Buckley School (California)
Dare to Be True
|3900 Stansbury Avenue
Sherman Oaks, California, 91423
|Head of school||James Busby|
|Student to teacher ratio||8:1|
|Newspaper||The Student Voice|
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. It is one of the oldest co-educational day schools in the Los Angeles area.
The Buckley School is a K–12 school that enrolls 830 students (271 in grade K–5; 213 in grade 6–8; 346 in grades 9–12), allowing for an average class size of 17 students. The school's Middle and Upper divisions follow an eight-day block schedule, including both 45-minute and 90-minute class times. Its division follows a five-day schedule and combines a developmental approach with structure. All divisions are located on a single 18-acre campus in Sherman Oaks. 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.
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 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. In 2008, the city of Los Angeles approved campus enhancements to be completed over a six-year 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.
Buckley's Lower, Middle and Upper divisions share a single 18-acre (7.3 ha) campus. According to the school's website, facilities include 67 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. 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.
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 blackbox theatre, and a state-of-the-art performance and community gathering space. Other improvements include 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. As part of the "Campus Enhancement Plan", the Academic and Performing Arts Building opened in 2012, followed by the Mathematics and Science Building in 2013. Buckley's Center for Community and the Arts is expected to be completed in 2016.
The school's motto is "Dare to Be True". 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. 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, while girls wear skirts with tights, black jeans, sweaters in school colors, polo shirts, or Buckley sweatshirts. Buckley's mascot is the griffin.
Buckley offers a variety of student activities, as well as after school and summer programs. 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. The school maintains a no-cut policy in Middle School athletics.
The school's newspaper is the award-winning publication The Student Voice. In 1998, Los Angels Times presented the paper with a "general excellence award" as part of its annual High School Journalism Awards competition, earning Buckley $1,000 for its journalism program. In 2010 and 2012, the paper earned "High School Newspaper Silver Crown" awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). 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.
Buckley also has performing and visual arts programs. 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. 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.
- Tatyana Ali
- Paul Thomas Anderson
- Christian Brando
- Tevin Campbell
- Natalie Cole
- Laura Dern
- Abigail Disney
- Melissa Gilbert
- Sara Gilbert
- Gaby Hoffmann
- Rashida Jones
- Michael Landon, Jr.
- Meredith MacRae
- Alyssa Milano
- David Niven, Jr.
- Matthew Perry
- Nicole Richie
- Ajay Sahgal
- Nicollette Sheridan
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