Mary Lyon Elementary opened in the fall of 1909 as a one-room school serving K-2 students, making it one of the oldest neighborhood schools in the Tacoma School District. Serving the East side of Tacoma, the original school consisted of a one-room, wooden portable that developed into a brick and stucco structure with 18 classrooms and adjoining portables to help accommodate Lyon's population growth. In 2017, the school moved temporarily to the McKinley Elementary site for two years during construction. During that time, the old building was replaced with a brand new school building. Returning to the new building on the original school site, Mary Lyon Elementary School is a K-5 school with an average of about 350 students. We serve a highly diverse population, including about 30% of the students who are learning English as a second language.
Our school takes its name from one Mary Lyon, 19th-century farm girl, born on Feb. 28, 1897. She eventually became a teacher and established the first women's college, Mount Holyoke, in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The college is the first of the "Seven Sisters," the female equivalent of the all-male "Ivy League" and to this day continues a tradition of academic excellence.
Mary Lyon Elementary Schools is proud to host a strong program for students with autism. With a self-contained setting and program support in general education classroom settings we seek to help students across the spectrum. The school often offers before or after school tutoring for students identified as needing extra support in their academics. Lyon offers full-day kindergarten and has done so for several years, a program which works to develop the minds of the youngest of students in order for them to be successful in school. Intermediate students have opportunities to participate in school jobs such as Crossing Guard, Hall Greeters, Conflict Managers and Student Leadership Team to help them develop community awareness and a sense of responsibility. Lyon also has a music program that includes 3rd graders learning the recorder, 4th graders rotating between regular music class and violin lessons, and 5th graders participating in Band or Orchestra at Stewart Middle School.
Lyon encourages participation of parents and community members in educating the students they share. Parent-Teacher conferences occur 2-3 times per year, helping build communication and relationships that will ensure the success of each student. Our families also participate in our Lyon PTO which does various fundraising events throughout the school year to help fund activities for the school and students.