History

 

Yowell Elementary School (YES) opened to students in the fall of 2008. The two-story, 89,000 square foot facility is located off Rt. 522 on 15 acres in the western end of the town of Culpeper. The site was donated to the school system by the Yowell family. Yowell Elementary is built on a knoll that provides a tranquil view of the surrounding landscape. A large chestnut oak tree found on a small hill by the school driveway welcomes visitors and provides a landmark easily identified as the Yowell Tree.

Front of school

Adding a new elementary school required a countywide re-districting in 2008 which changed the existing five elementary school boundaries. The Yowell Elementary student population was primarily derived from four of those five existing schools. Not only did the re-districting realign the student enrollment numbers, it also changed the demographics of the other schools.

Students were not the only ones changing schools. The teacher population was assembled through a restructuring of staff numbers and by administrative choice. The newly formed faculty at YES faced the challenge of becoming familiar with a new school building, new department peers, a new school culture and two new administrators. The first year was one of change, adjustment, flexibility and team building. New instructional programs and practices were introduced by the administration. These programs led to the majority of the teachers learning new concepts in a short period of time while working to implement them successfully in their classrooms.

Playground equipment  In the first year, YES teachers and students adopted the slogan "Always Under Construction," a slogan which still holds true today. In the Spring of 2010, YES added its first of two playgrounds to the facility. This structure was purchased through both fund raising and community donations to the school. The K-2 structure consists of 2 platforms, 2 slides, a cat walk, climbing wall, and telephone. As the years went on, Yowell's student population continued to grow. The summer of 2012 marked the second construction phrase for Yowell Elementary, as two of the common areas were closed in to make additional classroom spaces. This moved Yowell from 36 to 38 core classrooms, but this was not the end of construction that year. In the Spring of 2013, a project by two of the third grade math classes planned, researched, and presented information to both peers and the CCPS School board. A 3rd – 5th grade vote was held, and they began raising funds for the 3rd – 5th grade playground. Installation of the equipment purchased was completed for the 2013-14 school year. In addition to the new playground equipment, 2013-14 school year also brought about the Fifth Grade Senior Rock and the burial of a time capsule. The capsule is set to be opened in the year 2034.

While members of both the faculty and staff continues to change at YES the process of change, adjustment, flexibility and team building continues. The willingness of the dedicated faculty to do whatever it takes to make the students feel safe and successful is the true cornerstone of Yowell Elementary.