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Barkstall Elementary

Barkstall Elementary School main entrance
Barkstall Elementary School main entrance
Barkstall Elementary School main entrance
Barkstall Elementary School main entrance

Special Features:

  • Balanced Calendar
  • Standardized Dress Code
  • Experimental (Hands-on) Learning
  • Nurtured Heart
  • First Friday student concerts
  • Student Council
  • Active PTA
  • Enrichment Opportunities
  • Music & Art Programs
  • America Reads Program
  • Girl and Boy Scouts
  • Kids Plus Child Care Program before and after school
  • Extracurricular Activities
    • Art Club
    • Book Club
    • Chess Club
    • Knitting Club
    • Typing Club


Enrollment: 418

Barkstall Elementary is a vibrant place where students, teachers, parents, and community come together to nurture student success through integrated arts education. Our goal is to prepare each student to become a responsible contributor to our diverse and changing society. We are committed to promote student learning and academic achievement, enhance social skills, physical development and emotional well-being, encourage critical thinking and problem solving, and stimulate creativity.


Barkstall Elementary opened in August of 1998 and named after Vernon L. Barkstall. Mr. Barkstall was co-founder of the all-black radio station, WBCP and executive director of the Urban League of Champaign County.

The design of the school, classroom configuration, and advanced technology reflects the community’s vision of education for the future. We have a commitment to an exemplary curriculum which emphasizes high expectations for all students and blends the arts with academic skills.


Technology is integrated into the curriculum through the use of internet-accessible computers and SMARTboards in the classrooms and resource areas. Web based library programs allow access to resources from all classrooms. Mobile carts have been upgraded to multimedia capabilities.

School Choice Theme

Our “Academics Through The Arts” fosters student success by meeting the learning differences (multiple intelligences, learning styles, and special needs) of students. Students are able to explore their creative and critical thinking skills. We are a community of creators. We learn through the Arts.

Enrichment Opportunities

There are special school events where students can display their interests and talents through art night, math night, reading night, a science fair, Fall Festival, grade level productions, grade level family projects, writing and directing a 5th grade opera and a 4th grade artist in residency program.

School Culture and Climate: Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) and Nurtured Heart

PBIS and The Nurtured Heart Approach are proactive system approaches practiced in our school environment. They are designed for all students and are based on sound research utilizing effective teaching practices. Both foster positive teaching and learning environments in all classrooms and enables school staff to focus on academics because we realize the power of the social environment intertwines with the success of academic curriculum. Our three expectations are: Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be Ready. Social skills are rein-forced daily with recognition and relationship building. Student successes are enthusiastically recognized and celebrated.

Mentoring and Volunteering

Barkstall has implemented a mentoring program which services a small number of students. Currently, we are working with community agencies to expand the program. We are always looking for C-U One to One Volunteers who can meet with students once a week during the school day to serve as role models and share experiences. Parent volunteers in and outside the classroom are an integral part of our school. Our motto is “Hand in Hand our Journey Begins.”

School Climate

Barkstall is a balanced school equally providing an academic, social and emotional curriculum to enrich our school community. We are dedicated to ensuring success for each student by integrating music, drama, visual arts, dance, and creative writing into the traditional curriculum. Thematic units are carefully planned at each level to help students become skilled in making connections between curriculum and real life. The focal point of our unique educational opportunity is to provide a rich learning environment and excellence in student learning. As part of Barkstall’s commitment to a safe, orderly environment, the Second Step Program and Skill Streaming are taught and modeled in each classroom.

Support Programs

Students who need individual assistance with literacy and math are offered the services of a curriculum coach and specialists. Support services are offered to students who may benefit from individual assistance. These services may be in the form of intense reading and math instruction, speech and language services, and/or special education services. A Building Support Team is in place to offer staff members and parents technical assistance.

Standardized Dress Code and Balanced Calendar

Barkstall has adopted a standardized dress code. Students concentrate on learning, not on what others are wearing. The balanced calendar promotes a learning-rich atmosphere on a continuous academic level.


Parental involvement is a key to academic success and the Barkstall PTA exemplifies a strong school and family partnership. The PTA welcomes and encourages participation by all parents, guardians, and extended family members of all Barkstall Elementary students.

Parents serve as members of school communities, work as classroom volunteers, plan extracurricular functions, and work daily with the principal and staff to accomplish the goals of the school.

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