The History of Cleary School
Cleary School for the Deaf originated in 1925 in Suffolk County, Long Island, when Rosemary Cleary opened Camp Peter Pan. The camp accepted deaf children ages three to eight. The camp had educational goals as well as offered students camping and other enjoyable activities.
While awaiting the establishment of the school facility in Ronkonkoma, Ms. Cleary opened classes at her home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Some of Ms. Cleary’s family members assisted on staff to make the school a success for deaf children. In 1960, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Centre legally assumed sponsorship of the school and currently continues to support the goals and objectives of the school.
In 1970, Cleary School was written into Public Law 4201 as a private State supported school for the deaf in New York State on Long Island. Since 1970, the school has flourished and grown dramatically. Today it offers numerous programs and services for deaf children as well as their families. It is known as a primary resource for deaf education across Long Island.