School History: 1957-1980

The opening of Lynbrook Elementary School on February 10, 1957 was similar to that of many schools in Fairfax County. The day began at Garfield Elementary School, where the students packed up their books and materials in preparation for the move to Lynbrook. School buses were brought in to transport the children from Garfield to Lynbrook. Within a few hours, all twelve classes were settled and at work in their new classrooms. The next day, the four classes from North Springfield arrived. The cafeteria opened to students on February 12, and Lynbrook’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) worked during and after school to set up the library. Dennis Lucas was one of the approximately 500 children who packed up their books and pencils at about noon on February 10, and moved to Lynbrook. During our school's 25th anniversary celebration in 1982, he described watching the construction of Lynbrook from his home on Channing Road. “It was kind of exciting to get a place you know was your own. Someplace you weren’t just borrowing," he said.

Photograph of the cover of the dedication program handed out on May 5, 1957. In the center is an illustration of the front exterior of the school building. With the exception of the school, which has been hand-colored in red, the majority of the cover is black ink lines on a white background. The words Lynbrook Elementary School have been lettered by hand in an arc at the top of the program. Beneath the school, the words Dedication Program have been written in an arc as well. The program gives the date and time of the dedication on the cover, as well as the name of the artist, Fae P. Burke.
A dedication ceremony was held on May 5, 1957, at which a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol was presented to our school by Congressman Joel T. Broyhill.
Color photographs of the first and second pages of the 1958 to 1959 Memory Book. The first page is a colorful illustration of two children, a boy and a girl, that looks similar in appearance to illustrations from Dick and Jane stories. The children are playing on a playground, and a swing set and fence are visible in the background. The word Memories appears at the top of the page in red, and the word School is written beneath it in black cursive lettering. On the right is a color photograph of the front exterior of Lynbrook Elementary School. There are no shrubs or trees on the grounds in front of the school.
Students of the 1950s and early 1960s didn't have yearbooks like we do today. They had Memory Books like this one from the 1958-59 school year. Pictured slightly smaller than actual size, these books held photographs of each class, the faculty, and student groups such as the SCA, Safety Patrol, and Glee Club. The illustration on the left is not the cover. It is the first page inside the book. Most Memory Books included a photograph of the school, but this picture in Lynbrook's book is truly a rarity because the vast majority of school photographs were printed in black and white.
Color photographs of the cover and faculty photograph pages of the 1959 to 1960 Memory Book. The cover is brown, and has a thin layer of either leather or plastic bound to paper. The cover is cracking in places, revealing the paper beneath. The words School Memories appear on the cover, with the word school printed in green and the word memories printed in white. There is also a clip-art style image of an open book on the cover. On the right is a photograph of the book's faculty page. The faculty portrait is in black and white. 20 individuals are shown, and Principal Ida Auerbach is front row center. They are standing on a stairway leading up to what at that time was the rear entrance to the school. Someone has handwritten the names of the faculty on the paper surrounding the photograph.
This Memory Book is from our 1959-60 school year. On the left is the cover of the book, and on the right is a photo of the school's faculty. Only on rare occasions were people identified by name in Memory Books. It was a common practice to write in the names of teachers and classmates next to their picture. Each book came with several blank pages at the back for autographs.
Black and white photograph from the 1959 to 1960 Memory Book showing Lynbrook's Student Cooperative Association. 17 children and their teacher sponsor are shown. They are standing on a stairway leading up to what at that time was the rear entrance to the school.
This photograph, from the 1959-60 Memory Book shows Lynbrook's SCA. Our student government and safety patrol were formed during the 1956-57 school year. Several glee clubs were also started at that time.
Black and white photograph from the 1960 to 1961 Memory Book showing Lynbrook's Safety Patrol. 27 children and the teacher sponsor are shown. Standing in front of the first row of students is a Dalmatian dog that appears to be wagging its tail. The Safety Patrol members are wearing distinct white belts.
This photograph, from the 1960-61 Memory Book shows Lynbrook's Safety Patrol. Note the Dalmatian in the foreground. Compare this photograph with the one below of Lynbrook's Safety Patrol from our 1996-97 yearbook. The color of the Safety Patrol belt has changed at least twice since the 1950s.
Color photograph from Lynbrook's 1996 to 1997 yearbook showing Lynbrook's Safety Patrol. 26 children and the teacher sponsor are shown. The children are standing on risers in the cafeteria and are arranged in three rows with their teacher on the far right. The children are wearing distinct red bets.

A Decade of Change

The decade of the 1960s brought several major changes to Lynbrook Elementary School, among which were the first additions to our building, the departure of seventh graders, the arrival of kindergarteners, and the racial integration of our student body.

Photograph of a Memory Book page from the 1961 to 1962 school year. The page has black and white head-and-shoulders portraits of students arranged in four rows. At the center of the second row is a box with text that reads Lynbrook Elementary School, Springfield, Virginia, Grade 1, 1961-62. 23 children are pictured.
Ms. Arduini's 1st grade class in 1961-62.
Black and white class photograph taken in the spring of 1964. Mr. Sheridan's class is posed outside with the two-story classroom wing of the building visible behind them. 34 children and their teacher are pictured. They are arranged in three rows with the first row, all girls, seated in chairs. The last row, all boys, are standing on chairs. Mr. Sheridan is visible on the far right.
Mr. Sheridan's 6th grade class in 1963-64.

In September 1960, FCPS officials began discussing the need for a four-classroom addition to Lynbrook with a capacity for 120 students. The contract for the construction of this addition was awarded to the E. E. Lyons Construction Company in January 1961, and was completed within the year at a cost of $54,500.

Newspaper clipping, source and date unknown. There is a black and white photograph showing the progression of construction work on the new addition to Lynbrook. The foundation has been constructed and the brick and cinderblock walls are being erected. The walls are only about 3 feet high. In the distance, one of the trailers brought in to serve as a temporary classroom is visible, and some children can be seen playing near the school. The photograph has a caption which reads Addition Underway. Work is underway at the Lynbrook elementary school on an addition which will permit abandonment next fall of the two trailers which now serve as classrooms. E. E. Lyons is contractor on the 4-room addition, which is costing $54,500 and which should be completed August 1.

Also in September 1960, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) opened its first intermediate schools. Prior to this time, elementary schools in Fairfax County educated children in grades one through seven.

Black and white photograph of Lynbrook's entire seventh grade class taken in 1958. 42 students and 3 adults are pictured, one of whom is Principal Auerbach.
In 1960, the seventh grade children in our community were assigned to Washington Irving Intermediate School.
Black and white aerial photograph of Washington Irving Intermediate School taken during the 1960s. The L-shaped building is much smaller than it is today. Visible in the distance are the newly built homes along Old Oaks Drive and Greeley Boulevard.
Washington Irving Intermediate School, 1960s. When Irving opened, the West Springfield community was still largely undeveloped. One of the first students to Irving from Lynbrook later recalled, "On the first day, we all wondered where in the world is this school bus taking us?"


When Lynbrook opened, public schools in Virginia were segregated by race. In the early 1960s, FCPS began a slow process of desegregation.

Color photograph of the front exterior of Louise Archer Elementary School. The oldest portion of the building, dating to the 1940s, is shown. It is a brick building with a peaked, tin-roof. The school has white window frames, red shutters, and red doors.
In 1965, almost every former all-African-American FCPS elementary school ceased operation. One notable exception is Louise Archer Elementary School in Vienna. These schools were located in predominantly African-American enclaves, necessitating the busing of students out of these neighborhoods to formerly all-white schools.

School segregation and residential segregation were deeply intertwined in Virginia. Since at least the early 20th century, legal land documents for Springfield area properties had language in them which was designed to permanently restrict the sale of the land to Caucasians only. In 1968, the Fair Housing Law was passed, eliminating racial barriers to homeownership. Lynbrook's student body remained largely Caucasian until the 1980s, by which time the effects of the passage of the Fair Housing Law began to be evident in Fairfax County’s suburbs.

Black and white class photograph taken in October 1966. No name is given on the photo, but a female teacher is visible on the far right of the picture. The photograph was taken in a classroom. 28 children are pictured. The children are arranged in three rows in front of a blackboard and a cork board. The classroom door is visible on the left. It is made out of wood and there is a transom above the doorway. Two circular metallic light fixtures are visible hanging down from the ceiling.
Unknown Lynbrook class, October 1966

Two New Wings

In the fall of 1967, FCPS officials began planning a second addition to Lynbrook Elementary School, to increase the building's capacity to 780 pupils. On March 28, 1968, the Fairfax County School Board authorized the project, and the following October the School Board awarded the construction contract for the addition to E. H. Glover, Inc., in the amount of $441,420. The project would take nearly two years to complete.

Newspaper clipping of an article printed on Wednesday, March 11, 1970, in the Northern Virginia Sun newspaper. The article has a black and white photograph of the front exterior of Lynbrook Elementary School showing the new pod classroom wing on the left and the original two-story classroom wing on the right. The caption reads: New wings get off the ground. Two new wings of the Lynbrook Elementary School on Backlick Road in Springfield were dedicated at a special meeting of the Parent Teachers Association last night. The added facilities include a classroom section and a wing devoted to physical education, music, and science.


During the 1967-68 school year, a kindergarten program was piloted in several schools and proved so successful that one year later FCPS implemented kindergarten county-wide. Lynbrook opened its doors to the five-year-olds of the neighborhood in September 1968. FCPS enrolled approximately 8,000 children in kindergarten during that first year.

Color class photograph taken during the 1968 to 1969 school year. 25 children and two teachers are pictured. The children appear to be very young, perhaps kindergarten or first grade. They are arranged in three rows with one teacher on each side.
Pictured are students in Dorothy White and Jeannie Scott's class in 1968-69. The grade level of the class was not stated, but this may be one of Lynbrook's first kindergarten classes.

Lynbrook's New Look

When Lynbrook first opened, our school only had 16 classrooms. Originally, the two-story wing of our building facing Backlick Road had seven classrooms on the first floor, and seven classrooms on the second floor. The library and an activity room were also located on the second floor. Today, the hallway directly in front of you as you enter through the main entrance was originally much shorter, and only had one classroom on each side. In 1961, this hallway was extended, adding four classrooms to the rear of the building.

Black and white photograph of the front exterior of Lynbrook Elementary School taken from Backlick Road. The picture is believed to date from 1968.
Lynbrook Elementary School, circa 1968

During the 1968-70 addition, the pod was added on the north side of our building, and the gymnasium, a science room, and a music room were added to the rear of the building. Classroom arrangements were also reconfigured at this time, to provide space for kindergarten and special education instruction.

Color photograph of a teacher delivering  a lesson to students in the pod. The pod is a large open space surrounded by classrooms on four sides. The teacher is at center, sitting on a table. She is holding up a paper and speaking to the students who are seated on the carpeted floor in front of her. Approximately 19 children are shown, seated with their backs to the camera. Two blackboards are visible on the wall in the distance, behind which is a classroom with windows.
Instruction taking place in the resource area of the "pod" classroom wing that was constructed in the late 1960s.

Another major plus of the 1968-70 addition was the installation of air conditioning throughout our school. In some old photographs, you'll notice the classroom windows are propped open. This was done to allow air to circulate throughout the building on warm days. If the temperature went above 95 degrees, school would be dismissed two hours early due to the heat.

Color aerial photograph of Lynbrook Elementary School taken in 1976. The building is seen from directly overhead. The additions to the original structure are readily apparent.
Lynbrook Elementary School, 1976, courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority. The four-classroom addition, and the gymnasium, music, and science room addition are visible at the rear of the building. The pod addition is visible at the top.

A Community School

During the 1960s, Lynbrook was a Summer School Center for remedial reading, math, and speech. St. Mark's Lutheran Church used our cafeteria on Sunday mornings for Sunday School classes, and American University, George Washington University,  and the University of Virginia often held classes in our school. A self-study report for school accreditation prepared by Lynbrook's principal and teachers in 1967, describes how our school had no school buses because the entire student body lived within walking distance. The study also reported that 35 percent of Lynbrook students had fathers who were in the military. Another 23 percent of students had fathers who worked for the federal government, and 89 percent of students came from households with "stay-at-home" mothers. 4 percent of students reported their mothers had professional careers as teachers or nurses, and 6 percent indicated their mothers worked as secretaries. Because many of the families were connected with the military, roughly a third of Lynbrook's student body moved out of the school district each year.

Color class photograph taken during the 1970 to 1971 school year. 34 children and their teacher are posed in a classroom. The children are arranged in three rows in front of a blackboard. Green curtains have been drawn across the windows on the right side of the picture. A circular metallic light fixture is visible hanging down from the ceiling.
Miss Andrew's 6th grade class, 1970-71

The Ida B. Auerbach Library

In 1972, Principal Ida Auerbach announced her retirement from Fairfax County Public Schools. Following her retirement, the Fairfax County School Board, at the request of Lynbrook's PTA, formally dedicated our library to Mrs. Auerbach in recognition of her loyalty, devotion, and service to our school and community. Principal Auerbach was succeeded by Alice E. Pharr, who led Lynbrook for five years from 1972 to 1977. During this time period, enrollment at Lynbrook swelled from 686 students in 1971 to a peak of 807 students in 1975. After 1975, enrollment at Lynbrook gradually declined to a low of 594 students in 1983. Declining enrollment during this era was not unique to Lynbrook. We'll explore why in the next chapter.

Color class photograph taken during the 1972 to 1973 school year. 31 children and their teacher are posed in a classroom. The children are arranged in four rows in front of a blackboard.
Unknown Lynbrook class, 1972-73. Even after full desegregation in 1965 and the passage of the Fair Housing Law in 1968, Lynbrook's student body remained largely Caucasian until the 1980s.

Lynbrook's School History was written with assistance from Robyn Carter.