Created: 03/07/2014 7:33 PM KAALtv.com
By: Sean Boswell
(ABC 6 News) -- The Rochester school district is upgrading its third school with state of the art audio equipment designed to help deaf and hard of hearing students.
Similar equipment is already in place in one of the district's high schools and one of its middle schools. This time, the equipment is going into Bamber Valley Elementary School.
Microphones will be passed around classrooms within the school to allow deaf and hard of hearing student’s easy access to sound.
Students will pass the microphone around classmate to classmate when answering questions or engaging in group conversations.
Each of the 35 hearing impaired Bamber Valley students will have an FM receiver attached to their hearing aid that will allow them to clearly hear what the teacher and other students are saying.
Teachers say it's a definite upgrade over the often fuzzy sounding equipment the school had been using.
"A lot of our conversations are built upon other answers, so even if a teacher asks a kid and they might give a wrong answer, if our DHH kids don't even know what their peers are saying, they might give the same wrong answer or they can't build on it, or they can't learn from their peers," said Katie Barth, a Preschool and Kindergarten DHH teacher.
"This system provides an equal distribution of sounds to cover the whole classroom, so equal across it's as though each student is sitting in the front row, can hear their teacher very, very easily," said RPS education audiologist Dr. Deb Walters-Smith.
The new equipment is already being used at Mayo High School and Willow Creek Middle School. It'll be rolling into classrooms here throughout March.