School History

The history of Falls Church High School begins in the early 1900s. In 1907 the Thomas Jefferson Institute, located in what was then the town of Falls Church, began offering free public high school courses. High school at that time in Fairfax County was only a two-year program of studies consisting of grades 8 and 9. In 1914, school system records began identifying the Jefferson Institute by the names Falls Church High School and Jefferson High School. At that time, the high school had two full-time teachers and sixteen students. In 1928, Falls Church became a fully-accredited four-year high school. Fourteen years later, in October 1942, the Fairfax County School Board purchased land on Hillwood Avenue in the town of Falls Church and began construction of a new high school. This school opened during the 1945-1946 school year and was officially named Falls Church High School. When Falls Church incorporated as an independent city in 1948, its school district separated from Fairfax County Public Schools, however Fairfax County retained ownership of Falls Church High School even though it was within the city limits. In 1967, Falls Church High School moved to its present location into a building that originally opened in 1960 as John Greenleaf Whittier Intermediate School.

What is the origin of the name Falls Church?