As our year winds down, we are already looking ahead to the next one. One of the exciting things about being a small independent school is that we don’t have to do it the way everyone else does. We can find a different way. That is why our students are here in the first place. And we have some changes coming as well as some good things remaining.
•We flirted with the idea of moving, but our board voted to remain in Murphey School for another year. The lack of closet space is outweighed by 15 foot ceilings, light-filled rooms, the merry-go-round, and the world’s best landlord. And there’s the way the light makes the wood floors glow as it shines down the hall early morning . . .
•We love our older kids. But most of our parents knew their children needed this environment as early as kindergarten. It just doesn’t make sense to make them wait, and so this year we will offer a primary classroom, K-3, to a limited number of children. We will offer an enhanced sensory diet, research-based reading and math instruction, positive reinforcement, structure, social skills instruction, and lots of chance for movement. And as is true for every child at JRA, each child will work on their own level.
•As our 9th graders age up, we are adding 10th grade. They will receive high school credit along with structure and support to help them access the material they need.
•We will continue with Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking curriculum. Our social thinking lunches have proved to be popular with both students and teachers.
•We continue to pull in more resources to help our kids be successful behaviorally. We know that most maladaptive behavior is a kid’s trying to get away from something uncomfortable or to get something he needs. We want to look at each child’s difficulties carefully without the assumption that they are being just manipulative or trying to drive us crazy. Then, perhaps, we can help move them towards more productive coping strategies.
•Our entire staff and many of our contract OTs and SLPs will be trained in Bal-a-vis-X. We are hosting founder Bill Hubert at the school in August to give some of our teachers additional training, while training others for the first time.
Could this be the place for your child? You won’t know until you visit and find out. Give me a call and I’ll show you around!