Cleary School for the Deaf is making news! Cleary is being featured in local publications throughout Long Island. Below are stories about our students and staff as they have been featured in local stories.  Read the below to learn more about how Cleary students and staff are making a difference. 

A Visit By The Great Sean Landeta - "Children are great imitators so give them someone great to imitate."

By Nancy Tenure 

The great Sean Landeta, two time Super Bowl champion and one of the NFL’s premier punters of all time, recently stopped by Cleary to meet with our children. He came to share his experiences, knowledge, encouragement and advice with every student and perhaps inspire them to reach for their dreams.

Sean himself grew up in Baltimore and did not have a lot; football at Towson University gave him self-confidence along with an opportunity to work hard for his dreams. Setting priorities and working hard afforded Sean the chance to sign on with the Baltimore Stars in the old USFL and later the New York Giants in the NFL for nine seasons including being part of the Team of the Decade for the 1980s and 1990s. As a successful professional athlete, Sean played for over twenty-two seasons with top notch teams in Philadelphia, New York, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Green Bay and St. Louis. He played in Super Bowls XXI and XXV.

Did someone say “retirement”? Not for the great Sean Landeta! Today Sean does radio and television commentary but his greatest undertaking is all the charitable work he is engaged in such as meeting with children to encourage and to motivate them. This important charitable work includes many fine foundations, such as the Cleary Foundation, that focuses on youth. Sean will be the 2016 honoree at the next Cleary Golf Classic on June 6th.

Cleary School’s Executive Director, Jacqueline Simms says, “Sean has such a gentle demeanor with students and staff.  He allowed everyone to put on his Super Bowl championship ring and be photographed with him. He posed with every student and personalized photographs. We are grateful for Sean’s interest in our students and in Cleary School.”

Listening to Sean and experiencing his charisma and gentle appeal are an awesome combination that works well to motivate youth to think about their future and their dreams. The same formula Sean used. Sean also admits he was fortunate to have good role models at home, in school and in sports.

Sean himself is a great role model. His charitable work is important and he does it for opportunities to encourage and to influence children for a more positive future for everyone. That’s something you might expect from someone who is in the Pennsylvania and Maryland Sports Hall of Fame, the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame class and still holds NFL records for punting.

“Sean gave an encouraging speech to students at both campuses. We are thankful to Sean for being a shining star at Cleary, “says Jackie Simms.

Students were excited to meet Sean. “Thank you Sean! I loved meeting you! I hope I can be a great athlete too. I will try hard but I want to join the Knicks,” says one student.

Look out NBA! Hold on WORLD! Dreams are growing big time at Cleary!

Legislators Honored For Work On Behalf Of Blind, Deaf And Severely Disabled Children

Leaders of the 4201 Schools Association recently presented the Award of Merit to Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and 
Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer. The association, which is comprised of 11 member-schools throughout New York, represents students who are blind, deaf or severely physically disabled. The association honored Assemblywoman Mayer and Sen. Flanagan for their long-standing and sustained support and advocacy for member-schools and their students. READ MORE HERE

Thank you for helping us Bring Change!

In grateful appreciation to TD Bank and all of our supporters, Cleary was the proud recipient of $2545 from the tdbringchangecom campaign.

Jazz It Up! 

This beautiful new painting was added to "Jazz Up" the music/PIP classroom.  Who, you ask, is responsible for this wonderful piece of art?  Well, it's the very talented students in Miss Tracy's class! It's just what the room needed.  Many special thanks to Miss Tracy's class for this special gift!!!

High School Happenings!  

The Cleary Secondary Program partners with East Islip High School to offer a robust high school experience for Cleary students. In the month of May we recognize three Cleary schoolers for their accomplishments. Read more about Anoune Basse who joined the East Islip Track team Leanna Booker and Evelin Morales who was honored by the Foreign Language Society.

Track Results - Anoune Basse

Anoune Basse of Cleary Secondary Program represented East Islip High School and participated in the May 19thLongwood Invitational Track Meet and placed 3rd in the 100 Meter Dash Freshmen Event with a time of 12.21 and 1st place in the 200 Meter Dash with a time of 25.24. Participating in this event were students from across Suffolk County. Congratulations Anoune!

Foreign Language Honor Society

Leana Booker and Evelin Morales, two Cleary Secondary Program students at East Islip High School,  were inducted into the Foreign Language Honor Society on May 20, 2015 at East Islip High School.  East Islip offers  American Sign Language (ASL), as well as French, Italian and Spanish as languages other than English students can study.  The honor society recognizes outstanding ability and achievement in the study of foreign language, literacy and culture. Congratulations to Evelin and Leana.

Celebrating 90 years of Love and Service

Camp Peter Pan alum Simon Carmel will preform Friday night @ Cleary School @7:00pm We hope to see you there! 
for more info.

#tbtClearySchool Simon Carmel was a camper at Camp Peter Pan for Deafened Children 1946 -1947! Simon is coming back to his old stompn' ground on May 1, 2015 for a one night only performance. Join us as Cleary School welcomes him back!  #Cleary90 #LoveandServiceClearySchool

For info on his performance click here 

Throw Back Thursday! Greg Jacques AKA Jake shares his experiences growing up at Cleary School for the Deaf. He walked the halls as a little guy teasing people and now he walks the halls as a big guy teasing people ‪#‎cleary90‬ ‪#‎tbtClearyschool‬ ‪#‎loveandserviceClearyschool‬

Jayne DePasquale shares her connection to Cleary School for the Deaf. Jayne went to school here and is now an employee! #tbtClearySchool #loveandserviceClearySchool #Cleary90


Cleary School newspaper ads from 1931, 1942, and 1949! Celebrating 90 years of love and service#tbtClearySchool #LoveandServiceClearySchool #Cleary90

The original Cleary School Building! Celebrating 90 years of love and service#tbtClearySchool #LoveandServiceClearySchool #Cleary90

Cleary is proud to commemorate 90 years of love and service. Join us for Throw Back Thursdays as we look back at Cleary School's 90 years of history, student life and service to LI, NY. 1925-2015 #Cleary90yrs Cleary School for the Deaf


Thank you Carol Flexer!

On Wednesday, October 29, 2014 audiologist Carol Flexer, Ph.D. presented a lecture on "Executive Function and Theory of Mind Development in Children with Hearing Loss: An Auditory Perspective" at the Cleary School campus. Attendees from various disciplines and perspectives were able to attend and partake in this important discussion. Thank you to all the participants and Dr. Flexer for a thought provoking, engaging and informative presentation.                   

 NAD Representative visits Cleary   

On October 1, 2014 Tawny Holmes, Equal Justice Works Fellow at the National Assoc. of the Deaf, visits Cleary School for the Deaf today! Ms. Holmes has experience teaching all grade levels and will speak to students at Cleary School covering topics like story telling, careers, and self advocacy. NAD

TFCU Makes a Generous Donation to Cleary School for the Deaf

Teachers’ Federal Credit Union, Nesconset Branch, generously donated $500 to Cleary School’s “Read Every Day” Library Program. Through a local partnership to support the Long Island Community, Cleary was the recipient of a special award in TFCU’s “Give A Hoot” Program. Cleary School is proud and honored to be recognized by the Teachers’ Federal Credit Union for our outstanding reading initiative and programming. This funding further supports Cleary’s Library Program which motivates students to read and write. As always, Cleary School for the Deaf is wholly focused on the success of each individual student and greatly appreciates the community support from TFCU.
Pictured in the above photo (left to right, back row): Micki Cahill, Nancy Tenure, Jackie Simms, Kathy Federkiel, Gissell Ardiano, Estefany Flores, Ellen McCarthy, Jennifer Gunn. Front row: Ashley Adams, Venera Garcia, Hailey Grosso, Rebecca Landi, and Imani Fernandez 

It's not too late!!!! Help Team Cleary reach our Walk4Hearing goal!

    We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those that attended the Walk4Hearing in NYC on Sunday as well as all of those who supported Team Cleary by donating. We had 75 walkers representing Team Cleary and together we raised over $7,000! It was a fantastic day filled with fun!
       We remind you the Walk is still accepting donations for a few more weeks, so, please let your friends and relatives know they can still sponsor Team Cleary. Although we gather once a year for the Walk, The Hearing Loss Associations of America would like to remind you that they are the nations's leading organization representing people with hearing loss and are available to you for information, education, advocacy, and support throughout the year. Please visit their website for more information:

Congratulations and a million thanks for being such determined, spirited, and compassionate friends of the NYC Walk4Hearing and Team Cleary. 

Cleary Students Achieve Great Success In Library Literacy Program!

Cleary Students in the elementary school embarked on a new program this past fall. As part of the Scholastic Books’  “Read Every Day” Program, students voluntarily participated in a new Library Literacy Program. Students selected their own books, read them and reported to the librarian about the book.  Using a “Retell, Relate and Reflect” approach, the goal was for each student to meet with the librarian, Nancy Tenure, to discuss their book each time they finished reading. They were asked to:

Retell part of the book - Students recall facts from their book because good readers can remember and discuss what they have read. This is important for reading success.

Relate part of the book - Students focus on their own personal interaction with their book because good “readers make connections between their own experiences and the texts they are reading”.

Reflect on a part or parts of the book – Students apply their comprehension skills because “good readers can draw inferences from the book” at any level.

During the fall, 22 students from grades 4-7 participated in the “Read Every Day” Program and read an average of 9 books each outside of school time over 12 weeks.  However, during the spring, 23 students participated in the program reading an average of 24 books each! That was an amazing overall reading increase of over 166%!

Students received recognition for their success in the literacy program. Since studies show that award recognition is highly motivational affecting student success, students earned trophies and awards during a special assembly held both in the fall and spring honoring their determination, hard work and success. Many parents and families attended the assembly to see their child’s achievement.

Cleary has long maintained a multi-faceted approach to literacy for our students of which its teachers are the most valuable resource. Ongoing teacher training is a vital aspect of Cleary’s program. During the school year there are weekly conferences with noted educators and researchers such as Dr. Kristin Di Perri, expert in the field of Deafness and literacy, who assist the teachers in using instructional approaches for teaching English grammar in a way that “maximizes visual information and the retention/internalization of concepts” related to reading

All of Cleary’s teachers are certified, experienced and continually participate in professional development in order to increase students’ learning in the classroom.  Maintaining a good school library with a certified and well trained librarian who creates a positive and motivating environment with a range of good literature for all levels and interests is also key.  Additionally, this new literacy program was started under Cleary’s new Superintendent Ms. Jackie Simms’ leadership along with the support of Principal Ellen McCarthy.

As another part of the overall literacy initiative at Cleary, the teachers throughout the elementary and secondary program use computers as a rich and additional resource for our students to develop relevant literacy skills across subject areas throughout the school day. The students use “linear and non-linear forms of information gathering and text to gain knowledge, examine research and prepare reports on a subject”; also, they learn the important skill of scanning and narrowing the focus of a computer search for information that is relevant to a topic. Not only is literacy a major focus at Cleary but mastery in computer skills is an additional valuable by-product. Cleary School uses the Achieve 3000 Reading Program that is a computer based reading curriculum for all students in addition to classroom instruction and other programs such as Appletree.

Another aspect of Cleary’s commitment to literacy achievement is the free after-school tutoring program.  During the school year, participating students meet once each week for a 60 minute period with a tutor for one-to-one instruction. The tutors focus on reading skills. The tutors receive prior training in reading strategies and are supported throughout the year by master teacher, Loretta Sullivan.

Using a variety of materials including high-interest and controlled reading books, this after-school program allows students to choose the texts they want to read – newspapers, magazines, books, or almost any instructional materials. The program permits students the opportunity to practice reading at a comfortable (instructional) level while enhancing their motivation to read. Remaining with the same tutor throughout the year creates a positive atmosphere for students where they can gain confidence in their ability, develop skills and make progress.

At home, the school’s Parent Educator, Sr. Regina, is another resource for parents to encourage literacy. Parents are encouraged to observe their child’s interests perhaps from a television show or movie. Teens who like to watch “The Survivor” might be interested in books about camping, maps, foods and more.  Parents can try to ensure that there is appropriate reading material in the house for their child; for example, outdoors, fashion, or sports magazine. Purchasing a subscription to a good magazine is an excellent idea to encourage literacy too. Many magazines may be borrowed from a library.

Some parents are concerned that the books their child is reading may be too difficult or too easy. Students should have the freedom to select their own literature but parents do need to guide them. If a parent is unsure of a reading level for a specific book, ask a librarian or your child’s teacher. Also, parents may find this helpful:

Type a sample paragraph or two from your child’s text into Microsoft Word.  Select Tools/Options/Spelling and Grammar, check   "Show readability statistics" and click "ok". Then, return to Tools and click on Spelling and Grammar. The program will spell-check first, and then give you the readability statistics, including grade level.

Cleary’s commitment to its students is rooted in its beautiful mission statement, “Nurturing the potential of each child”. The library’s new literacy program is just one aspect that helps to address our students’ potential as a successful future and contributing member of our community.

Cleary Student Featured in Newsday

Jonatan Cervantes, a Cleary High School student, was featured in Newsday on January 28, 2014. Jonatan is a student in the Cleary Secondary Program which is partnered with East Islip High School. Jonatan played football this past fall for the junior varsity team at East Islip. 

Click here to read the Newsday article. 

Pictured left to right: Coach Esposito, Jonatan Caravantes and Coach Pearsall

Cleary Students create a sign using ASL

Cleary School students in Heather Toomey’s Studio Art class at East Islip High School recently created a sign to hang above the Cleary School for the Deaf classrooms, consisting of the word “Cleary” spelled out in American Sign Language. “I always try to connect various disciplines into the art curriculum,” explain Toomey. “In Studio Art, I have students choose a word and then look at the American Sign Language alphabet and draw the hands that spell out a word. After outlining the contour line drawing of the hands, they use oil pastels with analogous colors.”
After a group of Cleary students completed that annual project, she became inspired and decided to take it one step further. “I thought about creating more artwork as school beautification,” said Toomey. “The Cleary students all worked together on their mural and used the Cleary colors for their background.”

“I liked developing my drawing skills and am proud to be a Cleary student,” said Jonatan Caravantes. Added classmate Leana Booker, “We have great skills and are proud to see the sign hanging in the hallway.”

A Brother's Love

Pictured left to right: Paula Brinker, Senator Hanley, Chancelor Hanley, Jackie Simms

In the spirit of the Holiday season we were proud to accept a $50.00 donation from eleven year old Senator Hanley.  Senator has a younger brother, Chancellor, who attends Cleary School.   He had the idea to do something to help our school and "wanted to be sure that my brother could get some great apps for the ipad he uses." Senator raised the money by making and selling rubber band loom bracelets. Thank you Senator for your generosity to our school. You are a GREAT big brother!!

“A – 19, A- 19 Hut, Hut”

Coach Esposito, Jonatan Caravantes and Coach Pearsall
Cleary School for the Deaf freshman, Jonatan Caravantes, played nose guard—a defensive alignment position, for the 2013-2014 East Islip High School Junior Varsity Football team.  Throughout the summer and during the first two months of the school year, Jonatan has dedicated his after school time to play on the JV football team.  As the season comes to an end, the team record was W- 4 L- 4.  
Defensive line taking a knee
Jonatan expressed his love for the game and he hopes that his example of joining a sport will 
encourage other students to follow suit.  He stated “I had a great time being on the JV team.  I want to encourage others to join a sport.  It’s good for you; you become part of a team and make great new friends.”  Helen Keller once said, “Blindness cuts people off from things, deafness cuts people off from people.”  Jonatan defies this quote by being a part of this team.  Cleary staff and students are proud of Jonatan’s efforts, determination, and tenacity to be a football lineman on the East Islip High School Junior Varsity Football team.

To read an more about Jonatan Caravantes' experience click here
Community news                                                  The Smithtown News ~ October 3, 2013 ~ Page 9A

TEAM CLEARY:  Family, friends, staff and students from Cleary School for the Deaf recently took part in the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) Walk4Hearing fundraiser at Riverside Park in Manhattan.  This is the third year the school, located at 301 Smithtown Boulevard in Nesconset, has participated.  The event raises money to increase awareness about hearing loss and also serves to provide information and support for those with hearing loss.  Team Cleary, in conjunction with Team Lily, Team Owen and Team Olivia, raised over $10,000.


2012- 2013

Cleary School is a state supported, not-for-profit, private school that provides educational services for children with a hearing loss from birth through 21. Cleary School has served the Deaf community of Long Island since 1925.  Viewing all children as capable and unique learners with diverse needs, Cleary offers a comprehensive range of programs and activities with a focus on the development of language and communication skills. The child-centered environment at Cleary meets the communications needs of children enrolled in our auditory-oral or sing based programs and provides related therapies as mandated on the child’s IEP. This is all accomplished in a child-first, child-friendly environment. 

For more information about the Cleary School for the Deaf, visit or call 631-588-0530 if you would like a tour of the school.