About Us

James Dobson Elementary school is a gem. It is high-achieving K-8 neighborhood elementary school resting in the hills that define Manayunk and Roxborough. It serves just under 300 students from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds. The size creates a true family atmosphere in the building with a dedicated staff that proudly watches the students grow and mature. Families also bring an active, energetic presence to the school. It is a true community, and those relationships make all the difference for our students.

Our Vision

Dobson students care for their community. They act with respect, empathy, and integrity in order to make a positive difference in the world around them.

Our Mission

Dobson seeks to shape students to act as stewards of the future. By creating opportunities for students to take action, students understand the ways they can contribute to positive change.

Academic Programs

  • Expressive Arts
    • Music
    • Graphic Arts
    • Physical Education
  • PIAA Sports
    • Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball (Fall)
    • Girls’ Volleyball (Winter)
    • Girls’ Softball (Spring)
  • After-School Enrichment
    • LEGO Robotics Team
    • Language Club
    • Reading Olympics
    • Cultural Arts Club
    • Tutoring Club
  • Elective Programs
    • Student Government
    • PSTV Media Hub
    • Philly Ad Club
    • Fit Fin
    • Choir
    • Band
    • Mock Trial
    • History Hunters
    • Geek Squad
    • Yearbook Committee
  • Middle-Years Academy
    • 6-8 experience to start preparing students for High School
    • Personalized assistance with High School Application process


  • Rendell Center
  • Mural Arts
  • Schuylkill Center

Social-Emotional Learning

At Dobson, we prioritize teaching the whole-child. We deliberately teach habits and mindsets that can help students act with respect, empathy, and integrity. Therefore, the school sets aside 45 minutes every Monday morning for Second Step.

Second Step is a curriculum written specifically to help students “manage their own emotions, form healthy relationships, make good decisions, and cope with everyday social and academic challenges.” You can learn more at Secondstep.org OR the Committee for Children.