Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Fact Sheet​ - Meriwether Lewis Elementary School

Home of the Bluebirds

Explore. Play. Learn.

The mission of Meriwether Lewis Elementary School (MLES) is to inspire and develop a community of critical and creative thinkers, responsible global citizens, and lifelong learners.

School Highlights

Meriwether Lewis Elementary School puts its focus on the development of the whole child through their motto “Explore. Play. Learn.” All children are given the opportunity to pursue their passions, develop their interests, and apply their learning in new and innovative ways.

Beginning in 2016, Meriwether Lewis implemented a world language program designed to develop students’ fluency in a second language from an early age. The program begins with students in kindergarten and goes through second grade. We will add an additional grade level each year until it is implemented schoolwide. MLES is using the Foreign Language in Elementary School (FLES) model of instruction, in which students receive 90 to 120 minutes of instruction per week in French. This includes instruction in their morning meetings, during a project hour, and also incorporates some dedicated language instruction.

Community building is another important element of culture at MLES. All students and teachers incorporate the values of the Responsive Classroom program. This includes team building activities such as daily morning meetings in Homeroom, monthly schoolwide morning meetings, and a focus on valuing each student as a unique individual.

Movement and developing a healthy and physically active lifestyle are encouraged for every student. This can be seen in the school’s physical education (PE) program, which focuses on the theme “healthy bodies, healthy minds” and incorporates non-traditional activities such as dance into students’ PE routine. Another example of this work is the Morning Movers program, in which students produce their own dances that are broadcast throughout the school in the mornings, allowing their fellow students to get up and follow along.

Meriwether Lewis is committed to making project-based (p-based) learning a core instructional tool to be used in all classrooms to develop communication, foster creativity, and promote critical thinking. Teachers are collaboratively developing p-based lessons and units that cross disciplines.

Assessment Data

Aggregate SOL Pass Rates (Percent)


Facility Information

Built in 1988

56,450 square feet

17.7 acre site

1922: The school was originally located on several acres of land in the Ivy District donated by the Hopkinson family

1988: Moved to current location in Ivy

2013: Design 2015 renovation work

2014: Front entrance upgrade

2015: Gym floor replacement

2016: Kitchen AC replacement; partial flooring replacement; playground upgrade; replace clock systems; Media Center learning space modernization

Grade-Level Changes

1922: Originally held grades 1-12

1953: The school housed only grades 1-8 when grades 9-12 moved to Albemarle High School

1966: Grade 7 moved to Henley Middle School

1973: Kindergarten class added

1984: Combined with Murray Elementary; grades 3-5 attended Meriwether, other grades attended Murray

1988: Meriwether completely rebuilt

Meriwether Lewis Elementary School is part of the Western Feeder Pattern. Students continue to Henley Middle


Michael Irani Michael Irani, Principal
Jennifer Underwood Jennifer Underwood, Assistant Principal

Principal History

Michael Irani

Karen Marcus, Interim

Kimberly Cousins

Sylvia Henderson

Jo Vining

Elizabeth Bailey

Sylvia Henderson

William Steigman

Juanita Chafin

Charles Simmons

William Bullock

John Breeden

Mortimer Sutherland

Robert Allen

Guy Morris

E. Broadwater

W. Barrett

George Eutsler

Frank Taylor

Student Demographics

(as of September 30, 2017)

Total Enrollment: 432

Male: 52.1%

Female: 47.9%

Black: 1.2%

Hispanic: 3.5%

White: 90.3%

English Learners: 1.2%

Disadvantaged: 10.6%

Students with Disabilities: 9.7%

Gifted: 5.9%

"Disadvantaged" students are those who receive free and reduced price meals under the federal program. "Students with Disabilities" are those identified for special education services, from speech pathology and learning disabilities to severe and profound disabilities.​​​