William S. James Elementary is located at the center of the dynamic, growing community of Box Hill North in Abingdon, Maryland. It is a community school and we continually strive to develop its reputation as the hub for positive, child-centered activities in this neighborhood. Our school has a welcoming staff that makes students want to come to school and put forth their best effort on a daily basis. Our school community has a “student first” mentality and continues to do what is necessary to best prepare students for successful futures.
Student learning takes center stage at William S. James. Our school-wide mission is to “Lead the learning, live the learning, love the learning.” Our vision is to achieve the 300% mark for all students: 100% learning, 100% of the time, for 100% proficiency. At William S. James, our staff takes this motto very seriously, utilizing student achievement on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA), as well as a variety of criteria and nationally norm-referenced assessments, to implement this mission.
Professional Learning Communities, in which groups of teachers work collaboratively to improve instructional practice and meet the learning needs of all students, have developed and are thriving at William S. James. Our staff has been actively engaged in this embedded staff development process for the past several years and has attained considerable expertise in analyzing student achievement data and working collaboratively to refine daily instructional practices. This expertise has been recognized at the system level, and we celebrate the fact that our school has been selected to host a number of “model classrooms” for teachers new to Harford County Public Schools. The efforts of our classroom teachers have been augmented by a very capable support staff that includes: a mentor teacher, two reading specialists, a math specialist, three full-time special educators, a gifted and talented teacher, a full time speech/language pathologist and an experienced guidance counselor.
As a community school, we place great emphasis on creating positive home-school partnerships with all of our families. This process is enhanced by our Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and volunteer programs, both of which are very active and supportive of our school in a number of critical ways. We have a very active Parent Teacher Association (PTA), which sponsors open houses, fundraisers, student recognition activities, and family fun nights. At William S. James, we recognize that parents are our students’ first teachers, and we strive to seek their input as our school community moves forward. We strongly believe that it takes an entire community to raise a child.
Welcome to William S. James Elementary, where all strive to learn and grow together.
Benjamin D. Richardson, Principal