Early Learning Center (ELC)

Early Learning Center Philosophy Statement

The Early Learning Center (ELC) is a unique and inclusive family and child-centered program for Deaf and hard-of-hearing students from birth to pre-kindergarten. We believe that strong family engagement is central to our students’ success. Our family-centered approach builds on each family and child’s strengths and provides them with support and resources to advance their child’s individual learning and developmental needs. Our ASL-English bilingual program promotes critical thinking skills, literacy development, and social-emotional growth through play-based collaborative learning. We believe these early critical learning years set the foundation for future academic and personal achievement.

The TSD 0-5 program serves students who receive IFSP (individual family service plan) or initial services in special education from the age of 0 to 5. The 0-3 program is half-day while our Preschool and Prekindergarten program is a full-day program, including snacks and lunch as well as naptime. 
Our program celebrates the American Sign Language and English bilingual child and their families. We offer a full access to language—through American Sign Language and spoken English when appropriate and when the child has specific eligibilities to receive such service. We believe in a natural approach to language—offering opportunities to play with both languages. 
Our 0-5 program uses the Creative Curriculum program and the Teaching Strategies Gold assessment. Teaching Strategies GOLD is an ongoing observational assessment tool for children from birth through kindergarten. The assessment is research-based and has 38 objectives that are predictors of school success and aligned to our state’s early learning standards. From its’ website, the curriculum is described as a content-rich, developmentally appropriate programs that support active learning and promote progress in developmental areas. It’s a comprehensive, rigorously researched curriculum approach that honors creativity and respects the role that teachers play in making learning exciting and relevant for every child. 
Our teachers engage in monthly anti-bias professional development sessions.  The focus is on respecting and embracing differences while recognizing bias and unfairness.  Our students thrive in a climate that promotes positive self and group identity. 

Contact Information
Rachel Baker
Early Learning Center Director
(512) 462-5422 (voice)
(512) 626-5290 (voice/text)
(512) 410-1638 (VP)
Hollie Richmer Mallett
ELC Administrative Assistant
512-410-1193 (VP) | 512-462-5251 | 512-569-0402 (Text) | Send email