Name: Rose (Rosario) Lees Hardy Middle School
Address: Foxhall Road and Volta Place, NW
Mascot: The Hawks
Colors: Navy Blue and White
What is the significance of the schools name?
Ms. Rose Lees Hardy was one the most influential educators in the nation during the first half of the twentieth century. Her career in the field of education began in 1898 as a teacher assigned to Jefferson School. Ms. Hardy, a nationally renowned authority on the process of teaching reading, authored a series of elementary reading text along with supplementary reading materials that were used by several public education systems throughout the United States. It was suggested in her obituary that "probably no other school officer has had so many contacts and has thus exercised so wide an influence in the development of young teachers in the school service." The article went on to acknowledge the many contributions made by Ms. Hardy "to the program of public school education in the Capital of the Nation."
Born in Winchester, Virginia, at the turn of the century, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from George Washington University in 1918. Her professional associations include organizations such as the National Council of Childhood Education, the National Council of Administrative Women in Education, the Department of Superintendence, and the Department of Supervisors and Directors of Instruction, both divisions of (NEA) the National Education Association, and the National Society for the Study of Education. Locally, she was active in the District of Columbia Education Association, the American Association of University Women, Columbian Women of George Washington University and the Monday Evening Club attest to her commitment and active involvement in her field of course, education.
When was the school built?
The school was constructed in 1933.
Describe demographic changes in the region and the school.
The school was dedicated May 25, 1934 during the administration of Dr. Frank W. Ballou, Superintendent of Schools, in one of Washington's most affluent neighborhoods just above Georgetown in the Northwest quadrant of the city. When the school was established in 1934, the city maintained a policy of segregated public schools; but, the policy was abandoned in response to the 1954 decision in the federal case of Brown v. the Board of Education. The decision rendered in this case effected the composition of the surrounding communities and school enrollment has continuously reflected the ever- changing racial mixture of the city.
How has the general perception of the school and its neighborhood change over the past 50 years?
Initially an all-white elementary school, Hardy has grown to service a much larger population than anticipated in 1934 mainly because of dwindling enrollments resulting from social conditions in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Consequently, the future of Hardy was tied to the destiny of five other elementary schools in the vicinity, all of which were forced to merge as part of the plan to avoid closure according to a newspaper article printed Monday, February 25, 1974. The six schools involved in this merger, located in the area running from Georgetown to the District line along the Palisades, were Mann, Hardy, Key, Fillmore, Stoddert and Hyde Elementary Schools.
The plan was proposed by parents and principals directly impacted by social changes that witnessed student flight from public to private schools in and around the District. The plan was to organize these six schools into one consisting of pre-kindergarten through eighth grade in hopes of attracting middle class blacks and whites back into the public school system thereby reversing the exodus of this population from DC Public Schools. Two-hundred fifteen of the nine-hundred students enrolled at that time were bused from the Anacostia neighborhood School records show that one-hundred eighty-nine students transferred out of the six schools to private schools during the 1974-73 school year.
Hardy has served one the poshest segments of the city historically, since 1933/4. The school has been able to maintain its high academic standards through a series of adjustments over the years to meet the demands of the changing community. In 1970, the school became the first of its kind in the District of Columbia, a grade 5 through 8 school drawing from five small elementary schools west of Rock Creek Park. About a third of the students come from other parts of the city. During the Amy Carter years, daughter of President Jimmy Carter and the most noted student to attend the school in recent times the enrollment was 51 % white, 26% black, 18% Hispanic and 5% Asian.
Current Mission Statement
The mission, as stated by the Principal, is to create a community school environment in which intellect helps to accelerate the creative spirit and positiviely impacts the character of each and every student in attendance.
Asian/Pacific Islander: 8.6%