About Laurel Grove School Association

The Laurel Grove School Association (LGSA) is a community based, certified 501(c) (3) private non-profit organization, located in Springfield, Virginia. The association was incorporated in 1999 to restore the last remaining one-room schoolhouse of the old segregated school system in Fairfax County, the Laurel Grove Colored School. The restoration project is focused on reclaiming the school's proud history, and once again opening the school's doors to learning as a living museum and teaching center.

Today, Northern Virginia public schools are known as some of the best in the country, educating children from an astonishing diversity of cultures and ethnic backgrounds. But there was a time when blacks who desired to have their children educated literally had to create the school themselves.

This is exactly how the Laurel Grove School came into being. The one-room schoolhouse was built in the 1880s and served the black children of the Franconia area of Springfield up until the 1930s, when it was absorbed into Fairfax County's segregated, dual public school system. Laurel Grove School has been lovingly restored, and now the Laurel Grove School Association is developing the site to:

  • Perform careful research in the historical record.
  • Reconstruct the daily experiences of children in the 1920s-era school.
  • Inspire local children, their families, and the general community with hands-on learning displays, exhibits, and educational programs.
  • Deliver classroom curriculum and site visits to the museum that complement Virginia history standards of learning
  • Develop a year-round public education program of activities and events at the schoolhouse.

Our Mission

The following statement guides the association for both its day-to-day mission and its vision of the future for the Laurel Grove School:

The Association is committed to restoring, preserving, and maintaining the Laurel Grove School as an important historical site and museum in Northern Virginia and as an enduring national educational resource for understanding the post-slavery black experience embodied in the heritage of the school.

Furthermore, because of the foresight, dedication, and generosity of those freed slaves who donated the land and built the school, the by-line of the Laurel Grove School Association recognizes those children who stepped through the doors of that one-room school house in 1884 as the:

First Generation Born to Freedom

In 2002, the Association's Board of Directors established a five-year plan to focus its efforts and priorities, centered on the following specific objectives:

  • Establish and maintain rigorous governance of the association.
  • Develop and implement exceptional school programs that complement local public school curriculum and are in support of Virginia Standards of Learning.
  • Restore, preserve, and enhance the schoolhouse and grounds.
  • Establish a base of individuals, community, business, and foundation support, generate philanthropic revenue, and provide effective stewardship of donated funds.
  • Advance LGSA's mission through community outreach in collaboration with the public school systems and interested organizations.

Since its inception, the association has made much progress, highlighted by reaching several key milestones this past year: developing the school's initial curriculum, testing the prototype teaching program for children in the 4th grade with active collaboration and support from local school teachers and administrators, and furnishing the schoolhouse with historical artifacts that help to bring the curriculum alive for students of all ages.

Laurel Grove School Landmark