TSDN (Nashville) » Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC)

Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC)




The Early Childhood Education Center at Tennessee School for the Deaf Nashville serves deaf and hard of hearing children and their families from birth to pre-kindergarten. We recognize that the birth to five time period is a critical window of opportunity for learning and brain development. The following seven domains of early childhood development are incorporated into our services:

        • Gross Motor
        • Mathematics
        • Language & Literacy
        • Social Studies
        • Social Foundations
        • Science
        • Art

Young children in our center benefit from our accessible and inclusive play-based environment. Our Early Childhood Education Center emphasizes a bilingual education in which the acquisition of both American Sign Language (ASL) and English is fostered. We aim to build on each child’s and family’s strengths through a family-focused approach. Our center aims to empower young students and families through education, advocacy and community by offering the following services:


        • Birth-3 (FIT) classes and family education
        • Preschool / Pre-K class
Family-Infant Toddler Program (FIT)

The Family-Infant-Toddler Program (FIT) at Tennessee School for the Deaf - Nashville serves deaf and hard of hearing children birth to age 3 and their families. The program is designated and aims to fit the support needs of each individual child and their families. FIT aligns with the Tennessee Early Learning Developmental Standards (TN-ELDS). Our program is now open and we are happily accepting new referrals.

FIT Referral Form

Infants and toddlers with their parents or designated caregivers can attend classes two mornings a week if the child is under 3 years old. The infant classes are offered are Monday and Wednesday mornings, and the toddler classes are offered Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The class times will be posted soon!

The goal of FIT is to promote early learning and language development through natural environment experiences, whether those may be at home, in the school setting, or the community. FIT provides family support through the following services:


        • Center-based playgroups
        • Home visits
        • Parent / Family training
        • Family discussion groups
        • Visual Communication and Sign Language (VCSL) ASL assessments
        • Family Language Planning
Victoria Haggarty
FIT Teacher
VP: 615-200-1929
Preschool / Pre-K

The Preschool/Pre-K class for ages 3-5 incorporates the Big Day for Pre-K curriculum and the Tennessee Early Learning Developmental Standards (TN-ELDS). This class is currently full day Monday-Thursday and half day on Friday. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided.

Learning takes place in a child-centered classroom that includes dedicated centers to promote active learning and hands-on developmental experiences. What deaf and hard of hearing students learn here will serve as a foundation for future academic learning and success that they will encounter in kindergarten and beyond. Students are immersed in a rich ASL and English bilingual environment throughout the day, whether it is in the classroom, at lunch, or recess.

ASL and spoken English support and assessment-based services are provided by teachers of the Deaf, ASL Support Specialist, and the school’s Speech Language Pathologist. Classroom assessment procedures are based on student observation records from Big Day for Pre-K, VCSL ASL assessments, and literacy and communication observations.

annaAnna Chumley
Preschool / Pre-K Teacher
chantaChanta Cannon
Educational Assistant
bridgetteBridgette Ochoa
Educational Assistant