The Everett Elementary School is located in the Upham Corners area of Dorchester and serves approximately 250 students in grades K0-5. Stone walls at the entrance of the school are decorated with numerous colorful student-made tile mosaics and haiku poems, a fifth grade “graduation” gift to the school.

Outside the Everett’s main office is a unique community bulletin board. During the first week of each school year, students draw pictures of their new teachers and one of these is selected by the teacher for display throughout the year!

Several classes are preparing for their Black History Celebration. In Elizabeth Lee‘s first grade, students recite a poem they’ve memorized about Martin Luther King, Jr., while Maryann Dolberry‘s fifth graders act out the poem “Dear Basketball” to honor Kobe Bryant.

In the “cafetorium” P.E. teacher Haley Barber teaches a lesson on nutrition: second graders sit in a circle while she reads a story and gives out small plastic “healthy foods” to each one. Later on, students race to pick up these plastic models and then, with a partner, use them to create a healthy meal.

Mike Barry‘s third graders are learning about the challenges of creating a new government after the war of independence. In one fifth grade class, Gwen Rice teaches the Powers of 10 to her students, using a variety of examples and modes of learning.

In the K1 classes, children work in various centers: painting, making paper collages, telling stories with plastic animals, building with Legos and wooden blocks. Students in Sophie Yang‘s K2 class are acting out A Snow Day, by Ezra Jack Keats.

74% of students at the Everett walk to school, which certainly helps create a sense of community. Grade 3 teacher Katie Manning tells me she especially appreciates the shared leadership of the staff at the Everett; everyone participates in school-wide initiatives and everyone shows up for ILT meetings before school!


Amika Kemmler-Ernst, Ed.D.