J. B. Fisher Elementary School opened in 1966 as a Chesterfield County School. It remained a county school until the annexation of land to Richmond City. J. B. Fisher School became an elementary school in the city of Richmond in 1970. As a Richmond Public School, J. B. Fisher was reorganized in 1986 as one of three original open enrollment, open education facilities of the district. The model school theme, “Thinking Skills” became Fisher’s identified theme.
The thinking skills program was based on the implementation of Talents Unlimited Model designed by Dr. Calvin Taylor. His approach to the teaching-learning process is called the multiple Talent approach and that all students are above average in at least one of the talents. (Productive Thinking, Communication, Forecasting, Planning, Decision-making, Academics) To compliment the model, the staff used “Think Trix”, a questioning cue technique used to promote higher order thinking skills, and The Direct Instruction Model, to meet the needs of the diverse student population. These models and techniques promoted student achievement for over two decades. State accreditation was made in the year 1999 and retained throughout the next ten years. The school has also made AYP (federal requirement and guidelines each year of its existence.)
In the year 2000 the Richmond School Board elected to eliminate the distinction of model schools. Although Fisher was no longer a model school, the staff remained focused on the higher order thinking skills and its implementation into the daily instruction. The school mascot is the Flamingo and school colors are blue and gold.
The school year 2008 -2009, staff and students participated in a very specialized curriculum in Language Arts entitled Core Knowledge. The program is based on the ideas presented by E.D. Hirsch Jr. in his books Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them. He is affiliated with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville where the Core Knowledge Foundation established in 1986 is located. The curriculum is systematic and builds upon the previous mastered objectives of each grade level. Students are exposed to grade level objectives that will develop cultural literacy and a strong vocabulary. Core Knowledge objectives incorporates a broad range of skills that enhance current state objectives. (www.coreknowledge.org).