School History

Lemon Road Elementary School opened on January 6, 1956, during the post-World War II period known as the baby boom. In 1950, there were 16,163 children enrolled in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). By 1960 that number would climb to 59,870. Planning for our school began in July 1952 when Superintendent W. T. Woodson recommended the purchase 12 acres of land along Lemon Road for a school site. In January 1955, the Fairfax County School Board awarded the contract for the construction of Lemon Road Elementary School to the firm of Hayes, Seay, Mattern and Mattern in the amount of $379,400. Plans initially called for Lemon Road to have 14 classrooms, but by the time the construction contract was awarded that number was increased to 18 classrooms. In January 1956, the Washington Post reported that Lemon Road Elementary School opened ahead of schedule “relieving crowding at the Franklin Sherman, Pimmit Hills, Dunn Loring, and Haycock Elementary Schools” where Lemon Road students had been temporarily housed.

Black and white photograph of Lemon Road Elementary School taken in 1958. Idylwood Road is much narrower than in the present day and there are less trees. A white fence separates the school property from neighboring homes.
Lemon Road Elementary School, 1958

Our school is located on Idylwood Road. Why is it named Lemon Road?

Lemon Road Elementary School Yearbook from the 1961 to 1962 school year. The portraits are of children in 1st grade. 26 children are pictured, as well as their teacher and principal.
Lemon Road Elementary School Yearbook, 1961-62. This is the earliest yearbook in our collection.

 

Integration

From the founding of Fairfax County Public Schools in 1870 until the early 1960s, public schools in Fairfax County were segregated by race. Lemon Road Elementary School was built to serve the rapidly expanding white suburban communities northwest of Falls Church. At that time, African-American children from our area were bused to the all-African-American Louise Archer Elementary School in Vienna. In the early 1960s, FCPS began a slow process of desegregation. African-American families who were interested in having their children attend a school nearer their home had to apply for pupil placement in previously all-white school buildings. In December 1962, Mitzy Blackwell, a 7-year-old second grader, was admitted to Lemon Road by the Fairfax County School Board making her the first African-American child to attend our school. Mitzy’s admission brought the total number of desegregated FCPS schools to 33 out of 104. All racially segregated public schools in Fairfax County were closed at the end of the 1965-66 school year, marking the beginning of the racially and culturally diverse Fairfax County public school system we know today.

Black and white photograph of the main entrance to Lemon Road Elementary School. The picture appears to have been taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
Lemon Road Elementary School, Undated

 

Explore the evolution of Lemon Road Elementary School in this series of aerial photographs courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority.