Overview of Lexington School for the Deaf
The Lexington School for the Deaf is a private, non-profit school founded in 1864 by Hannah and Isaac Rosenfeld to provide an education for their deaf daughter, Carrie. The Rosenfelds preferred an auditory-oral approach and hired a German instructor with expertise in the “oral method.” Between 1864 and 1867, they held classes for six deaf children at their home at 367 Broadway in Manhattan. In 1869, they incorporated the school as the Institution for the Improved Instruction of Deaf Mutes. The school occupied a series of rented houses in Manhattan until 1882, when the board raised funds for a new building at 904 Lexington Avenue between 67 th to 68 th Streets.
By 1914, the school had 244 students and there was a waiting list. In June 1934, the name was changed to the Lexington School for the Deaf. Enrollment continued to climb and necessitated the purchase of a six-acre site in Queens in 1960. On January 15, 1968, the new school opened in East Elmhurst, Queens, with a campus that included a classroom building, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, an auditorium, a residential building, a clinical building and playing fields.
Today, Lexington is the largest school for the deaf in New York State with an enrollment of approximately 275 students. The school serves profoundly deaf students from throughout the five boroughs of New York City as well as Long Island. The educational program includes preschool, elementary, middle and high school. Additional services include Ready to Learn for parents of deaf infants and toddlers, foreign language transition classes, special needs classes and a dormitory for students requiring additional academic support. Lexington is a charter member of the 4201 Schools Association of New York and receives financial support for operations from the New York State Department of Education.