Washington Irving Middle School opened on September 1, 1960, and was one of the very first intermediate schools opened by Fairfax County Public Schools. In 1958, the Fairfax County School Board voted to reorganize the public school system and establish the county’s first intermediate schools. Traditionally, students in grades 1-7 attended elementary schools, and students in grades 8-12 attended high schools. Intermediate schools were created to ease the transition from elementary school to high school, and provide students with a specialized program of study geared to the specific needs of their age group. A pilot program began in the fall of 1958 and proved so successful that Fairfax County Public Schools administrators embarked on an ambitious plan to open eight more intermediate schools during the 1960-61 school year. Early in the intermediate school planning process, it was decided that each school would be named for a famous author or poet. Our school was officially named Washington Irving Intermediate School by the School Board in May 1959, and Roy I. Brooks was hired as our first principal. In the 1990s, all intermediate schools in Fairfax County were renamed as middle schools. The first major renovation and additions to our school began in the summer of 1992 and were completed in the spring of 1995.
Where did Washington Irving get the inspiration for his famous folk tales?
The Washington Irving Rock stands as a tradition that dates back to the construction of our school in 1960. It was uncovered by road crews while they were working in front of our school. The principal asked that the workers move the boulder in an upright position and have it placed on school property. Students then began painting it with symbols, names, and statements. “The Rock” as they called it, reflects the main themes of the times with peace signs in the 60s, rock music groups in the 70s, yellow ribbons during the Gulf Wars and Iraq, Olympic Rings, New Year greetings, etc. “The Rock” now has over 100 coats of paint on it and continues to stand at Washington Irving Middle School as a vehicle for artistic expression for those who pass by the school.