Award Year: 2021

John F Kennedy Elementary School

28 Front Street
Jamesburg, NJ, 08831-1394

(732) 521-0400

Ms. Kristy DeFazio, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Jamesburg Public School District

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Mission

The mission of John F. Kennedy Elementary School is to further develop globally competent citizens that possess the knowledge, skills, self-esteem, and motivation to continue their individual educational growth.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 7%
  • White: 34%
  • Hispanic: 54%
  • Asian: 3%
  • Two or more races: 2%
Application
Mindful Fridays teach students self-regulation with yoga and breathing exercises.

Mindful Fridays teach students self-regulation with yoga and breathing exercises.

Located in the historical town of Jamesburg, John F. Kennedy Elementary School educates over 465 students within the community. The school building was originally constructed in 1959 with 12 classrooms. The building is now home to eight preschool classrooms, 18 grade-level classrooms, four resource rooms, two self-contained classrooms, an autism classroom, two pull-out intervention classrooms, and multiple related arts classrooms. We pride ourselves on being a neighborhood-based school with a diverse population.

Although we appear small to many school districts within Middlesex County, we strive to challenge our students to be globally competent learners. Through the advancement of technology and various academic and intervention programs, our students are able to meet state standards by learning content at a level that is appropriate for their individual development. Since 2018, our preschool program has expanded from two half-day classrooms to eight fully inclusive full-day classrooms. With the support of state aid, our preschool students demonstrated greater success in their elementary years. Our data shows improvements in student achievement in both ELA and Mathematics standards.

All students are encouraged to model behaviors that promote positive relationships and compassion toward others. Mindful Fridays are scheduled to teach students strategies to calm down and learn ways to self-regulate through yoga poses and breathing techniques. Our social and emotional emphasis, alongside academic interventions, have led to a decrease in disruptive behaviors. We strongly believe that if students feel safe and respected, they are more willing to take risks and succeed through productive learning.