Buckley School (California)

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The Buckley School
Buckley School.svg
3900 Stansbury Avenue
Sherman Oaks, California 91423
United States
Coordinates 34°08′23″N 118°26′37″W / 34.1397°N 118.4436°W / 34.1397; -118.4436Coordinates: 34°08′23″N 118°26′37″W / 34.1397°N 118.4436°W / 34.1397; -118.4436
Type Private school
Motto Dare to Be True
Founded 1933
Founder Isabelle Buckley
Head of school Andrew Wooden (interim)
Faculty 109
Grades K–12
Enrollment 770 (2015)
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
Campus size 18 acres, 784,080 ft² (72,843.42 m²)
Color(s) Red, grey
Mascot Griffins
Newspaper The Student Voice
Yearbook Images

The Buckley School is a college preparatory day school for students in grades kindergarten through 12 (K–12). Founded in 1933 by Isabelle Buckley, the school is located in Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley portion of Los Angeles, California, in the United States. Buckley is one of the oldest co-educational day schools in the Los Angeles area.


The Buckley School is a K–12 school that enrolls a total of 830 students. Approximate division sizes are: 270 in grade K–5; 210 in grades 6–8; and 345 in grades 9–12, allowing for an average class size of 17 students.[1] The school's Middle and Upper divisions follow an eight-day block schedule, including both 45-minute and 90-minute class times. The school’s Lower division follows a five-day schedule and combines a developmental approach with structure.[2] All divisions are located on a single 18-acre campus in Sherman Oaks, California. Buckley is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and the California Department of Education. It is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.[3]


The Buckley School was founded as an "independent co-educational institution" by Isabelle Buckley in 1933 based on her own "4-Fold Plan of Education", which equally emphasizes academics, arts, athletics, and an ethical education. Early campuses were located in Los Angeles, Encino, Tarzana, and the school had two locations in Sherman Oaks. In 1964, Isabelle Buckley purchased land from the Glenaire Country Club in Sherman Oaks, and by 1973 all five divisions of the school were consolidated at the Stansbury Avenue location.[1][4] In 2008, the city of Los Angeles approved campus enhancements to be completed over a six-year (non-consecutive) total building period. Construction began in 2011; Phase III of Buckley's Campus Enhancement Plan began in late 2014 and is scheduled to end in late 2016.[4]

By the end of 2016, the school will have added three new buildings to support academics, including specialized science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classrooms, as well as the performing arts, including dance and music rehearsal spaces, a black-box theatre, and a state-of-the-art performance and community gathering space. Improvements also have included a renovated and fully modernized Middle and Upper School library and administrative offices, renovated classrooms, including the addition of a world languages lab, and renovated college counseling, admission, and Lower School administrative offices.[5][6]


Buckley's Lower, Middle, and Upper divisions share a single 18-acre (7.3 ha) campus. According to the school's website, facilities include more than 60 classrooms, two libraries, an indoor gymnasium and theatre, a 4-acre (1.6 ha) outdoor field and stadium, an indoor pool, a weight-training facility, an outdoor basketball court, two Lower School play yards, a nature trail, and a garden and outdoor classroom/patio.[1] Buckley is one of the oldest co-educational day schools in Los Angeles, and one of the few with all K–12 students on one campus.[5] The school's Academic and Performing Arts Building opened in 2012, followed by its Mathematics and Science Building in 2013. These buildings feature modern music, theater, dance, and art classrooms, as well as a new theatre, journalism classroom, student technology center, digital arts and music center, and science classrooms with prep areas for labs. Buckley's Center for Community and the Arts is expected to be completed in 2016.[6]


The school's motto is "Dare to Be True".[7] The "Buckley Commitment", which is displayed in all classrooms and is signed by students and teachers at the start of each academic year, sets expectations for respect, kindness, honesty, loyalty, self-discipline and self-reliance.[7] The school's dress code dates back to its founding and has been modernized in the intervening years. Today, boys wear a combination of polo shirts, khakis pants or shorts, sweaters in the school’s colors (red, black, or gray) and Buckley sweatshirts; girls wear skirts with tights, black jeans, sweaters in school colors, polo shirts, or Buckley sweatshirts.[8][9][10][11] Buckley's mascot is the griffin.[12]

Students huddling prior to racing a 5K run at Pearce College in 2011

Buckley offers a variety of student activities,[13] as well as after-school and summer programs.[14][15] Interscholastic sports include baseball for male students and softball and volleyball for female students; co-ed sports include basketball, cross-country running, equestrian sports, soccer, swimming and diving, and tennis.[3] The school maintains a no-cut policy in Middle School athletics.[16][17]

The school's newspaper is the award-winning publication The Student Voice.[18] In 1998, Los Angeles Times presented the school with a "general excellence award" as part of its annual High School Journalism Awards competition, earning Buckley $1,000 for its journalism program.[19] In 2010 and 2012, The Student Voice received "High School Newspaper Silver Crown" awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA).[20][21] In 2015, individuals contributors were recognized in the categories "Sidebar writing", "Sports Page Design", and "Single Subject News or Feature Package, Double-truck or Special Section Design" at the CSPA's 32nd Gold Circle Awards.[22]

In 2002, the Performing Arts Department collaborated with Tony-nominated writer and director Stuart Ross to present the world premiere of The Sounds of Plaid, a large-cast, co-ed version of Ross's international hit Forever Plaid.[23][24] In 2015, 34 students won 60 Scholastic Art Awards, which have been presented to student artists in grades 7–12 nationwide since 1923. Students earned awards in thirteen categories: architecture, ceramics and glass, comic art, design, digital art, drawing and illustration, fashion, film and animation, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and art portfolio.[25][26]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Buckley at a Glance". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  2. ^ "A Developmental Approach Combined with Structure". The Buckley School. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Private Secondary Schools: Traditional Day and Boarding Schools: Part II of V. Peterson's. May 1, 2011. pp. 591–592. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "History: Developing Our Campus". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Campus: The Buckley Experience". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Capital Campaign: Buckley Together". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "The Buckley Commitment". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  8. ^ Seipp, Michele (November 13, 1986). "Uniformity Gets a Touch of Personality: Private-School Students Test Dress Codes with Fiery Hair, Flashy Jewelry". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. ISSN 0458-3035. OCLC 3638237. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  9. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  10. ^ "Buckley Dress Code and Hair Length Policy" (PDF). The Buckley School. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  11. ^ Robinson, Gaile (February 2, 1990). "A Good Grade for Uniformity : Style: Vaughn Street Elementary School becomes L.A.'s first to make regimental dressing an option". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  12. ^ "Academics at Buckley". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "Student Activities". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  14. ^ "Afterschool Programs". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  15. ^ "Summer Programs". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  16. ^ "Middle School: 6–8". The Buckley School. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  17. ^ "Middle School Athletics". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  18. ^ "The Student Voice: The Online Newspaper of The Buckley School". The Student Voice. The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  19. ^ Schultz, Tom (July 10, 1998). "Times Honors High School Journalists". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  20. ^ "2010 – Awards For Student Work Crown Awards – Scholastic Recipients". Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  21. ^ "CSPA presents 68 Scholastic Gold, 122 Silver Crowns at 2012 Student Awards Convocation" (PDF). North East Independent School District. p. 3. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  22. ^ "2015 – Awards For Student Work Gold Circle Awards – Scholastic Recipients". Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  23. ^ Heffley, Lynne (November 6, 2002). "Plaid' graduates to a new pinnacle: high school stages". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  24. ^ Grode, Eric (February 29, 2004). "Stage to Screen: Will the Silver Screen Go "Plaid?" and The Best of 2003"". Playbill. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  25. ^ "Griffins Take 60 Scholastic Art Awards". The Buckley School. February 6, 2015. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  26. ^ "National Scholastic Winners' Works Revealed". The Buckley School. April 14, 2015. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  27. ^ "Tatyana Ali: From Bel Air to Harvard and Back". BET. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  28. ^ Richardson, John H. (September 22, 2008). "The Secret History of Paul Thomas Anderson". Esquire. Hearst Corporation. ISSN 0014-0791. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  29. ^ "Rich Private School Benefits from $40 Million in Tax-Exempt Municipal Bonds". AllGov.com. July 2, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  30. ^ Levitt, Shelley (January 27, 1992). "Sizzling Campbell". People. Time Inc. 37 (3). ISSN 0093-7673. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  31. ^ a b Von Fremd, Mike; Netter, Sarah (September 6, 2010). "Michael Jackson's Children Thriving in the Classroom". ABC News. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  32. ^ a b c d e f Wilson, Simone (June 29, 2012). "Buckley School, Sherman Oaks Campus for Super Rich Kids, Granted $40M Charity Loan by L.A. City Hall". LA Weekly. Voice Media Group. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  33. ^ "Abigail Disney, Ph.D Candidate, Weds Pierre Norman Hauser 2d at Columbia". The New York Times. October 9, 1988. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  34. ^ "Bret Easton Ellis: Leader of the Bret pack". The Guardian. January 7, 1999.
  35. ^ Pilato, Herbie J. (September 9, 2014). Glamour, Gidgets, and the Girl Next Door: Television's Iconic Women from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 109. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  36. ^ Schulte-Peevers, Andrea (September 15, 2010). Los Angeles and Southern California. Lonely Planet. p. 107. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  37. ^ Mulkerrins, Jane (February 10, 2014). "Mad about the new Girls star: Gaby Hoffmann". London Evening Standard. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  38. ^ Gell, Aaron (October 21, 2014). "The New Guard: Rashida Jones". Marie Claire. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  39. ^ Gliatto, Tom (November 29, 1993). "The Son Also Rides". People. 40 (22).
  40. ^ a b "Santa Cruz Sentinel from Santa Cruz, California · Page 17". Santa Cruz Sentinel. June 30, 1961.

External links[edit]