History of the School
Yorkship Elementary School is located in the Fairview section of Camden, also know as "Yorkship Village" and historically, the nation's first federally funded planned community. Yorkship Village was acknowledged historically significant in 1974 by acceptance on the National and New Jersey State Registers of Historic Places.
During the First World War, fighting ships were constructed in the New York Shipyard (Camden, NJ) at an ever-increasing rate. As more and more shipyard workers came into the area to live, housing shortage developed. The US Government contracted for more housing and assembled Urban Planners to lay out the village. These same planners that researched the architecture of Europe and were eager to test their newfound ideas, were put to the task.
The concept of a planned community came from Europe in 1918. The architecture theory was to incorporate the ingredients that made the ideal self-contained community. Architects also used the experience of studies about the expansion of urban housing and the need to provide a garden environment. These studies about European architecture were used to plan Yorkship Village as a garden section of the city.
Subsequently, Yorkship Village was the creation of architects that resulted in a newly constructed village, reminiscent of an old English village, that appears to reach back further in history, yet utilizes the innovative planning concepts of that era.
This educational structure was built in 1920. Yorkship Elementary School is a pre-kindergarten through fifth grade school with a racially diverse student population. The majority of the student population is African Americans, with Hispanics, Whites, and Asians representing the minority population. The school's motto "Manifesting Excellence" is based on the principle that knowledge as well as a caring attitude will make the difference in the lives of children. In the 1990’s Yorkship school was utilized as a Professional Development School (PDS) of Rowan University (formerly Glassboro State College) focusing on computers and technology in elementary education. In 1997 the Yorkship Elementary School addition was built to accommodate a growing school population of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.
The ethnically diverse staff provides a print-rich environment that stimulates student interest, displays student work, and encourages staff collaboration in the theories of constructivism and project-based learning. Students in special and bilingual, from preschool to grade five, study Spanish, as well as music, art, and physical education. Our language arts literacy, mathematics, science, social studies curricula are enriched with computer technology.
Character development education is a major component of our curriculum. They are taught that caring for one another and developing meaningful relationships show that we are more alike than different; we prepare students to meet with diversity. Our curriculum is designed to educate all children in mind, body, and spirit.
As we strive to fulfill our mission on a daily basis, our school engages students in hands-on activities, data driven lessons, learning centers, small group instruction with the support of classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, support service personnel, and parents. The current principal Mrs. Tracey Reed-Thompson set our priority goal as, "to close the achievement gap for all students in Language Arts Literacy, Mathematics and Science."