Admission for Military Families

VSDB thanks you, military families, for your service to our country.  We look forward to supporting your family by providing your child with an exceptional education that meets his/her needs.  We know transitions can be tough and we aim to make the process of transitioning to VSDB simple and welcoming.

Explore our website to learn more about VSDB and the process of enrolling your child in our enriching program.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Family Engagement Specialist, Julie Saum via email or call her at 540-332-9015.

Planning Your Arrival to the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind

Information on the Registration Process

  1. The referral to VSDB must be made through your local school division. Contact the school division in the community where you will be transitioning as early as possible to begin the referral. 

  2. Complete the application packet

  3. Schedule and complete admissions interview 

  4. Complete 1–2-week TEMP program 

  5. Receive admissions determination and notification 

VSDB Students Can Be Day Students or Residential Students

Find more detailed information on our Admissions Guidelines and Procedures page. If you have any questions, please contact us!

Preparing Your Move from Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind

Information on Educational Records Requests and Transfers

If you have received orders and will be leaving VSDB, you will be better prepared to transition to a new school if you have the following information: 

  1. Your most recent IEP. If you need a current copy, contact your child’s case manager or Julie Saum. 

  2.  Your current course schedule and most recent transcript 

  3. Any educational or psychological testing reports 

If you are requesting official records for a former VSDB student, please download and complete our records request form and return that to

Academic Planning for Military Families

Information on Special Education Instruction, Advanced Academic Programs, Graduation Requirements, and Home Instruction

The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind provides superior education for students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/vision impaired, deafblind, and deaf or blind with other disabilities. All of our classes are fully-accessible and foster self-confident students who are contributing citizens and life-long learners. Our course content meets the statewide standards of the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) and prepares students to succeed in higher education, in the workforce, and in their communities. We offer PreK-12 education with both residential and day options.

Following each student’s Individual Educational Program (IEP), we offer a full range of the related services they need, such as Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Language Therapy, Audiology, Orientation, and Mobility Services. VSDB’s Transition Specialist assists each student in the development of a Transition Plan and Program of Study to meet individual needs and prepare them for the future. VSDB offers classes in independent living skills, recreation and leisure, career exploration, and work based learning opportunities. We use a variety of assessment tools to provide students with feedback and information related to future career and post-secondary school opportunities. VSDB partners with local education agencies and on-line coursework to offer advanced academic programming. VSDB students meet all graduation requirements set forth by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). You can read more about VDOE graduation requirements and diploma options here.

You know your child, and we know education. That’s why we work collaboratively with families, local school divisions, and other state agencies to ensure that students have the benefit of all available insight, resources, and support. Families are essential partners in the education process. Students go home every weekend, excited to share with parents what they have learned during the week and anxious to return to learn more! You will regularly receive information and updates about your child’s education and residential life. Additionally, updates and notices are sent weekly in each student’s homegoing folder. We encourage our families to continue discussions about what they have been doing at school to foster their continued learning. We are excited to have you as a partner with us in your child’s education.

Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Families

Information on the Compact Rules and Their Application

VSDB is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia and students are referred from their local public school system in Virginia. VSDB is committed to ensuring your transition is smooth and you feel supported. As such, our staff participates in annual training about military-connected students and is familiar with the Compact. The Compact has been enacted into law and can be found in the Code of Virginia Title 22.1 Chapter 24 Section 22.1-360.Much of what is addressed in the Compact is handled by the local school division and VSDB works closely with each local school division to ensure a successful transition to VSDB.

Special Needs Navigation and Parental Rights

Information on Special Education Services and Parental Rights to Include Parental Consent

At VSDB, we are passionate about educating the whole child and empowering students to GROW, DO, and BECOME all that they can be! We develop and implement IEPs to support this goal and ensure parents are aware of their special education rights. We coordinate with parents to schedule meetings during times that are convenient for you and invite you to participate in person or via telephone or video conference. While we have accommodations in place for each of our students who need them, we will also provide accommodations for parents who need them – please inform us of your need in advance to allow us time to secure the appropriate accommodation. You know your child, and we know education. That’s why we work collaboratively with you every step of the way to ensure we are providing the best services for your child. We discuss with you possible evaluations, services, and placement options and ask for your input and consent before initiating or ending any programs or services.

Other Resources

The Center for Parent Information and Resources maintains a page dedicated to Resources Especially for Military Families

The Virginia Department of Education maintains several pages with information for military families and can all be accessed from this link.

The Military Families Learning Network has an article and resources entitled Helping Military Families Who Have a Child with Disabilities

For any questions or concerns related to military-connected children, please contact our Family Engagement Specialist, Julie Saum via email or call her at 540-332-9015.

If you need additional information and/or support outside of VSDB, please contact the military school liaison officer (SLO) for your region. The military school liaison officer (SLO) for VSDB is Dan Dunham, Virginia Military Student and Family Specialist. He can be reached via email or at 804-502-7048.

We are excited to meet you!

Contact Information

Julie Saum

Family Engagement Specialists

Phone: (540) 332-9015

Email Julie Saum

Dan Dunham

Virginia Military Student and Family Specialist

Phone: (804) 502-7048

Email Dan Dunham