About East Hancock

  • Stay Connected

EHESchoolArealEast Hancock Elementary School, also known as EHE, is 1 of 4 elementary schools in the Hancock County School District.  EHE serves the southeastern portion of Hancock County, for grades Kindergarten – 5th, encompassing the city of Diamondhead and the community of Kiln, Mississippi.

Upon entering East Hancock Elementary, you are greeted by murals of swampy habitats and local flora and fauna painted by staff and parents. On the ceiling in the front hall hang stars, representing the accomplishment of being a Star school, the highest accreditation awarded by the state. East has had this honor for six of our twelve years. A painted lighthouse also commemorates the honor of receiving a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse Award in 05-06 while also being declared a National Blue Ribbon Award school in 2013. There are sounds of children singing, evidence of successes celebrated, and displays of student work throughout the halls. Every kindergarten through fifth grade classroom is warm and welcoming with inviting themes and is rich with print.

The pride of being a Gator extends beyond the walls of the building to the surrounding rural and suburban community. Our parents are happy when their children come to East and are sad when they move on. We set out with a commitment to school-wide literacy and continue every day to reinforce that goal. We stocked classroom libraries together with PTO and community partners. We established a Reading Power Hour where students are ability grouped across grade levels and improve their reading skills “East Hancock Elementary School is a nurturing community dedicated to academic excellence for all children. Our curriculum is designed to foster critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and social skills in an environment that encourages a sense of pride and a lifetime love of learning.”through literacy circles, author and book studies, and reader’s theater. We foster a belief in using technology to motivate and engage digital native learners in every classroom to make data collection and individualized instruction an everyday reality. We partnered with KaBoom and ING Direct to build a student-designed playground to create a place for children to flourish. While a Title 1 school, with over half the population being economically disadvantaged, Hurricane Katrina lowered socioeconomic levels of students and teachers and rendered half our population, including teachers, homeless and/or temporarily displaced. In response, we studied Understanding Poverty so that we could adapt our methodology to the changed population. These are some of our greatest achievements and important milestones use to mark time in our history.

There are rich traditions at East Hancock. Students anticipate field trips like the fourth grade trip to our state capital to enrich the Mississippi studies unit and third grade field trip to the Audubon Zoo concluding the Africa unit. As they move through grades, students know they will participate in the Mardi Gras Reading Celebration, Mississippi Day, and time-honored grade level musicals. Fifth graders receive a fifth grade shirt commemorating their final year, help in the library, and act as kindergarten walkers to guide kindergarten students in their first school experiences. Students redeem gator tags and certificates for a signed book from the principal. The annual yearbook cover competition, 100th Day celebrations, Field Day, Star School celebrations, and dress like a book character day are all traditions which are woven through the fabric of student experiences.

Our greatest strength is the dedication of our staff and community in providing a rigorous, positive and rewarding learning environment. We often sing, dance, and celebrate through learning. We are a school family where the learning is disguised as fun, engaging opportunities for students. Students excel because teachers have a fundamental conviction that they have a positive impact on learning giving no credence to limitations based on past performance, behavior, or demographics. Decisions are made through our leadership team so that all perspectives are considered. Academic and behavior programs are established or discontinued based on whole or individualized student need. We operate as a Professional Learning Community for data interpretation and action plan development and to preserve a child’s love of learning while maintaining our expectations for our students and staff. We accomplish this through our mission statement, state curriculum, and collegially-designed action plans.

Our community consists of rural families who are deeply entrenched in the history and culture of the county and those who move here to work in nearby industry. Stennis Space Center brings many diverse families offering our school experiences that we embrace. We are supported in a robust way by parents and community volunteers who have a daily, physical presence through tutoring, reading, maintaining reward programs, and creating meaningful themed displays. We are not a school standing alone, but a community of parents, teachers, senior citizens, and business persons who have joined together to “Learn, Love, Laugh, Lead.”

“East Hancock Elementary School is a nurturing community dedicated to academic excellence for all children. Our curriculum is designed to foster critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and social skills in an environment that encourages a sense of pride and a lifetime love of learning.” This mission statement was created by the staff when East Hancock opened its doors to the community of Hancock County on October 4, 1999, and it has continued to guide the commitment to foster academic excellence. It drives our school climate, traditions, expectations, achievements, and interactions with the community.