School History: 2000-Present
At the start of the 21st century, Bucknell received an award in recognition of our school achieving outstanding School-wide Achievement Index (SAI) gains as a Project Excel school. There was a heightened focus district-wide in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) to close the student achievement gap, and Bucknell Elementary School led the way with a Minority Student Achievement Program.
Also during this time, our school entered into a partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), creating a Junior FBI Academy at Bucknell. These two programs were featured before the Fairfax County School Board as part of the Spotlight series. Take a few moments to watch the Spotlight videos created for the School Board by staff from the FCPS cable television channel Red Apple 21.
Principal Juanita Trapp departed at the end of the 2002-03 school year, and was succeeded by Joanne Jackson. In September 2003, Bucknell was the recipient of a $224,825 Reading First grant from the Virginia Department of Education. The grant provided funding to establish reading programs for students in grades K-3, and for professional development for teachers. Bucknell was one of 47 schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia to receive grant funding that year.
The Parent Center
During the 2010-11 school year, Bucknell Elementary School opened its first parent center. The center was staffed by three parent liaisons, and during its inaugural year offered parenting classes, English for Speakers of Other Languages classes, computer classes, and books for parents and children.
The Third Renovation
Our most recent renovation began construction in 2015. On November 11, 2015, the School Board awarded the contract for the project to Keller Brothers, Inc., at a cost of $15.9 million. During this renovation, the fallout shelter built in the 1960s was excavated, and new itinerant offices were constructed in that space. The three aerial photographs below show the progress of the renovation from 2015 to 2017.
Watch 80 years of transformation to the landscape and our building unfold in this animated series of aerial photographs courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority.
Principal Joanne Jackson departed Bucknell during the 2008-09 school year. Assistant Principal Raquel Alcarez served as the acting principal for the remainder of that year. She was succeeded by Sheila Eller, who was principal for one year from 2009-10. Timothy H. Slayter became the 12th principal of Bucknell Elementary School in 2010, and served in that role for six years. In 2016, he departed to become the principal of Cameron Elementary School, and Assistant Principal Nancy Mercer served briefly as acting principal until our current principal, LaRonda Peterson, was appointed to the position in November 2016.
A Look at Bucknell Today
Bucknell teachers are talented members of a professional learning community that aims for high academic results. Through collaborative team planning, co-teaching in an inclusive environment, and continual professional development on research-based instructional practices, teachers work to meet the learning needs of each student. In language arts, students participate in small group guided reading, Socratic Seminars, word study, and writing throughout all content areas. Students acquire higher-order math skills through small group instruction, hands-on manipulatives, and authentic problem-solving activities. Students explore topics in science and social studies using interactive methods of study, such as Smartboard technology, interactive notebooks, and project-based learning. Students learn the scientific process and use this knowledge to conduct investigations that are shared in a school-wide Science Fair.
Bucknell also benefits from an award-winning mentor program that matches West Potomac High students with Bucknell students. Mentors provide homework help and school-success coaching for a variety of age levels. In addition, Bucknell’s 6th graders are fortunate to participate in the Bucknell-FBI/CAAA leadership and outreach program. 6th graders hear speakers, travel on field trips and participate in special events centered on leadership, positive self-image, fitness, and success in school. Bucknell is also proud partners with...
- FBI/Citizens Academy Alumni Association
- Hollin Hall Senior Center
Bucknell believes strongly in the parent-school partnership as a critical element to the success of students. Parents and family members are encouraged to volunteer, visit the Bucknell Parent Center, and connect with teachers and staff regularly. The parent center is open daily and is the portal for accessing school volunteer opportunities. It also serves as a community and educational resource for parents.
The Bucknell school community believes in the ongoing power of education and the academic success of all students. The mission at Bucknell is to prepare students for advanced classes in middle and high school and to enable students to pursue higher education. “High expectations for all” and giving it “Your Bulldog Best” are words teachers and students live by at Bucknell Elementary.