UPPER (7-9th)


Upper students are part of an uplifting 7th through 9th grade classroom of eight to ten students. After a emotionally regulating morning hike and small group activities, students work from 10 am- noon on intensive academics. All students participate in studying units, generally four per year, in our own Humanities and Language Arts hybrid program. Beginning by instruction in non fictional reading for information, students then engage in fictional reading based on the same theme. This addresses the gestalt language gap that impacts reading comprehension in many students. Students have individualized spelling, differentiated writing activities, and a research activity in each unit. Students engage in multiple presentations each year and reading more complex novels in class. Math is taught conventionally in GoMath and Big Ideas texts and with manipulatives as well as the Brick Math curriculum, which utilizes visual workbooks and Legos to build math skills and comprehension for grades K-8. Students work in small groups on Perplexors once weekly, solving fun math stories using clues and gaining deductive reasoning and logic based inferencing skills. Leadership opportunities are provided and are an important part of development at JLSA.


Students are taught to use a binder system to promote executive functioning skills, which is a ladder to upper levels at JLSA. Homework consists of studying for a spelling & grammar quizzes each week, leveled book reports or special research due quarterly, and on IXL providing a standardized skill by skill assessment in Language Arts and twenty minutes of IXL math homework providing feedback to the instructors on mastery of the weekly skills. Students who need additional reading support will receive one on one or small group tutoring. Students are provided with a Bookshare account, which gives free access to almost any book a reader could imagine with options for enlarged text, highlighting and audio modifications.


Students enjoy lunch outdoors and participate in two afternoon classes. Throughout the week students will have enrichment Science, Civics & Geography, Foreign Language, Theater, Art, Music, Project (Entrepreneurial: Native Plant Business), in groups of 8-10 students with mentorship to younger students or from older students. Fridays rotate experiential learning programs such as; Legofest, CLAWS rescued animals, Traveling Tortoise live reptile program, Outdoor Education, Shoreline Clean Up (Environmental Stewardship) and group photography challenges. Upper grades students are engaged and purposeful learners who are motivated to contribute to the whole and become their best selves.