Jen School provides specialized academic and vocational opportunities for young men experiencing academic, emotional, behavioral or cognitive challenges that can potentially limit their life success. Students are served in uniquely designed classrooms to maximize effectiveness across the continuum of age and disability type.
High School and Junior High
Students grades 6-12 receive academic instruction with like-age students in self-contained classrooms. Classrooms are staffed with a Special Education Teacher, Instructional Assistant and Social Worker/Counselor. The Jen School curriculum is aligned with Illinois Learning Standards and meets public school district graduation requirements.
Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment Program (FIE)
Developed in the 1950’s by Professor Reuven Feuerstein, the Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment program (FIE) has been successfully used as a tool for the enhancement of learning potential.
FIE utilizes a classroom curriculum designed to enhance the cognitive functions necessary for learning and achievement. The fundamental
assumption of FIE is that intelligence is dynamic and modifiable, not static or fixed. The program seeks to:
- Correct deficiencies in fundamental thinking skills
- Provide students with the concepts, skills, strategies, operations and
- techniques necessary to function as independent learners
- Diagnose and help students learn how to learn.
Overall, FIE does not teach a student “what” to think but “how” to think. It provides a language students can use to express themselves. Daily Acknowledgement forms enable faculty and students to evaluate behavior, thought processes, decision-making and communication skills. Through the use of FIE, students gain language and knowledge about their cognitive processes that help them make better decisions, in the classroom, in their out-of-school life and in their futures.
The Jen School student centered motto of “it’s all about you” can be seen on display every day in every classroom throughout the school, but perhaps none so dramatic as in the Adventure and/or Experiential Education activities. As a proponent of the “the more you do, the more you are” school of thought, Jen School students are provided the opportunity to participate in a wide range of hands-on experiences. From high-ropes courses, team initiative courses, team building and problem solving activities to fishing, boating, and even milk-crate climbing to the ceiling in our own gym, students are sequentially challenged to test their physical and emotional limits in a safe, trust- building environment. Post activity, staff led processing sessions are then conducted to help students reflect on their role in the activities and examine where and how much growth has occurred. These types of activities and experiences have provided a fun, safe way for students to find out new things about themselves, and the values of teamwork and cooperation. The lessons learned can be seen long after the activity is completed.
For an interesting, succinct and informative video by Harvard University on the brain development of young children, view “Brain Hero“.