Print Page | Go Back
Lower Division | Middle Division | Upper Division
The curriculum focuses on transitioning students back to a traditional educational environment, be it a public or independent school. Students are grouped by skill and learning style.
Intensive remediation takes place throughout the day, in all classes, with language arts, math, science, social studies, art, music, physical education, socialization study skills, and communication.
Individualized instruction is a Janus hallmark, along with generous amounts of time to grasp lessons. Learning by making mistakes is accepted, not ridiculed. Through socialization and communication classes, students learn about choice, action, and consequences, as well as develop skills and attitudes that lead toward self-empowerment.
The language arts curriculum is at the core of The Janus School’s emphasis on developing students’ language skills. All students attend reading, writing, and language enrichment classes, and is supplemented by keyboarding instruction and speech-language services. The emphasis on language processing extends to the students’ entire school day, as curriculum is integrated between classes and instructional team collaboration guides diagnostic instructional methods. Specific skill development, transference of skills, retention, and the ability to synthesize information are objectives of the language arts curriculum.
Speech and language services are available to those students who might benefit from specialized instruction as determined by the speech and language pathologist in consultation with instructional teams. Formalized assessment is used to design the program utilizing mostly compensatory strategies to enable the student to achieve their highest potential. Communication is important for the teachers and parents to assist with carryover into the classroom and community as well as to help the student to understand their needs and become a self-advocate.
Science is an area offering great potential for many students with learning differences because of their capacity for divergent and creative thinking. Science content in the lower division is selected from life, earth and physical sciences. Lab experiences and investigation and inquiry-based exercises support the curriculum, which emphasizes strengthening students' understanding of scientific processes rather than remembering facts.
Mathematics instruction at Janus is rigorously systematic and each lesson connects to previous learning. Skills and procedures are introduced slowly and practiced repeatedly until students are adept. The lower division faculty uses the Saxon Math series as the core component of their curriculum, supplemented by strategies that individualize the instruction for every child.
The social studies curriculum helps students develop a growing understanding of geography and the impact the past has on the present and future. With this type of objective, instruction is focused on directly teaching students how to assimilate, sequence, and problem solve, in order to teach students how social studies impacts their lives and community, as well as the lives and communities' of others.
Socialization and communication skills classes (SoCom) are a unique component of the curriculum at The Janus School. Helping a student to reach his or her potential requires effective socialization and communication skills, as well as the appropriate academic instruction. These abilities cannot be separated when planning the best instruction for a student.
SoCom guides students to self-awareness in understanding their individual learning differences and the impact on all aspects of life. Metacognition studies encourage students to become knowledgeable about their learning differences, discovering and applying effective strategies, and learning to appropriately advocate for themselves both in and out of the school setting.
Additional SoCom topics include:
Teachings of the SoCom curriculum focus on the relationship between rights and responsibilities and are reinforced throughout all programs at The Janus School. It is the expectation that the entire Janus community supports the rights to safety, respect, and learning for all individuals.
In addition, the entire school focuses on a "character education" piece each month, such as honesty, friendship, and tolerance.
Whether in a music and movement class, theater club, or participating in the all-school play, all Janus students are encouraged to participate in our performing arts program. Students interpret dialogue, memorize lines, learn patterns of choreography, work collaboratively, design and build sets, and demonstrate time management skills to creatively apply the very skills they work so hard to remediate.
Students are encouraged to explore music, dance and theatre through annual events such as the Winter Concert and the All-School Play. The low student-teacher ratio provides a supportive environment in which students feel comfortable to try something new.
A meaningful, comprehensive art program accomplishes much more than providing students with an alternative to traditional academics. Curriculum and instructional techniques are designed to help students acquire and strengthen these specific skills (at the appropriate level of development):
Art instruction begins with a student's current level of artistic development. A student's learning style, age, interests, and potential difficulties should also be considered. A combination of step-by-step instruction, concrete examples, and modeling of specific skills are vital to helping students acquire new types of skills. Allowing students time to practice and then apply those skills to their projects builds their confidence, and allows them to better communicate their ideas. Herein lies the fundamental difference in The Janus School art program in comparison to a traditional school setting.
The skills needed to be successful in art parallel the cognitive abilities needed to be successful in the classroom. Weaknesses in these skills have a greater impact on performance in traditional academic tasks than on determining "artistic success or failure." That is why art instruction is important for all students, not just those who may demonstrate potential or achievement in the arts.
All students are enrolled in health and wellness. The course is designed to educate students in the social, emotional, and physical components of a healthy lifestyle.
Students learn about issues in the context of making responsible choices, as well as take part in a physical education curriculum. Topics such as personal health, disease, nutrition, stress management, safety, and drug and alcohol education will be discussed and geared toward the appropriate grade level and student learning profile. In addition to class work related to social and emotional aspects of health, each student establishes his or her personal goals as they relate to the social, emotional and physical components of a healthy lifestyle. Students work to meet the goals throughout the year.
The course objectives include teaching content, encouraging each student's self-growth, and instructing students how to integrate information to make lifelong decisions.