Who Are We?

Just Right Academy Inc. is a nonprofit private elementary and secondary school 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 4723 Erwin Road, just north of its intersection with Mt. Sinai Road.

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.

Just Right Academy gratefully acknowledges receipt of a support-for-youth literacy grant from the Triangle Community Foundation.
The JRA Blog

It’s 101 Club time again!

It’s 101 Club time again!

Posted by Linda McDonough on July 16, 2015

JRA began in order to help those children whose needs weren’t met in other schools. Our first rent and teachers’ salaries (all three of us!) were paid by the 101 Club. We asked, via Facebook and friends, for 101 people to give $101 each. They did and we have reissued the call each year; while our tuition seems high, it does not begin to cover all our needs. 101 Club funds have gone for various things: start up costs, Social Thinking curriculum and training, and tuition assistance. This year we are focusing our fundraising efforts on increasing both pay and benefits for our teachers and teachers’ assistants. Our staff works hard, and we want to insure that they are able to make a decent wage and know their work is valued. This year we hope to enhance their salaries based on the number of professional development opportunities they have taken. Our staff is always working to become better trained to meet the needs of each child enrolled at JRA, often on their own time. Help... Read the full post


Re-Ed principle one: Life is to be lived now

Re-Ed principle one: Life is to be lived now

Posted by Linda McDonough on July 6, 2015

At JRA, our staff talks about philosophy. We talk about it a lot. A school without a philosophy is an institution untethered; without a strong philosophy, staff are left to make it up as they go, and bad decisions lead down that path. By having a guiding philosophy, we strive to have a culture that is consistent and known, that provides a backboard off which we bounce all our decisions. Re-Ed has at its heart the fact that the child is at the center of an ecology, which must adjust to meet the needs of the child. Dr. Nicholas Hobbs’ twelve principles of Re-Ed can be found on our website and we revisit them often, devoting part of our weekly staff meeting to this. Why are we doing what we’re doing? How does that fit into the twelve principles? Why did we make THIS decision, rather than that one? This summer I’d like to let you into our thinking, one principle at a time. So explore with me the first principle: Life is to be lived now, not in the past, and lived in the future only as... Read the full post


Camp Accolade: summer camp for highly reactive kids

Camp Accolade: summer camp for highly reactive kids

Posted by Linda McDonough on April 17, 2015

“In growing up, a child should know some joy in each day and look forward to some joyous event for the morrow.” Just Right Academy filters nearly all decisions through this simple, one-sentence credo, originally imparted by Nicholas Hobbs in laying out his Principles of Re-Education—a concept deeply rooted in the tenets of JRA’s beginnings. To me, it’s to this ideal that the school owes its success. It’s because of this conviction that students, who at the beginning of the year had to be coaxed from the car, whining, arguing, and fighting, will now, somewhat sheepishly, admit to you that they look forward to coming to school. This change in mindset enables these children to be more successful than they have ever been in other academic settings. Kids with emotional and behavioral issues deserve to be able to enjoy their summer just as much as a neurotypical kid; in fact, they might need that time away from school even more. However, many of them are unable to succeed in... Read the full post


Murphey School Radio Show!

Murphey School Radio Show!

Posted by Linda McDonough on February 15, 2015

MURPHEY SCHOOL RADIO SHOW RETURNS FEBRUARY 21, 2015 Popular North Carolina novelist Kim Church, Grammy-nominated Alice Gerrard, poet Michael Chitwood, singer/songwriter Ruth Wakefield and soprano Andrea Edith Moore will join an all-North Carolina troupe for an old-time variety show to benefit local nonprofit agencies on Saturday, February 21, 2015—and we are one of them! In the tradition of the Grand Ole Opry and Prairie Home Companion, the Murphey School Radio Show will feature music, comedy and readings by local musicians and writers. It is billed as “A Celebration of Triangle Wit, Lit and Music.” Regular performers will return: Robert Griffin, Jennifer Evans, Rick Keena, Sara Zaleta, Leslie Land, STELLA, and the Piedmont Players. This is the ninth all-volunteer radio show since October 2011. “Our project taps into the tremendous talent we have in the Triangle,” says Donna Campbell, the show’s producer. “It is great fun. We are building community. And we raise money for... Read the full post


whose fault is it?

whose fault is it?

Posted by Linda McDonough on August 23, 2014

One thing that makes JRA unique is that we will take children with behavior problems. Not all of our kids have these issues, but they certainly don’t scare us. There is a culture of fear and blame circulating around these kids, one that is not helpful to anyone. If a teacher has a child in his class and the child is regularly out of control, administration may blame the teacher, accusing him of having poor classroom management. The end result of this blame is that the teacher does not feel he can ask for help because administration will penalize him. But the parents get blamed too. They are the recipients of regular phone calls to come pick up their child, judgment-laden advice. and encouragement to medicate. Often the home environment is equally difficult, exacerbated by an unsuccessful school day, too much homework, and tired and discouraged family members. And then there is the child. I can’t tell you how many prospective students march in my office ready to tell me what... Read the full post


Open House!

Open House!

Posted by Linda McDonough on July 13, 2014

We are so excited to show off our new facility and we hope you will join us at our first open house on Sunday, July 27, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. We’ll have refreshments and tours. Feel free to bring the kids. We LOVE our new building. I have a hard time deciding what is my favorite part. Of course, after four years with no offices, Ms. Kaplan and I are thrilled to have our own. The library, light-filled and centrally located, with tons of books and squishy rocking arm chairs, rates high on my list as well. Our large auditorium will host circle time and science classes and perhaps the occasional dodge ball game. When I peek in Ms. Brooks’s reading room, it makes me happy to know that many kids will learn to read in there. Large classrooms, a staff workroom with lots of storage, an art closet, and lockers in the hall (instead of in a classroom) will make life easier in many ways. Our Developmental Therapy Associates’ therapists will be happy to know they have a dedicated room... Read the full post


learning to live independently

learning to live independently

Posted by Linda McDonough on April 22, 2014

While many of our students will go on to college, academic education may not be the best route for all of our graduates. With that in mind and with a great new building to use, the 2014-2015 school year  will debut our Life Skills track for students ages 15 to 21. This program is designed to meet the individual needs of students incorporating daily living skills, self-determination and interpersonal skills, employment skills, and social thinking (this last using Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking curriculum). Our new building has a complete kitchen and a washer/dryer, and students will learn to feel at home grocery shopping, preparing a meal for themselves and others, and doing their own laundry. Other skills include using public transportation, hygiene, house cleaning, gardening, and such socially scary tasks like eating at a buffet. Core academics will be functional and real world based. Math will center around using money, telling time, measurements, and other real life... Read the full post