Academics

ACADEMICS

Students at Janus follow a curriculum that is inspired by twenty-first century educational practice, a neurodevelopmental model, and the learning profiles of our students. Following a traditional school schedule, students in Lower, Middle, and Upper Divisions enroll in classes like reading, writing, math, science, social studies, art, and physical education and health.

Academic success is essential at Janus. The language curriculum is rooted in the Orton-Gillingham method and teaching methods follow best practice. Assessment at Janus is purposeful to guide instruction and learning. We measure each student's progress in reading, writing, and math according to nationally accepted standards.

Unique to Janus, every class immerses and directly instructs students to develop language, language processing, comprehension and critical thinking, and social-emotional skills. Our focus has depth and breadth, looking at what each student needs for long-term success. The Goals of a Janus Education outlines this scope, and our success program in the Upper Division specifically targets post-secondary goals.

The Janus education extends beyond classroom instruction. One-to-one diagnostic tutoring, speech-language pathology and occupational therapy are instructional services offered as part of every students’ flex time- a set thirty minute block in every day devoted to personalized instruction.

Every year, individualized annual areas of focus are developed by each students’ instructional team, and each day, a child's instructional team works to share insights, success stories, and develop strategies for each student. Teachers also emphasize communication with parents, building home-school connection on a regular basis. Personal attention is key; in fact it’s one of the tenets of the Janus Educational Philosophy.

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Goal 1: Basic skill levels commensurate with potential,

or rate of learning predicts intercept with potential

within reasonable timeframe

Goal 2: Study skills

Goal 3: Social cognition/adaptive behavior skills

Goal 4: Tolerance for Frustration
Goal 5: Appropriate and effective self-advocacy
Goal 6: Self-awareness as a student and an individual
Goal 7: Motivation and intrinsic desire to learn

Teaching Methods

Janus believes that there is not one program or one type of method that works well for all our students. With solid grounding from a neurodevelopmental lens, Howard Gardner’s Frames of Mind and Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking, our teachers differentiate instruction with a strong understanding of every student’s unique learning profile and how learning and language relate.

We utilize a neurodevelopmental model that heightens instructional teams’ abilities to define a students’ learning profile rather than relying purely on a diagnosis. The neurodevelopmental model is composed of eight constructs of learning. Every person has strengths and weaknesses among these constructs which affects teaching, learning, retention, and self-regulation: attention, memory, language, social cognition, higher order cognition, visual spatial skills, temporal-spatial skills, and motor skills.

All of our students struggle with some aspect of language- whether phonics, phonology, comprehension, or processing, expressive or receptive. With Orton-Gillingham and Diana Hanbury King’s Writing Skills as the bases of instruction, a common language and approach to the essentials of reading and writing are promoted school-wide.

Orton-Gilligham is taught by all language arts teachers. In Lower Division, encoding and decoding are emphasized; in Middle Division, phonics and comprehension are the focus, and in Upper Division, elements of Orton-Gillingham are impressed depending on the remediation need of students.

Instruction at Janus is process rather than product oriented to teach students how to learn, move through difficulty, and build confidence. Our goal is to develop independent learners at all levels and the ability to complete daily homework and long-term projects- on time and independently. Assistive technology is another tool we use as an accommodation as well as to support remediation and engage learning.

Flex Services

The flex services are part of every student’s daily schedule.  Within a thirty minute block, tutorial, speech-language therapy, or occupational therapy are scheduled. 

A hallmark of The Janus School academic program is the intensive tutoring program designed to concentrate on his or her greatest needs.  Tutors design a student's tutorial program based upon information from assessment at Janus, classroom performance, tests from prior schools, and evaluations from psychologists and other outside experts. A goal for the student is to better understand his or her learning profile, as well as develop skills necessary to become an independent learner.

Possible tutoring goals may include:

  • Phonological awareness
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Decoding
  • Written expression
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Study skills
  • Oral communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Assistive technology skills
  • Reference and research skills
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-advocacy

Speech language therapy is provided by three therapists on staff.  Therapists emphasize language processing, vocabulary, pragmatics, executive function, and communication skills, as well as to support class-specific content and concepts. Therapy sessions are both one-to-one and small group depending on the specific language skills being taught.

Occupational therapy at Janus is provided through a therapist from Therabilities.  Students focus on fine and gross motor skills, as well as executive function and organizational skills.

Assessment

Assessment at Janus provides instructors, parents, and outside professionals relevant information about a student's progress and skill development.  Beyond frequent informal communication between home and school, formal assessment and narrative reports are sent to families three times per year.

Standardized achievement testing, informal assessment, progress monitoring measures, and grades, provides instructors diagnostic information for developing individualized, dynamic instructional programs for each student.  This information also provides parents with feedback and quantitative data for reevaluation and placement purposes.

MAP assessment is completed throughout the year as benchmark testing to guide instruction and monitor students’ individual progress and continuum of learning.

In addition to the testing completed at Janus, the PSAT, SAT and ACT are offered to Upper Division students. Testing accomodations are provided by The Janus School based upon a student's psychoeducational evaluation.

Narrative reports are sent two times per year. The Initial Report outlines a student’s Annual Areas of Focus based on the neurodevelopmental model and individualized goals for each class.  This Initial Report is followed at the end of the year with a Final Report, responding to each goal and how the student progressed to meet his or her goals.

Lower Division

Lower Division is the youngest group of students at Janus, in grades 1-5.  Students in Lower Division are learning and remediating skills in a supportive, nurturing, and closely connected community. Reading and Writing classes are scheduled with the same teacher every morning.

The schedule for Lower Division is based on three trimesters with two hour-long reading and writing/language arts classes, hour-long math, science, and social studies classes, and 30 minute classes for flex, trimester classes, art, and physical education and health classes:

Reading
Writing
Math
Lunch Break
Social Studies/Science
Socialization-Communication/Computer Literacy/Language Development/Music
Flex (Tutorial, Speech-language, Occupational therapy)
Physical Education and Health
Art

Middle Division

The Middle Division is made up of Grades 6 through 8..  Classes are close-knit and provide a supportive environment for students to grow their independence.  Learning, practicing, and applying skills to attain mastery is the focus of Middle Division classes.

Middle Division students are scheduled with two hour-long reading and writing/language arts classes, hour-long math, science, and social studies classes, and thirty minute classes for flex, trimester classes, art, and physical education and health classes:

Reading
Writing
Math
Lunch/Break
Flex (Tutorial, Speech-language, Occupational therapy)
Physical Education and Health
Art
Social Studies/Science
Get REAL/Language Enrichment/Computer Literacy

Upper Division

Upper Division is grades 9 through 12.  The high school program employs a three-part strategy, equally emphasizing academics and remediation; success attributes such as self-advocacy, leadership, and problem solving; and skills emphasizing preparation for a productive and independent life.

The Upper Division schedule is composed of 45 minute classes, and daily 30 minute flex, art, physical education and health, and success classes.  A typical 11th grader schedule follows.

Math
Flex (Tutorial, Speech-language, Occupational therapy)
Junior Success
Art/Physical Education and Health
Lunch/Break
Reading
Writing
Foreign Language / Language Enrichment
Science
Social Studies

Success Program

Students in the Upper Division focus on moving beyond The Janus School in the success program. A specific success class each year provides the framework for students to develop self-awareness, metacognition, personal finance, and study skills, and provides an opportunity for students to set goals and explore post-graduate options. We know that the path after high school is as individual as a student’s learning profile and work collaboratively with parents, professionals, and the student to develop a realistic plan.

During the mornings of the third trimester, all seniors complete internships to explore career interests and practice good employability skills. This internship, coordinated through Janus, is the culmination of success classes and a required course for graduation.

 

Summer Programs 2017

The Janus School Summer Programs are designed to provide extended school year programming for students aged 5 through 18.  We believe a child’s day should revolve around the exploration of their talents and growth opportunities so they can become realized and engaged learners.  Learning diversity necessitates the implementation of educational activities that are structured, yet responsive to the needs of each child. Whether the task is academic, musical, artistic, technological, collaborative, or all of them combined, our Summer Programs use a place-based and hands-on learning approach as the foundation for promoting student awareness of themselves and others as well as the communities in which we live.  We believe a student’s strengths and areas of opportunity do not define them, but an increased understanding of them will promote their overall development and academic achievement.  Our outcomes are based on the joy for learning it infuses within each of our participants and an increased willingness to take ownership of their own learning.

The Janus School’s Summer Programs include place-based activities like working in our aeroponics greenhouse, going on community walks, working together to create hands-on projects, Little Chiques Creek outings, exploring and experiencing nature through artistic activities, or just being in the woods.  These activities provide our students the opportunity to explore our immediate environment, geography, and community resources.  Research indicates when this type of approach is used, student engagement is improved and executive functioning abilities are strengthened.

For more information view the Summer Program Brochure, fill out our request for information form, or email summer@thejanusschool.org.

To register for the Summer Programs, please fill out the Summer Registration Form and mail it to The Janus School along with your $100 deposit. Then please read, complete, and send in the following forms: Procedures and Policies, Student Information Form, Technology Acceptable Use Policy, Parent Statement, Media Release, and Community Outings Consent.

Morning Academic Program
Meets Monday-Friday, June 26-July 28, 8:30pm-11:45am, Rising grades 1-12, $1,275
The Academic Program is designed to provide students the opportunity to experience learning in a developmentally appropriate and sensitive manner.  This program includes Language Arts, Math, Environmental Geography, and Socialization and Communication and/or Get REAL (Real Education for Actual Life) classes.  Students new to Janus, or those who only participate in our Summer Programs, will receive diagnostic tutorial sessions and a detailed report, including skill based, social/emotional, and executive functioning assessment results, at the end of the program.  In this report a neurodevelopmental model is used to identify each student’s areas of strength, opportunities for growth, and to provide instructional recommendations that could be used in the future.  Students enrolled at Janus during the school year are also encouraged to participate in the Summer Programs in order to mitigate the possibility of “Summer Learning Loss”.  All students enrolled in the Academic Program will participate in activities and projects designed to familiarize them with the historical inventions and evolving natural landscape that shaped the development of the local community.  Field trips, community excursions, and presentations brought to the school will be used to anchor student learning and bring our place-based theme to life. Rising grades 1-12.

Afternoon Programs
Our Afternoon programs are offered to provide enrichment opportunities for students that participate in our Academic Program and/or those only interested in participating in one or more of these programs:

Outdoor Club
Meets Monday-Friday, June 26-July 27, 12:15pm-3:00pm, Rising grades 1-12, $775
The Outdoor Program meets every day after the Academic Program.  Frequent trips to Little Chiques Creek to explore our creekside property and other activities such as the introduction to wilderness survival skills, trail maintenance, and collaborative games will be used to enhance student’s comfort level and appreciation for the outdoors.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays students will also work independently and in small groups to create nature based art projects.  In addition, students will take a field trip to Refreshing Mountain & Adventure Center where they will be given the opportunity to participate in wall climbing activities and a zipline canopy tour.

Art/Music Sessions
June 26-July 14, 12:15pm-3:00pm, Rising grades 1-12, $450

Mixed Media Art
Meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Explore mixed media in this art class for all ages.  Try your hand at combining various mediums and techniques to create colorful interesting works of art.  Unsure of your drawing skills…no worries!  You will experiment with paint, newspaper, markers, pastels and simple everyday items to create art.  Most projects will be completed in one class so they can be brought home to share at the conclusion of each day.

Music Fundamentals
Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays
This program will give students the chance to explore many aspects of music. Activities will include creating musical instruments, learning to play a variety of rhythms, listening to different musical styles and instruments, collaborating together to play in an ensemble, and practicing singing simple folk songs.  Students will gain a better understanding of music fundamentals, while gaining confidence and having fun in the process!

Introduction to 3D Printing - Session 1
Meets Monday-Thursday, July 17-20, 12:15pm-2:15pm, Rising grades 6-12, $100
Join us in The Janus School's 3D Printing Lab as we introduce students to the world of 3D printing, beginning with how 3D printers work, what makes models succeed or fail when printing, and the basics of computer-aided design (CAD). Students will leave with at least one 3D printed design of their own.

3D Printing & Fashion - Session 2
Meets Monday-Thursday, July 24-27, 12:15pm-2:15pm, Rising grades 6-12, $100
3D printing has found its way into many fields, including art and fashion.  Join us in The Janus School's 3D Printing Lab as we look at how computer-aided design (CAD) programs can be used to design and 3D print wearable items, such as necklaces and bracelets.  Students will leave with at least one 3D printed design of their own. 

Technology

The Janus School uses technology throughout our programs to support our mission to provide excellence in education. We are committed to helping our students navigate in this 21st century technology-driven society, teaching and encouraging students to be not just digital citizens, but digital leaders.

Technology contributes to the School’s academic excellence by increasing student engagement with class materials, supporting active learning strategies, better matching teaching and learning styles, fostering communication and collaboration, and developing students’ skills for future learning and work.

The technology you will see at Janus ranges from iPad class sets, to our 1:1 laptop program in grades 6-12, to interactive whiteboards and LCD projectors in all rooms, to assistive technology programs on all devices. With WiFi access throughout the building, students, faculty, and staff have access to the global society and network of information that is the internet.

Through modeling and direct instruction, students learn how to search, analyze, and scrutinize the information they have at their fingertips, developing problem solving skills and learning how to build their digital reputation.

 

Assistive Technology

The Janus School believes that technology can be effective in helping students with their areas of difficulty. This technology, referred to as assistive technology, is explicitly taught in Middle and Upper Division, and is employed in every classroom.

Janus's assistive technology program ranges from Inspiration, a visual thinking and graphic organizing program that helps students with organizing and visualizing information, to Read&Write, a program designed to help students with reading, writing, and studying with tools such as text-to-speech, word prediction, and study skills highlighters.

See the lists below for the assistive technology programs and apps that we use at Janus.

 

1:1 Laptop Program
The Janus School has a 1:1 laptop program in grades 6-12. Each student in Middle and Upper Division receives a Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad that they carry with them throughout the day. Students in grades 12 may take their laptop home, while students in grades 6-11 keep them at school.

iPads
The Janus School has two sets of iPads that teachers can use in their classrooms. Additionally, each teacher has an iPad they use with their class.

Interactive Whiteboards
Interactive whiteboards allow our students to directly interact with their lessons physically, visually and/or aurally. The physical interaction assists with meeting the needs of tactile learners, while the use of videos, animations, and pictures benefits visual learners. The active participation the interactive whiteboards promote helps students with learning disabilities to engage in their lessons in a way that traditional classroom situations do not allow – opening the door for our students to build on their strengths and to demonstrate what they really know.

BYOD
Students can bring their own device to school. Laptops require the permission of the Director of Academics. Students can use their smartphone or tablet in the classroom with the permission of the teacher.

iPad apps
The Janus School uses the following assistive technology iPad apps:

Software
The Janus School uses the following assistive technology software and other programs: