa Hann and Ellen Kowalcyzk were hired as teachers. The name changed to Rocky Mountain Deaf School in the year of 2000.