Christopher C. Kraft Elementary School is located in the Northhampton Section of Hampton, Virginia. The area, showing continuous growth and expansion, constituted the need to form Kraft’s construction to alleviate crowded conditions in neighboring elementary schools. Centrally located on a spacious seventeen-acre lot, Kraft accommodates approximately 650 children.
The school name was derived from one of Hampton’s outstanding local citizens involved in the N.A.S.A. Space Program. The city paid tribute to Christopher C. Kraft, Jr. by naming the school in his honor.
Kraft, completed in 1966, is a unique design. The round shape construction was experimental to determine the feasibility of this particular design. Twenty-five self-contained classrooms, a large cafeteria, activity room, clinic, office, adequate library facilities and storage areas were available for the beginning enrollment of 547 students. An adjacent covered play area to facilitate physical education during inclement weather was included in the original plan.
In 1967, growth necessitated the opening of three additional classrooms. Hampton’s kindergarten policy in public schools created the demand for an additional wing. Construction to provide three large kindergarten rooms was completed and ready to service the area’s need by 1968. Three morning classes and two afternoon sessions were begun. Constant expansion saw the enrollment soar by 1970 to approximately 850 children and a teaching staff of 30.
Kraft Elementary celebrated its 25th anniversary in the fall of 1991, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., now living in Houston, Texas, was the keynote speaker. He challenged students to “Reach for the Stars”, and also encouraged their interests in science, math, and technology. Other 25th anniversary activities included a moon rock loaned by N.A.S.A. Langley Research Center. N.A.S.A. also provided space suits for students to try on, and the PTA sponsored a sixties dance.
In 1993-94, Kraft Elementary officially adopted our namesake, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr.’s words – “Reaching for the Stars” as our school motto.
At the present time, Kraft has approximately 460 students and approximately 53 faculty and staff members. During the 2016-2017 school year, we have four major areas of focus:
- Increased student performance
- Promoting positive student behavior
- Better communication with parents through the use of technology
- Working more closely with parents and the community to ensure student success
- School Beautification Team to improve and maintain grounds.
- Retention and Recruitment of teachers and staff
- Marketing, Communication, Community, and Business Partnerships