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Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech

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Title: Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech  
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Subject: History of deaf education in the United States, Alexander Graham Bell, Northampton, Massachusetts, Deaf education, Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
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Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech
Northampton, Massachusetts
Type School for the Deaf
Motto A Sound Future
Established 1867
School district Northampton, Massachusetts
President Mr. William Corwin
Principal O.J. Logue
Staff Over 100 staff members
Faculty Over 30 faculty members
Grades K-8
Enrollment Approx. 60 students
Athletics Basketball
Mascot Cougars
Languages English

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, formerly Clarke School for the Deaf, is a private school located in Northampton, Massachusetts that specializes in educating deaf children using listening and spoken language through the assistance of hearing aids and cochlear implants. While there are only 60 full-time students who attend Clarke's Northampton campus, over 3,500 people directly benefited from Clarke's services, programs and research in 2009 and 500 students were directly enrolled at Clarke's five campuses in Northampton, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Jacksonville.


Clarke School for the Deaf was founded in 1867 in Northampton, Massachusetts as the first permanent oral school for the Deaf in the United States and has gained an international reputation as a pioneer and a leader in the field of auditory/oral education. A local benefactor, John Clarke, offered a $50,000 grant to anyone who would start a school for the deaf in Northampton. Gardiner Greene Hubbard, with the state government and numerous individuals, played a role in the founding of the Clarke School. The Clarke School was not only the first school to teach children with hearing loss to speak in the United States, but also the first to initiate education in the early years and the first to recognize the importance of students entering mainstream classrooms. Clarke School also was the first to train teachers in auditory/oral education and in 1962 enhanced the Teacher Education Program by partnering with Smith College, where graduates could earn a Masters of Education of the Deaf. As in 2008, over 1,400 teachers of the deaf have been trained through the Smith College/Clarke Graduate Teacher Education program. Alexander Graham Bell, President Calvin Coolidge, and First Lady Grace Coolidge served on Clarke’s Board of Trustees, with Bell and Grace Coolidge at different points serving as Chair of the Board.[1] In the first quarter of 2010, Clarke announced the new name better reflecting their mission from Clarke School for the Deaf to Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. Subsequently, a new logo and website was created to complete the rebranding.

In the present day, the Clarke School has campuses not only in Northampton, but at:

Summer Adventure

Clarke hosts a two-week long summer program (formally called "Clarke's Summer Adventure") for deaf children from ages 9 to 14 each summer. The program consists of a residential program and a school program which revolves around a central theme. For example, the most recent summer program focused on "Going Green" and the practices of preserving the environment. The classes are not academic and the campers enjoy swimming at Clarke's indoor swimming pool, gym and many other fun activities that occur in the dormitory and at school. Each camper is carefully placed into small groups of five or six other campers of similar age or placement. The "academic" portion of the program occurs during the weekdays and during the lone weekend, the residential program plans and executes activities that explore the world outside of campus such as taking a field trip to a Whale Watch or attending events around New England.

President Coolidge

Goodhue, Clarence W. Barron and future President Calvin Coolidge

According to historians at the school, Calvin Coolidge (standing far right in the photo with Clarence W. Barron in the center) lived on campus where he met his future wife in Grace Anna Goodhue (standing far left of picture below). In 1902, Mr. Coolidge lived in Adams House (formerly known as Weir House), a faculty house behind to the school's main dormitory. Grace Goodhue was a teacher at the school at the time when one morning, while working in the garden between Adams House and dormitory, she saw Mr. Coolidge (a lawyer working for a local practice) shaving in his second floor bathroom with a hat and a union suit on. Grace Goodhue thought it was a funny sight, and laughed out loud.

That apparently got the attention of Coolidge and later that year, he and Grace Goodhue began dating. In 1905 Grace Goodhue left the school after only three years of service to marry Calvin and join him in his political career. After finishing his work as a local lawyer in Western Massachusetts, Calvin would go on to be the Mayor of Northampton, Governor of Massachusetts, Vice President and President of the United States of America.

Clarke School in the Media

In 2007, Clarke School was featured in the PBS documentary, "Through Deaf Eyes" produced by Larry Hott. The documentary depicted deafness and Deaf culture in the United States and the choices parents face between sign language and oral language.

Clarke in Pictures

From Left to Right: Dormitory, Gym & Pool (background), Round Hill Road, Rogers Hall and Hubbard Hall


  1. ^ "History - CLARKE: About Clarke". Archived from the original on 2007-12-08. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  2. ^ "Clarke School East - CLARKE: Clarke School East". Archived from the original on 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  3. ^ "Clarke Pennsylvania - CLARKE: Clarke Pennsylvania". Archived from the original on 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  4. ^ "Clarke School - New York - CLARKE: Clarke School - New York". Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  5. ^ "Clarke Jacksonville - CLARKE: Clarke Jacksonville". Archived from the original on 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 

External links

  • School website
  • "A Sound Future" Promotion

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