John T. Hartman became a part of the Kansas City Missouri School District with the annexation of the Ruhl-Hartman District in 1947. The school was named in honor of a Presbyterian Missionary whose name had been associated closely with the community. The Rev. John T. Hartman, a Sabbath School Missionary, helped organize several churches here in the first quarter of the century. Neighbors said that John T. Hartman would pitch a tent in a neighborhood and hold Sunday school meetings from which an organized church would develop. In this way, he is credited with founding the former Prospect Avenue Presbyterian church, the Covenant Presbyterian Church, and the Trinity Presbyterian Church.
In 1986, John T. Hartman School became John T. Hartman Investigative Learning Magnet (Hartman). In the reconstruction of the Kansas City Missouri School District, beginning in the fall of 1998, Hartman remained a magnet school of choice.
During the 2002-2003 year Hartman Investigative Learning Magnet joined the Missouri Accelerated Schools Program and became an accelerated school. Before returning to a neighborhood school in 2009, Hartman was a school of choice having made AYP 4 years in a row. Parent perceptions of Hartman Elementary School have been very positive. The integrity of Hartman Elementary School is being maintained through the active involvement of parents, staff and community in the teaching and learning process.