"Language is learned through use rather than through practice exercises on how to use language."
– Dorothy Strickland and Lesley Morrow, Emerging Literacy: Young Children Learn to Read and Write.
International Reading Association, 1989
St. Mary’s School for the Deaf offers a comprehensive, full-day preschool program for three- to five-year-old students. Language development is at the heart of all we do in our preschool program. Our program offers small class sizes and a high teacher to student ratio. Each classroom has a NYS certified Teacher of the Deaf as well as a Teaching Assistant. This allows us to tailor our instruction to each child’s needs, while still following NYS Standards for preschool.
We know that all children and particularly language-deprived children need experiences to learn. Preschool students at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf attend field trips every week. Some examples of past trips include: apple-picking, breakfast with Santa, sledding, and trips to the museum! We use these experiences as a spring-board for teaching language. On any given day you will find us painting, cooking or engaged in dramatic play. Play is an important part of our curriculum; we play often and learn a whole lot while doing it!
St. Mary’s School for the Deaf preschool has a strong relationship with other preschools in the area. Each week our students have a mainstreaming experience at various community preschools. Our students benefit from spending time learning with their hearing peers while still having the support of our Deaf education professionals. Our students are currently partnering with classrooms at Buffalo PS 54, University at Buffalo Community Child Care, and St. Joseph’s University Preschool.
We pride ourselves on our parent communication. Our program wouldn’t be what it is without the support of our parents. Daily teacher to parent communication is vital to the success of our preschool program. Additionally, we encourage and facilitate child to parent communication by using language experience books designed to allow the child to share with their parents what they did at school each day.
Each classroom is assigned a Speech-Language Pathologist who works closely with the Teacher of the Deaf. St. Mary’s School for the Deaf offers on-site audiology services as well as occupational and physical therapy.
Our preschool students attend music and gym classes several times per week as well as library and American Sign Language classes. We have iPads available for student use as well as computers.
All preschool students receive door-to-door bus service to and from our program. On-site breakfasts and lunches are available for purchase, and our school participates in the free and reduced lunch program. Additionally, a small snack is included in our daily program.
The preschool program at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf loves to have visitors; if you would like a tour of our program, please contact us today!
Preschoolers performing at the SMSD Annual Music Show 2018
Preschoolers visit Main-Transit Fire Department Fall 2018
Our friendly Reading Companion, Sundae~