About Clarke


Clarke School's first class - 1867
Clarke School's first class - 1867
The Clarke School for the Deaf was founded in 1867 as the first permanent oral school for the deaf in this country and has gained an international reputation as a pioneer and a leader in the field of auditory/oral education. Clarke School was not only the first school to teach children with hearing loss to speak in the United States, but also the first to initiation education in the early years and the first to recognize the importance of students entering mainstream classrooms. Clarke School also was the first to train teachers in auditory/oral education and in 1962 enhanced the Teacher Education Program by partnering with Smith College where graduates can earn a Masters of Education of the Deaf. The school has been fortunate in having outstanding leadership to determine its programs and policies. Alexander Graham Bell and President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge both served on Clarke's Board of Trustees.

Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell
To better represent its comprehensive services, Clarke added to its name in 1985: Clarke - School for the Deaf/Center for Oral Education. With advances in technology, Clarke's mission of helping young deaf children has stayed at the forefront. Now Clarke can help families where they live. To expand its early intervention and preschool services into the Boston area, Clarke School East opened in 1995. Following in the footsteps of Clarke School East, Clarke Jacksonville (Florida) opened the following year. Clarke entered the millennium with two new early intervention and preschool campuses. Clarke NYC opened in 1999 and Clarke Philadelphia in 2001. Currently more than 500 children are enrolled in our school and educational programs at our five locations along the East Coast each year. Thousands of others benefit from our research, curriculum development and the teachers and professionals trained by Clarke who take their special skills to all parts of the world.

Grace and Calvin Coolidge with Clarence Barron
Clarke leads the field of oral deaf education as we focus on these initiatives: early childhood programs, professional training, the five Clarke campuses, and the successful mainstreaming of students into their neighborhood schools. Universal Newborn Hearing Screening allows families to find out at birth if their child has a hearing loss. Those infants can now be fitted with tiny hearing aids as early as eight weeks. Cochlear implants are also making a huge difference in the lives of children with hearing loss. Clarke offers early intervention services at all five of its schools. The purpose of these services is to teach families how to interact with their young child and to help them develop language as naturally as possible. Early intervention is also allowing children to enter into the mainstream sooner.

Clarke - School for the Deaf - Center for Oral Education
Round Hill Road - Northampton, MA 01060
Voice/TTY (413) 584-3450 - FAX (413) 587-7318 - Email info@clarkeschool.org

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