Burris Elementary School Providing Improving Education Outcomes for Students

(MITCHELL) – Mitchell Community School board members and the public were able to get a glimpse of the good things happening at Burris Elementary School on Monday night.

Burris Principal Jessica Jones gives attendees of the Mitchell School Board meeting a look at the great things happening at the school.

The team of educators at Burris Elementary is working to provide education and skills for students to fulfill their dreams and be successful in a competitive workforce.

Burris Elementary School Principal Jessica Jones was able to give attendees a look into the good things happening at the school. Jones highlighted areas of the curriculum being developed to improve the education of students.

Burris Elementary School is focused on improving math and reading skills.

Three areas of focus include the curriculum, instruction, and literacy.


The curriculum development used is called “Understanding By Design”. The curriculum uses three stages which include:

  • Desired Results
  • Assessment Evidence
  • Learning Planning

Starting with rigorous academic skills in math at all three grade levels, 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade teachers teamed up to observe one another and find each other’s strengths and weaknesses and develop ways to create stronger math skills for students.


Burris teachers spent time in each other’s classrooms twice this year. Teachers looked at three areas including:

  • What did I like from the other style of teaching?
  • What am I curious about?
  • Observations

Many computer science standards are now tested on ILEARN, and the school needs certified staff to train in each of these skills.

Problem-based learning teachers were recognized for their efforts. These teachers include Mrs. Beasley, Mrs. Schlemmer, Mrs. Ralston, and Mrs. Fountain.

Principal Jones noted the High Ability Program is not just for students who receive A’s and B’s, but for students who are receiving B’s and C’s and who are struggling in other areas such as communication skills.

The focus on individualized construction using technology with IREADY, Khan Academy, and Study Island has help students who are struggling with reading and math improve in these areas.


The curriculum development will help teachers know what tools and supplements are needed to ensure student’s literacy skills are strong and rigorous.

School Board Members had an Open Session at the Burris Elementary School Monday evening.

Teachers are also focusing on vocabulary in Greek and Latin root studies. Many teachers have been interested in attending the Smekens Literacy Retreat this summer.

The Math Bowl Team placed first in competition.

Dr. Comer noted that teachers at Burris are leaders in changing the direction that the corporation is heading towards.