McWillie Elementary is one of 33 elementary schools in the Jackson Public School District. It serves students in grades pre-K through 5. It is composed of traditional Pre-Kindergarten and Montessori 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12 environments. It is our belief that every child can learn given supportive facilitators, research-based curriculum, active parent participation, transparent communication, and student accountability.
The mission of McWillie Elementary School is to provide life skills and a solid academic foundation in a compassionate learning environment.
McWillie Elementary School serves over 400 students. We are the only public Montessori school in the state of Mississippi. McWillie Elementary has been dedicated to providing a quality education to all of its students. At McWillie, the focus is on developing the "whole" child.
The goal of Montessori education is to encourage independence, love of learning and a positive sense of self in a prepared environment that aligns with the Mississippi College- and Career- Readiness Standards. Each child is encouraged to function independently at his/her own development rate.
At McWillie Elementary, we recognize that every student comes to school with diverse needs and abilities. We strive to meet students where they are and instill in them a passion for life-long learning and exploration. McWillie students practice teamwork and empathy each day to prepare for a future of global citizenship.
McWillie is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Middle Schools, the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation, and affiliated with the American Montessori Society.
Our goal is to produce positive outcomes for our students by focusing on reading, problem solving, and creative writing along with many other disciplines. As a result, McWillie graduates embody the school's efforts to promote community, inquiry, independence, integrity, and imagination.
McWillie Elementary is an A school in the Mississippi Department of Education Accountability Rating and a Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) Model School. Our PTA is regularly recognized as being among the top performing nationally and locally.
McWillie has 8 traditional Pre-K classrooms with certified Pre-K teachers, with enrollment based on students' geographic location. Montessori enrollment is application-based and takes place each winter. For the 2024-2025 school year, we are accepting applications for Montessori Pre-K3, Montessori Pre-K4, Montessori Kindergarten, and Montessori 1st grade. The application window is November 1- December 21 and students must be three years-old by September 1, 2021.
Built in 1955, McWillie Elementary enrolled students from north Jackson neighborhoods, such as Broadmoor, Northmeadow, and Broadmeadow. In 1980, as the surrounding neighborhoods experienced a population shift, students transferred to nearby Boyd Elementary and the Jackson Public School District converted the former school facility to administrative offices and a teacher resource center.
An upturn in the school-aged population attending Boyd Elementary necessitated the "resurrection" of McWillie Elementary. Construction began in 2001 on an unconventional facility purposely designed to support hands-on, activity-based learning and to facilitate the transition from the home environment to the school. The new McWillie School was designed to be a welcoming, home-like environment with a high priority on natural light and aesthetic accents.
This home-school concept was accomplished through the design of Learning Houses. When a student enters their "house", they are in the Family Room designed as a gathering space for group activities or for an individual student whose project may need more work space outside the classroom. Adjacent to the family rooms are the Project Kitchens, which students may use for food preparation or science experiments. Also adjacent to the family rooms are the Team Meeting Rooms, a conference/lounge space shared by the five teachers of each learning house to conduct conferences with co-workers or parents and to store team materials.
From the family room and kitchen, the students move into their Classrooms designed to be large, unencumbered spaces filled with natural light, individual restrooms and sink facilities, a storage room, and several network outlets for computers. From each classroom the students and teachers may freely move outside onto the Learning Porch and Garden. The building design supports the importance of learning opportunities outdoors as well as, and as easily as indoors.