By Jonathan Back
The Janus School is a private school located in Mount Joy, PA, that serves students with diagnosed learning differences. During the summer we provide academic and enrichment offerings to our own students, those who are just beginning to understand their learning differences, and students that have more typical learning profiles.
As our Director of Summer Programs, I am always on the lookout for opportunities to expand and enrich our summer offerings. As preparations were made for our 2018 Summer Programs, a variety of different curricular options were explored. Level Up Village provided exemplary support and flexibility as we collaborated to determine how we could best adapt their standards based curriculums to further our Summer Programs mission.
In the end, we settled on incorporating their Global Water Studies and Global Water Crisis curriculums into our Academic Program. These programs blended extraordinarily well with our place-based environmental science learning philosophy as well as our commitment to expanding our students’ abilities to understand alternative perspectives.
The scientific water studies component of these curriculums furthered our students’ understandings of Chiques Creek and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The opportunity to communicate this information and collaborate to design water purifying systems with students in India and Ghana using LUV’s Global Competencies Platform also furthered many of our own Social Emotional Learning (SEL) objectives.
Our students benefited from this experience in so many ways. An excitement and desire to learn was clearly instilled through a direct experience that transcended rote exposure to content. Four months after this experience, the students who participated in our Summer Programs continue to make connections between what was discussed then and what they are covering in their classes today. As planning develops for our 2019 Summer Programs, Level Up Village is a primary means through which we intend to enrich our offerings.