. . . and a hoot of hello from Jennifer Houck. I'm your child's teacher. My co-teacher/paraprofessional is Shirley Jackson. The students call me Miss Jenn, and her Mrs. J., but whatever you call us, we're both looking forward with wide-eyed excitement to the 2019-20 school year in the VPI/REACH combo class here at Roanoke Academy.

But what is the VPI/REACH program and which preschool curriculum do we use?

Simply put: The VPI/REACH program provides developmentally appropriate learning experiences for young children with developmental delays and/or other disabilities as well as typically developing preschoolers. Our curriculum, which is used in all Roanoke City Public Schools preschools, is Tools of the Mind. Through play and active learning, Tools of the Mind promotes cognitive, social-emotional growth and self-regulation skills needed to succeed in school. For more information on the curriculum, please visit Tools of the Mind.

In addition to the curriculum, you may wonder about my teaching philosophy. I believe that e
ach child is unique and is to be valued and respected. I enjoy nurturing a child's intrinsic gifts to help him or her reach a potential that is often so much fuller and greater than anyone can imagine. I believe in teaching from the heart while creatively maximizing the methods, materials, and curriculum available to me. And when it comes to being a teacher, going above and beyond for my students isn't to be applauded, but expected.


If you're wondering Who is Jennifer Houck?, here's a little bit about me:

  • Born and raised in Lynchburg, VA
  • Graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College with a B.A. in Psychology and Education pre-k-7 in 1994
  • Earned an Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement from Lynchburg College in 1997
  • Taught in Pittsylvania County, VA, from 1995 to 2016
  • Taught in Stafford County, VA, from 2016 to 2019
  • Awarded Southside Elementary School's Teacher of the Year in 2007 and 2010
  • Started teaching in Roanoke City, VA, in 2019
  • Married (family of three and a pound puppy)
  • Spends free time and summers being artsy-craftsy, gem mining, reading, and traveling

Let's all work together to have a rewarding and productive school year. Please r
ead and sign the papers in your child's folder daily, and feel free to leave notes for me in his/her folder, including messages related to transportation. You may also call the school at 540-853-2751 regarding transportation. My email address is However, my teaching duties do not allow me to check my email frequently, so please do not rely solely on email (send a written note or call the school) if you need to make a transportation change.