The School for Language and Communication Development (SLCD), headquartered in , congratulated its first graduating high school class on June 22 at the SLCD high school in Richmond Hill, Queens.
All five graduates of SLCD's first high school class received New York State Regents diplomas and will be attending colleges including Pratt Institute and the Parsons New School of Design in Manhattan.
SLCD is a publically-funded educational institution founded in 1985 by to meet the specialized educational needs of children with language and autism spectrum disorders. Up until this year, parents faced the difficult decision of where to send their children for school when SLCD's curriculum could no longer support them. Now, children can attend SLCD from pre-k all the way through high school, up until age 21, with a full curriculum at three schools: preschool through middle school in Glen Cove, middle school in Woodside, and high school in Richmond Hill.
"That's been Dr. Tiegerman's goal – to keep the SLCD families together so their students always had a place to go," said Richmond Hill Principal Robert Schmidt.
Schmidt attributes SLCD's success in teaching learning disabled children to the methodology developed by Executive Director Dr. Ellenmorris Tiegerman and Director Dr. Christine Radziewicz, which focuses on intensive class ratios, speech and language therapy, individual and group counseling, and individualized classroom instruction.
"The methodolgy as precribed by Dr. Tiegerman and Dr. Radziewicz is very specific: How do you teach children with disabilities effectively? They've kind of figured that out, and the proof in the pudding is really the children that we just graduated. They passed every Regents that we gave them," said Schmidt.
"Our logo is 'give every child a voice.' She's given them more than just a voice; she's given them a future."