School History

Rolling Valley Elementary School opened on September 5, 1967, with 410 students and 14 teachers. Our building was formally dedicated on January 23, 1968. By the spring of 1968, there were more than 610 students and 21 teachers at Rolling Valley. Our first principal, Arthur R. Mitchell, once stated that four to five new students enrolled every week!

Black and white yearbook portrait of Principal Arthur Mitchell taken in 1973. He is seated at his desk signing papers.
Principal Arthur R. Mitchell (1967-78)

Rolling Valley Elementary School was designed by the architecture firm of Saunders & Pearson, and was built by E. H. Glover, Inc. at a cost $522,800. Originally, Rolling Valley was built for a capacity 660 students. Our school had 24 classrooms, a library, administrative offices, a health clinic, a teachers' lounge, a kitchen, and a multi-purpose room.

Black and white concept artwork of Rolling Valley Elementary School by architects Saunders and Pearson. The building is pictured from an aerial vantage point, overlooking the main entrance and front driveway loop. A baseball field is visible in the distance. The architects designed Rolling Valley with a two-story classroom wing to keep as much open-space as possible on the school grounds.
Rolling Valley concept artwork by architects Saunders & Pearson. Published in Globe & Free Press Newspapers, August 10, 1967, on page 27. 
Black and white class photograph showing a primary grade classroom from Rolling Valley's first school year. Principal Mitchell and an unnamed teacher are pictured. There are 26 children pictured, an even mix of boys and girls. Almost every child pictured is Caucasian. There is one African-American boy. The diversity Rolling Valley enjoys today came about gradually from 1980 to 2000.
Rolling Valley Primary Class Photo, 1967-68. During the early years, children in grades 1 and 2 were grouped together in "primary" classrooms. Children in grades 3-6 were grouped separately by grade level. 


Did you know that during the first year Rolling Valley was open there were no kindergarteners in our school? A kindergarten program was piloted in several schools in 1967 and proved so successful that one year later FCPS implemented kindergarten county-wide. FCPS enrolled approximately 8,000 children in kindergarten in September 1968.  

Color class photograph showing a kindergarten classroom during the 1969 to 1970 school year. Principal Mitchell and two other adults are shown. 23 children are pictured, an even mix of boys and girls, all are Caucasian.
Rolling Valley Kindergarten Class Photo, 1969-70.

Homewood Elementary School

In 1966, during the architectural design process for our school, Rolling Valley was referred to as Homewood Elementary School. Our building was officially named Rolling Valley by the Fairfax County School Board in December 1966. Learn why that name was chosen in this video produced for Fairfax County Public Schools’ cable television channel Red Apple 21.

1975 to 1985

Color class photograph showing Mrs. Moser's classroom during the 1975 to 1976 school year. The grade level of the class is not stated, but it appears to be either a 5th or 6th grade classroom based on the age of the children. Mrs. Moser can be seen on the far right. There are 32 children pictured, an even mix of girls and boys.
Mrs. Moser's Class Photograph, 1975-76

The period between 1975 and 1985 was a challenging time for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). Student enrollment gradually declined during this decade resulting in the closure of several schools in the eastern part of Fairfax County. The closures affected neighborhoods that saw the earliest growth post-World War II. The children in these neighborhoods were graduating high school, and there were fewer families in the area with young children. Enrollment at Rolling Valley fluctuated, but our school was not in danger of closure. In 1979, 629 students were enrolled at Rolling Valley. By 1983, that number had fallen to 394. Boundary changes and the development of new housing subdivisions in the West Springfield area caused the student population to rise again by the late 1980s.

Yearbook portraits of principals James Luscavage, Robert Clark, and Mary Dill. Luscavage and Clark's photographs are in black and white. The portrait of Luscavage was taken in 1979, the portrait of Clark in 1982, and the portrait of Dill in 1995.
From 1978 to 1998, Rolling Valley had three principals: James V. Luscavage (Left, 1978-80), Robert F. Clark (Center, 1980-84), and Mary M. Dill (1984-98).

Renovations and Additions

During the 1960s there was very little funding available for school construction, so Rolling Valley was built without a gymnasium or music room. These rooms were built in 1986, when Rolling Valley received its first addition. Prior to this time, physical education was taught by classroom teachers in their rooms, and later by physical education teachers in the multi-purpose room and outdoors through structured play.

Black and white photograph from our 1977 to 1978 yearbook of children square dancing in the multi-purpose room.
Square Dancing was often taught in the multi-purpose room until the gymnasium was constructed.

In 1989, a 10-classroom addition was built by E. H. Glover, Inc. at a cost of $1.4 million. The first building-wide renewal of our school was constructed from 1996 to 1998 at a cost of $3.6 million. A new classroom wing was added, the library was renovated, and air conditioning was installed throughout the building. After the renovation was complete, our building was rededicated during our 30th anniversary celebration on May 30, 1998.

Undated color photograph showing construction progress on a new addition to Rolling Valley Elementary School. The foundation has been outlined with cinderblock. Gravel has been placed, preparing the ground for the concrete pad. In the distance, a forklift is moving cinderblocks.

Principal Mary Dill retired at the end of the 1997-98 school year and was succeeded by our fifth principal, Gayle Andrews. Our sixth principal, Debra Lane, led Rolling Valley from 2007 to 2010. She was succeeded by our current principal, Maureen Boland.

Yearbook portraits of principals Gayle Andrews, Debra Lane, and Maureen Boland.
Principals Gayle Andrews (Left, 1998-07), Debra Lane (Center, 2007-10), and Maureen Boland (2010-Present)
Color yearbook photograph of the front entrance of Rolling Valley Elementary School. The classroom wing to the left of the main entrance has been expanded and an awning now covers the sidewalk leading to the front doors.
Rolling Valley Elementary School, 2004

Our Mascots

Did you know that Rolling Valley's first mascot was a giant? We have no artwork or photographs of this mascot, but alumna Karen Drain recalls that the giant was a large man with a club in his hand. There were trees at his feet to give a sense of his cartoonish size. Our second mascot was a unicorn. The first appearance of the unicorn in our yearbooks was in 1982. In 1993, our mascot changed to the rockets. On the occasion of our school's 30th anniversary celebration, in May 1998, then Principal Mary M. Dill stated, "When we chose the rocket we thought about soaring into the 21st century. We are rocketing into the future... but we do want to remember the past because when you remember your past it helps you build on the future." Rolling Valley's current mascot, the Rockin’ Robin, came into use in 1999.

Images of three Rolling Valley mascots. On the left is an illustration of a unicorn that appeared on a yearbook cover. In the center is an illustration of a rocket in flight, also from a yearbook cover. On the right is a yearbook photograph of the Rockin' Robin mascot from our 50th anniversary celebration.
The Unicorns (1982-93), The Rockets (1993-99), and The Rockin' Robins (1999-Present)