Buckley School (California)

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This article is about the school in Los Angeles, California. For the school in New York, see Buckley School (New York City).
Buckley School
Buckley School.svg
Dare to Be True
3900 Stansbury Avenue
Sherman Oaks, California, 91423
United States
Type Private school
Founded 1933
Founder Isabelle Buckley
Head of school James Busby[1]
Faculty 100
Grades K–12
Enrolment 770 (2015)
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
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. 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.[2] 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.[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 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.[2][4] 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.[4]


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.[2] 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]

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.[5][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, while 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 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.[19] In 2010 and 2012, the paper earned "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]

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.[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. ^ "From the Head of School". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Buckley at a Glance". The Buckley School. Retrieved November 18, 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. ^ "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. 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. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  26. ^ "National Scholastic Winners' Works Revealed". The Buckley School. April 14, 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 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. ^ 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. 
  35. ^ Schulte-Peevers, Andrea (September 15, 2010). Los Angeles and Southern California. Lonely Planet. p. 107. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  36. ^ Mulkerrins, Jane (February 10, 2014). "Mad about the new Girls star: Gaby Hoffmann". London Evening Standard. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  37. ^ Gell, Aaron (October 21, 2014). "The New Guard: Rashida Jones". Marie Claire. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  38. ^ Gliatto, Tom (November 29, 1993). "The Son Also Rides". People 40 (22). 
  39. ^ a b "Santa Cruz Sentinel from Santa Cruz, California · Page 17". Santa Cruz Sentinel. June 30, 1961. 
  40. ^ Keeps, David A. (November 8, 2008). "Open invitation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 

External links[edit]