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 promoting student learning and academic achievement, enhancing social skills, promoting physical development and emotional well-being, encouraging critical thinking and problem solving, and stimulating creativity.
Barkstall Elementary opened in August 1998 and is 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 SMART Boards in the classrooms and resource areas. Web-based library programs allow access to resources from all classrooms. Mobile carts have been upgraded with 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.
There are special school events where students can display their interests and talents through art, math night, reading night, a science night, Fall Festival, grade level productions, grade level family projects, writing and directing a 5th grade opera, and a 4th grade artist in residency program.
Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) and Nurtured Heart
PBIS is a proactive system and approach practiced in our school environment. It is designed for all students and is based on sound research utilizing effective teaching practices. It fosters 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 reinforced daily with recognition and relationship building. Student successes are enthusiastically recognized and celebrated.
Mentoring & Volunteering
We are always looking for volunteers and C-U One-to-One mentors 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.
Barkstall is a balanced school, equally providing an academic and social 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, social skills are taught and modeled in all classrooms.
Students who need individual assistance with literacy and math are offered the services of an interventionist. 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 Response to Intervention (RtI) team is in place to offer staff members and parents additional assistance and direction.
Standardized Dress Code & Balanced Calendar
Barkstall has adopted a standardized dress code. Students concentrate on learning, not on what others are wearing. The balanced, or year-round, 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 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.