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Learning Center for the Deaf

Where Innovation is a Tradition

TH E LEAR N I N G C E NTE R F O R TH E D EAF 40 YEARS

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From the President and Executive Director Michael J. Bello Welcome to The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC). Our school is a magnificent example of what is possible when educators, parents, board members, staff and most of all, students work together to build a supportive, vibrant learning community. The Learning Center offers a language-rich environment where all students greatly benefit from learning American Sign Language and English. As a community, we share a commitment to the academic, social and emotional growth of each and every student. The Learning Center for the Deaf is a bilingual school. American Sign Language and English are the languages of instruction in the classrooms. Key to our success is an extraordinary, innovative faculty who strive to provide the very best education to meet the specific academic, learning and developmental needs of each student. Equipped with the latest technology, their own creativity and a passion for teaching, they spark our students’ desire to learn, to care about each other, and to stretch beyond any expectations others may have for them. We hope that this glimpse of TLC will interest you in visiting our school, meeting our faculty and staff, and seeing for yourself the excitement and vitality in our classrooms.

THE LEARNING CENTER FOR THE DEAF

Our mission is to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing students achieve their full potential in an educational environment where language and communication are keys to building competence, character and community.


THE LEARNING CENTER FOR THE DEAF Established in 1970, The Learning Center for the Deaf is comprised of three schools: the main campus in Framingham, MA, the Randolph Campus serving Southeastern Massachusetts, and Walden School, a therapeutic and educational residential program for deaf youth who struggle with emotional and behavioral challenges. The Learning Center’s Main Campus is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Framingham, MA. At the center of the 14 acre campus is the White House. Once the school’s original home on this site, this beautiful building is now the administration building. The White House is the hub for fifteen other buildings that house academic programs, athletics, residences and support services.


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Opening the Door to Language and Communication Our Early Childhood Center is a supportive community of young children, parents, educators, and specialists in communication, language and learning. Our goal for all children is to develop age-appropriate competence in all areas of development. Our style is highly individualized in response to each child’s needs. The Early Childhood Center provides an environment that is rich in learning opportunities, and accessible to all of our students. The goal is for children and their parents to learn, use and understand American Sign Language. Early exposure to accessible language is key for the development of future skills. Each child's communication needs are assessed individually. For hard of hearing children or for deaf children with cochlear implants, spoken English is appropriately incorporated into the program. Research shows us that early exposure to sign language promotes more rapid development of spoken language for deaf children who are able to make use of technology, whether digital hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Parent Infant Program We believe the most important learning environment for children during their first three years is the one created at home. Parents and their toddlers come to PIP where, in the supportive, caring community of other moms and dads, they learn new ways of communicating, and build confidence in parenting deaf children. In addition to in-school playgroups, PIP’s home visiting component provides families with yet one more vehicle to develop and strengthen communication skills at home.


competence

Preschool Three and four-year-olds attend a child-centered, full day preschool program based on the belief that knowledge is actively constructed by children through their own actions and experiences. Parental involvement is an integral part of our early childhood programs. Our preschool teachers make regular home visits to families and we encourage regular parental observation and participation in the classroom as well as attendance at weekly support and informational groups. We promote a smooth, easy transition from classroom to living room and work as closely as possible with all family members.

Kindergarten Five-to six-year-olds have a full-day kindergarten with a more formal curriculum that focuses on reading, math, science, language arts, social studies, art and drama. Preschoolers and kindergartners also have the opportunity to participate in gym, library, Deaf Studies, and ASL story time. Small student/staff ratios allow for individual attention to each learner’s needs.

Support Services: w speech and language therapy by certified speech pathologists and audiologists w occupational therapy w physical therapy w consultation with psychologists and social workers w ASL classes for parents and families


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Exceptional, Highly Individualized Learning Our Elementary School program for students in grades 1-5 is rooted in the concept that children learn best when they are actively involved in their own learning. At TLC, student-centered activities facilitate critical thinking and encourage cooperative learning. The classroom atmosphere promotes the children’s overall growth through individual, small and large group experiences. Our teachers design activities that help students acquire the skills needed to think logically, to perceive the world in structured, orderly and reasonable ways, to know how to learn, and to apply their intelligence to new situations and challenges. Elementary School

Intensive Program

Our faculty is highly skilled at designing a curriculum that meets the core competency standards while at the same time addresses the challenges for each student. Working with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, teachers provide opportunities that encourage “hands-on,” discovery and exploration to enrich the academic curriculum. Beginning at Grade 3, all TLC students participate in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS).

The Intensive Program provides an exceptional, highly individualized, highly structured learning environment for deaf students with cognitive or behavioral disabilities. The philosophy of the program is based on the importance of the growth and development of the “whole” child. When appropriate, the Intensive Program provides the student with opportunities to join larger classroom settings.

Parents are an integral part of the program. The Learning Center encourages parents to visit and participate in classroom activities and events.

Art and physical education classes are part of each student’s curriculum.


character Elementary School education at The Learning Center includes the following disciplines: English Language Arts American Sign Language Mathematics Social Studies Science and Technology Human Development Art Physical Education


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A Middle School Experience Rich with Variety Designed for students in grades 6-8, the Middle School encompasses traditional academic courses as well as important supplementary courses and activities.

Middle School Learning Center middle school students follow a regular schedule of formal classes in English, math, science, social studies, reading and American Sign Language, as well as participate in physical education and art classes. Supplementary courses include spoken English and communication strategies, Deaf Studies, literature, introduction to computers, and human sexuality. In addition to the formal curriculum, students participate in group projects such as school government, theatre productions, and at social studies and science fairs at the school, local and state levels. Students are also encouraged to join extra-curricular sports teams such as basketball, track, cheerleading, and soccer. Both group and individual counseling options are available to all students.

Partner Schools Our high school and middle school students participate in long established mainstreaming agreements with two excellent public schools in Framingham, the Cameron Middle School and Framingham High School. These students work with professional ASL interpreters provided by TLC for all their classes. At Framingham High School, students have the option to participate in their grade level classes or take Advanced Placement classes in preparation for college.


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A High School Education Focused on the Future The Learning Center’s High School offers a wide range of academic and vocational options including Advanced Placement courses. All High School classes are geared toward post-secondary education, college or vocational pursuits.

High School Along with English, literature, math, social studies, science and senior seminar requirements, the students have a variety of options, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses in English and English literature. Additional options include: human sexuality, filmmaking, animal studies, technology, First Aid-CPR, art and computers. Our students participate in local, state and regional educational competitions (Academic Bowl, Essay Contests, Math Bowl, etc.) where they have earned many honors and awards. TLC recognizes community involvement as an essential component of a student’s education. The High School has an active Student Body Government (SBG) that works with the administration and students to create and implement policies. They also participate in fundraisers to support extracurricular activities and build community within the school. Each December, they sponsor our Adopt-a-Family Program, which provides food, clothing and toys for local deaf families in need. Such activities provide students with many opportunities to develop leadership skills.

After TLC Our graduates have furthered their education at:

w Boston University w Fitchburg State College w Gallaudet University w Princeton University w National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) w Northeastern University w Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) w Salem State College

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The Student Life Department is comprised of four programs: After-School Program, Residential Program, Career and Technology Education, and Athletics. Each of these programs plays an important role in furthering our mission to enable students to achieve competence, character and community.

After-School The Learning Center offers a wide range of after-school programs in Framingham and Randolph that foster personal growth. While team sports are the favorite, other clubs and activities have included swim instruction and certification, fitness/weight training, chess club, canoeing and kayaking, biking, karate, arts and crafts, dance and others.

Residential Program The Residential Program is an option open to adolescent students age 12 and older. Resident students can develop or enhance their social and independent living skills in a safe and comfortable living environment. Residences are open Monday through Friday during the academic year. Under the guidance of residential counselors, students are directly responsible for the daily management of the household. Male and female students are housed in separate facilities, joining each other for activities and some meals. Student Life staff collaborate with tutors, counselors, and a nurse to provide a program that embodies themes of identity, safety, communication and culture.

community Our goal is to foster the development of all our students to their fullest potential.


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Our Career and Technology Education (CTE) program offers a wide range of vocational classes and hands-on learning opportunities. Students may choose to attend the CTE program starting in their sophomore year in high school. The first year is an exploratory year that involves participating in various classes for the equivalent of two periods per day. Upon completion of the exploratory year, the student then chooses an area of concentration for the remaining years at TLC. Cooperative work programs are also an option for CTE students. These experiences may include: auto detailing, basic office skills, bicycle repair, career education, carpentry, computer applications, photography, printing, and building and grounds maintenance. Our goal is to foster the development of all our students to their fullest potential. CTE and high school staff work closely with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) for rehabilitation counseling and planning in order to prepare students for the transition to adult life.

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Athletics TLC athletic programs for children of all ages take place in a beautiful regulation-size gymnasium and on brand new soccer and playing fields. Middle School and High School students who choose to join athletic teams participate in several leagues which involve both deaf and hearing schools. TLC boys’, girls’ and coed teams have won several championships in recent years and have hosted major tournaments with schools from across the country. Our interscholastic athletic basketball and soccer teams compete with many independent private schools and also compete with other east coast schools for the deaf. The Learning Center is a strong proponent of full participation with no try-outs or cuts. Sportsmanship, teamwork, school spirit, and healthy, respectful attitudes and behavior are important themes for all athletic team members.

Photo by Robert E. Klein Courtesy of the Boston Globe

The Learning Center’s Athletic Program is a key component of the school experience.

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The Learning Center Randolph Campus Located in Randolph Massachusetts, The Learning Center’s Randolph Campus was established in September 1994. Randolph staff are committed to the same tradition of excellence and innovation that have been the hallmark of education at The Learning Center’s Framingham campus for nearly 40 years. Randolph has three main programs for children from infancy through elementary years:  The Early Childhood Center serves children from infants through kindergarten age. A Parent-Infant Program provides families of very young babies and toddlers with a center-based play group twice a week as well as home visits. The Preschool program provides child centered learning and language opportunities for children ages 3-5. Our Kindergarten helps to build a strong foundation in preparation for elementary school.  Elementary Program Grades 1-6 offers a comprehensive and individualized Deaf Education Program for deaf children and hard-of-hearing children, including those who utilize cochlear implant technology.  Language Access Program (LAP) serves hearing children who depend on sign language for greater access to learning and communication.

Randolph Campus The staff at our Randolph Campus have the same commitment to excellence and innovation that has defined TLC in Framingham for 40 years.

Our programs emphasize the recognition of each child as an individual with a unique learning style. Opportunities for “hands-on,” discovery-style learning enrich the academic curriculum. A highly collaborative and bilingual approach fosters the development of skills in ASL and English. Our certified teachers bring to the classroom strong backgrounds in language acquisition, ASL, child development, curriculum, classroom technology, and current educational practices which support the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Licensed speech and language pathologists provide consultation to the classroom teachers and direct instruction to students. The children in the Language Access Program (LAP) have significant speech, language, and communication issues which are difficult to address in most educational settings. Spoken English is supported by sign language throughout the school day, within both formal and informal interactions with adults and peers. The program offers small classes designed to meet individual student needs in the areas of cognition, academics, and communication, as well as social and motor development. LAP students are integrated with other students in the school. Enrollment in LAP may be short term depending on a student’s profile. The Learning Center works closely with families and school systems to develop goals to determine suitable placements and to facilitate transitions when they are needed.


competence character community Occupational therapy and physical therapy services are available to students. Art and Physical Education are considered part of each child’s curriculum.


W A L D E N

S C H O O L

Walden School: A Model of Treatment Framingham Campus Walden School, located on The Learning Center’s Framingham campus, serves students ages 8-21 challenged by severe social and emotional difficulties resulting from trauma, mental illness or organic dysfunction. All are deaf, and have significant treatment needs that were not successfully addressed in other academic and residential settings. The Walden School model of treatment is based upon the belief that all children deserve respect and compassion and that it is through the development of positive, healthy relationships that change occurs. We also believe that it is our responsibility to build upon existing strengths, to teach social skills, coping strategies, and independent living skills, and to work as a team with families and children to maximize potential. These are the guiding principles for all aspects of educational, residential and clinical programming.

Walden School: Assures highly individualized educational programs, clinical care, as well as individual, group and family therapy Involves a multidisciplinary team of experts to shape plans and provide care Focuses on building self-esteem and self-reliance Works closely with families and provides support groups

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Offers opportunities for inclusion for students who are ready for a more traditional classroom Accommodates visiting families in our family guest residence Provides work readiness opportunities Offers biking, skiing, yoga, drama and team sports Shares open use of all main campus facilities, including gymnasium, playgrounds and swimming pools Welcomes all students to be part of TLC ‘s vibrant, thriving deaf community


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“...education is not just about subjects you study in the classroom. It is about instilling values that will carry you throughout life and enable you to succeed.� Debra Patkin, TLC Alumna Litigation Attorney Disability Rights Legal Center Los Angeles, CA


“Our school is a magnificent example of what is possible when educators, parents, board members, staff and most of all, students work together to build a supportive, vibrant learning community. “ Michael J. Bello

President and Executive Director

© 2009 The Learning Center for the Deaf

Photography: Joan Seidel Photography

Design: Heidi Price


T H E

Learning Center for the Deaf

Where Innovation is a Tradition

The Learning Center Main Campus 848 Central Street Framingham, MA 01701 508-879-5110 V/TTY 508-875-9203 Fax Randolph Campus 30 Seton Way Randolph, MA 02368 781-963-5110 V/TTY 781-963-0114 Fax Walden School 848 Central Street Framingham, MA 01701 508-626-8581 V/TTY 508-875-8080 Fax www.tlcdeaf.org


TLC viewbook