JES serves a number of communities within a 5-mile radius of its campus, including Jacksonville, Hunt Valley, Sweet Air, and Baldwin. This is an area of approximately 18,000 households and 45,000 populations.
Jacksonville continues to be well-known within educational circles in Maryland as a model school. The school contains an automated library, is a completely networked building, and has computers with interactive technology in every classroom. The computer lab of 30+ computers and interactive board includes projection capability, and provides each child the opportunity for one-on-one instruction.
The instruction program at Jacksonville is characterized by an emphasis on authentic learning that reflects real-life experiences. The Maryland Content Standards and Common Core Standards serve as the platform for the instructional program, including a particular emphasis on phonemic awareness and application in grades kindergarten through 2. In addition, incentives at Jacksonville such as a block reading/language arts instruction and regrouping in mathematics in grades 1 through 5 ensure a high degree of individualization of instruction.
Intensive staff development enables teachers to be trained in the latest instructional strategies.
Another important component of Jacksonville’s overall instructional program is an integrated approach to instruction which builds upon basic skills emphasized in the classroom. Classroom teachers meet regularly with special-area teachers in disciplines such as art, music, library, technology and physical education. The purpose of these Interlink meetings is to define classroom learning objectives and the manner in which special-area teachers will insure interdisciplinary connections in the special-area classrooms. For instance, if wildlife is a topic of classroom instruction, an art class could include an assignment for water color drawings of birds.
An important ingredient contributing to the success of Jacksonville Elementary School has been the commitment to the School Based Management Team process. In this regard, parents and staff meet monthly throughout the school year to plan, implement, and evaluate the total school program. The SBM Team works in a unified manner toward a common goal that is embodied in the following mission statement:
“At Jacksonville Elementary School we strive to provide on a daily basis, quality education in a safe and nurturing environment, that develops the content knowledge, skills, and character that will enable all students to reach their maximum potential as responsible, life-long learners and productive citizens.”
The School Based Management model for JES is an integrated approach involving staff, parents, and the community. The school improvement plan concept is utilized to address virtually all aspects of the overall school program. Special attention, however, has been placed on those areas of improvement identified through careful data analysis.