Stratford Landing Elementary School was opened on September 3, 1963 as a neighborhood elementary school. Mrs. Eleanor Hollandsworth was Stratford Landing’s first principal. She remained Stratford Landing’s principal until 1968. As the need for additional programs were revealed, changes were made to some of the Fairfax County Public Schools. There were two Gifted and Talented (GT) centers starting in the mid-1960s for all of Fairfax County. The Gifted and Talented center program at Stratford Landing opened in the 1971-1972 school year. At the time, the organizational divisions of the schools were four areas. Due to the opening of nearby Fort Hunt Elementary, a significant number of the students in Stratford Landing were transferred, leaving space in the back hall of Stratford Landing. It is this available classroom space that made Stratford Landing the top choice for the Area 1 center.
The center began with three teachers: a 3rd grade teacher, a 4-5 teacher, and a 5-6 teacher. This number of teachers increased to four in the following school year, 1972-1973. By the 2018-2019 school year, there would be eleven teachers in Stratford Landing's center program. The preschool program would be implemented at Stratford Landing a few years after the 1971-1972 school year.
Stratford Landing Elementary School opened on September 2, 1963. Stratford Landing was later dedicated on May 18, 1965. The principal at the time of Stratford Landing's dedication was Mrs. Eleanor Hollandsworth. Participants in the dedication ceremony included Principal Hollandsworth, Mr. Samuel J. Coffey (Assistant Superintendent of Schools), Reverend James L. Duley (Aldersgate Methodist Church), and Mr. George P. Sheya (the PTA President). Distinguished guests who attended the ceremony were Hon. Joel T. Broyhill (US Congressman Virginia, 10th District), Mr. Howard Futch (Fairfax County School Board Member), Fairfax County School staff, and students from the sixth grade class.
Our diverse school community is also home to students from the historical community of Gum Springs. Gum Springs is the oldest African American community in Fairfax County and was formerly established in 1833. West Ford, a former slave, founded the community after being freed by George Washington at the age of twenty-one. Located close to the Mount Vernon Estate, the community was a sanctuary for freedmen and runaways. Samuel Taylor, a runaway slave established the first institution in Gum Springs. Our school enjoys a strong partnership with the Gum Springs Community Center. As a Level IV Advanced Academic (AAP) Center, Stratford Landing is home to students from the neighborhood and from seven neighboring elementary schools that join the AAP program in grades 3-6.
Since opening in 1963, Stratford Landing Elementary School has undergone two renovations. The first renovation in the 1980s. During this renovation, the library and cafeteria were renovated while SACC and the gym were added onto the school. Following this renovation, the school was rededicated during the 1989-1990 school year. At the time, Mr. David Readyhough was the principal and cut the ribbon at the ribbon-cutting dedication ceremony.
Stratford Landing recently completed the second renovation, totaling twenty-five million dollars, in the Spring of 2018. In March of 2019, Fairfax County Public Schools made additions to the playground area as part of the final phrase of renovations.
The playground's original opening ceremony took place on March 16, 2000 after the playground's first renovation. Mrs. Barbara Hubbard, who was the principal of Stratford Landing at the time, presided over the playground's opening ceremony.
Stratford Landing has had two anniversary celebrations since the school first opened in 1963. In celebration of the school’s 25th anniversary during the 1988-1989 school year, students put together a colorful quilt depicting different parts of Stratford Landing and its past. Stratford Landing’s second anniversary celebration, the 50th, took place during the 2013-2014 school year. For this celebration, students helped to decide what items would be collected for the school’s time capsule. A picture of students and staff at the time was taken during both of these anniversary celebrations.
The school mascot used to be a ship. It was not until Mr. David Readyhough became principal in 1987 that the school mascot was changed to a dolphin. Following a SCA naming contest, SLES students named the dolphin Bubbles. Dr. Maureen Marshall was Stratford Landing's principal when Bubbles received his name in 2014.
The name of the Gifted and Talented (GT) program was changed in 2008 to the Advanced Academic Program (AAP).
Stratford Landing has had eleven principals since the school first opened in 1963.
Stratford Landing once had a duck, Iris, choose to lay her eggs in the school courtyard. The eleven eggs would later hatch and the ducklings would grow up enough to walk, following their mother, out of the school building. Years later, in 2019, duck eggs would be added to the chicken eggs in the Chick Hatch Program at Stratford Landing. The first duck hatch would be successful and would result in fifteen ducklings hatching.
What’s in a Name?
Have you ever wondered how Stratford Landing Elementary School got its name? Find out in this video produced for the FCPS Red Apple 21 cable television channel.