- The Cleary sisters founded the school as Camp Peter Pan in 1925. It became Cleary School for the Deaf in 1970.
- Cleary has multiple campuses, one in Nesconset, and the others in East Islip School District.
- The school’s enrollment averages 110 students annually.
Innovative Program Helps Deaf Students Thrive at Cleary School for the Deaf
An imaginative program at Cleary School for the Deaf in Suffolk County is giving deaf and hard-of-hearing kindergartners a more inclusive education.
The “kindergarten within a kindergarten” program, which combines deaf students and typically hearing children, is a collaboration between Cleary School and the Connetquot Elementary School in East Islip.
Deaf and typically hearing kindergarten students learn together at Connetquot Elementary School in East Islip.
A full-time Cleary teacher who is certified in deaf education teaches alongside a general education teacher at Connetquot, enriching the education of all students. Cleary students work with both teachers and students in small- and large-group settings, as well as one-to-one interactions as needed.
There are multiple benefits for all children, including the educational and social bonding among students in the classroom, at play, on field trips, at assemblies and at other school events. Further, specialists help Cleary students to self-advocate and learn social cues within their everyday interactions with their hearing peers.
One Cleary parent, Karen O., attested to the quality of her daughter’s education: “Well I’m very happy that Mia is part of this program because I see that she has improved and learned a lot so far this year,” Karen said. “The care that Cleary teachers give to the hearing aid devices and also the speech classes are helping Mia a lot, and I believe that she would not find this help if she goes to a regular school district. I’m very pleased to have Mia involved in the satellite program.”
The Cleary School has a total of 48 students in grades 1 through 12 who are co-enrolled in the East Islip’s elementary, middle school, and high school programs.
More about Cleary
Cleary School is a private, state supported program that serves the deaf community of Long Island. Viewing all children as unique and individualized learners, the school provides access to language, communication and learning for students from birth to 21, preparing them to become active and contributing members of society.