About Us

Hello! Let's get acquainted!

The present C. W. Shipley Elementary (CWS) opened its doors in 1972 on the perimeter of the scenic Civil War battlefield near Harpers Ferry, WV, in historic Jefferson County. Sitting atop the site of the Civil War battle of School House Ridge, the school is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. This grade K–5 school was established to service the small rural communities of Harpers Ferry, Bolivar, Millville, Bakerton, and the surrounding countryside. Now, with over 380 students, we have in recent years become a suburban community for Frederick and Baltimore, Maryland, Leesburg, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Our school embraces a rich tradition in strong academics, character values, and family/school relations. Though predominately Caucasian, our student ethnic background includes African-American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and a myriad of other races and cultures. Our school population is not only culturally and economically diverse, but we also address a large group of special needs students through Individual Educational Plans (IEP's), extended day, special classes and support for Personalized Learning..

Each student at CWS is recognized as an individual. Modifications to programs and curriculum are made to accommodate all students. Children come first in the eyes of our staff members as we strive to instill a love of learning into each and every student – our future. Our Faculty awards scholarships to graduating seniors who are alumni of CWS. These are given in honor of our deceased art teacher, Elizabeth Seibert. Students are inspired through integrated studies that include a memory garden, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Math-A-Thon and recycling. These activities enhance students' roles in and around the school community, creating an awareness of service towards our community and its citizens.

CWS is certainly no stranger to anyone in the Jefferson County School system. Each year approximately fifty students from other school districts apply for permission to attend CWS. We have been able to accept approximately 90% of these transfers in recent years, due to our facility limitations.

As visitors approach our school, our Bradford pear trees that line the circular drive welcome them. CWS students involved in our school beautification project planted these trees. Our memory garden is dedicated to deceased students and faculty members and is located in our front circle. To the left of the school, an outdoor amphitheatre enables us to enjoy many outdoor assemblies. Approximately 15 acres serve as a beautiful play area with rolling hills and flat playing areas. Some enjoy swings, jungle gyms, horizontal ladders, and slides, while others can play basketball, four square, or hopscotch on our large blacktopped area. Children can also engage in tetherball, football, funnel ball, or kickball. A 1/3 mile walking/running path was installed over the summer of 2014 thanks to Freedom's Run, many other grant, and Jefferson County Schools.

Twenty-one regular education classrooms, four special education classrooms, rooms for music and art, a gymnasium/multi-purpose room, a teachers' workroom, and a twenty-seven station computer lab are housed inside our single story building. Five modular classrooms can be found to the rear and side of our building, one being used as a laptop computer lab, and 3 others being used as classrooms. Many school and community activities take place in our cafeteria, gym and classrooms. As visitors enter our building, a mural of Harpers Ferry welcomes them. A portrait of Mr. Charles W. Shipley hangs to the left. Educational exhibits are always on display in our showcase. Students' artwork and wall graphics adorn the halls to motivate students to excel. Bulletin boards are attractively decorated, displaying the children's creations as well as offering information to parents. Jefferson County and West Virginia symbols trim the hallways on the intermediate end of the building. Our school colors are royal blue and white. The front hallway also houses our school mascot, the raccoon. Our secretary, office aide, principal and nurse all work from this area.

Over 600 years of teaching experience thrive at CWS. Our staff of fifty employees exemplifies true dedication and service. Faculty members are continuing their education through graduate courses, staff development, and educational trainings. Staff members are continuously modeling appropriate behavior and encouraging students to excel, as we all know and believe that all students can learn. We are very proud of our staff, which includes three former CWS students.

The "spirit" of CWS continues to widen. Many former students return, as parents, desiring the same caring family-like atmosphere and quality education they received at CWS for their children. Three generations of the Reed family have attended CWS: four grandchildren, a teacher, and our school secretary. Many of our faculty members also are having their children educated at CWS: eleven sets of teacher & child, and two sets of parent & teacher. Our former principal was chosen as Jefferson County Principal of the Year 2006, we have had two teachers selected as Teacher of the Year 1988 and 2003, and our school secretary was chosen as Jefferson County School Service Personnel of the year in 1995. We truly are a unique family!

Faculty members are continuing their education through graduate courses, staff development, and professional journals. We can boast that more than one-half of our instructors have Masters degree or are presently pursuing one. Our staff continually furthers their knowledge and searches for new methods to prepare our students for challenges in an ever-changing world.

In 2003-2004 CWS received the West Virginia School of Excellence Award. Additionally, in 2005-2006, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-15, CWS was recognized as a West Virginia Exemplary School. In 2013-2014, the first year for status classifications, CW Shipley was named a Success school. In the same year, CWS was one of two schools in the Eastern Panhandle to be recognized as a High Progress School and the only school in the Eastern Panhandle to be recognized as a High Performing School. In 2014-15, CW Shipley was also one of two WV schools to be selected as a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School.

CWS's caring community perspective extends beyond the 3:40 dismissal bell. Teachers serve as 4-H and church leaders, county fair volunteers, and coaches. Our building is used as a site for 4-H activities, Boy and Girl Scout meetings, extended day care, Carriage Park and Canvas Back Ridge Homeowners Association meetings, and various athletic practices. Our school definitely provides a link to our community.

CWS has been blessed with the legacy given to us by our predecessors, the teachers who opened our doors in 1972. The teaching traditions have been passed on to all who have served at CWS. Teachers, students, parents and everyone in our community pull together to provide an outstanding and equal education for each student. Encouragement, compassion and knowledge are provided at CWS. Striving to fulfill their potential, SHIPLEY STUDENTS SUCCEED!

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