In the Early Childhood Program, each classroom is comprised of hearing, deaf, and apraxic children. At St. Rita, our students are surrounded by adults and peers who know sign language. We believe that our students benefit from the use of sign language both receptively and expressively. The philosophy of comprehensive communication is more than just spoken English and American Sign Language together, but also includes the use of print-rich environment, photos and pictures to illustrate concepts, and interactive materials alongside technology to enhance children’s understanding of the world around them.
The Early Childhood Program is designed to:
- Meet the developmental needs of young children who are hearing, Deaf, hard-of-hearing, apraxic, or have other communication disorders, from age two and a half to five years old.
- Provide experiences that enrich and enhance each child’s language, cognitive, social, emotional, physical and creative development.
- Educate students who need special methods of communication in a safe, value-oriented environment.
Within our daily schedule, each child will be
- Opportunities to create, explore, learn problem solving, and experience personal interaction skills.
- Educational concepts presented through developmentally appropriate play and the Montessori curriculum in the preschool classrooms.
- Through a balance of self- and
teacher- directed activities, an opportunity to develop a positive self-concept
and social communication skills.
Through our carefully selected teaching staff,
students will be provided with:
- Supportive, nurturing, warm, and responsive care with attention to each child’s needs
- Positive role models of both Deaf and hearing degreed teachers and licensed teaching assistants
- Exposure and immersion in both
sign language and spoken English
- The means to communicate freely and directly with everyone in their school environment
We want all of our students to be able to
successfully communicate with others. For those students who are implanted or
aided, Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) systems are utilized in the
classrooms. Speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and other
related services are provided when evaluations determine such needs for each