South Lakes High School

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South Lakes High School
Seal of South Lakes High School.png
South Lakes High School is located in Northern Virginia
South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School is located in Virginia
South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School is located in the United States
South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School
11400 South Lakes Drive

, ,
School typePublic, high school
MottoVeritas in Scientia
(Truth in Knowledge)
Founded1979; 40 years ago (1979)
School districtFairfax County Public Schools
PrincipalKimberly Brophy Retzer
Staff188.96 (FTE) (2016-17)[1]
Enrollment2,523 (2016–17)[1]
Student to teacher ratio13.35:1 (2016-17)[1]
Color(s)     Royal Blue
     Kelly Green
Athletics conferenceLiberty District
Northern Region
RivalHerndon High School
Feeder schoolsHughes Middle School, Rachel Carson Middle School

South Lakes High School is the primary high school for the community of Reston in Fairfax County, Virginia. The school, part of Fairfax County Public Schools school division, has 2,378 students.

The principal is Kimberly Brophy Retzer. The school also has 16 other administrators, including assistant administrators for each grade.[2] The school's mascot is Seymour the Seahawk. The school colors are Royal Blue and Kelly Green. The school newspaper is named the Sentinel.[3]


South Lakes underwent a $55 million renovation from winter 2006 through August 2008. The renovation was completed in time for the 2008–2009 school year.[4] Another renovation is currently ongoing, projected to be complete by Winter, 2017.

Demographics and test scores[edit]

In the 2016-17 school year, South Lakes High School's enrollment of 2,523 students was 44.4% White, 24.9% Hispanic, 12.5% Black, 10.9% Asian, 6.8% two or more races, and 0.4% Other.[1]

South Lakes High School is a fully accredited high school based on the Standards of Learning tests in Virginia. The average SAT score in the 2015–2016 school year for South Lakes was 1,702.[5]

School design[edit]


When the school first opened in 1978, South Lakes High School had an "open classroom" design. The school was laid out into four quadrants, one quadrant area for each grade level. Each quadrant, or "sub-school", was labeled by color: green for freshman, blue for sophomores, yellow for juniors, and orange for seniors. When the school was first opened each sub-school was designed to be a classroom within itself. The open space was not divided into individual classrooms or interrupted with walls. The open design was quickly determined to be an ineffective and distracting way for people to learn, especially with different teachers and students learning different materials around them. Individual classrooms were created with temporary dividers which remained until a renovation which took place between 2006 and 2008.


The extensive renovation changed several of the building's characteristic features. The four sub-school design was kept, but altered. Like the original design, there are four separate locker commons (one for each grade level), but the ease of access from one to another has been improved. Each classroom is divided by walls, rather than temporary dividers, and have their own door and windows (if located along the perimeter wall of the building). Classrooms have LCD projectors and the math classrooms are equipped with SmartBoards. The four cafeterias were combined into one larger cafeteria located in the center of the building. The media center was also moved and enlarged.[4] Starting in the 2016–2017 school year, another wing will be added to the school.


The school's curriculum offers special education courses, remedial coursework, standard courses, and college-level advanced courses. There was once an Advanced Placement Course: AP U.S. Government and Politics, which will be omitted from the South Lakes Curriculum, effective from the school year 2018-2019. Advanced coursework is offered in the form of the International Baccalaureate program. South Lakes also has an Army JROTC program, which has a Gold Star. South Lakes offers three types of diplomas – Standard, Advanced, and IB.

South Lakes was a pioneer in the FCPS Political Science Program. A 1.5 credit class reserved for seniors, Political Science involves a one-semester introduction to the discipline followed by a semester-long internship with a local government agency or organization. This program is defunct and is no longer offered to seniors.


South Lakes offers twenty sports at the varsity, JV, and freshman levels. The mascot is a seahawk and the sports teams play in the Liberty District as part of the Class 6 Northern Region (Region D) of the Virginia High School League.

They are most known for their Boys Basketball team which has consistently been one of the top teams in the Washington D.C area dating back to the late 80s. The school has produced an extensive list of college and professional players. Former NBA All-Star Grant Hill attended and played for South Lakes.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for South Lakes High". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Administration.
  3. ^ Student Newspaper.
  4. ^ a b South Lakes High School Renovation.
  5. ^ "FCPS - School Profiles - South Lakes HS - Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)". Fairfax County Public Schools. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  6. ^ "Virginia native becomes an in-demand producer at 22". Reuters. 2017-05-15. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  7. ^ Duke Wins Services Of Hill;South Lakes Forward To Announce Today. Retrieved on 2015-10-12.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°55′55″N 77°20′20″W / 38.932°N 77.339°W / 38.932; -77.339