School History Sources

Fairfax County School Board Minutes

November 6, 1951: A committee visited and selected a school site in the Sleepy Hollow area. The owners did not wish to sell the land. The Board directed the Superintendent to advise the owner that the Board wished to acquire a ten acre tract on the east side of Sleepy Hollow Road south of its intersection with Kerns Road, and request the owner set a price for which the Board might purchase the property.

November 20, 1951: A letter was presented from Miss Nelle V. Boyd advising that no part of the land she owns on Sleepy Hollow Road is for sale. Supt. Woodson recommended the Board make her a definitive offer. The Board agreed to offer her $1,500 per acre for the land.

December 27, 1951: Miss Nelle Boyd obtained the services of an attorney to represent her in the land purchase matters.

July 1, 1952: Miss Boyd agreed to accept $27,500 for the ten-acre parcel and the Superintendent negotiated a compromise price of $25,000. The Board agreed to go ahead with the transaction.

July 15, 1952: The Board authorized the Superintendent to select and employ an architect for the Sleepy Hollow Elementary School.

August 5, 1952: Robert A. Willgoos had prepared preliminary plans for the proposed Sleepy Hollow School in connection with the Board’s application for Federal assistance for this project. The deed for the school site was received and recorded in Fairfax County Deed Book 986:315. The Board applied for an appropriation from the Federal government for several schools and received approval for $2.4 million, of which $396,500 was expected for Sleepy Hollow. 

May 26,1953: In a special session, the Board awarded the contract for the construction of Sleepy Hollow to the Kahn Engineering Company at a cost of $391,063.00, and Robert A. Willgoos, Architect, was paid $19,553.15 for his services. The Board received Federal funding in the amount of $396,500 for this project.  

July 7, 1953: Sleepy Hollow progress had been delayed because of underground water pressure necessitating raising of the boiler room and installing a reinforced concrete boiler room instead of brick.

August 24, 1953: Mr. Willgoos reported that the Sleepy Hollow project was progressing at a good rate now and it seems there would be no further difficulty on this construction, the Kahn Construction Company being very cooperative.

May 20, 1954: Viola S. Dillon was appointed principal of Sleepy Hollow Elementary on a 10-month contract.

August 12, 1954: Salaries are set for the principal and teachers at Sleepy Hollow ES. Dillon’s salary was $5,610 for 10 months. Teachers made between $3,000 and $5,100 with most earning around $3,400.

November 18, 1954: The Board accepted the construction of Sleepy Hollow School from Kahn Engineering Company as complete.

May 24, 1955: Annandale High School and Sleepy Hollow Elementary School were partially financed by funds received from the Federal Government under Public Law 815. Both of the projects were now complete, and the Board offered a resolution transferring the remaining funding for those schools to the general School Bond Fund.

May 6, 1955: Teacher salaries for Sleepy Hollow. Highest is Principal Viola Dillon ($5,820), lowest teacher salary is $3,400, highest teacher salary is $5,300. If you average the salaries of all 18 teachers it comes to $4,000. The school also had a part-time librarian, Mrs. Laura M. Furman.

November 1, 1955: Mrs. Crowther moved that exception to existing policy of the Board governing matching funds for piano purchases be made, permitting that matching funds be provided the Sleepy Hollow School Parent-Teacher Association to assist in the purchase of second piano for that school since it has more than ten teachers and is a two-story building. Mr. Darr seconded the motion and it carried.

March 6, 1956: Schools having additions constructed were: Crestwood, Sleepy Hollow, Annandale HS, McLean HS, Chesterbrook, Franconia, Groveton HS, Haycock, Masonville, Walnut Hill, Westlawn, Westmore, Woodburn, and Woodley Hills.

May 28, 1956: Contractors met with the Board and agreed that six months was a realistic time period for the construction of additions to Haycock and Sleepy Hollow, scheduled for bidding June 5th.

June 5, 1956: Mr. Chase, of Willgoos and Chase, Architects, was present for opening of bids on Sleepy Hollow School addition. Estimate for this project was $77,992. The low bid of E. H. Glover, Inc., in the amount of $69,320 was accepted, and this firm was awarded the contract for the construction of a 4-classroom and activity room addition to Sleepy Hollow Elementary.

December 18, 1956: Two letters were presented, one from the Haycock P.T.A. and the other from a parent in the Sleepy Hollow School area, where additions are contemplated to be completed in January, requesting full day schedule for first graders. Even though present Board policy directs half day sessions for all first graders, except where transportation would present too great a problem, some reconsideration was thought to be in order at this time since the completion of the additional rooms at the two mentioned schools would leave some vacant classrooms were first graders continued on the double shift and would involve rearrangement of classes and schedules. It was therefore concluded that the full day for first graders in these areas would be preferable to the administrative problems, and shift of students and teachers, which would be involved in maintaining half days and filling all classrooms. Mr. Solomon therefore moved that, as a temporary measure and as exception to existing Board policy, first graders in all schools where completion of additional spaces makes it practical attend school full days for the remainder of this school year only, with full explanation to parents that this situation is reverted to for this short period in preference to disrupting existing classes and attendant complications of reorganization in mid-year which would have to be reworked in September of 1957. Mr. Hudgins seconded the motion and it carried.

January 2, 1957: The Board approved that the contractor be permitted extension of 17 days over contract period for the completion of the Sleepy Hollow School addition without application of liquidated damages since the architect states delay was occasioned by lag in steel deliveries.

April 23, 1957: Mr. Davis moved that foreign language instruction be permitted in the Freedom Hill and Sleepy Hollow Schools, as requested, to be introduced and conducted in the same manner as group piano instruction, with appropriate modifications; the administrative staff to work out the details. Mr. Gleason seconded the motion and it carried.

August 6, 1957: The Board approved the purchase of a trailer to relieve overcrowding at Sleepy Hollow Elementary.

March 18, 1958: A group of people spoke at the meeting and expressed the desire that the Board consider housing 7th and 8th grade students from the Belvedere, Weyanoke, Lincolnia, and a portion of the Sleepy Hollow School areas in the new Parklawn School, presently under construction. See minutes for further description of rationale.

December 12, 1963: Contract for site improvements on the Masonville, Navy, North Springfield, and Sleepy Hollow School properties was awarded to S. A. Bruno in the amount of $80,415.00 by motion of Mr. Smoot, seconded by Mr. Clark, and carried. [Which, according to Minutes from September 9, 1960, was estimated to cost $37,620 at Sleepy Hollow. What those improvements included is not mentioned].

January 23, 1964: Citizen Participation – Mr. Lee Canfield, representing the Sleepy Hollow PTA, endorsed the inclusion of funds for strengthening the foreign language program in elementary schools and to begin the pilot program for gifted children.

January 13, 1966: Easement was granted on Sleepy Hollow School property for electrical service for relocation of civil defense siren by motion of Mr. Lyon, seconded by Mr. Hudgins and carried.

May 22, 1969: Mr. Coffey advised also that the Highway Department concluded that the traffic at the intersection of Kerns Road and Sleepy Hollow Road does not warrant the installation of a traffic control light at this intersection.

January 15, 1970: Citizen Participation – Mr. Leroy A. Rowell of the Sleepy Hollow Elementary PTA stated the school needed improvements to the cafeteria, new chairs and tables for the children, hot water services, safe electrical service to classrooms, and additional funds for printing and postage.

November 12, 1970: Citizen Participation – Sleepy Hollow Elementary PTA - Mr. Leroy Rowell brought to the Board’s attention that his organization pointed out some thirty deficiencies last year for budget consideration. He stated that only one of those appeared to be forthcoming: the extension of hot water service to the custodial rooms and the teachers' lavatory. He requested a re-examination of the priorities for rehabilitation and modernization of the schools which were published prior to the recent vote on the change in the school bond interest rate. He noted that Sleepy Hollow School is fourth on the list of schools to be modernized after all of the funds from authorized bonds have been expended on other schools, many of which have superior facilities than those of Sleepy Hollow School.

February 5, 1971: Citizen Participation – Sleepy Hollow Elementary PTA - Mr. Leroy Rowell wished to remind the School Board of the interest in improving and updating the older schools in the County and listed a few of the improvements needed in the Sleepy Hollow Elementary School which are badly needed: new electrical outlets; substitution of sliding doors for fixed partitions to provide flexibility in instructional program; enlarging multi-purpose rooms; relocation of heating plant. They did not believe the school needed enlarging or expensive modernization, just more attention than it has been getting.

April 22, 1971: Mrs. Lecos moved an amendment to the motion to add the Sleepy Hollow Elementary School to this [renovation priority] list immediately following the Woodburn Elementary School since Sleepy Hollow was built in 1954 and Woodburn was built in 1953. She advised the Sleepy Hollow community is very concerned that their school had been bypassed in the last discussion on the modernization program and felt that school should receive consideration as funds became available. The amendment to the motion was accepted by Mr. Wellborn and Mr. Pattison. Mr. Lindquist agreed the Sleepy Hollow School would be listed next in order of priority but the committee had not listed more than four schools since they felt the amount of funds available would not do more than the four schools listed. The amended motion passed unanimously.

July 22, 1971: Mrs. Lecos moved that the firm of Barkley, Pierce & Associates be appointed architect for the Sleepy Hollow Elementary School modernization project. The motion was seconded by Mr. Wrench and carried.

March 23, 1972: The closing of Willston Elementary School was being planned. The students would be housed at Sleepy Hollow, Devonshire, and Bailey’s Elementary Schools. [Approximately 150 to 200 students at Sleepy Hollow according to Minutes from March 22, 1973].

April 27, 1972: The Board approved the preliminary plans by architects for the modernization of Sleepy Hollow Elementary School. “Mrs. Lecos felt the Board had to make some exception in the case of the Sleepy Hollow Elementary School also, pointing out that a study of the feasibility of closing the Willston Elementary School might call for an addition to Sleepy Hollow to assist in housing some of the student body from Willston. However, she did not wish to give the community a feeling the Board was delaying this project and wished to include Sleepy Hollow only for approving the design in principle without directing the staff to move ahead with working drawings to the extent they might have to be redrawn upon the Board decision to increase the capacity.”

July 27, 1972: The proposed bond issue program included the modernization of Sleepy Hollow Elementary at an estimated cost of $748,370.

December 13, 1973: Mr. Hodgson moved the Board award the following contracts in connection with the modernization of the Franklin Sherman, Freedom Hill, Sleepy Hollow, and Woodburn Elementary Schools: 1. Contract to furnish and install an integrated lighting-ceiling system to Acoustical Ceilings, Inc., in the amount of $186,000. 2. Contract to furnish and install the HVAC system to A. C. Manufacturing Company and Asmar Company, Incorporated, and Associates (a joint venture) in the amount of $666,666. The motion was seconded by Mr. Shipp and carried.

February 14, 1974: Area Superintendent Joseph King presented his recommended boundary adjustments for Area II relative to the feasibility study on phasing out Willston Elementary. This report submitted the following recommendations:

  1. Willston Elementary School be phased-out in June of 1974.
  2. Willston Elementary School students be reassigned to Bailey's, Beech Tree, and Sleepy Hollow Schools as proposed.
  3. Willston School be used to house Sleepy Hollow students for as much of the 1974-75 school year as is needed while the Sleepy Hollow modernization is underway.
  4. The Area II office, in consultation with the Division Superintendent's staff, complete a study by September 30, 1974, to determine possible use of the building after Sleepy Hollow students have returned to the Sleepy Hollow building.
  5. Assurances be given residents of the North Willston Apartments that the building will remain available to them for recreational and community programs at current levels.
  6. One-half of the estimated savings of $65,000 in the 1974-75 budget be available to the Area II office to be used to assure a smooth transition of students to their new schools.

Dr. Wright asked about the status of the Sleepy Hollow Elementary School modernization project. Mr. King felt that this project would be under way soon and that it would be possible to house students in the completed project by the end of December, 1974, or at the end of the first semester of the next school year. He noted that two subsystem contracts had been awarded on the project but he had not seen any actual work begun as of this date.

March 28, 1974: Citizen Participation - Mrs. Elizabeth Boris, President, Sleepy Hollow Elementary School P.T.A. The Sleepy Hollow School P.T.A. had supported by a unanimous vote the Area II Superintendent's recommendation to house the Sleepy Hollow students in the Willston School facility next year while Sleepy Hollow was being renovated. She felt keeping the Sleepy Hollow students, faculty and principal together would maintain educational continuity and provide stability during the move to Willston and the move back to Sleepy Hollow.

April 18, 1974: The Board approved the phasing out of Willston Elementary School in June 1974, and the use of the school to house students from Sleepy Hollow for 1974-75. Also, the Superintendent presented the following recommendations: Recommend approval for award of contract to the low bidder, Sherman Construction Corporation, for modernization and renewal of Sleepy Hollow and Woodburn Elementary Schools for $1,485,000 contingent upon receipt of funds from sale of Old Fairfax High School to supplement the funds allocated in the 1973 referendum. This recommendation was approved by the Board on April 25, 1974. [The renovation included air conditioning because the HVAC system gets replaced in the 1990s].

September 19, 1974: The Board approved funding for the procurement of portable partitions for several schools, including Sleepy Hollow.

September 11, 1975: The Board adopted a resolution requesting the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation to install a traffic light at Kerns Road and Sleepy Hollow Road.

January 29, 1976: Citizen Participation – Dr. Mary Hope Stowers, Principal, Sleepy Hollow Elementary School discussed the diversity of the student body and their needs. A total of 97 students are engaged in the English as a Second Language program, approximately half of whom needed additional help and support. Under the federally funded Refugee Act the school had received the assistance of an ESL teacher on a full-time basis. This position had been eliminated from the school budget for the next school year. It was understood that eight ESL teachers had been approved in the compensatory education budget to cover local school needs, but these would have to be spread throughout all the schools demonstrating these needs. Dr. Stowers also presented a need for an additional aide to further meet the needs of the student body. In order to implement the gifted and talented program, a resource teacher was necessary under the present guidelines. She also requested additional outdoor physical education equipment, AV equipment, textbooks in mathematics and reading, and additional materials and equipment for the ESL program. Also, Mr. Frederick L. Welther, President, Sleepy Hollow Elementary School PTA. He gave further emphasis to the Sleepy Hollow School's budget request for a full-time ESL teacher, a full-time resource person to coordinate and implement the local gifted and talented program, an additional full-time instructional aide, and an additional dining room aide.

January 25, 1977: Citizen Participation – Dr. Mary Hope Stowers, Principal, Sleepy Hollow Elementary School stated that the ESL program had increased to the point where the students in the program represented approximately 26 percent of the total school enrollment. The number of students received FRPM represented approximately 9 percent of the student body. She requested additional funding and pointed out that these statistics exemplified the diversity of her school’s student body.

June 16, 1977: Sleepy Hollow was on a list of schools designated Title I schools.

May 8, 1986: Suzanne Sheafer, a 5th grade teacher at Sleepy Hollow, was one of seven finalists for the FCPS Teacher of the Year award and The Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher award.

December 6, 1990: Mr. Johnson reviewed recommended boundary adjustments by area: Area II (Sleepy Hollow-Belvedere-Beech Tree-Parklawn), proposed reassignment of 6th grade students to middle schools at Glasgow, Holmes, and Poe, associated changes for other intermediate schools, and adjusted high school boundaries for Annandale, Lake Braddock, Woodson, Falls Church, and Stuart.

September 14, 1995: The Board awarded the contract for a ten-classroom addition to Sleepy Hollow Elementary School to G. F. Miller Construction, Inc., in the amount of $1,940,700. Minutes from December 4, 1996 indicate the addition was complete by that time.

February 27, 1997: A boundary adjustment was made affecting Beech Tree and Sleepy Hollow. The percentage of minority students at Sleepy Hollow was projected to rise from 39 percent to 48 percent of the student body.

February 28, 2008: The Board awarded the contract for the renovation of Sleepy Hollow Elementary School to R.J. Crowley Inc., in the amount of $9,458,000.

Newspaper Articles

The Alexandria Gazette

December 23, 1952: 20 School Projects in Last Stage. Five projects are in various stages of planning. They are: Sleepy Hollow, Floris, Herndon, Vienna, and Annandale HS.

The Evening / Sunday Star

September 26, 1953, Page A-2: Ditch Collapses, Kills School Project Laborer. Rescue workers recover the body of Jack Yates, 51, colored, of Jeffersonton, Virginia, after he died in the cave-in of an 18-foot deep sewer ditch yesterday. The digging is on the site of the Sleepy Hollow School in Fairfax County.

June 20, 1956, Page B-2: Fairfax Sees School Bond Fund Exhausted by '58. The county’s $22 million school construction bond issue, approved last November with the hope that it would meet classroom needs for the next five years, will have to be committed by the end of 1958 to meet increasing enrollment. Elementary school additions are planned at... Sleepy Hollow. 

September 1, 1957, Page A-23: 300,000 Pupils to Jam Public, Catholic Schools. Fairfax will have an estimated 44,000 enrollment, about 5,500 higher than last session. Half-day sessions will occur for first and second graders at Graham Road, Pimmit Hills, Sleepy Hollow, and Timber Lane Schools.  

April 30, 1981, Page D-2: School Carnival. The Sleepy Hollow Elementary School holds its annual carnival on Saturday. The carnival is the only major fundraising activity for the year. Funds raised are used to support special enrichment programs for the students, including field trips, the foreign language program, and the cultural arts program. Highlights at the carnival include raffling a dollhouse that is completely furnished and crafts for sale by local artisans.

The Washington Post

August 29, 1954, Page M-28: Progress in School Construction: Relief for Fairfax Is in Sight. New schools available for the new term are… Sleepy Hollow Elementary School (16 classrooms).

September 1, 1954, Page 17: Schools Open at 9 Today in Fairfax. Summer vacation ends today for more than 28,000 Fairfax County school children. Newly completed schools which will be in use today for the first time are… Sleepy Hollow Elementary School.

September 4, 1955, Page A-17: Fairfax Due for Record Sign-up. Enrollment will exceed 32,000, a sizeable increase over the 28,134 membership when school closed last June. Schools which will have half-day schedules are… Sleepy Hollow (3 sections each of grades 1 and 2).

August 26, 1956, Page B-8: Fairfax Readies 4 New Schools. Four classrooms are being added to Sleepy Hollow Elementary School.

December 28, 1989, Page Va. 1: Fairfax Proposes 3 Middle Schools; Holmes, Poe, Glasgow Would Be Converted. After nearly two years of study, Fairfax County school officials have proposed converting three intermediate schools into middle schools by adding sixth-graders to the seventh and eighth-graders already studying there….

March 7, 1996, Page Va. 1: Costly Projects Buried in County Budget. The budget included an expanded child-care center at Sleepy Hollow Elementary.

July 1, 1997, Page B-4: Viola M. Dillon, School Principal. Obituary.

June 13, 1999, Page W-11: English Lessons. Sleepy Hollow's English as a Second Language enrollment almost doubled in the past three years to 117 students, most of them the sons and daughters of Hispanic and Vietnamese immigrants.

June 17, 2005, Page B-5: ‘Hotel Rwanda’ Guardian Imparts Lesson in Heroism. Paul Rusesabagina speaks to students at Sleepy Hollow Elementary School.