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Public education in Ashburn predates Broad Run's debut in 1969. In 1892 a school for African-Americans was built in Old Ashburn. A separate school, known as Ashburn High School, was built for both elementary and high school White students in 1911. The four-room wood frame schoolhouse initially cost US$6,000. Additions to the original structure were made in 1922, 1930, and 1934, and the school served White Ashburn students until February 14, 1944, when the entire building was destroyed by fire. Its replacement, an elementary-only brick structure, was constructed in 1945 and is still in use; known as the Ashburn Annex, it is a training center for the LCPS district and has been used for Broad Run High School population overflow.
In the 1960s high school age children from eastern Loudoun County attended Loudoun County High School. As Dulles Airport and residential developments, such as Sterling Park, opened close to the Fairfax County border, Loudoun County High School's population began to outgrow the facility. The decision to construct a high school in rural eastern Loudoun County was made. The strain on Loudoun County High, however, was so severe that its eastern Loudoun students were temporarily schooled in the recently closed Douglass High School in Leesburg. Thus, the first Broad Run High School class was actually formed in 1968, a full year before the Broad Run Ashburn campus construction was completed. 1968 had been the first year that the county schools were completely racially integrated, making the previously all-Black Douglass High School available as it closed and its population moved to other county schools.
The campus of the district's third high school (Loudoun County High opened in 1954 and Loudoun Valley High School opened in 1962), opened its doors in 1969 to grades 8–12, for students from all of Ashburn, Arcola, western Chantilly (now known as South Riding), and Sterling. Named for the nearby Potomac River tributary, Broad Run was dedicated on October 13, 1969. The ceremony's keynote address was delivered by then-Governor of Virginia, Mills E. Godwin Jr. At the time, Loudoun's three high schools were not limited to 9th through 12th grades since there were no middle schools. Broad Run, therefore, had a "Thetamen" class for two years, its name for eighth graders (similar to calling ninth graders "Freshmen"). By 1973 the Thetamen were shifted to newly opened middle schools and in 1976 a portion of the Sterling student body was moved to Park View High School. As the Ashburn area grew considerably, additional students shifted to Potomac Falls High School in 1997. Stone Bridge High School opened in 2000, which split the Ashburn student body into two different high schools. Broad Run gave the remainder of its Sterling student population to Potomac Falls after Dominion High School opened in 2003 and shifted students in Brambleton to Stone Bridge. In 2005, Broad Run split off its South Riding students to Freedom High School.
Douglass High School opened in 1941. http://www.balchfriends.org/AfricanAmericanTimeline.swf p.22
Schools were completely segregated, thanks to a resolution passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors in 1956 that vowed to withhold money from integrated schools. http://www.loudounhistory.org/history/civil-rights-middleburg-va.html
This was rescinded in 1962. http://www.balchfriends.org/AfricanAmericanTimeline.swf p.23
School board integrated the county schools in 1968 and Douglass High School closed.
- "The History of Ashburn Schools". AshburnWeb. Retrieved 2006-12-25.
- Freshmen were bussed in two daily shifts to the Annex in 1994 to alleviate overcrowding on the BRHS campus. (Yearbook Staff (1994). The Shield (Vol. XXV). Broad Run High School. pp. p. 78. )
- [Eugene] (June 16, 2002). "With 'The Park,' County's Growth Battles Were Just Beginning". Retrieved 2007-01-28. Check
- Yearbook Staff (1973). The Shield–1973 (Vol. IV). Broad Run High School. pp. p. 4.
- Morefield, Betty L. (November 2006). (SWF). Friends of Thomas Balch Library, Inc. pp. p. 26 http://www.balchfriends.org/AfricanAmericanTimeline.swf. Retrieved 2007-10-28. Unknown parameter
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- Graham, Liz (1970). The Shield (Vol. I). Broad Run High School. Unknown parameter
- Graham, Liz (1970). The Shield (Vol. I). Broad Run High School. pp. p. 9. Unknown parameter
- The student population dropped from 1,550 in SY 1974/75 to 1,100 in 1975/76 as Sterling and Sugarland Run students shifted to Park View High School. (Yearbook Staff (1976). The Shield (Vol. VII). Broad Run High School. pp. p. 10. )
- "Stone Bridge readies for opening". Loudoun Times-Mirror. Retrieved 2007-01-09.