Saint James
Saint James School
Montgomery, Alabama

Elementary School

The Saint James Elementary School is an excellent school with a family atmosphere. The lower elementary consists of grades PreK3-2nd grade while the upper elementary consists of grades 3-5. Each student in both divisions of our elementary school receives individual attention and is appreciated for his/her unique assets, attributes, skills and interests.

The Pre-K3, Pre-K4 and Kindergarten programs use an integrated approach with literature, art, music and science to introduce readiness skills with hands-on activities. They are designed to develop the "whole child". A smooth transition between home and school is the goal of these programs. Keeping this in mind, the curriculum is designed with age-appropriate activities, skills and materials. Many of our activities such as PJ Day, Moms for Muffins, Silly Socks, and Dads for Donuts reinforce learning in a fun way.

Of primary importance is the emphasis the teacher places on each child to discover and enjoy strengths as well as weaknesses. Teachers are dedicated to giving personal attention to each child as they discover the various learning styles and needs of each child.

Children learn in a classroom with well-defined routines where they feel secure and confident. Within this setting we introduce a multitude of concepts using fun and varied activities. Students are housed in a complex of their own, within the main structure. The colorful rooms with space for group and individual activities and play areas allow for the development of our children physically and mentally. Each Pre-K and Kindergarten class has a teacher aide, allowing for more personalized and reinforced learning to take place.

The classrooms for the first through fifth grade are similar to those in the kindergarten area. The large bright common areas are used for guest speakers, group activities, volunteers assisting students and small group work.

The students in the elementary school have an opportunity to travel outside the classroom for enrichment activities in library, technology, music, art, Spanish, and science lab. Classroom teachers and enrichment teachers develop cross-curriculum material and activities throughout the year.

Our children love to read. The library is used extensively by all grades. Each grade visits the library weekly for story time and checking out books. They may do research on computer or encyclopedias. Accelerated Reader and Star Reading tests are given to enhance their reading skills. It is a pleasure to see students sitting in the window seats sharing their books with a friend.

Adjoining the library is the technology lab, furnished with Apple devices for each child. The classroom teachers and the technology teacher frequently plan joint projects for the students. The excellent software provided is age-appropriate and enjoyed by all of the students.

Music classes involve children in singing, playing instruments and practicing for performances. These performances help build confidence and self-esteem in the students. The music room is also used for teaching piano after school hours.

Spanish classes are held in the classrooms on each grade level. The Spanish teacher offers the children a wide variety of seasonal activities and cultural experiences.

Children in kindergarten through grade five have physical education each day. Two large outside playgrounds and the gym provide area for students to be taught a variety of games that build skills and team sports at their ability level. The art lab is filled with wonderful things to create. Students freely express themselves using a variety of art media. The students are proud to display their work in the art galleries for everyone to see.

All elementary students regularly visit the fully-equipped science lab and unique outdoor learning lab, complete with a butterfly garden, pond, and bog. These areas provide hours of exploration and discovery. Hands-on activities that relate to their classroom study are presented using the scientific method. The science lab is one of the very favorite areas in the school to visit because of the interesting variety of animals that are kept in the lab.

Elementary students also have access to the Elementary Design Lab.  Classes visit the Design Lab to work through the process of design.  The Design Lab is the ideal location for students to continue to master 21st century skills of collaboration, cooperation, creativity, and critical thinking.  Whether it is designing and building a roller coaster for a marble, constructing an object that will float using Lego bricks, or designing an imaginary world using various landforms, our elementary students are challenged to use their creativity skills in new ways in the Design Lab.

The counselor visits each classroom once a week. Puppets, role-playing and other materials are used to teach cooperation, respect for others, develop social skills and build self-confidence.

Our elementary school is truly a school for children. From the excellent curriculum that stresses a challenging academic program to the design of our structure, we are a school with a strong future, committed to the education of young learners.