Educational Institutions

Clarke School for the Deaf

  • Northampton, MA
  • http://www.clarkeschools.org

Mission Statement

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech provides children who are deaf or hard of hearing with the listening and spoken language skills they need to succeed.

Main Programs

  1. Early Intervention (EI)
  2. Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Programs
  3. Kindergarten through Grade Eight
  4. Mainstream Services
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

With locations in Northampton and Boston, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Jacksonville, Florida, Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech serves more than 1,200 children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families annually. As a regional resource, Clarke serves children from throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York City and the New York exurbs, southeast Philadelphia, southern New Jersey, southeast Georgia and north Florida. Clarke's Mainstream Services works with children who are deaf or hard of hearing learning in schools in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic. In 2015, Clarke began offering early intervention services to children regardless of where they live as part of a teleservices program called telepractice – Virtual Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (tVISIT).

ruling year

1938

President/CEO since 2016

Self-reported

Mr. Ralph S. Johnston

Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Self-reported

Hugh Babowal

Keywords

Self-reported

deaf children, auditory/oral education, deafness, hearing loss, hearing impaired, National, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida, listening & spoken language program, LSL

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Also Known As

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech

EIN

04-2104008

 Number

0739160402

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

Graduate, Professional(Separate Entities) (B50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech provides children who are deaf or hard of hearing with the listening and spoken language skills they need to succeed.


Overview
Since its founding in 1867, Clarke has been an international leader among schools teaching deaf children to speak. For over a century, we operated as a traditional school for the deaf; students lived on campus from an early age until well into adolescence because it took that long to prepare them to be mainstreamed into public schools. Today is a vastly different story. During the last 20 years, revolutionary hearing technologies, newborn hearing screening, and early intervention services have created new possibilities for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. More than 60% of the children we now serve are under the age of six. Our goal is for them to successfully transition into their neighborhood public schools by kindergarten with listening, spoken language, and school-readiness skills comparable to those of peers with typical hearing.

Clarke provides the full-spectrum of intensive Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) programs needed to help a child develop the listening, learning, and spoken language skills needed to succeed in mainstream schools. Clarke's family-focused programs meet the needs of the whole child – socially, academically, and psychologically – fostering independence and creativity. Clarke children and their families benefit from a variety of clinical services that include pre-implant training and post cochlear implant habilitation for children receiving implants, evaluations, comprehensive speech and language assessments, and pediatric speech and language therapy.

As a result of the amazing advances and new possibilities for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, Clarke is reinventing itself for a new era. We are developing new service and business models to better meet the changing needs of deaf children and their families, and we are effectively and innovatively serving more children, families, and schools in more ways than ever before. In addition to annually providing services to infants, children and their families through five locations (Northampton and Boston, MA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Jacksonville, FL) Clarke provides an array of services for public schools; audiological services for people of all ages; trainings and conferences for professionals and families; international consulting and support services; and a Masters of Education of the Deaf degree in collaboration with Fontbonne University.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Early Intervention (EI)

Early intervention (EI): Clarke’s skilled Early Intervention professionals can enhance the abilities of parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing to build their child’s early listening and spoken language skills, during the most fundamental period of his or her development. The earlier a child with hearing loss receives access to sound (hearing aids/cochlear implants) and intensive services, the more opportunities the child will have to build language centers. With intensive EI services provided by Clarke’s certified teachers of the deaf and speech-language pathologists, at our location or in the family’s home, parents and caregivers learn how to support their child so that s/he can develop the spoken language, cognitive, social and emotional skills needed for a lifetime of success.

Category

Population(s) Served

Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Deaf and Hearing Impaired

Budget

Program 2

Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Programs

When children reach age three, they then enter Clarke’s Preschool program, which helps them continue building listening and spoken language skills and prepare them for placement in a mainstream/neighborhood school. Children interact on a daily basis in small groups and individually with teachers and a speech-language pathologist to develop audition and age-appropriate language, using a theme-based curriculum that teaches content and concepts across a range of subject matter. Goals include developing sensory awareness, fine and gross motor skills, cognition, and social skills. Each student receives 30 minutes of speech and language therapy each day. Building a strong foundation for literacy and learning is a major focus of our preschool program, as well as continued language development.

Category

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Deaf and Hearing Impaired

Budget

Program 3

Kindergarten through Grade Eight

While early diagnosis and improved technology has necessitated that Clarke focus most of its efforts on EI and preschool, we continue to be a national leader in educating school-age children who are deaf are hard of hearing. Clarke’s kindergarten through eighth grade program is now co-located in a mainstream public elementary school where our children benefit from interaction with their same age peers with typical hearing. The program features small class sizes in acoustically-modified rooms, allowing specially-trained teachers and therapists to immerse children in hands-on lessons that include speech and language training. Through the collaboration with Northampton Public Schools, they are able to enjoy a variety of extracurricular activities alongside their hearing peers. This kind of collaboration is among the few of its kind in the country and gives children who are deaf the opportunity to spend a portion of their day in typical classrooms. This exposure helps our students better prepare for success as full-time members of the mainstream school communities.

Category

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Deaf and Hearing Impaired

Budget

Program 4

Mainstream Services

Thanks to the advancements in the field described herein, children who are deaf and hard of hearing are able to succeed in the mainstream at earlier and earlier ages. However, deafness is nearly always educationally and socially significant, requiring the support of trained teachers of the deaf. Clarke’s Mainstream Services helps children with hearing loss make a successful transition into mainstream schools and thrive among their hearing peers. Clarke’s expert staff provides consulting and itinerant teaching services include program planning, direct instruction, staff orientations, teacher consultations, adjustment counseling and more. Clarke professionals are able correct any barriers related to listening and learning in the classroom. This is achieved by troubleshooting problems with hearing technology such (FM Systems, hearing aids, cochlear implants), and ensuring the mainstream classroom is acoustically adapted to meet the child’s unique needs (i.e. working with the teacher to reduce disruptive environmental noise and noise ratio, etc.). Mainstream Services also publishes informational material and hosts a large annual conference, drawing attendees from around the country and the world.

Category

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Deaf and Hearing Impaired

Budget

Results

Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

1. Number of students enrolled

Target Population
People with hearing impairments, Children and youth (0-19 years)

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Snapshot of enrollment in April of each year. Enrollment fluctuates as children are diagnosed and enroll then age-out and enter the Mainstream. Does not include children receiving one-time services.

2. Number of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) developed

Target Population
Children and youth (0-19 years), People with hearing impairments

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Enrollment fluctuates as children age-out and enter the mainstream, Represents IEPs for children ages 3-14 as of April in each year. Does not include IEP assistance provided to Mainstream students.

3. Number of students per teacher during the reporting period

Target Population
Children and youth (0-19 years), People with hearing impairments

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
On average, each Preschool-Pre-K and K-8 class features a teacher-student ratio of no greater than 10 students to one Teacher and one Assistant Teacher.

4. Number of students receiving personal instruction and feedback about their performance

Target Population
Children and youth (0-19 years), People with hearing impairments

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Figure mirrors enrollment as each child represented is learning as part of an intensive, direct-service oriented program where Clarke professionals work closely with children and families.

5. Average number of years of formal education for teachers/instructors

Target Population
Children and youth (0-19 years), People with hearing impairments

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Represents total number of years obtaining post-secondary education (undergraduate/graduate) for all teachers providing direct services and Speech Language Pathologists. Does not include audiologists

6. Percentage of board members making a financial contribution

Target Population
Children and youth (0-19 years), People with hearing impairments

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Each year, 100% of Board members provide a financial contribution. Many also support outreach and fundraising efforts with other donors.

7. Percentage of children performing at average or above average on standardized assessments

Target Population
Children and youth (0-19 years), People with hearing impairments

Connected to a Program?
Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Programs
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Percentage of preschool children meeting or exceeding assessments of receptive/expressive vocabulary and total language. Data not available for 2013

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Our mission is to provide children who are deaf or hard of hearing with the listening, learning, and spoken language skills needed to succeed. Clarke focus is:

    Transforming Lives – Clarke transforms the lives of children who are deaf and hard of hearing by helping them develop the skills they need to succeed in the speaking world.

    Listening and Speaking – Clarke teaches children how to listen and speak, laying the foundation of language and communication for fully engaged lives.

    Family Partnerships – Clarke partners with families as they navigate the learning process, helping them to identify options and make informed choices to maximize their child's potential.

    Whole Child Approach – Clarke responds to the needs of the whole child – social, academic, psychological – creating confidence and independence.

    Clarke seeks to ensure that every family of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing that wishes to pursue a Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) approach, has access to high-quality services.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Clarke is deeply committed to helping our children achieve the outcomes described herein as well as to build capacity and sustainability. We continue to expand and to develop more efficient ways to meet the increased demand for LSL services and address the shortage of providers. With the use of technology and through programs such as tVISIT, Clarke is able to provide services regardless of a family's location using a more sustainable service delivery method. Clarke will also continue improving and expanding service delivery through partnerships that utilize public or other existing resources at local and state levels. For example, our professionals recently helped the state of Delaware develop their own LSL program. As described throughout, Clarke is working with its peers to more effectively track, engage with, and collect data on our current students, to both strengthen our Clarke community and to produce evidence-based outcomes that support change in policy regarding how children who are deaf or hard of hearing are served.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Clarke's longtime leadership in the field of deaf education, the collective expertise of our staff in serving young children and their families, our commitment to extending services to people who are currently underserved, and our embrace of new technologies and techniques to help children who are deaf or hard of hearing achieve better outcomes, are significant strengths. Clarke counts many of the nation's most well-known and highly-regarded professionals among our faculty and staff. Several of Clarke's senior staff are considered experts in their field, and participate in state and national committees that support the education of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We have extensive networks of relationships throughout the systems that serve deaf children and families, and especially in the Early Intervention systems. Clarke's professional development workshops and materials, including our annual Mainstream Conference, and collaboration with Fontbonne University, are considered “best in class" and attract students and professionals from around the world.

    The system that serves children with hearing loss requires a host of agencies and individuals to work together to play their part in ensuring that every child receives the services s/he needs: early intervention systems, LEAs (Local Education Agencies), schools and teachers, hospitals, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, etc. Clarke is an integral part of this system and is often the coordinating entity. We constantly work in collaboration with a multitude of agencies and individuals in each of our campus locations. Clarke regularly shares information and provides trainings for students and professionals, and also has developed collegial relationships with programs that primarily use sign language in serving children.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    In addition to assessments and data collection/analysis of child outcomes, Clarke goes to great lengths to evaluate our work and to stay on the leading edge of innovations of LSL education. Staff meets regularly to review evaluation results and address areas for improvement. Our lead teachers, all of whom have master's degrees, are required to participate in monthly development programs and participate in workshops and conferences.

    Organizationally, Clarke began a strategic planning process in 2009 by forming a Strategic Analysis group consisting of staff, trustees and other stakeholders. Through the Strategic Analysis process, we reaffirmed Clarke's mission and streamlined the mission statement to better reflect our current programs and methodologies. Small groups of trustees and staff were formed to delve deeper into a number of focus areas identified through the analysis process. Through the work of these groups, in conjunction with the Board and administration, several major decisions were made by the board including the reduction of our physical space in order to allocate more funding to direct services. Clarke has always offered a wide breadth of programs and services that support a variety of constituencies. While it is important to continue to bring Clarke's expertise to a wide variety of clients, the strategic planning process led to the identification of four core areas which represent our largest areas of service:
    • Birth to 3 Services –early intervention, toddler programs, parent support
    • Preschool/Kindergarten – integrated, co-located and independent programs
    • Mainstream Services – itinerant, consulting, school district collaborations, teleservices
    • Professional Training - conferences, teacher training, webinars

  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    As a result of the strategic planning process, Clarke has gone through a period of extraordinary innovation and expansion, positioning the organization to continue to thrive well into the future. The following is a summary of accomplishments to date:

    Reaching children early: Clarke more than tripled the number of children served in home-and center-based settings during what is the most critical phase of language development for children—birth to age three. This time is when the foundation for listening and spoken language is built.

    Increasing access for children and families: Clarke developed the tVISIT program, now the largest program of its kind in the US, providing infants, toddlers and their families with services and coaching via live interactive video sessions. Clarke experts can now serve children virtually anywhere.

    Growing mainstream services: Clarke has quadrupled the number of mainstream students and teachers served by our professionals. Clarke teachers of the deaf are present in neighborhood schools throughout Massachusetts and Pennsylvania to support children with hearing loss as they learn alongside their peers with typical hearing. Clarke is now the largest nonprofit provider of mainstream services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing in the country. Within the past three years, children who have been served in their classrooms by a Clarke Teacher of the Deaf through the Mainstream Services program have matriculated at a rate of 100%.

    Expanding Clarke's presence: In addition to established locations in Florida, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, Clarke also began regularly serving children in Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island and many other areas around the country. Clarke also established a new state-of-the-art preschool on the campus of La Salle University in Philadelphia.

    Spearheading model inclusion programs: Clarke co-located its kindergarten through 8th grade program within a Northampton, MA public school. Students learn and play alongside their peers with typical hearing, and gain experience that will facilitate their transition to a mainstream classroom setting. Additionally, Clarke designed and launched an innovative regional program for students with hearing loss in partnership with Hampshire Regional High School.

    Strong child outcomes: Using Preschool Language Scale (PLS) and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test to assess our children's outcomes, during the grant period more than 80% of Clarke's preschool scored at or above the median score in auditory comprehension, expressive communication, and total language and more than 90% scored at or above the median standard for the picture vocabulary test. Median scores reflect the average scores for children with typical hearing.

    Training professionals: Clarke and Fontbonne University have partnered to offer a Master of Arts in Deaf Education where students will receive hands-on training at Clarke locations.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

With locations in Northampton and Boston, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Jacksonville, Florida, Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech serves more than 1,200 children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families annually. As a regional resource, Clarke serves children from throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York City and the New York exurbs, southeast Philadelphia, southern New Jersey, southeast Georgia and north Florida. Clarke's Mainstream Services works with children who are deaf or hard of hearing learning in schools in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic. In 2015, Clarke began offering early intervention services to children regardless of where they live as part of a teleservices program called telepractice – Virtual Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (tVISIT).

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE CLARKE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Clarke School for the Deaf

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
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President/CEO

Mr. Ralph S. Johnston

Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Hugh Babowal

BIO

Mr. Johnston has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare field, including senior leadership positions in diagnostic, biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical firms from start-ups to large companies. He was involved in the start-up of Infusaid, the company that produced the first totally implantable drug delivery system. Infusaid was sold to Pfizer where he spent over 10 years, ultimately as Vice President for Worldwide Sales and Marketing. He was the co-founder of several start-up ventures, including Contour Medical, a specialty medical device, diagnostic and drug delivery consultancy and Intranasal Therapeutics. As a consultant, Mr. Johnston provided business support for several non-profits including the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians. holds a BA in Biology from Eastern Michigan University, MLT (ASCP) following a program in Molecular Biology at the University of Michigan and an MBA from Suffolk University.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Hugh Babowal

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

No

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
Yes
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
The Board is comprised of business and civic leaders as well as alumni and relatives of current and former students. Historically, election to the Board of Trustees is made after a vetting process has been completed. Potential candidates to the Board are put into nomination by a current Trustee or a member of Clarke's Senior Leadership team but without notice to the candidate(s). Prospective candidates are cultivated and invited to be on a committee as a means of educating them on Clarke: this has also been an excellent means of assessing whether the candidate honors the time and participation aspects of committee work, as well as to judge whether the skills, experience, networks and personality of the candidate will further the mission of the organization and be of benefit to the dynamic and diversity of the Board itself. Clarke is an equal opportunity employer, and as such affirms that it does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, disability, philosophy, veteran status, marital status or any other basis prohibited by applicable law in either internal policies and procedures or external policies and procedures.