Celentano Museum Academy is a unique school. Formerly, in 1995, Celentano School was a regional school whose students ALL faced Cognitive Challenges, most under the diagnosis:
(some "severe and profound", some "mild to moderate"). A lot has changed, because of updated laws protecting the rights of Handicapped Students. Now only approximately 20% of our student body of 450 children is comprised of students with Special Needs, some cognitive (learning and thinking) deficits and some physical and other disabilities. Of course, all schools in New Haven have students with some cognitive challenges/disabilities. In fact, each classroom has at least one member of the class who has a disability. Therefore, all of our students must learn about the needs and feelings of their peers. Students who are sensitive to the needs of their fellow students can better learn in a cooperative setting. Thus, any teacher in our school system could benefit from using this unit with his/her students.
The goal of this curriculum is to prepare students to meet the challenge of living and learning with all of their peers. Students will study the attributes of Down Syndrome and will gain knowledge of and become aware of the perspective of some of their peers. They will compare and contrast challenges of students who live with Intellectual Disabilities, such as Down Syndrome.