History of School’s Name

Since 1908, the school’s name has changed several times, starting with P.S. 47 School for the Deaf.  The number “47” is symbolic of the first 47 students.  The name was then changed to J.H.S. 47 School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and then changed again to J47.  Located on 225 East 23rd Street in New York City, the school served both elementary and middle school departments within the school with one principal and two assistant principals.

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.

The elementary school, from preschool through the fifth grade and gradually the middle school, from sixth through eighth grade, became a new school, and the high school, from ninth grade through twelfth grade, remained the same.  The schools are general education programs serving Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Children of Deaf Adults, Special Education, and Hearing students in an American Sign Language and English dual language environment under the auspices of Region 9.

Each school has its own principal, activities, athletics, administrators, balanced literacy program, budget, parent coordinator, parent-teacher association, related services, school leadership team, Union Federation of Teachers (UFT) chapter leader, and library.

All schools in New York City must have a three-digit identifying number and “47” The American Sign Language and English Secondary School has carried over the code of M047, while “47” The American Sign Language and English Lower School is M347.

The “47” Alumni Association of the Deaf cherishes its alma mater and has worked closely with the school ever since its origin.  We celebrated our beloved “47” school’s 100th anniversary in 2008, and we look forward to continuing our relationships with the school, the neighborhood, and the Deaf and Hearing community as a whole.  We also provide a museum and archives, along with an office, that are open to the public.

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Page last updated August 11, 2014