Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf
For almost 200 years, the residents of New York State have relied on the expertise of a unique group of schools to provide educational services to children who are Deaf, blind or physically disabled. These schools are known as the 4201 Schools. Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf is one of eleven 4201 Schools located throughout New York State. Each school has its own Board of Directors, receives financial support for operating expenses from New York State and depends on private donations for program enhancements. There are no charges to parents for educational costs.
The Mill Neck Manor Infant/Toddler Program serves the needs of children from birth to age three who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing, including children who are multiply disabled. An interdisciplinary team of specialists in the fields of education, speech and language, rehabilitation and counseling combine their efforts to aid the development of each child. Emphasis is placed on learning language naturally through the modality chosen by the parent; audition, speech, speech-reading and sign language. Parents, teachers and an audiologist work to properly evaluate and fit infants and toddlers with hearing aids as early as possible. Our staff supports parent’s choice, while providing them with the most recent information and research regarding children with hearing loss and access to speech and audiological equipment. This program is family-centered; therefore the professionals focus on the parents developing the skills needed to foster natural language development.
Infant Program – Birth to 18 Months
The primary goal of the Infant Program is to assist parents in working with their children. Parents bring their infant to Mill Neck Manor to work with a team of specialists who help them understand the special needs and developmental patterns of a Deaf or hard-of-hearing child. In addition to a weekly on-campus session, weekly home visits help families learn how to apply the techniques and principles learned in the school sessions. All members of the family, including siblings, are encouraged to be active participants during the home visits. Parents whose children are enrolled in this program meet regularly to share their feelings and experiences.
Toddler Program – 18 Months to 3 Years
The Toddler Program is based on the same practices and goals as the Infant Program. Children come to the program for play activities that encourage physical, intellectual and communication development. The program provides music therapy one time a week. Parents continue to be the primary participants in the sessions, discussions and workshops. Sessions become longer as the child is able to respond to his/her surroundings and peers. Parent participation is essential.
Preschool Program/Total Communication
Designed for three and four-year-olds, this program was created to help Deaf and hard-of-hearing children develop compensatory language and other developmental skills needed for kindergarten. We offer a positive, supportive environment that nurtures and encourages maximum development in all areas. Our teachers collaborate with speech therapists to foster and develop each young child’s communication and language skills. Using learning centers, literacy activities, and play-centered unit plans, teachers provide each child with on-going support to learn language through incidental learning opportunities. Through structured play and small group activities, teachers attend to not only a student’s pre-academic skills, but also to the child’s social and emotional development. These children participate in art, music and library. Teachers and parents meet quarterly to discuss each child’s progress and to find ways for parents to apply the skills taught in the classroom, at home. Sign classes and parent workshops are offered on a monthly basis. This program requires a parent commitment to learning the sign skill level necessary for effective communication at home. Families are strongly encouraged to participate in therapy sessions.
Integrated Pre K-K Auditory/Verbal Program
The Integrated Preschool/Kindergarten Auditory/Verbal Program, for three and four-year-old children who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing, features a developmentally appropriate curriculum aligned with the new Common Core Standards for preschool and kindergarten. Specifically designed for children with cochlear implants, hearing aid users and their hearing counterparts, the program provides opportunities through language, literacy and play. Using no sign language, the program follows an auditory/verbal communication approach. Deaf students are provided with speech therapy three to five times a week. In conjunction with a comprehensive educational program, parents are involved in their child’s receptive and expressive language development. Intensive parent training and support groups are essential. Additionally, the program extends to five-and six-year old children with the same resources and focus with continual alignment to the State standards. Auditory verbal educators and an audiologist are an integral part of the program.
Elementary Program/Total Communication
The Elementary Program follows a rigorous academic curriculum that follows the new Common Core standards. Teacher instruction focuses on critical thinking, decision making and problem solving skills, as well as speech and language skills. Speaking/signing, reading and writing skills are developed in a three-hour literacy block and are also heavily stressed throughout the other core content area. Students take classes in art, computers, physical education, library and health. The small student-to-staff ratio in the classrooms allows for individualized attention and ensures that each child’s specific needs are being met. Weekly class meetings are held to support character development.
Junior High School Program
The academic curriculum for the Junior High School Program follows the new Common Core Curriulum, and students participate in all New York State assessments. Along with the strong academic curricula, Deaf students between the ages of 13 and 15 receive instruction in art, computer literacy, library and information skills, health and physical education. Emphasis is also placed on the study skills and good work habits that they will need in the High School Program. Ongoing sessions with a school counselor and classroom meetings help enhance social skills and the ability to resolve interpersonal conflicts.
High School Program
The Mill Neck Manor High School is fully accredited by the New York State Board of Regents. We are able to offer students diplomas based on the New York State regulations and the student performance. Students not eligible for Regents diplomas will work on vocational training and Independent Living Skills while working towards vocational credentials necessary for post-secondary placement. Before graduation, students will complete job experiences, ranging from volunteer work to full-time paid employment, on and/or off campus.
Multiply Disabled Program
Students who are Deaf and multiply disabled receive a wide array of services in this small, consistent program. The small teacher-student ratio assists in individualizing each student’s needs and ensures that goals are met based on current assessments. In addition, students participate in the New York State Alternative Assessments. An applied verbal behavior methodology is utilized. Students receive 1:1 trial instruction and natural environment teaching opportunities throughout the day. These students also participate in physical education, library, computers, art and music. Effective communication, social, independent living, pre-vocational and vocational experiences are planned and implemented in order to prepare each student for their post-secondary placement.
S.T.E.P.S. (Students and Teachers Experiencing Progress and Success) is designed to support students with severe behavioral issues that conflict with their ability to function in other school programs. Based on a six-tier system, the program allows students to take responsibility for their actions and internalize impulse control. The goal is for students to transition into other programs offered at Mill Neck, allowing them to meet post-secondary outcomes with success.
Mill Neck Manor students can participate in basketball, cheerleading, soccer, softball, track and field. Mill Neck teams compete against schools with hearing peers and Deaf students in several leagues. Our Extended Day Program is held weekly for two hours after school allowing students (ages six to twenty-one) to pursue personal interests, such as cooking, computers, arts and crafts, dance and performing arts in a safe, caring environment. Extended day classes are determined by our students’ ages and areas of interest.
Our six-week summer program offers intensive instruction in academic areas for students requiring extra instruction, as determined by their Committee on Special Education, to insure that there is no substantial regression of skills over the summer. Speech, physical and occupational therapy are provided. The program is enhanced by special projects and field trips.
In addition to classroom teachers and special teachers for art, physical education, computer and library, students have access to psychologists, a registered nurse, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language specialists, reading specialist, school audiologist, school counselors and social workers.
Transition and Vocational Services
The State Education Department has mandated transitional assessment for all students 12 years and older. Mill Neck Manor believes that every student’s transitional planning should begin as soon as the child enters school. Transition is a child-centered, lifelong process beginning at age 14. Each year, as part of the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) process, parents are invited to participate in the transitional planning along with their child, school personnel and community service providers. As team members, parents and children will learn advocacy skills that will enable them to be aware of and to exercise their rights.
There are school counselors, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists and teachers to assist in the areas of employment, independent living and vocational education. The Mill Neck Manor Transitional Team, with the assistance of the student’s school district, is responsible for providing and coordinating educational opportunities and services to facilitate successful transition from school to the outside world for each student.
Partners in Education
Parents are key members of the educational team and are strongly encouraged to take an active role in their child’s schooling. This initiative facilitates a relationship between school and home by providing parents with training and support groups. Parents’ participation in their child’s schooling and open communication between teachers, specialists and parents are the goals.
If a child is identified as Deaf or hard-of-hearing, the following procedure is followed:
1. Parents fill out an application form.
2. The State Department reviews the application and approves an evaluation.
3. Parent(s) and child come to Mill Neck Manor for an evaluation. This includes psychological, educational, speech and language, social history, audiological evaluations and other pertinent evaluations.
4. Mill Neck Manor sends the evaluations to the child’s school district.
5. The Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) meeting is held. If the CSE/CPSE decides placement at Mill Neck is appropriate, they develop an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), and a form is sent to the State Education Department confirming acceptance by the School District and Mill Neck.
6. The State Education Department then appoints the child to Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf.
If you would like more information about Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf, please contact 516-922-4100.