About PS 347
PS 347 is a dual language school dedicated to bridging the Deaf and hearing communities in New York City. Our 3K through 8th grade students come from every borough in New York City. Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Children of Deaf Adults (CODAs) all attend PS 347 to perfect their ASL and be taught a rigorous curriculum. We offer the LEAST RESTRICTIVE environment for Deaf students in the New York City Department of Education.
The mission of PS 347 is to provide a joyful learning environment that celebrates education, growth and difference of each of each and every student. An engaging and rigorous curriculum is offered in ASL and Standard English, and supported in small classes that provide children the opportunity to achieve their personal best. Our staff is committed to inspiring and encouraging curiosity, empathy, and social awareness by developing higher level thinking skills and exploring real world issues that extend into the community. By fostering a partnership with families, we can support individual student goals to enable each child to become an independent and responsible life long learner, preparing for success in the journey to higher education.
All information is courtesy of the "47" Alumni Association. We appreciate their research into the history of our school.
In 1906, New York boasted of having three schools for the Deaf. All were residential and all required payment. However, a group of parents wanted their children to return home daily and these parents protested at City Hall, braving a storm. They pled with Mayor George Brinton McCelan to form a public day school for Deaf students. The Board of Education assigned two educators to study this concept, and then approved money for the renovation and repair of a warehouse at 225 East 23rd Street.
The 1865 warehouse was originally Peter Stuyvesant High School, and then became P.S. 40 before becoming P.S. 47 School for the Deaf in 1908. With 47 Deaf students, the building had such poor lighting and accommodations, but the school made do with what it had. Behind the school was a horse stable, and in between the buildings was a playground. Principal Carrie Wallace Kearns wrote to the Board of Education many times requesting a new building.
Finally in 1925, the horse stable on 24th Street was torn down to make way for a new school building. The students and staff moved to this new building, and in 1926, watched as the 1865 building was torn down and rebuilt. Upon completion, the students happily moved back to that side, with a hallway connecting both buildings.
On February 2, 2002, the school was renamed “47” The American Sign Language and English School. Three years later on February 1, 2005, New York City Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein announced his decision to convert the lower and secondary programs into two schools, now called “47” The American Sign Language and English Lower School and “47” The American Sign Language and English Secondary School. The primary reasons for having two schools include better budget control and improved teaching methods.
Today, “47” The American Sign Language and English School is known for its dynamic dual language program taught by Master Teachers in the least restrictive environment for our students. We are led by Principal David Thacker Bowell and continue to grow as a community.