Just Right Academy Inc. is a nonprofit private elementary and secondary learning center geared to children who need structure, consistency, positive reinforcement, more movement, reduced stress, both remediation and challenge along with a multi-sensory way of learning. More
The Academy is located in Durham, North Carolina, at the historic Murphey School Shared Visions Retreat Center, located at 3717 Murphy School Road where it intersects with Old Hwy 10 just south of Hillsborough, close to Chapel Hill.
NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS.
Just Right Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, or sexual orientation to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, or sexual orientation in administration of its educational and admissions policies, scholarship programs, and other school-administered programs.
Posted by Linda McDonough on April 12, 2013
There are some kids who would be outside all day if we’d let them. They are the ones who sit by the window, gazing wistfully outside, not able to focus on their work. Or perhaps they are the kids who have so much energy, and they are exhausted trying to keep it together for two more hours. You know the kids I’m talking about. You may even have one yourself. Faced with the prospect of four of these kids, this year we began the Outdoor Academy. Taught by Behm Williams, these guys head outside in the afternoon while others are doing Spanish, art, and projects. Each day they begin by setting up a tarp together, both to give them shade and to practice working as a group. They have read a variety of books together: My Side of the Mountain, Hatchet, Where the Lilies Bloom, Lost on a Mountain in Maine, and The Other Side of the Mountain, all books that focus on living and surviving in the outdoors. They have discussed these books and written about them in their journals. Practice in knot tying,... Read the full post
Posted by Linda McDonough on March 22, 2013
I don’t have much tolerance for zero-tolerance policies. You’ve heard me say it before: behavior is communication. Sending kids home for misbehavior is punishing them for symptoms, and a real opportunity for learning is lost. We do send kids home very occasionally, usually because the others need a break from him or her. But we are clear that the best thing for the “perpetrator” is to get them back in the mix as quickly as possible and help them understand what went wrong. Two recent instances come to mind. One of our younger children got very upset the other day. Our teacher assistant carried him to another room, where he rolled on the floor, howling that he was going to get a gun and shoot us all. He even made a gun with his fingers and pointed it at us. Were we worried? Not at all. After all, he’s six and he doesn’t have access to guns. That was simply the only way he knew to tell us just how angry he was. When he calmed down, I heard Ms. Courtney,... Read the full post
Posted by Linda McDonough on March 7, 2013
It is often difficult for prospective parents to really understand how we are different from traditional educational programs. We feel we have many solid educational components to our program, many of which can be found in traditional schools. We are fans of Touch Math, Saxon Math, Wilson Reading Systems, Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Curriculum, Bal-a-Vis-X, multi-sensory learning, a rich sensory diet, walks in the wood—and you will find many of these things in traditional public and private schools. What makes us different is how we approach our students. Where we first diverge from the norm is in how we accept students. We are not required to be blind to our applicants’ needs as public and charter schools are. We know what we can do and we try to be honest with applicants about that. But we don’t accept just the easiest kids either. Many of our children have not been successful in other settings, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be successful... Read the full post
Posted by Linda McDonough on February 1, 2013
We build in a lot of movement at JRA because we know, both from the research and from our own observation, that kids learn better when they are allowed to move. We start the day with kickball, go walking or running after lunch, have regular Bal-a-vis-x as part of our daily schedule, and keep balls, a mini-tramp, plasma cars, and fidgets in the classrooms. Today I was showing a family around the school when a teacher and a child walked by with their coats on. “I’m taking L out for a lap around the building,” the teacher called. We know how important movement is, but even so, it’s easy to forget how powerful it is. I love all our students, but E always puts a smile on my face. Gentle and funny, he moves at his own speed and is unmoved by peer pressure. Third period is his “make-up” class, when he works with me to catch up on the work he didn’t finish the first two periods. Today I was trying to explain about commas in between items in a series. I’d... Read the full post
Posted by Linda McDonough on January 29, 2013
Each year about this time, we ask for your donations to the 101 Club. Our seed money for JRA came from this Club; we asked 101 people to donate $101. We chose this amount because it was within reach for many people. Some chose to give more and we happily accepted. Our tuition isn’t cheap, but that does not cover the cost of a child at JRA. Most of our students have not been successful in public or even private schools, and we do our best to give them every service they need. Here are some of the things 101 Club money has funded: —Scholarship assistance for low-income students —Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking training for teachers —Short term one-on-ones for students who are struggling —Field trips —Bal-a-vis-x training for staff —specialized curriculum materials This year we hope 101 Club monies will continue to train our staff in Social Thinking, an area of great need for our kids. We also hope to buy a microscope for our biology class. In addition, I have... Read the full post
Posted by Linda McDonough on October 20, 2012
Please join us for an open house on Sunday, November 4, 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Come see our wonderful space, meet our teachers and parents, and find out what we can do to help your child. We’ll have cookies too. See you then! Read More →
Posted by Linda McDonough on October 2, 2012
Just about all of our students have sensory integration difficulties. Some are sensory seekers, others are overly sensitive to noises, textures, and visual chaos. As we enter our third year at JRA, we have worked harder to enrich our environment, including many sensory activities that help students stay focused and calm during the day. We have gotten good advice from Katie Reily, our Speech and Language Pathologist, who is also a therapeutic educator in the Waldorf tradition. Linda King-Thomas of Developmental Therapy Associates of Durham provided a great inservice for us, and Claire Marsh, the occupational therapist from DTA who comes to work with students weekly individually and in class, has also been helpful. We have tried to increase opportunities for movement in several ways. Every morning starts with a rousing kickball game. Students are very patient with those who are just learning, so everyone gets to play. After lunch, the whole school goes walking or running in nearby Nature... Read the full post