Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

All children deserve excellence in education. Carle Auditory Oral School is an excellent early childhood learning environment for children who are deaf and hard of hearing and hearing children with typical hearing. Now enrolling for fall 2023.

What is CAOS?
• Carle Auditory Oral School, or CAOS, is an approved, non-public special education early childhood program.
o CAOS supports children who are deaf and hard of hearing to use hearing technology to develop listening, spoken language, social interaction and academic readiness skills.
o Educators specifically certified to support children who are deaf and hard of hearing incorporate spoken language and listening practice into every activity throughout the school day.
o Children who are deaf and hard of hearing also have 1:1 therapy each day to get extra practice with communication skills.
The goal is for children to develop the skills necessary to transition back to their neighborhood schools to learn alongside their peers.
Sounds like a wonderful program to support language development for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
But you mentioned earlier that you also enroll children with typical hearing. Why would a parent of child who is typically developing want to enroll their child in such a specialized program?
• I can share the reasons that parents of our typically developing students have shared with me over the past 20 years.
o Small class sizes – generally 5 to 6 children per classroom.
o Language and literacy rich environment – sends grads off to school as confident and competent readers
o Fun, bonus activities like the SuperHear-O themed WalkAThon, graduation ceremony and a behind the scenes tour of Carle’s helicopter
o They love the close personal relationships that develop among the children and between the children and the staff – many of whom have been here for over a decade.
o The reason we hear most often – is that families really relish the opportunity for their child to be a part of an inclusive learning environment…
How do students enroll in CAOS?
• We have a rolling admission until all spots in the program as filled. Right now we are focused on enrolling students for fall 2023.
o We have an enrollment process…
 We have families fill out an interest form, followed by a conversation and tour to learn more about our school.
 We also do a speech and developmental screening to make sure CAOS is right for them.
o We firmly believe that all children deserve access to excellence. And for kids who are deaf and hard of hearing that are working to develop spoken language and listening skills – and for children who are developing typically – we can provide that excellence. But for kids who have delays related to other challenges, such as autism, general speech delay or learning challenges, we refer families to other local organizations and school districts that can provide excellence for their child.
What does a typical day look like at CAOS?
• We serve children between age 3 and 9 at CAOS.
• Child care is available before and after school – meaning children can arrive at the building as early as 7 AM and stay as late as 5:30 PM depending on their parents’ schedules. Child care provides opportunities for interactions in a mixed age group where they are exposed to different levels of play and social interaction.
• Between 9 and 3, children are grouped into small classes with 5- 6 kids that are similar in age, developmental level and learning style that are working with two teachers.
 Our smaller class sizes Allow teachers to individualize activities and lessons to meet children’s interests and skills levels where they are.
o Give children more opportunities to take turns, practice skills and take an active role in their learning. Children at CAOS’ follow a predictable routine each day which helps set the stage for regulation and success.
 They engage in typical early childhood activities like read aloud, literacy building activities, circle time, centers, arts and crafts, music and large motor play – but all of it is infused with opportunities to expand communication skills.
o Depending upon the age and readiness level, we also incorporate meaningful exposure to handwriting, math, reading, science projects, creating writing and storytelling to help foster a love of learning.
Does your program offer any discounts for families?
o CAOS accepts Child Care Resource Service (CCRS) payments to cover the full cost of tuition for eligible families.
o Additionally, we offer a 10% multi-child discount.
Do you follow a traditional school year calendar?
Not exactly, we have an extended school year – 200 days between early August and late June with a summer camp session in July. Altogether we offer school and child care 227 days per year.
To explore if CAOS is a good fit for your child and family, visit and complete an interest form to learn more.