St. Rita School for a Deaf — a ‘first of the kind’ — outlines 100 years

October 17, 2015 - Picnic Time

EVENDALE, Ohio — St. Rita School for a Deaf is celebrating 100 years of educating deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Offering both a day propagandize and residential program, St. Rita was one of a initial of a kind in a country.

The propagandize has been celebrating all year with a boyant in several parades opposite Cincinnati, including a Reds opening day parade. The school’s Hands of Love choir has sealed a inhabitant anthem during Cyclones and Florence Freedom games. A special centennial mass and burying of a time plug will take place now and a celebrations will hang adult with a Nov. 14 grant benefit.


In 1914, Archbishop Henry Moeller consecrated Father Henry Waldhaus and asked him to caring for a deaf in a Diocese of Cincinnati. With a assistance of a Knights of del’Epee and a Saints Mary and Joseph Society, Waldhaus raised a supports to squeeze dual farms for a propagandize on 235 acres.

Opening in 1915 with usually 11 students and 3 staff members, St. Rita began providing educational and vocational training to deaf students in a area. The module was immersive and students in a early days tended a plantation as partial of their studies and lived in dormitories during a school.

St. Rita School for a Deaf non-stop in 1915, yet a stream propagandize building wasn’t assembled until a 1920s. Photo provided

The initial annual “visiting Sunday” cruise was hold in 1916 to entice visitors to learn about a school. This eventuality developed into St. Rita Fest, that is still hold any year in a summer.

“Having a festival allows a village to be wakeful of us and to know that their income is going to a good cause,” pronounced Gregory Ernst, St. Rita’s executive director.

The stream propagandize building – manifest from Interstate 75 – was assembled in a early 1920s. A high propagandize wing was combined in 1957 regulating income from a sale of partial of a skill for a growth of I-75. St. Rita now occupies 35 acres.

In 1983, a propagandize began enrolling day students along with residential students. Previously, all students lived on campus.

“The early truth was one of sum immersion. The logic was that their home was isolating for a students,” Ernst said. “In a 1980s, there was a informative change. Parents became some-more prepared and picked adult pointer denunciation to assistance a child, so when a kids came home they were not removed in a area of communication.”

Changing with a times
St. Rita developed via a years. An tot module was combined to a k-12 propagandize in 1992 as a outcome of teachers requesting day caring for their conference children. Parents were also requesting services for younger children as early conference tests softened and conference detriment or deafness were diagnosed earlier. Hearing and deaf children attend together and teachers use American Sign Language along with a oral word.

Today, St. Rita serves many deaf students who also have another incapacity and they have resources to support those children, Ernst said. They also have students who might be means to hear though have other communication problems.

Enrollment has remained sincerely solid in new years. This year, 175 students attend a propagandize and many are day students, nonetheless 5 students are still utilizing a residential program. Several decades ago when propagandize options were some-more limited, students came from all over a nation and they even had a few general kids, Ernst said. Now, roughly all of a tyro race comes from a Tri-state area.

The propagandize is a member of a United Way and a volunteers in a village assistance a propagandize flower — along with a festival and many other fundraising activities comprising 40 percent of a annual budget, Ernst said.

Advances in record have altered a classrooms during St. Rita for a better. While many normal propagandize administrators bewail their students’ texting habits, smartphones are an item for students with conference issues.

A clergyman during St. Rita School for a Deaf helps a tyro with her pointer language. Photo provided

“It allows for a child to duty is a some-more normal approach in their personal lives since a communication barriers are lessened,” Ernst said. “If they can promulgate behind and forth, it gives a child or a connoisseur some-more opportunities to attend as a member of society.”

Eileen Chambers, a clergyman during a propagandize and also an alumna, pronounced she returned to St. Rita since she wanted to give students a deaf purpose model.

“I wanted to yield that support and that plea for them and to uncover that anything is possible,” Chambers said.

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