Award Year: 2020

Mott Road Elementary School

7173 Mott Road
Fayetteville, NY, 13066-1847

(315) 692-1700

Ms. Jonna Ball-Johnson, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District

School Website

School FaceBook


Our mission is to build on our commitment to academic excellence with a focus on authentic learning experiences, civic responsibility, and innovative programs.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 4%
  • White: 77%
  • Hispanic: 4%
  • Asian: 10%
  • Two or more races: 5%
Fourth Grade Students at their Genius Hour Exhibition

Fourth Grade Students at their Genius Hour Exhibition

Mott Road is an exceptional place for students and staff to learn and grow. Our professional growth as a staff has been focused on personalizing instruction for students through an inquiry-based learning environment, which we have found increases academic achievement. Staff members have participated in book studies, peer-to-peer professional dialogue, and collaborative whole-staff meetings, all of which have supported this initiative.

We have found that this approach allows students to expand their understanding of content standards through natural inquiry and questioning. We blended our library and computer lab classes into a media model where students utilize the lab and library spaces to conduct research and investigate their inquiries. Infusing makerspace materials into these learning opportunities has afforded students more hands-on engineering and coding experiences while reinforcing cooperative learning in pairs or small groups.

Blending these models and harnessing a cooperative learning approach maximizes the use of our staff and the different strengths of our students. Staff members are able to guide and meet with students in smaller groups, which allows students to receive a more differentiated learning experience. Our observation is that students are significantly more engaged in the learning process when they have some control over what they are learning. While the model allows for more independence, it still includes regular and substantive guidance and feedback from teachers. We had certainly aimed to afford students more opportunities to engage in rigorous learning experiences, but are surprised daily with the level of student's self motivation and the retention of content.