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About Us

About Us

St. Mary's School for the Deaf is committed to providing equitable access to exemplary educational programs that prepare Deaf Students to be self-directed, lifelong learners, who are productive members of society.

To Accomplish This Mission:

  • We inspire ALL to achieve personal goals and strive for excellence.
  • We offer a rigorous and relevant curriculum that addresses the diverse learning styles of all our students.
  • We instruct our students in basic and critical thinking skills.
  • We promise to collaborate as a community and with the community at large.
  • We expect all members of the SMSD community to act with integrity.

Belief Statement:

  • We are Child First.
  • We believe that all Children can learn.
  • We believe that all St. Mary's School for the Deaf Students have a right to learn utilizing every accessible communication avenue.
  • We believe that all St. Mary's School for the Deaf Students have a right to a safe, healthy, and positive environment at the School.


St. Mary’s School for the Deaf is a (state-supported) 4201 School

Q: What is a §4201 school?
A: 4201 State-Supported Schools are institutions for the instruction of the deaf, blind, physically, or multiply disabled under §4201 of the New York State Education Law. There are two State Operated and Supported (4201) Schools and 11 State-Supported (4201) Schools in New York State that offer services to children with disabilities ages three through twenty-one years

Learn more about 4201

SMSD Information

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  • Our Communication Philosophy

    SMSD recognizes the right of its students to have full and ongoing access to language and communication, both incidental and planned. Optimal access to all communication is vital to our students' academic and social development.  American Sign Language (ASL) and English are the languages used at SMSD for communication and instruction.

    SMSD is fully committed to ensuring that our students reach their maximum potential in  ASL and English, while also supporting their individual communication needs.  Recognizing that ASL and English are unique, distinct separations and clear boundaries between both languages are not ideal but crucial and necessary also.  To that end, SMSD will serve as a language-rich environment for our deaf and hard of hearing students.

    Operating Principles

    1. SMSD is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural, and inclusive school.
    2. Making optimal use of their cultural capital, students will apply their knowledge, experiences, and connections to succeed in life.
    3. Individual Education Plan requirements for language, communication, and speech will be met through each student's area of strength, including American Sign Language, Printed, Spoken, and Written English.
    4. Students are expected to gain mastery of English and other content areas required by the New York State Board of Regents.
    5. SMSD will continue to develop and utilize curriculum maps to effectively plan for rigorous, robust, and vibrant instruction for students.  The New York State Common Core Learning Standards will be the backbone of all instruction at SMSD. 
    6. Students are expected to become involved with the world through cutting-edge technology.
    7. Students are expected to contribute to the safe and supportive environment at SMSD by keeping the school free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying.

    Download Communication Policy

  • S.M.S.D. Federal Credit Union is Permanently Closed

    On June 30, 2022, S.M.S.D. FCU closed and all S.M.S.D. FCU member accounts became accounts with Financial Trust FCU.

    For information regarding your account with S.M.S.D. FCU or for information on opening a new account:

    Call the Financial Trust FCU Call Center:  716-831-3007

    Visit one of their branches:

    • 3333 Harlem Rd, Cheektowaga, NY 14225
    • 6520 Webster Rd, Orchard Park, NY 14127
    • 3291 Lake Shore Rd, Blasdell, NY 14219
    • 4257 Seneca St, West Seneca, NY 14224
    • 2014 Grand Island Blvd, Grand Island, NY 14072
  • The Museum is open to members of the SMSD community, researchers from academia as well as interested individuals from the private sector. 

    The Museum / Archives is open part time with a volunteer staff. Please contact Pamela Rohring at least two weeks in advance of your desired visit to arrange a time. We will do our best to accomodate all tour requests. 

    Our collection covers school programs, events, sports, people, student organizations, SMSD campus, classes and much more. 

    Donate to Our Collection

    Thank you for your consideration in making a donation. Please contact Pamela Rohring with specific details of the item(s) you would like to donate. Monetary donations are also accepted. 

    St. Mary’s School for the Deaf
    2253 Main Street
    Buffalo, New York 14214

  • SMSD conducts minimally 4 fire drills per year.