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Joan Macy School

Joan Macy School


Joan Macy School is a specialized, non-public school for at-risk students grades 1-12, who are placed with us by their local school districts. Practical instructional skills are integrated into the classroom experience to promote the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in society today. Students follow school district graduation requirements, with special guidance for those behind schedule. We also offer exposure to community activities such as field trips, dual enrollment, regional occupational programs, and full mainstreaming back to public school as appropriate.

We offer individual and crisis counseling, behavior management training, social skills training, transitional and vocational training, speech and language therapy, door-to-door transportations, healthy living and physical education, and one-to-one services.

Eligible students have access to the San Antonio and East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Programs and an on-campus Work Experience Program, where students gain hands-on job training and earn both a work allowance and vocational credits.

We adhere to the Common Core State Standards developed by the State of California. Individualized adaptations to curriculum are done on an as needed basis. Math curriculum includes California-adopted My Math, California Math Course 1-3, and Core Curriculum Integrated Math I & II. Our English Language Arts curriculum includes California adopted California Journeys and Collections California.

 


JMS Documents

Photo Credit Joanne Wilborn and Marlyn Woo

Street Law Clinic

Understanding their place in society is important for all young adults. To this end, Joan Macy School has many for years partnered with the Street Law Clinic offered by Professor Laura Dym Cohen through Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. The clinic teaches legal life skills to high school students at Joan Macy School and throughout Los Angeles County. Law students step into the roles of teacher, mentor, and advocate to empower at-risk youth to make better choices, overcome adversity, and build stronger futures.

These participatory lessons inform the teenagers about their rights and the laws that apply to them, and provide legal information and resources they need to successfully transition to independent living and adulthood. Law students teach a weekly 90-minute lesson using active-learning methodology at sites arranged by the clinic director, as well as meet with their students individually to ensure that each has a plan as they leave high school. Based on this plan, the law students prepare a resource binder specific for each youth that targets their needs and interests, focusing on housing, employment and education.

For more information on Street Law Clinic, contact:

Laura Dym Cohen
Clinical Professor of Law and Director
Street Law Clinic and Public Service Programs
Southwestern Law School

Photo Credit Julie Griffith

How Journaling Leads to a More Altruistic Life

We all remember the glory days of high school. History, algebra, maybe a P.E. day every now and then and of course…. the dreaded writing class. We know; some days it felt like agony trying to get one single idea out on paper. 

However, your scary old English teacher may have actually been on to something. Journaling can not only improve your personal life, but it can also improve your altruistic focus. As it turns out, regular writing in a journal has a lot of surprising mental and emotional health benefits. Check out these six reasons you should consider picking up a pen and writing! 

 

1. Emotional Outlet

Step one: emotional intelligence. Holding in emotions—especially sad, angry, or negative ones—has been shown to have incredibly detrimental effects on a person’s health. Daily journaling allows you to release these emotions in a safe, non-judgemental environment, while increasing your self-awareness and emotional perception. Getting negative stuff out on paper leaves more room for positivity to fill you up, leading to a happier and healthier lifestyle.

 

2. Stress Reduction

With emotional intelligence also comes less stress. Oftentimes, we feel overwhelmed at situations we perceive as uncontrollable. However, writing about these experiences and actually seeing them on paper gives us something to grasp mentally, helping to reduce our stress levels about the issue. A study by Psychology Today showed journaling not only reduces stress, but also lowers anxiety and induces a deeper sleep.

 

3. Creativity Boost

This one’s a no-brainer. The more you write, the more practice you have to get those creative juices flowing. You’ve probably heard this saying before:

“The question isn’t whether or not we’re creative, it is how to let the creativity out.” 

Regular writing gives you the opportunity to brainstorm new ideas, thoughts and questions, pushing you out of your comfort zone and into a brand new creative realm.

 

4. Mental Engagement

Of course, the more creative we feel, the more our brains are challenged, and the more we are mentally engaged, which can literally strengthen our IQ. As journaling is an exploration of language, it causes us to search for new words, challenge ideas and strengthen our vocabulary. So, your English teacher was right—writing does make you smarter.

 

5. Self-Discipline

Setting aside time each day to journal and then sticking to it creates a more disciplined lifestyle, which is a valuable asset. Self-discipline can then seep into other areas of life, like getting your work assignments done on time, following through on relationship promises or even eating healthier. When it comes to making a positive change, nothing is more important than having a strong self-discipline.

 

6. Goal Setting

Finally, one of the greatest benefits of all: journaling helps you set and achieve your goals. When we journal, we write about our aspirations, our dreams and our goals. Putting these words to paper and actually writing out what we want to accomplish makes them much more realistic—and realistic equates to achievable. Writing down goals tells your brain “this is important.” Then, your brain is more prepared to mark relevant opportunities and tools to achieve the goal.

 

While writing might not have been your favorite class in high school, you may feel differently today. Keeping a daily journal has enormous benefits, and encourages us to live a happier, healthier and more altruistic life. Whether you’re sitting at home, relaxing in the park or enjoying your favorite restaurant, crack open your journal and get to writing… you may just be surprised at everything you have to say!

Our Impact This Year

  • Youth & Families Served

    486

  • Youth Internship Hours

    625

  • Housing Provided

    75

© 2022 David & Margaret Youth and Family Services

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