Clarke School Pennsylvania is the newest of five campuses of the oldest oral school for the deaf in the United States. Clarke is a private school that focuses exclusively on auditory-oral instruction for children ages 0-6. Accordingly, it does not offer a model for everything that Delaware needs to offer in the area of deaf education. But what it does offer is something that is currently a gaping hole in Delaware. During the visit that Susan Sahadevan, Eileen Reynolds, and Nick Fina made to Clarke in July 2009, the project team learned about Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), a cabinet-level position formed in order to ease some of the pain of transition between IDEA Part C (birth-to-3, early intervention) programs and Part B (3-21) programs. Clarke divides its overall program into five subprograms:

  • Early Intervention (0-3 years).
  • Early Toddler (18 months- 2 years).
  • Toddler (2-3 years).
  • Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten (3-6 years).
  • Auditory/Speech/Language Therapy (newborn-school age).

In addition to the students it accommodates on its own campus in Bryn Mawr, Clarke has begun providing contract services to public school districts. During discussions with the school director, we learned of their interest in exploring the possibility of providing services to the Delaware Department of Education.