Laurel Lane (Rawls Byrd) History
Laurel Lane Elementary School (formerly named Rawls Byrd Elementary) opened at the beginning of the 1965-66 school year as an elementary school for pupils in grades one through seven. Its former name orginated from Mr. Rawls Byrd, the retiring Superintendent of Williamsburg-James City County Schools. The “campus” school with round buildings and covered walkways was the locality’s first departure from the traditional school design. It was also the first elementary school constructed after the formation of a joint city-county school division in 1953.
Laurel Lane has experienced many diverse changes over the years, including its name change, which became effective July 1, 2017. Shortly after opening, it became a primary school for children in grades one through four. In the fall of 1969, the staff began working toward a team approach to teaching and a program of individualized instruction. During the next two years, alterations were made to the classroom buildings to facilitate the academic program and make better use of space.
In 1992, the hard work of the faculty and staff was rewarded when the U.S. Department of Education recognized Rawls Byrd as a Blue Ribbon School. Only two schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia received such an honor that year. Representatives from the school and Central Office were invited to an awards ceremony and a visit with the President of the United States at the White House in May 1993.
- 2011 VA Board of Education Competence to Excellence Award
- 2012 VA Board of Education Competence to Excellence Award