Over time, schools create programs for kids, and center based programs. Sometimes the philosophy of an administration creates a program that provides for only one mode of communication or method of teaching. Some school districts are large enough to provide several center-based programs, for instance an "oral" program at one school and a "TC" program at another school. Most school districts may have only one program in a school district which adheres to a certain philosophy or mode of communication. That is fine if the program meets the needs of your individual child. But if you are advocating for the needs of your child which are different from what the school district has typically offered, then you have to approach placement issues based on the individual needs of the child. This is often difficult if the school district has rarely looked outside the box. Stay focused on the needs of your child. Be very clear about how your child communicates and in what mode. When this has been addressed, then issues of placement and services are defined. In other words, the school district must meet your child's need on an individual basis; they can't just stick the kid in the "deaf" program.
"I really think we shouldn't discuss placement issues until we have clearly defined Claire's needs based on how she communicates in the world around her. When that is agreed upon by our team, then we can discuss the setting in which her services can be provided most effectively."
Its kind of like asking a child who speaks Spanish, to sit in a French class, since its also a foreign language. The two modes of communication just dont compare to one another.