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About Us

Mission Statement: 
JAMES WARD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL provides a high quality instructional program that includes a comprehensive, standard/research-based curriculum, which challenges students, utilizes effective literacy strategies, and embraces cultural diversity. These best practices, coupled with the use of differentiated instruction, aim to increase the achievement level of all students, including students with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELL), in order to promote continuous progress in an inclusive, least restrictive, and safe environment. We maintain our efforts to develop and address the social and emotional needs of our students through various school-wide initiatives and special opportunities for growth. We also strive to maintain a strong school-home-community relationship.
Vision Statement: 
The JAMES WARD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL believes that all children are entitled to the best possible education. We are committed to ensuring an educationally enriched environment. As a Multicultural School, we respect and embrace diversity and cultural understanding through foreign language education. All children, including students with diverse learning needs, deserve to develop their unique interest, assume responsibility for their learning and work cooperatively to reach their fullest potential and their life goals. Ward School strives to prepare all students to actively and effectively participate in the dynamic global community of the 21st century.

Karen D. Anderson

This is Ms. Anderson's 6th year as Principal of James Ward School. She has been an educator for over 20 years. Her life's journey did not immediately lead her down the path to education although she comes from a long line of educators including her mom (principal), and 3 sisters (teachers/school counselor). She studied Management Information Systems at Oral Roberts University at Tulsa, Oklahoma and upon graduation she returned to Chicago and worked as a data entry/computer programmer for 2 years where she designed corporate software for a major store chain. Although she enjoyed her computer programming career, it was not her true passion. When she realized her passion was for education, Ms. Anderson returned to school to complete a teachers/certification program at Chicago State University followed by two masters in educational leadership and curriculum and instruction at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois.

Ms. Anderson began her teaching career in 1990 at the Van Vlissingen Elementary School on the far south side of Chicago where she taught Kindergarten, fourth grade and Reading/Social Studies resource over her six years at the school. in 1996, she joined the Ward School Family as a fourth grade teacher and then became the assistant principal in 1998. Ms. Anderson contributes much of her success as an educator to the great mentorship she has received from numerous individuals one in particular was her first principal at Van Vlissingen, Jacqueline Carothers who motivates her to pursue educational leadership. As a newfound principal, she continues to be very committed to the students, parents, and staff at James Ward School and the mission of the Chicago Public Schools. 

Contact Information:
Tel: (773) 534-9053

Maria L. Norville
Assistant Principal

Hi, my name is Maria Norville, the assistant principal of James Ward School. This is my 6th year as AP and I couldn't be happier to work for such a wonderful and successful school. I appreciate all of the creative and innovative ways that our staff members teach our students are get them ready for college and beyond. This year our theme is "The Adventure of a Lifetime". It is my hope that we will all step outside of our comfort zone and explore new horizons. Wishing you the BEST new year ever! Mrs. Norville

Contact Information:
Tel: (773) 534-9050
Email: mlnorville@cps.edu