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“We want to raise our children so that they can take a sense of pleasure in both their own heritage and the diversity of others.”
-Fred Rogers (1994) You Are Special: Words of Wisdom for All Ages from a Beloved Neighbor
Welcome to the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Department at CSD! The ECE Department was founded in 1987 to ensure that Deaf and hard of hearing children, who reside in the Bay Area, have access to a visual language, American Sign Language (ASL), and English as a second language. The reason why the school promotes the development of American Sign Language is because research has shown that students who master ASL as the students' first language develop: a healthy identity; positive regard for self; more advanced skills communicating wants, needs and thoughts with family members and teachers; and an easier ability to acquire English proficiency as a second language. This authentic approach supports students as they develop language naturally in a classroom environment that has fluent ASL and English role models, age-appropriate Deaf peers, rich instructional resources, and support services. These students perform higher on achievement tests in later years. The CSD philosophy is to focus on the educational, social and emotional needs of the whole child.
Students INCLUDING children with or without hearing aids, cochlear implants, and residual hearing loss who acquire ASL at the youngest age as possible have shown to acquire English as a second language more fluently and successfully as compared with peers whom did not acquire ASL until a later age.* In the last few years, Student Outcomes Studies at CSD have discovered that students who went through the ECE program at CSD have a significantly higher chance to pass California's state exit examination taken in the high school to receive a high school diploma.
The CSD ECE Department consists of two main programs:
Parent-Infant Program (PIP) serving children from birth to 3 years of age and their families covering three major components:
Infants (0-18 months old): Child and family receive regular home visits with a Parent Infant Program (PIP) teacher addressing the child's language acquisition in ASL and English, literacy development, and child development interests. Interpreters are available for languages spoken other than ASL and English.
Toddlers (18 months old- 3 years old): Home visits continue with an addition of the child attending the Toddler Class at CSD on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:30AM to 11:30AM. The Toddler Class has a critical mass of toddlers with mild to profound hearing levels and the class instruction is designed and aligned with the state of California’s Preschool Learning Foundations and utilizes the Creative Curriculum and some of the Reggio Emilia-based practices. The class staff consists of at least two state credentialed teachers, a teaching assistant and/or a student assistant. The staff members are fluent bilinguals in ASL and English.
CSD ECE Playgroup: A playgroup is provided on selected Friday on-site to promote parent networking and language acquisition in ASL for Toddler and Preschool students and their parents/caregivers. Educational topics are discussed through the year facilitated by the Toddler and Preschool teachers. Monthly seminars are available to the playgroup participants given by the ECE ASL Teacher and the ECE Curriculum Specialist.
The PIP services at CSD are available for infants and toddlers who reside in Mission Valley (Fremont, Newark, and Union City) and Tri-Valley (Pleasanton, Livermore, and Dublin). Interested parents must contact their local Early Start Program Coordinators. Please refer to the following hyperlink for the information of the Early Start Program and Services: http://www.dds.ca.gov/EarlyStart/docs/EarlyStart_InformationPacket.pdf
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions.
Early Childhood Education Classes serving 3 years old to 6 years old students.
Preschool Class: The class has a critical mass of preschoolers with moderate to profound hearing levels and runs Monday through Thursday from 8:30AM to 12:30PM including a forty-five minute lunch with the pre-kindergarteners and a lunch recess. The class instruction is based on the state of California’s Preschool Learning Foundations and Creative Curriculum practices. The CSD ECE Play Group is available for the Preschoolers and their parents/caregivers. Please refer to the PIP section for further information on the playgroup. The Preschool staff consists of a state credentialed teacher and a teaching assistant fluent in ASL and English.
Pre-Kindergarten Class: The class has a critical mass of pre-kindergarteners with moderate to profound hearing levels and runs Monday through Thursday from 8:30 to 2:30 and 8:30AM to 1:45PM on Friday. The class schedule includes a forty-five minute lunch with the preschoolers and a lunch recess. Afternoon schedule has a nap time and free-choice activities. The class instruction is based on the state of California’s Preschool Learning Foundations, state adopted instructional materials, and Creative Curriculum practices. The Pre-Kindergarten staff consists of a state credentialed teacher and a teaching assistant fluent in ASL and English.
Kindergarten Class: The class has a critical mass of kindergarteners with moderate to profound hearing levels and runs Monday through Thursday from 8:30 to 2:30 and 8:30AM to 1:45PM on Friday. The class schedule includes a forty-five minute lunch at the school cafeteria and a lunch recess. Afternoon schedule has a nap time and free-choice activities. The class attends physical education class in the school gym daily. The class instruction is based on the state of California’s Preschool Learning Foundations, state adopted instructional materials, and Creative Curriculum practices. The Kindergarten staff consists of two state credentialed teachers and a teaching assistant fluent in ASL and English.
Early Childhood Education Program Support
ECE ASL Teacher: The ASL teacher comes in all ECE classes and conducts ASL lessons weekly building on ECE students’ language acquisition in ASL and assessing the students’ ASL development.
ECE Curriculum Specialist: The ECE Specialist provides instructional support to the ECE staff and facilitates development and maintenance of the ECE curriculum materials and resources.
Spoken English Services: Communication support, services and tools are also available such as: speech therapy, spoken English training, amplification support, on-site audiological testing, and evaluations. All communication staff are fluent in ASL and English and knowledgeable about Deaf issues including Deaf culture, language learning issues and bilingual education. Further information is available at http://www.csdeagles.com/services/ser_comm.php.
Support Services: Additional services are available for the ECE students and the ECE teachers- pupil assessors, school counselors, and behavior specialist. Further information is available at http://www.csdeagles.com/services/ser_pps.php.
The programs and services are provided at NO CHARGE to families as they are funded by the state and school districts.
ECE teachers are professionally credentialed by the state of California to teach Deaf and hard of hearing children and they receive training and attend workshops to ensure they are up-to-date with current research about the most effective instructional methods and child development issues and practices. Creative Curriculum © and Hi/Scope © are used to develop lesson plans and learning objectives are spiraled through the grades to ensure all of the children are prepared for the California academic standards; California’s Preschool Learning Foundations and California’s kindergarten state standards. Students have DIRECT ACCESS to information, language, peers, and world knowledge that is critical for eventual academic and personal successes. Cooperative learning, working with peers as partners, working in small and large groups, and literacy development activities are teaching strategies that inevitably happen during daily classes.
Please do not hesitate to contact Doralynn Folse, the ECE Principal for a visit soon. Time is critical because it is imperative for Deaf children to acquire language naturally as soon as possible for assured lifelong learning successes. Come and visit us and find out why our program is successful for many Deaf children in northern California.
Yours in Early Childhood Education,
Roberta Lynn Daniels
CSD celebrates the 150th year of Excellence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJJxJ6WOqnk
Mahshie, Shawn: A First Language:Whose Choice Is It?
Erting, Lynne and Pfau, Judy: Becoming Bilingual: Facilitating English Literacy Development Using ASL in PreSchool
ASL and English Bilingual Professional Development Resources: http://caeber.gallaudet.edu/assets/PDFs/resources/year5.pdf