Bailey's Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences

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Coordinates: 38°51′9.94″N 77°8′39.02″W / 38.8527611°N 77.1441722°W / 38.8527611; -77.1441722

Bailey's Elementary Magnet School for the Arts and Sciences
Bailey's Elementary
Bailey's Elementary Magnet School for the Arts and Sciences is located in Northern Virginia
Bailey's Elementary Magnet School for the Arts and Sciences
Bailey's Elementary Magnet School for the Arts and Sciences
Bailey's Elementary Magnet School for the Arts and Sciences is located in Virginia
Bailey's Elementary Magnet School for the Arts and Sciences
Bailey's Elementary Magnet School for the Arts and Sciences
Bailey's Elementary Magnet School for the Arts and Sciences is located in the United States
Bailey's Elementary Magnet School for the Arts and Sciences
Bailey's Elementary Magnet School for the Arts and Sciences
6111 Knollwood Dr., Falls Church, 22041 VA, United States
TypePublic School
PrincipalMarie Lemmon
Colour(s)Orange and Black
AffiliationFairfax County Public Schools
PyramidStuart HS

Bailey's Elementary is a public school located in Bailey's Crossroads, Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The school was founded in 1952. It is part of the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). The school is by far the most culturally, economically, linguistically diverse elementary school in FCPS and is a Title I School. Bailey's is the first magnet school in Fairfax County and offers Spanish immersion instruction in Math and Sciences. Bailey's ES Representative on the FCPS School Board is Sandra Evans.

Bailey's Elementary is considered of particular note as it was specially selected in 1997 by President Clinton's One America Initiative Advisory Board on Race (consisting of John Hope Franklin, Linda Chavez-Thompson, Suzan D. Johnson Cook, Thomas Kean, Angela E. Oh, Robert J. Thomas, and William Winter) as a model for educational excellence in diverse communities, as a commissioned case study, "Bailey's Elementary: Educational Strategies for Making Diversity an Asset[1][2] that identified the school as "An educational, social and cultural haven for students from all backgrounds".

And President Clinton’s One America Initiative on Race Report "AMERICA IN THE 21ST CENTURY: FORGING A NEW FUTURE Report"[3] quotes Linda Chavez-Thompson, who was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Advisory Board on Race when she visited Bailey's Elementary in December 1997

"[I]t is absolutely delightful that the children at the elementary level don’t know what color is. ... They understand diversity...they celebrate their differences. One young student said, 'And that makes us one. We all are the same inside.' And I got that very distinctly from the curriculum, from the expression of the parents, from the expression of the teachers...I was absolutely blown away by how intense these young fourth and fifth graders were in expressing why to them there is absolutely no difference between all of them, no matter what their name is and no matter what the color of their skin.[4]

Bailey's is located in Culmore area and many children from the Culmore area attend Bailey's.

Magnet program[edit]

The magnet program was established in 1991 [5] after Bailey's PTA, under the leadership of then PTA President Richard Kurin, threatened to sue the school board [6] to redraw the school boundaries to bring academic, language, and cultural diversity to a school with a high percentage (87% in 1991) of non-native English speakers [7] and.[8] In order to attract students outside of Bailey's neighborhood, the school has consistently distinguished itself from other area schools by offering innovative educational programs and experiences, most notably through its focus on the arts, science, and technology. The result has been the consistent, nationwide recognition of Bailey's excellence in education, and the creation of a multicultural (50+ nationalities) school community that cuts across economic levels and includes students from all parts of the county.

In 1997 President Clinton's One America Initiative (whose Executive Director was Judith A. Winston) Advisory Board on Race commissioned a Case Study "Bailey's Elementary: Educational Strategies to Make Diversity an Asset"[1] and called the school "an educational, social and cultural haven for students from all backgrounds", quoted by Journalist Peter Baker [9] and others. Coincidentally, Michael C. Rubenstein, co-author of the study with Clarenda M. Phillips and Jessica K. Wodatch, attended Bailey's in the 1970s when it had very different demographics.

Under the 2010 FCPS Budget Cuts, the Magnet transportation buses that bring out-of-boundary students to Bailey's was to be eliminated to save approximately $100,000.[10] The community and the PTA protested that this would lead to a loss of magnet families which in turn will erode the cultural, economic, linguistic diversity that has been lauded as a model for the nation. In April 2009, the FCPS school board decided to keep the magnet transportation.

Most students get free or reduced lunch.

CETA arts program[edit]

Bailey's was one of the first schools in Fairfax County to participate (since 1999) in the CETA [11] Changing Education Through the Arts program of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. CETA integrates the arts across the curriculum to help motivate students and increase their knowledge.[12] The Kennedy Center provides professional development to the teachers that focuses on arts-integrated instruction, and is based on national, state, and local standards. The motto of the CETA Program is "CREATE, IMAGINE, CONNECT, INQUIRE, PROBLEM SOLVE and THRIVE!"

Under the 2010 FCPS Proposed Budget cuts, the CETA program was one of the programs that had been targeted for elimination. The program was redesigned and not eliminated.

“Through the CETA program, teachers come to understand that the arts really turn on lights in children's minds—their learning is more meaningful and deeper.” — CETA Teacher[13]

Bailey's art reach program[edit]

At Bailey's the Arts are often connected to the Community at large and since Bailey's has such a diverse student population, the arts reflect the vibrant, multicultural character of the school. Every year local artists help students create Murals that adorn Bailey's exterior as well as interior walls. Students engage in "Cloth Stories of Perseverance", ask their relatives about stories of personal survival and perseverance and then embroider the stories onto frames. Children also created a Cultural Friendship Fence, painted white picket fences with symbols of their cultural heritage. The Arts Reach program was created by Allyn Kurin, an ESOL teacher.

Performing arts, drama, music and technology[edit]

The Black Box Theater enable Bailey's students to engage in all phases of drama, from writing scripts, to stage design, to performing. Drama and curriculum content are closely tied. Bailey's performing arts include 4th and 5th grade chorus, 4th and 5th grade band (students can choose to play flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone, or percussion), 3rd grade violin (all 3rd graders in the school learn to play violin for an entire year), and 4th and 5th grade orchestra (students can choose to play violin, viola, cello, or bass).

Audio-visual lab[edit]

The Audio-Visual Lab focuses on multimedia projects for all students grades K-5. To accomplish this, students spend much of their time in the Computer Lab, or using our laptop carts, learning a variety of software programs to work with. The goal of the program is for students to feel comfortable enough with the available resources to inquire, create and connect with all they must learn. In part, we will use technology to teach to the students (SmartBoards, United Streaming, Type2Learn, Pixie and ImageBlender, etc.); we will use technology in standards-based learning projects to teach and assess students. They will learn applications such as Movie Maker, Audacity, Photostory, Powerpoint, Publisher, WebBlender, and more. Examples of student work include recording podcasts, books on tape, and slideshows as well as using digital cameras to create art and tell stories.

Integrated Approach: Teachers at Baileys have both equipment and human resources to aid in planning and implementing units and lesson. Baileys has two technology positions to facilitate technology-integrated lessons K-5. All teachers are expected, on some level, to enhance instruction through this integration and our technology specialists help achieve this goal throughout the year.

Spanish immersion program[edit]

Bailey's Elementary has a partial Spanish Immersion Program[14] where students spend half the day studying grade-level math and science curriculum in Spanish; and the other half of the day is conducted in English. The Spanish immersion program also increases the students' multicultural awareness.

Bailey's also has a Two-way Immersion for Kindergarten where students are taught half of the school day in English and the other half in Spanish. The English and Spanish speaking students learn skills from each other.


Bailey's English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)helps over 500 students in grades K-5, to develop English proficiency, raise their academic achievement levels.[15] ESOL Offers a variety of hands-on instructional activities that allow students the opportunity to feel successful while participating in all content areas, provides small group instruction to meet the individualized needs of the students. ESOL teachers are school based resources and provide expertise and assistance in planning effective strategies and practices within the classroom setting.

Science and outdoor education[edit]

The Courtyard which serves as one of the Outdoor Education areas at Bailey's, features a pond, "Sunny" the turtle, a rain barrel, a fountain operated by a solar panel. Some examples of outdoor education: Children plant tulip bulbs to estimate when they will emerge; in the fall children plant pumpkins; children measure their shadows' length at various times of day; observing butterflies' cycle.

The Partnership with the US Forest Service aims at increasing students"understanding of the environment and natural resource conservation. This partnership (termed "Sustainable Operations" by the USFS), not only affects the students but it also motivates the community to care for the environment".[16]

Bailey's Science Teacher Lynn Riggs was selected Teacher of the Year in Fairfax County.[17]

"I'm not about giving the answers, I'm about 'Let's investigate and how can we investigate.' I want to make sure my community has people in it who are problem solvers, who are ready to take on the world. Being able to think like a scientist is extremely powerful."


Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, a second campus, in a converted 5-story office building, now houses grades 3, 4, and 5 (the "Upper" school). This unique arrangement relieves severe overcrowding at the original building. The address of Bailey's Upper School is 6245 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22044, 1.4 miles from the original 6111 Knollwood Drive (22041) facility which continues to house grades K-2.


  1. ^ a b "Educational Strategies for Making Diversity an Asset" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  2. ^ " Special Race Relations Report". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  4. ^ The President’s Initiative on Race, ONE AMERICA IN THE 21ST CENTURY: FORGING A NEW FUTURE (1998), p. 27
  5. ^ Duke, Daniel L. (1 February 2012). "Education Empire: The Evolution of an Excellent Suburban School System". SUNY Press. Retrieved 21 January 2018 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "A magnet program intended to bolster Bailey's Elementary School in Fairfax County VA, almost eliminated in a round of budget cutting by the School Board, was revived after parents invoked an obscure law requiring the board to vote again."
  7. ^ Fairfax School Targeted For Magnet Program; Aim Is to Lure English-Speaking Students, The Washington Post, DeNeen L. Brown Oct 23, 1991
  8. ^ The Magnet Program was created amidst much controversy. Richard Kurin, the PTA President at the time was quoted "It took a lot of courage to integrate southern schools. How much courage can it take for parents next door to send their children to Bailey's?"
  9. ^ "Special Race Relations Report". 1997-12-18. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  10. ^ Turning Back the Clock? Fairfax Magnet School, a Model of Diversity, Could Lose Its Bus Service By Michael Alison Chandler, The Washington Post, April 24, 2009
  11. ^ "CETA". Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  12. ^ "FCPS CETA video". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  13. ^ "A teacher on CETA". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-01-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "ESOL Teacher Allyn Kurin". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Partnership". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  17. ^ Glod, Maria (6 April 2006). "A Teacher's Call: 'Let's Investigate'". Retrieved 21 January 2018 – via

Bailey's Elementary in the news[edit]

  • Turning Back the Clock? Fairfax Magnet School, a Model of Diversity, Could Lose Its Bus Service By Michael Alison Chandler, The Washington Post, April 24, 2009
  • Clubs Ground Students in Language of Their Roots By Maria Glod, The Washington Post, May 14, 2007; Page B01
  • A Teacher's Call: 'Let's Investigate' By Maria Glod, The Washington Post, April 6, 2006, Page VA05
  • Falls Church School Won't Teach to the Test, by Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, Oct 12, 2004, Page B01
  • Forum in Fairfax Finally Hits a Nerve By Peter Baker Washington Post, December 18, 1997;
  • With Work, Peace Comes To Schools Once Divided, by Steven A. Holmes, The New York Times, Dec 17, 1997.
  • Fairfax Magnet School Gets President's Attention; Race Initiative Board to Study Effort at Bailey's Elementary by Victoria Benning, The Washington Post, December 15, 1997.
  • At Bailey's Elementary, A Model Revolution; Magnet Program Transforms Beleaguered School. by Rick Allen,The Washington Post, March 25, 1993..
  • Fairfax Votes To Revive Magnet Plan; Parents Seek Balance At Bailey's, by DeNeen L. Brown, The Washington Post, June 12, 1992.
  • Fairfax Sticks to Its Plan For Bailey's Magnet School Source by DeNeen L. Brown, The Washington Post, December 6, 1991./small>
  • Wish List for Schools; New Programs Sought Despite Budget Woes by DeNeen L. Brown, The Washington Post, Nov 28, 1991, Page v.03
  • Fairfax School Targeted for Magnet Program, by DeNeen L. Brown, The Washington Post, Oct 23, 1991, p. D6.
  • Fairfax Delays Magnet School Plan, The Washington Post, May 3, 1991, p. c.03
  • Fairfax Board Votes a New Magnet School;Bailey's Elementary, With 87% Minority Students, Is Targeted], by Thomas Heath, The Washington Post, March 8, 1991. "
  • One School's Balancing Act of Cultural Diversity, by Peter Baker, The Washington Post, Jan 27, 1991, p. b.01."
  • Families Immersed in School Language Plan, by Peter Baker, The Washington Post, Mar 23, 1989. p. v.03

FCPS budget related links[edit]

External links[edit]