In 1986, New Vistas School was founded by five Lynchburg-area women as a private, non-profit day school dedicated to serving the needs of children and adolescents experiencing learning and attention difficulties. “Founding Mothers” Dell Hancock, Patricia Kirtley, Libby Jarrett, Dorsey Mayo, and Lucy Guggenheimer Ross were honored for their vision and fortitude at the 2007 Commencement & Graduation. This year, 2016-2017, marks the thirtieth anniversary of the school’s continuous service.
A community-wide tutoring component for young people and adults was added in 1987. In 1990 the school moved to its present location, 520 Eldon Street, which it owns.
This facility is sound and well-maintained. It consists of an older two-story building of fourteen rooms, with a newer two-story wing of eleven rooms, plus six bathrooms, all recently remodeled and refurbished to optimize the space educationally. A two-room Science Lab (or SLAB) is also located on the campus grounds. By 2010, NVS, through generous gifts and grants, had provided two fully equipped Media Labs as well as computers in every classroom.
In 2001 The Lucy Guggenheimer-Ross Endowment was established by Rosel and Elliot Schewel.
New Vistas School was accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools in 2005; on the 2015 Ten-Year Visit the accreditation was renewed for another five years. The Virginia Department of Education renewed the NVS’ license to operate until 2018.
At the end of the 2006 school year, after the school experienced twenty years of success and growth under her leadership, co-founder and Head of School Lucy Guggenheimer Ross retired. In July of 2016, Charlotte G. Morgan, retired as NVS Head of School after ten years of outstanding service to the school.
In 2007 NVS expanded its offerings to students with special needs by collaborating with Presbyterian Homes and Family Services in the management of their Webster School. At the conclusion of the 2009 spring semester Webster School was closed.
In coming years the Board of Directors hopes to provide an education for a growing number of children, increasing enrollment and expanding the facilities for even more students who need these specialized services in the central Virginia region.
Today, NVS remains committed to its Mission and core principles of offering an individualized instructional program in a safe, nurturing environment, “educating one child at a time.” As we know so well, “Some children learn differently. We teach differently.”
Lisa J. DeJarnette, former NVS Assistant Head of School and faculty member, was appointed as Head of School for the 2016-2017 school year. Her professional career working with students with specific learning needs, as well as her previous tenure with the school, provide consistency and stability to the school as it continues to serve the unique educational needs of the school’s students and their families and the community at large.