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. Edward Mulligan
EDCO Program for the Deaf
360 Lowell Avenue
Newtonville, MA 02460
617-244-3407 – Voice
617-244-2403 - TTY