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 December 4, 2013
Please join us for our first silent auction at JRA, December 7, 2013, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. We will have a wide variety of items for silent bidding as well as table raffles: beach weekends, a bike, pottery, art, restaurant and business gift certificates, tickets, jewelry, CDs, books, wine, food, kids’ items . . . there are too many items to list. Table raffles will happen every 15 minutes and bidding for larger items will stop at 3:30. Local musicians will entertain you as you browse, and snacks and drinks will be available. Kids’ activities include a beeswax candle activity with our own Ms.Reily, board games, a movie, face painting, and the playground, which for that day will include an inflatable slide. It is also a chance to tour the school, meet the teachers, parents, and students, and enjoy historic Murphey School. Many items can be seen on our Facebook page. Please join us! Read More →
Posted by Linda McDonough on August 20, 2013
A delightful part of this summer has been helping a small friend of mine get ready for kindergarten by working on phonemic awareness, letter sounds, and beginning reading. Although she is very bright, reading skills do not come easily to her, and she is anxious about school beginning. Her anxiety has begun to spread and if her mother leaves the room, she has trouble focusing until she returns. And she’s begun worrying about her house catching on fire. Mom could not figure out where this fear was coming from. After some gentle questioning, Kate reluctantly told her: “Smoky the Bear said that only I could prevent forest fires.” It’s a tough thing to think one has that much power, and it’s hard to sleep when you are constantly watching out for fires. Very little learning takes place when one is that worried. Anxious kids who take on the weight of the world can become more and more controlling, trying desperately to gain power over a world that seems chaotic even... Read the full post
Posted by Linda McDonough on July 31, 2013
Social Thinking is a term coined by Michelle Winner to wrap our heads around the mysterious way that human beings communicate with each other. People who have a high “emotional quotient” or E.Q. (Check out Daniel Goleman’s popular book, Emotional Intelligence) don’t have “social skills,” they just intuitively read other people accurately and respond in a way that makes others feel comfortable around them. Simple? Heck no! Not for many individuals with neurodevelopmental delays (primarily those on the autism spectrum), or who are anxious, or who for unknown reasons have trouble understanding what others want from them without being explicitly told. Learning a set of skills to be socially successful doesn’t work because, unless an individual is very low developmentally (where ABA is most useful), we don’t relate by a set of skills. We relate by comprehending nuance. The more our students at JRA learn how to pick up on nuance in different situations with different personalities,... Read the full post
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