James K. Zaharis Elementary School
Home of the Soaring Eagles
James K. Zaharis Elementary School is part of the Mesa Public School District serving kindergarten through sixth grade students. Zaharis is unique to the Mesa Schools—while it is a neighborhood school, it draws students from both near and far.
We strive to honor what John Dewey said about a hundred years ago: Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. At Zaharis, our students see themselves as democratic participants in the world whose voices and opinions count. In an authentic learning environment, they are mathematicians, historians, readers, writers, scientists, and social scientists.
Critical thinking is nurtured through a workshop pedagogy where we place a premium on inquiry-based, hands-on learning. Children develop independence as learners and the ability to work together to raise questions, investigate issues, and solve problems. Our classroom communities are alive with a passion and fire for learning. Children apprentice themselves to their teachers and they work side-by-side to make sense out of the world.
Zaharis places a very heavy emphasis on literacy development. We help children grow as readers by using real books. Literary discussions illuminate our classrooms, as we challenge ourselves to look at the world through new perspectives. At Zaharis, children develop a love for reading, and it becomes a central part of their lives.