John P. Woods Elementary School – Fort Smith, AR

Award Year 2017

Exemplary High Performing Schools

John P. Woods Elementary School

3201 Massard Road
Fort Smith, AR, 72903-5512

(479) 452-5808

Ms. Andrea Kramer Schwartz, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Fort Smith School District

School Website

School FaceBook



Student Demographics

  • Black/African American: 5%
  • White: 67%
  • Hispanic: 13%
  • Asian: 7%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 7%
  • ELL: 11%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 41%


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Woods Elementary students are painting rocks depicting their unique qualities.

Woods Elementary students are painting rocks depicting their unique qualities.


Woods Elementary School is a proud, positive, and persistent learning community dedicated to the mission of being "A safe place where we work, think, and learn together for success in tomorrow's world." Woods is "Guiding students in Opportunities for Adventure, Leadership, and Success!"

Woods Elementary has been able to challenge the status quo by creating a growth mindset in an already high performing school. Challenging students to go beyond merely answering questions correctly to having the ability to justify and provide evidence for their answers has been a transformational practice. Teachers have received job-embedded professional development to create a culture of rigorous pedagogy. Professional Learning Communities have increased data disaggregation, data usage, and collaboration. A Technology Integration Specialist has worked with teachers to provide students with high quality instructional strategies to support the one-to-one Chromebook digital conversion schoolwide.

Students engage with technology on a daily basis and participate in a strong STEM immersion including the practice of coding robots in the classroom and developing STEM projects for competition in the district's STEM Wars. Older students are invited to join Chess Club and Robotics Club to further enhance their education. Students develop their multimedia skills through a Wake Up Woods broadcast to deliver announcements. On Fridays, students gather in the cafetorium for Wake Up Woods to celebrate the week and allow parents to view the student presenters in action.

Volunteers, mentors, and parent participation through Strong Fathers, Strong Families, and PTA further enhance the excellent education provided at Woods.