Preschool Program


Deaf children in classroom with teacher

Boys Town National Research Hospital’s educational programs have provided state-of-the-art learning experiences for families and their children for nearly three decades. The primary goal of the Hospital’s educational programs is to promote optimal development of every child who is deaf or hard of hearing.

This goal is achieved through the following guiding principles:

  • Respect that the child who is deaf or hard of hearing, first and foremost, a child whose individual nature, strengths and learning style are to be celebrated.
  • Honor each family’s unique beliefs, traditions and strengths as it is the family’s right to incorporate these values into their decisions for their child.
  • Empower the family by providing unbiased and up-to-date information to assist the family in promoting optimal social, emotional and educational development in their child.
  • Establish effective partnerships with families and their school districts as these partnerships will enhance the child’s advancement through the academic years.

Boys Town National Research Hospital’s Preschool Program is a five-day a week early childhood program providing comprehensive educational programming for children ages 3-5 years who are deaf or hard of hearing. Highly trained educators and specialists provide intensive differentiated instruction focused on developing listening and spoken language skills. The program is located in the Lied Learning and Technology Center.

Acoustically appropriate classroom environments and therapy spaces with parent observation capability assist the early childhood deaf educators, art therapist, music therapist, counselors, speech-language pathologists and audiologists in partnering with families to ensure optimal outcomes. The Preschool Program provides a continuum of services, including listening and spoken language and sign-based instruction depending on the learning needs of the child. The preschool aims to develop the child’s many ways of experiencing the world by providing a range of small and large group activities focused on early literacy, writing, drama, art, music, math, movement and exploration.

Listening, Language and Learning

  • Promotes development of early language and literacy skills through emphasis on listening and speaking
  • Responds to individual learning styles with visual supports, including sign language
  • Offers a language-rich and play-based environment supporting social, emotional and academic development
  • Provides individualized and small group speech, language and listening sessions

Technology, Teaching and Teamwork

  • Provides on-site audiology services and state-of-the-art child specific and classroom listening technology
  • Fosters inclusive educational practices with the enrollment of typically developing peers
  • Provides arts-based experiences designed to assist the children in expressing themselves using visual art, music, drama and movement
  • Promotes child discovery and active learning through the use of an emergent curriculum, High Scope components, Creative Curriculum and Reggio Emilia approaches
  • Fosters family and educational partnerships with classroom participation and observation

Assessment, Accountability and Outreach

  • Provides annual standardized and natural environment assessments monitoring developmental outcomes
  • Follows early childhood guidelines for developmentally appropriate practices
  • Follows state and federal guidelines for the education of children who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Provides a network of support for children transitioning into school systems​


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