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Education - Schools for the Deaf - Delaware

Small State Has a School for Deaf

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Updated August 28, 2011

The Delaware School for the Deaf, also known as the Margaret S. Sterck School, is sited in Newark, Delaware. Delaware is a relative latecomer to deaf education, with its school having begun in 1929 when a teacher of deaf children, Ms. Sterck, established the school in her own home using private funds. Between 1929 and 1945, there were no public funds until in 1945 the state of Delaware set aside funding for deaf students.

However, there was still no building for a school. Deaf Delaware students were taught in special education classes or attended the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf with state funding. Finally in the 1960s, a school was built.

Highlights of the Sterck school:

  • Educational philosophy: Total communication.
  • Funding: As do most schools for the deaf, the Sterck school relies on outside funding sources. One source of support has been the state Grange. Another is private memorial awards such as the Edward Thompson memorial award.
  • Sign Language: Offers sign language classes to the community.
  • Residential Life: The school is primarily a residential school.
  • Services: The school offers services such as audiology and mental health.
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