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About This School

James John Elementary School is a public elementary school in Portland. The principal of James John Elementary School is Beth Shelby, whose e-mail is bshelby@pps.net. 400 children attend James John Elementary School and identify primarily as Multiracial, Asian, and Hispanic. 83% of the 400 students here have subsidized lunches. The ratio of students to teachers at James John Elementary School is 17:1. Sitton Elementary School is one of the nearest elementary schools.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Arts

    • Band
    • Ceramics sculpture
    • Computer arts
    • Dance
    • Drawing painting
    • Theater drama
    • Video film production
  • Sports

    • Basketball
    • Bicycling
    • Football
    • Golf
    • P.E. classes
    • Soccer
    • Tennis

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Multiracial 5% %
Asian 5% %
Hispanic 43% 13%
White, non-Hispanic 31% 55%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 3% %
Black, non-Hispanic 12% 15%
Asian/Pacific Islander 12% 11%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.5% 1%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 83% 44%

Community Rating & Reviews

  • (11 months ago)

    My school is James John. Our school has teachers that care and are constantly working together to not only help each other but also to work closely with the students. The school has art music pe and a full time librarian. We also have a wonderful after school sun program. I have had students attending this school for about 12 years. Yes they have moved on to high school and others have moved in. It just keeps getting better and better.

  • (11 months ago)

    My son has been going to this school for three years and has had a wonderful experience. The programs they have are great for the kids and helps the parents. The teachers are great and want to help the kids learn a lot of things in a school year.

  • (1 year ago)

    Dear Parent who posted June 15th Thank you for posting a very thought provoking question. I have taught at James John for the past 12 years. I was shocked when I saw that our school receives a 1 out of 10. I contacted Great Schools and their response was that these scores are solely based on all State Test Scores from all schools in the state of Oregon. Like you I am still confused at the "1" score. It's very large and visible on the school page and serves as a searing brand that scares many of our great families away from their local school. I can tell you that (regardless what a company in Southern California thinks) our kids are not a 1 out of 10 and our teachers are not a 1 out of 10. Please visit our school anytime or our facebook page or myteachermrleach.blogspot.com and find out what's really happening at James John School. It's a great place to grow! -Sam Leach

  • (1 year ago)

    This school has a high community rating yet the lowest score possible. Any idea why? I'm interested in sending my child to one of our local elementary schools all of which have very low Great Schools Ratings. I'm a bit skeptical of the rating system because it seems fairly obvious that the schools in affluent Portland neighborhoods have the highest scores and neighborhoods with lower property tax values and a multilingual population score low. Could it be that some schools develop their curriculum specifically to score high on standardized tests? I'd love for a teacher to respond. I mean how does an elementary school get a 1? Is this best explained by language barriers? Hoping this comment will start a conversation.

  • (1 year ago)

    We transferred into this school 1 1/2 years ago. It has been wonderful to watch my son go from a child with low self esteem regarding school to a boy who might soon admit he likes school.. the teachers have been supportive caring and nurturing. Great teamwork!

  • (2 years ago)

    We've only been at James John one year so far but my son adores his teacher and we plan to continue. The free breakfast program after-school SUN classes new astroturf soccer field speech therapist on site... lots of great services here. It feels like it's getting better and better with more community involvement.

  • (2 years ago)

    James John is a wonderful school and a huge asset to the community. The teachers are all extremely dedicated and their positive energy makes the school a great place for learning and growing. We chose James John for our children because it was our local public school and we wanted our children to have a diverse and local schooling experience. The sense of community around this school is awesome from gardening projects bbqs festivals etc. The teachers and parents come together to make this an excellent choice for anyone in the neighborhood. If you are thinking about sending your child to school at James John go meet Principal Shelby go meet the teachers go meet the PTA members and walk the halls - you won't regret it!

  • (2 years ago)

    I love this school. I went there and can tell you that this school has really grown and developed since i was a kid.

  • (2 years ago)

    Very happy with this school! The teachers really care about all the kids no matter the level. The principal is invested in the school and wants the best for everyone. Even the kids have a lot of respect for each other and there are no bullying issues that I have heard of. They have an established program for the older grades to help the younger ones learn to read. It helps both with reading and establishes strong caring bonds between the grades. I have seen evidence many times. It's a great environment!

  • (2 years ago)

    My daughter began her attendance at James John half way through her 2009-2010 school year when we moved from a fairly affluent neighborhood in neighboring Vancouver WA to the St. Johns neighborhood of North Portland. While she disliked school in WA she loves attending James John. The community is welcoming the teachers are innovative (they have blogs!!) and the diversity is refreshing.

  • (3 years ago)

    I'm an alumnus of James John Elementary. I attended there from my kindergarten year in 1947 until my family moved to California in 1955-56. When I arrived at my new school in Anaheim CA I was placed in a junior high school (7th 8th and 9th grades). Scholastically I was well ahead of the students in my class thanks to the great teachers at James John. I was a shy little girl and the big hurdle for me was getting used to having much older students on campus. They realized that I was quite naive and they tried to take advantage of that. Fortunately I was a great runner and I managed to keep away from my pursuers. I graduated from the California school system with offers from several colleges. I think James John did their job just right.

  • (4 years ago)

    I have two kids in this school and I have been very impressed with the quality of the teaching and with the involvement of the support staff. One of my kids has some minor learning and cognitive disabilities and this school has been great about helping her out in positive ways. I am surprised to see only two stars as I am writing this. This school's diversity and the varied curriculum has served both of my children well.

  • (4 years ago)

    Because it's a neighborhood school kids can walk to. They don't have to be driven. Eco friendly--also the building is from 1930 eco friendly again

  • (4 years ago)

    I am a parent of a kindergertener and first grader that attend James John Elementary and we love it! The teachers care and do a great job of teaching my kids are living proof.

  • (4 years ago)

    James John Elementary is filled with fantastic students and teachers who love to read think and play at our school.

  • (5 years ago)

    I am a parent of a 4th grader and love my childs 4th grade teacher. I am also on the PTA and we have been trying to get more parent involved with the PTA but it has been a struggle the 5 years my child has been at the school. I am not happy with the new principal and hope in time she will improve. My child loves James John and has not had any issues.

  • (7 years ago)

    After the 2nd time our son was bullied by older kids on the playground we changed schools and have been happy ever since. I look forward to the day our public schools are funded well enough to actually teach and challenge our kids. At that point we will return to the public school system in North Portland.

  • (8 years ago)

    James John has a lack of leadership and a flailing PTA. There are no enrichment classes like music PE science TAG or band. The teachers are not united and some seem bored or not using their resources in the community. A poor school with potential to improve with right leadership and buy-in.

  • (10 years ago)

    I wasn't too happy with this school when the old Principle was in charge. The new Principle Mr. Ferraro has really turned this school into a contender! He takes a real interest in the students as well as parents concerns. The teachers that my 2 children have had over the last five years have been the best! The lest-than-perfect teachers seem to be doing a better job since Mr. Ferraro took over. I would recommend this school to any parent!

  • (11 years ago)

    I don't care for the school. I have had a child there for the past four years and its been more of a hassle to deal with the school than anything else in my life. Some of the teachers have been outstanding and some other extremely worthless. I feel bad for our school as the funding is slowly cut every year because that deeply impacts our kids and their futures.

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