History & Background:
The EDCO Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, based in the Newton Public Schools system, is the oldest secondary level program for the Deaf in the state of Massachusetts. Founded in 1973, the program is managed by the EDCO Collaborative in Waltham, Massachusetts, a leading provider of collaborative K-12 educational services in the state. The Collaborative currently serves 20 member school districts in the Greater Boston area reaching over 63,000 students and 5,000 teachers with high quality professional development and educational programs.
Since its inception 34 years ago, EDCO’s Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has provided students (grades 6-12) with an outstanding academic education using a comprehensive Total Communication philosophy including sign, speech, gesture, etc. The program is housed in two locations: the Day Middle School (grades 6-8) and Newton North High School (grades 9-12). Enrollment is open to eligible students from throughout the state of Massachusetts. Students are referred by local school districts, other programs for the Deaf, state agencies, hospitals, and parents/family members.
EDCO students are offered an opportunity to learn in both self-contained as well as integrated classroom settings. Self-contained placements bring Deaf and Hard of Hearing students together in small groups with one teacher of the Deaf. Integrated classroom placements offer Deaf and hearing students the chance to learn together with the dual benefit of a public school teacher and a sign language interpreter. All EDCO students are provided with continuous support services including pre- and post- teaching, speech and language therapy, counseling, etc.
EDCO students have a wide variety of social and recreational events and clubs they can join. Interpreters are provided so that Deaf and Hard of Hearing students have equal access to all sports teams, clubs, and activities including school dances, ski trips, sophomore sleep-over, and the senior prom. Hearing students are offered a sign language class for those interested in learning how to sign and communicate with their peers.
EDCO also sponsors a Junior National Association of the Deaf Club and has been a consistent winner in the annual Academic Bowl for Deaf Students.
Each year approximately ninety-five percent of Deaf students graduating from the EDCO Program go on to post-secondary schooling at institutions such as Gallaudet University, The National Technical Institute for the Deaf at R.I.T., California State University at Northridge, Northeastern University, Northern Essex Community College, etc. EDCO staff provide strong college preparation and counseling services.
The EDCO Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a non-profit organization under section 501© (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education.
To request more information about EDCO please contact:
Dr. Courtney Dunne
EDCO Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing