Academic Preparation boys ranch learning center main
The State Board of Education has adopted content standards, identifying what students should know and be able to do in six major academic areas. Benchmarks have been set within each of the content standards, specifying what subjects will be covered in state tests at the end of grades 3,5,8,10,12. Students are expected to achieve career-related learning standards, focus on a broad career area of interest, and participate in career-related learning experiences in schools and the community.

One of our goals is to prepare our students to progress towards meeting content standards.  We do that in the following ways:

  • Our classroom is inclusive
  • Students work within social situations rather than alone
  • We empower our students to be actively involved in the processes of their own learning
  • We provide authentic tasks or real-world issues as the context for learning activities
  • We often practice interdisciplinary teaching
  • We encourage active learning because it involves the student in active, physical participation as part of the learning process
  • Critical thinking skills and effective questioning techniques are emphasized
  • Many classroom activities evolve around Gardner's theory of multiple intelligence and learning styles
  • Behavior is modeled

Career Planning
Understanding the importance of vocational training for our residents, career planning is incorporated into our curriculum.

The Learning Center has established the following "school to work" goals:

  • To assist our students in making good and realistic career decisions.
  • To provide relevant work-based and classroom learning experiences that will connect school and work activities.
  • To assist our students in becoming aware of their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • To meet the individual needs of each student.


Students will master skills needed to prepare for life-long learning and responsible productive citizenship. Courses will provide a fusion of applied and theoretical learning experiences.

Students will be prepared for productive employment in a competitive market. Partnerships will be established and continually fostered between employers and educators and between the community and the school.

Grades 7-12
All students will engage in career exploration. They will select a career cluster as a focus of study and create a career plan.

Educational Plans
The students' educational plan will be considered as they conduct their career exploration. Changes in the educational plan will include input and joint decision-making which involves the students, teaching staff, and treatment staff.

Students will complete an integrated curriculum which will enable them to enter the work force or continue their formal training.

Life Skills
 All students will be prepared in life skills which will include connections between education and real-life roles.

Monitor Student Progress
Student progress will be monitored throughout their educational plan to ensure that they are achieving to their highest potential.


Summer School
A summer school program is offered to help those students who may be credit deficient.

Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to acquire and apply information of an emotional nature, to feel and respond emotionally. This capacity resides in the emotional brain/mind. We believe that one's emotional well-being is the strongest predictor of achievement in school and on the job. Consequently, emotional intelligence is integrated into our curriculum.

As Oregon moves toward higher academic standards, we must also hold our students to high standards of character. Research has shown that when schools systematically attend to students' social and emotional development, academic achievement increases, the incidence of problem behaviors decreases, and the quality of the relationships surrounding each child improves.

Emotional Intelligence is very compatible to J Bar J's treatment modality, so we have integrated it into our curriculum. We provide social and emotional development learning through classroom instruction, extracurricular activities, supportive school climate, and involvement in community service.

Characteristics of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, control of impulsivity, working cooperatively, and caring for self and others. According to Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is "a different way of being smart."

Authentic Assessment
Authentic assessment is a more "relevant" way of demonstrating one's understanding of concepts, etc. Students demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and understanding in important real-world contexts.


The purpose of assessment is to help students learn. It assists teachers in making classroom decisions about instruction and informs students and treatment staff about student progress.

Ongoing assessments of each student's abilities, learning styles, knowledge, motivation, social characteristics, and prior experiences are conducted. Assessment is holistic, conforming to guidelines established by the state of Oregon. The WIAT test is administered to new students after they are enrolled, and they are re-tested annually. STAR assessments in the areas of Reading and Math are routinely done for all students.  Students also participate in statewide assessments. Although traditional and standardized tests are helpful, authentic assessment is the preferred way of evaluating whether students can apply their knowledge, skills, and understanding in important real world contexts. Students do journal writing, self- and peer-evaluations, oral presentations, and problem-solving. Portfolios of representative work are assembled. Student education plans are written and updated based on the results of ongoing assessment.

Students with special needs are referred to the school district's special education staff.

Computer Lab
We have a fully functional, internet accessible, computer lab which students use every day. Internet use is supervised.

Literacy Program
In order to get our students to read more and improve their reading abilities, we are able to provide them with an individualized, challenging, achievement oriented, and personally rewarding accelerated reading program.

Our reading program is multidimensional. It involves students in active inquiry and developing metacognitive skills that facilitate independence in reading. Therefore, the reading curriculum includes extensive reading, both in school and outside of school, as well as vocabulary development, comprehension exercises, and writing. Students will engage in cooperative learning as a way to increase learning and boost morale and self-esteem. Regular assessment of the students' reading is done both by instructors as well as through the accelerated reader program. Intensive reading instruction can greatly accelerate the skill levels of the students who enter our program two or more years below their grade level.

Accelerated Reading Program
The accelerated reading program is a computer program that tests students on books they have read. it's based on three simple steps that form the foundation for the self-paced, individualized reading program. First, the program allows each student to select his own reading material. Next, it allows students to read at their own level and pace themselves--often far ahead of actual grade level. The last step involves testing. The students take multiple choice tests on the computer using computer-friendly software. The tests are carefully designed to verify that the student has read the book. Because students get recognition for increasing the difficulty of the books they read, as well as the quantity, students are encouraged to explore more challenging works. The program then will electronically assess reading levels, abilities, etc. which makes for a wonderful assessment tool for teachers.



Contact Rick Buening for further information.




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