Mosby Woods Elementary School was established in the fall of 1963. When schools opened on September 3rd of that year construction of our building had not been completed, so classes were held for several months at Jermantown Elementary School (now Providence Elementary School) in the City of Fairfax.
Mosby Woods Elementary School opened its doors to students for the first time on Thursday, December 5, 1963.
Mosby Woods opened at a time when Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) was experiencing a period of rapid student population growth. In September 1963, approximately 80,500 students were enrolled in FCPS. One year later, the opening enrollment was approximately 86,960.
In July 1964, the Fairfax County School Board authorized the construction of an addition to Mosby Woods to increase the building’s capacity by 180 pupils. The project contract was awarded in October of that year to Burroughs & Preston, Inc. The addition was constructed onto the rear of the building and can be distinguished in the aerial view above by its dark grey roof.
The First Years
Take a moment to explore this collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and photographs to learn more about the early history of Mosby Woods Elementary School.
Did you know that when Mosby Woods Elementary School opened our school did not have kindergarten classes? Mosby Woods opened its doors to the five-year-olds of the community in the fall of the 1968-69 school year when FCPS introduced kindergarten county-wide.
In 1969, the Mosby Woods Parent Teacher Association sponsored a “Spring Fashion Show.” Admission was 50 cents. During the 1970-71 school year, FCPS celebrated the centennial anniversary of the founding of the school system. Mosby Woods observed this anniversary with classroom activities related to the history of FCPS.
Glimpses of Mosby Woods (1963-2000)
Renovations and Additions
The first addition to Mosby Woods Elementary School began construction in the summer of 1964, less than a year after our building opened. Like other Fairfax County elementary schools built in the early 1960s, Mosby Woods did not have a gymnasium, music room, or air conditioning. The gymnasium and a music classroom were built in the fall of 1986.
Two classrooms for School-Age Child Care (SACC) were constructed on the north side of our building in 1989. Air conditioning was added to our school during its first building-wide renewal. Funded by the 1988 School Bond Referendum, this $2.03 million renewal began construction in the spring of 1990.
Enrollment at Mosby Woods swelled in the mid-1990s, necessitating the use of 13 relocatable classroom trailers. In fall 1997, construction began on a $2.25 million addition to Mosby Woods. A new media center, art and science rooms, seven classrooms, and conference rooms for teachers were constructed at this time. The addition was completed in time for the opening of schools in September 1998. In October of that year, Mosby Woods celebrated its 35th anniversary.
From 1985 to 2015, enrollment at Mosby Woods increased from 426 to 1,022 students. During that same period, the student body at Mosby Woods became significantly more diverse. In a 2013 demographics report, students at Mosby Woods came from 40 countries and spoke 28 different languages. The next renovation of Mosby Woods is on the horizon. The 2019 School Bond Referendum approved by voters included planning funds for a renewal of Mosby Woods.
Awards and Recognitions
Mosby Woods’ students, teachers, and staff have been recognized with many local, state, and national awards over the years. The following are just a few examples: In 1986, Rosa N. Martin, a second grade teacher, was a finalist for the FCPS Teacher of the Year Award. In 1999, Ima Campbell, an administrative assistant, won the FCPS Support Employee Advisory Council Award. In the fall of 2002, Mosby Woods became the sixth public school in Fairfax County to offer the Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2006 and 2007, Mosby Woods was named a National Title I Distinguished School for outstanding achievements on Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. In 2010, Mosby Woods was the recipient of the Virginia Board of Educational Excellence Award, and was one of four FCPS schools that won a grant from the Korean government to offer an after-school Korean language and culture program. Mosby Woods was the recipient of the 2011 Virginia Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence and, in 2012, was named one of the “Best Elementary Schools” by Northern Virginia magazine. Principal Mahri Aste was the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Principal Award from the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education Foundation.
In December 1974, students, staff, and families were shocked by the tragic loss of teacher Gwen Garwood. Mrs. Garwood, who taught 2nd grade at Mosby Woods from 1969-73, was killed in the crash of Trans World Airlines Flight 514 at Mount Weather, Virginia. Students planted a dogwood tree at our school in remembrance of her. The tree once stood in the grassy median of our parking lot, next to the bus parking area, and was removed around 2014.
What’s in a Name?
Mosby Woods Elementary School was named for the Mosby Woods residential subdivision. Learn whom the neighborhood was named for in this video produced for the Fairfax County Public Schools cable television channel Red Apple 21.
Mosby Woods’ School History was written with assistance from Christopher Bright.