On Friday, September 22, The Langley School marked its 75th anniversary, celebrating three-quarters of a century of building lifelong foundations and life-changing relationships in Northern Virginia. In honor of this significant milestone, students took part in a variety of 75-themed activities by grade that encouraged them to reflect on the school's historic roots and its bright future.
In the Primary School division, Langley's 3- to 5-year-olds created a 75th birthday crown using their fingerprints and made handprint candles on a birthday cake banner. First-graders discovered how many words they could spell using 75 letter tiles and what they could build using 75 blocks, while second-graders used Google Maps to locate cities 75 miles away from Langley's campus in McLean.
As they designed their own footprints, third-graders reflected on the impact former generations had on the school and the footprint they will leave behind. Fourth-grade students made a giant birthday card highlighting what the school was like in 1942 and what it will be like 75 years from now. Looking 75 years into the future, fifth-graders completed a writing project to describe the school in the year 2092 and a math project in which they designed a futuristic classroom.
Middle School language arts students wrote limericks in tribute to the school, studied poems with a "75" theme, and wrote a class poem about Langley's 75 years. In social studies, students in grades 6 and 7 interviewed a family member who was alive in 1942, giving them an understanding of what life was like then and how family history helps connect us to the past. Langley's Middle School world language students identified 75 cities where French, Chinese, or Spanish is spoken and 75 words in their target language that described The Langley School. As part of their study of plate tectonics, sixth-grade science students used the world seismic monitor to plot the location and magnitude of the last 75 earthquakes recorded around the world.
"Our teachers looked for age-appropriate, meaningful ways to celebrate The Langley School's 75th birthday," says Head of School Dr. Elinor Scully. "These activities not only taught our students about the importance of this special anniversary year, but also gave them an understanding of the time period in which Langley was founded, the generations before them who helped build the school into what it is today, and the impact they, too, can have on the future success of The Langley School."
The spirited activities on September 22 were only part of a year-long celebration at Langley. The school kicked off the festivities when students returned on September 5 with a retro theme featuring games, music, and vintage photos from the 1940s. Parent volunteers helped bring Langley's past 75 years in McLean to life by creating a museum walk and historical timeline which will be on display on campus throughout the year. In addition, the school has invited generations of its parents, alumni, and leaders to return to campus for various events.
The Langley School was founded in McLean in 1942 with an enrollment of just 19 children. A pioneer in early childhood education from its beginnings as a modest cooperative school, The Langley School has evolved into one of the premier independent elementary schools in Virginia, enrolling 480 students in preschool through eighth grade. Grounded in a deep respect for childhood, The Langley School offers an exceptional community and an inquiry-based academic curriculum paired with a unique social-emotional program. Since 1942, The Langley School has shaped confident, kind, self-aware learners who are prepared to thrive in the nation's top high schools and beyond.