Click through to take a virtual tour. James Elementary is a K-6 neighborhood school and is part of Kansas City Public Schools. As a neighborhood school, most students walk to school, but some are bussed in from the surrounding neighborhood.
Dr. Mary Bachkora or “Dr. Mary” to her students and staff is principal here. She is working to build a school where kids recognize and support each other and set goals for their own success.
As a part of Kansas City Public Schools, before and after school care are free at James Elementary. The after care staff awaits their students.
When students get to school they are greeted in English or Spanish by front office staff. Ms. Murillo is always ready with a smile.
Students at James Elementary are taught to use words wisely. This bulletin board reminds them of the rules that govern conversation in school. (The K stands for Kind.) This acronym is also referenced by teachers when correcting student off task conversations.
James Elementary uses Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) to encourage positive behavior in their students. In some classrooms, teachers use charts like these to track students’ behavior in class and help them stay on track.
Students wrote encouraging messages to one another for MAP testing. It is another opportunity to practice positive behavior at school.
These kindergarteners just got in from recess and are waiting for their teacher to walk them downstairs. This is Ms. Chambers. She is one of two kindergarten teachers. Students at James Elementary wear uniforms. These include khaki pants with white, light blue, or navy tops.
Students hang their bookbags and coats on hooks like these inside of every classroom. It helps them to stay organized.
In upper grades, students are given a desk and a place to keep their papers. They are responsible for keeping their belongings together and due dates in mind. Support teachers are available to assist students who are still mastering English. They help with language learning and content understanding at every grade level.
At the end of the day, students take their belongings with them like these 6th graders who are in the school library for a class.
In music class students practice with a new instrument. They do sing alongs as well.
In gym class, these students get to choose what they will play; each student puts a tally mark under their favorite sport. Today a version of dodgeball won the vote. 80% of the students at James Elementary speak more than one language. In elective classes like this one, students have the opportunity to bond no matter the language.
In class, these first graders work together to read non-fiction books. Some students at James struggle with reading and math skills, technology is a tool teachers use to help students catch up to grade level. (Notice the computer cart in the classroom.) They practice math and reading basics and use technology for classroom instruction as well.
Upper elementary students generally have more seat time and individualized work than students in the younger grades. Here students work on a logic puzzle given to them by their teacher. The puzzles help them to think critically and use math skills.
These second graders work on solving math problems with their teacher. Students move throughout the day from their desks or tables to the floor for group instruction. These students are waiting for their teacher to finish so that they can solve the problem in front of their peers.
Here third grade students are working on an end of the year project after taking standardized tests earlier in the day. These collaborative groups are another opportunity for students to practice academic, social, and language skills.
Math literacy is a big part of James Elementary. Stairways like this one are covered with math facts.
At recess, students can gather in groups and play games. These girls are playing with cups.
Kids also play on the playground equipment.
The cafeteria is colorful. Tables are decorated with the school name and other designs. As a part of Kansas City Public Schools, breakfast and lunch are free every day to every child. Students eat all meals in the school cafeteria.
Students show off their work on bulletin boards outside of classrooms. Here, students wrote about character traits and created characters to match.
Outside of this class, students have written their goals for the year. They are hung over the door where students can see them every time they come into class.
Parents have a place too at James Elementary. The Parent Resource Room has books, learning videos, and other training materials that parents can check out any time.
The school building is very clean, well-maintained and has a dedicated auditorium. Students use the auditorium for special occasions and all school assemblies.
Everyone at James is recognized for their positive efforts. Here upper elementary students designed a banner thanking kindergarteners for supporting them.
This bulletin board hangs outside of the principal’s office and contains thank you notes written to her by students.