All our staff are returning and we have added Marga Pesce as a fourth teacher. Maggie has many great qualifications, but what really sold us was the way her eyes lit up when hearing about our students. Spontaneously, she volunteered how she would engage each child. She will teach English 9, language arts, and science. She and her four-year-old daughter are moving down from Vermont. Welcome Maggie!
We also welcome Katie Reily, who will contract with us as a speech and language pathologist. Every child will receive services in articulation, language, and/or social thinking. Katie has completed the mentor program in Michele Garcia Winner‘s social thinking curriculum, one of only two people in the area with that training. This is one of many arrows in Katie’s quiver, and we are happy to benefit from all of her gifts.
We’ve added the 9th grade and have three students in that program. This year they will take English 9, World History, Earth Science, Spanish or Japanese, math, art, and social thinking. Next year we will add the tenth grade and continue until we have our first graduating class.
We are adding an emphasis in Social Thinking, something that we experimented with last year. Katie will not only work with the students, but she will also coach the teachers in this curriculum. We will send our first teacher to a social thinking conference in October. This emphasis will help our students develop strong skills in communicating, having healthy social relationships, sharing space, and responding to those around them.
With a new teacher, we have added a fourth classroom. Like the others, it has high ceilings, big windows, and hardwood floors.
Swings! I haven’t mentioned the swings! Thanks to a generous donation, we will be adding two swings for our students’ enjoyment.
Thanks to St. Thomas More Academy in Raleigh, we have several new bookcases and tables, along with a skeleton for our science room.
And, most important, we’ve added seven new students to our ten returning students. We still have spaces for three more, but we hope to hold steady at twenty this year.
Many things haven’t changed. We will still have Ryoko Honeycutt teaching Japanese and Sarah Flanary, assisted by Ms. Pesce, teaching Spanish. Natalie Mason, from A Place to Grow, will be providing individual occupational therapy to our students who chose to do this. The merry-go-round still spins and Lockhart’s Trading Post will continue to bring us lunch once a week. Mr. P’s puppets still visit on a regular basis. Our students will continue earning points every 15 minutes, based on being kind, following directions, and participating in a positive way. There will be plenty of movement and hands-on learning.
As we start our second year, we offer our profound gratitude to all who have helped build JRA into a safe and educational place for some of the most brilliant kids around.
I love our parents. They are such positive people and they fight like tigers for their children. And this group of parents will always hold a special place in my heart for their willingness to take a chance on a new school and to do what it takes to make it work. Here are some of the things these parents have done:
—One moved from Raleigh to Chapel Hill so her child can attend.
—Others drive a long distance each day so their children can attend (one third of our student body now lives in Wake County and one other child lives in Chatham)
—Several scavenged for bookcases, books, furniture, and other items we needed. Others donated materials they had from homeschooling.
—Many parents helped us move in, unpack, shelve books, and put furniture together.
—One dad got several desks off of Craigslist, took them apart, sanded and painted them, and presented us with six like-new desks and chairs.
—Some parents have been financially very generous with their donations, above and beyond their tuition.
—Several moms have come and cleaned, especially this summer before our inspections.
—Parents have formed a parents support group which meets monthly for coffee, conversation and laughter.
—Two parents accompanied us on our first field trip.
—Several parents have brought fruit and vegetables in for snack time.
—And all parents have spread the word.
Thank you parents! There were times this summer that your faith in what we were doing is what kept me going.
"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings. - Hodding Carter, Jr.
Recent Blog Posts
- Outdoor Academy
- Zero tolerance for zero-tolerance
- A Different Model
- Movement . . .good for what ails you
- 101 Club
- Open house!
- Sensory Diet
- artisanal education
- August Open House
- July Open Houses
- Changes for the new school year
- Bal-a-vis-X Workshop
- 101 Club, Redux
- Open House, March 24, 2012
- accentuating the positive
Past Blog Posts
- April 2013 (1)
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- January 2013 (1)
- October 2012 (2)
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- December 2011 (1)
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- August 2011 (1)
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- May 2011 (3)
- April 2011 (1)
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- January 2011 (1)
- December 2010 (2)
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