Balanced Literacy

Balanced Literacy is an instructional approach that is rooted in the belief that teachers grow great readers and writers through a gradual release structure where there is time for explicit teaching of strategies and skills, teacher modeling, and students’ practice and application to their independent work using authentic texts.

Our students are given opportunities to interact with and comprehend multiple types of texts of their own choosing from a selection which are just right for them. In Reader’s Workshop, students are taught reading strategies through modeling by the teacher and have opportunities to practice and apply the strategies to their own books. Students experience explicit level- and strategy-based minilessons in whole class sessions, small groups, and individual conferences as part of their learning process.

Our students learn what it means to be a writer through Writer’s Workshop. Teachers model the use of writing crafts and structures through mentor texts by real authors and writing samples from teachers and other students. Students experience explicit strategy- and craft-based writing instruction through whole class minilessons, small groups, partner conferences, and individual conferences. Students are working authors who experiences the writing process – think, plan, draft, revise, and publish – to hone and develop their own craft as they work through each piece of writing.

Everyday Math

Everyday Mathematics is a complete Kindergarten through Grade 5 curriculum that embraces many traditional goals, such as mastering basic facts and computing proficiently, as well as an ambitious new goal: substantially raising expectations with respect to the amount and range of mathematics that students can learn.

Additionally, all students receive instruction in Science and Social Studies both as a special and in their general education classroom, and all students take one period of Art, Library Book Sign Out, Library Research, Music, and Physical Education each week.

Early Childhood Program
(Grades Pre-K through 2)

The Early Childhood Program focuses on developmentally appropriate practice and individualized instruction. As educators, the early childhood teachers recognize the fact that the school plays a major role in both the social and the academic development of the child. Children in the Early Childhood Program are encouraged to internalize and embrace those concepts and beliefs, which will foster better relationships with others in the school as well as within the community.

Teachers provide many opportunities for children to engage in activities where they learn to work together cooperatively in large and small groups, to respect individual strengths and differences, to problem solve in more meaningful ways, to help establish and understand rules and logical consequences, and to appreciate, practice, and see the value in using common courtesies when working with others.

Through the implementation of the Responsive Classroom approach, children continually practice those social skills, which will insure their social and personal growth as contributing members of the school and society as a whole.

Intermediate Program
(Grades 3, 4, and 5)

The goal of the Intermediate program is to provide support to all students as they learn and grow through the intermediate level. The students should become independent learners who take pride in their accomplishments and show high levels of effort through group projects, collaborative problem solving, and respect for others. Ultimately, students recognize the merit of others as well as themselves.

Special Subjects

At Janney our goal is to cultivate life long learners. We strive to educate students through multiple intelligences and learning styles, to find each student’s strengths, interests, and talents and to use those to motivate and challenge students to be active, creative and successful learners. We believe that our Special Subjects program plays an important role in achieving that goal. The art, music, physical education, library and media, social studies, and science programs form an integral part of the education of Janney students. Each special area has a set of standards that form the basis of instruction. Those standards serve to give students a well balanced foundation of knowledge and skills. In addition, the special subject team collaborates with classroom teachers to support, enrich and extend the learning in the classroom. In many ways this collaboration can deepen a student’s level of understanding of a topic introduced in the classroom.

Each special subject has a standards based curriculum that informs lessons, assignments, and assessments for the students. Students are assessed in these subjects based on meeting the standards for each grade level. Individual effort and growth are also taken into consideration in assessing students. As part of the curriculum, special subject teachers occasionally send assignments or projects to be worked on at home. These projects are an important part of student learning, and we asked that parents support students in the completion of these assignments as they do with assignments that come home from the classroom.


On-Going/Daily Assessments

At Janney, our teachers use both formative and summative assessments to help plan instruction for the whole class, small groups, and individual students. Teachers regularly confer with students, collect and analyze work samples, and observe students in reading, writing, and math to assess students’ grasp of concepts and determine the next steps for them.

All students in every classroom work with teachers in small group settings and in one-on-one settings. Small groups and one-on-one work allow teachers to target specific needs whether it is to review or enrich.

Learn more about DCPS Elementary School Assessments with the 2023-2024 DCPS Assessments Overview.

Report Cards

DC report cards, which are aligned to the Common Core Standards, are distributed at the end of each advisory. In each advisory, teachers will communicate the expectations of each strand/ standard on the report card, and teachers will indicate whether students are beginning (B), developing (D), or secure (S) in a strand or concept. Parents will have opportunities to discuss students’ progress and work at parent-teacher conferences, which are scheduled for the end of each advisory.  Please see the Janney calendar for dates and times.

Parents Right To Know – Assessment Participation (Link)

Janney fulfills its mission with a wide variety of programs that address the unique qualities of all of its students. School-wide academic approaches include Balanced Literacy and the implementation of Reading and Writing Workshop and Everyday Math. School-wide climate and culture approaches include Responsive Classroom and Positive Behavior Support.