Currey Ingram Academy will begin a Junior Kindergarten program in 2024 to serve students with learning differences, adding to the existing K-12 program.
In 2024, the Lower School plans to expand to include a Junior Kindergarten program. Research demonstrates that high-quality early childhood programs benefit at-risk students academically and socially, and these outcomes persist into adulthood.
This program will focus on building foundational student behaviors, executive function, and social-emotional skills required for future academic and social success. In addition, pre-academic skills will be targeted through explicit, direct, and multisensory instruction, as well as collaboration with a variety of specialists, including an occupational therapist, speech-language therapists, and a school counselor. 
This program is intended for students with diagnosed or suspected learning differences who demonstrate average to superior cognitive aptitude, emerging or functional language skills, the ability to participate and function with minimal support in the small-group setting (5:1), and age-appropriate self-care skills.
    • Danielle Barton

      Lower School Division Head

The following core components are essential to the Junior Kindergarten program and experience. Click on each skill to read more.

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  • Executive Function Skills

    Executive function skills, such as sustained attention, working memory, impulse control, and self-regulation, provide the foundation for later academic and social learning. These skills underscore the process of learning so that academic content can be mastered and social relationships can be developed (The Center of the Developing Child, 2011, pg. 5). These skills will be targeted through individual and group activities, opportunities for both structured and unstructured play, positive behavior support systems, as well as environmental and instructional accommodations.
  • Social-Emotional Skills

    The development of social, emotional, and behavioral skills will be targeted through explicit instruction, opportunities for feedback, immediate feedback and coaching, and positive reinforcement. RULER, a program developed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will also be used to support students' social-emotional development. JK students will focus on emotion recognition, understanding, and labeling as they develop skills moving toward independent regulation.

    In addition, a speech-language pathologist will provide integrated instruction during class activities focused on pragmatic language skills. During this time, students will focus on foundational social learning skills such as following the group plan, sustaining joint attention, and engaging in age-appropriate conversation and play.
  • Pre-Academic Skills

    While the focus of instruction will begin with developing executive functioning and social-emotional skills, pre-academic skills will be integrated through explicit, direct, and multisensory instruction as the year progresses. 
    • Early literacy skills: PreK students will be immersed in a language-rich environment supported through collaboration with speech-language pathologists and integrated therapy. Further, early literacy instruction will emphasize phonological awareness, print awareness, and language comprehension.  
    • Early math: Through hands-on instruction, children will develop foundational number sense skills such as one-to-one correspondence, counting, and numeral recognition, as well as basic math vocabulary, sorting by various attributes, and basic measurement skills.
    • Pre-writing: Students will focus on building fine motor skills through play, crafts, and other structured activities. As the year progresses, instruction will shift to more traditional pencil-paper tasks to develop foundational skills for letter and numeral formation and the stamina for writing tasks.
  • Integrated Therapy

    The Lower School OT will provide integrative group occupational therapy services throughout the week. Small-group instruction will focus on developing prewriting, fine motor, and visual-motor integration skills. Regular consultation will occur to ensure broader sensory needs are supported effectively.
    The development of speech-language skills is an important component of each student’s academic success. If it is determined that a student needs speech and/or language services to support a child’s learning, these services are provided directly by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or indirectly through SLP consultation. Areas addressed may include auditory comprehension and processing, articulation, word retrieval, vocabulary, grammar/sentence structure, and pragmatic language/social skills.

The EARLY Intervention Approach

The EARLY Intervention Approach at Currey Ingram is a reading intervention program that is rooted in research that intervention during the elementary school years is essential for students who struggle with reading, writing, language, and/or executive functioning skills. 

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Currey Ingram Academy is an exemplary PreK-12 day and boarding school that empowers students with learning differences to achieve their fullest potential. Since 2002, the school has been located on an 83-acre campus in Brentwood, Tennessee, just miles from Nashville and Franklin. Families from 33 states and eight countries cite the school as their primary reason for moving to Middle Tennessee.

Currey Ingram Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and AdvancEd/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).