Dear CJA Community,

The school year is off to a fantastic start. We have our largest enrollment in CJA’s history, including our inaugural class of 18 girls! Construction on the 50,000-square-foot addition to our campus is progressing well, and we are on track for completion by the summer of 2023. Our students are really excited about the construction project!

We look forward to continuing to share moments like this as we update you on our progress.

Our ability to expand and serve more young men and women in our community means that we must continue to meet more friends like you who believe in their great promise. May I ask you to consider 2-3 people in your network who might be interested in learning about CJA and invite them for a tour of our school?

It could be the start of a lasting relationship and, at the very least, serve as a window to all of the remarkable things that are happening at CJA every day.

Thank you for your consideration. Please enjoy reading this update!

With gratitude,

Jessica Green
Development Officer

Camp Miniwanca

Our 7th and 8th graders began the school year by spending a week at Camp Miniwanca in Shelby, MI. Camp Miniwanca is one of two camps run by the American Youth Foundation. Every day, each 7th and 8th grader was challenged to be “my own self, at my very best, all of the time.” We’re glad to partner with an organization whose mission aligns well with our Grad-at-Grad values.

During their time at camp, students opted into activities like a polar bear swim, high ropes and climbing courses and hikes through sand dunes. The trip served as a beautiful bonding experience for our guys, and it laid the foundation for how students and faculty will approach the school year ahead in partnership with one another.

Taking a New Approach

Last school year, our Head of School, Kelly Tyson, led a thoughtful professional development session that encouraged faculty to reimagine school at CJA. As a result, we have adopted a co-teaching model to provide more support for students and teachers inside the classroom without impact on our cost per student.

A co-taught classroom space allows teachers to partner together in service of a cohort of students. Students have more contact with the same teaching partners throughout the school day and teachers are able to build and maintain more meaningful relationships with students and parents.

Additionally, we have expanded support in our Learning Resource Center to include five reading and math interventionists and a Speech and Language Pathologist who work closely with our team of three full-time social workers to build and maintain relationships with families throughout each student’s time at CJA. Our students are thriving and we are already seeing positive results!

A Unique Path Toward Meaningful Employment

After graduating from CJA in 2013, Jae Rule attended boarding school at Culver Academies. He then earned a full scholarship to Central Michigan University. In this interview, Jae shares some of the story of his journey from CJA student to CJA employee.

This is part 1 of a two-part feature interview of Jae by our school president, Matthew Lynch.