History of Benjamin Banneker Elementary
BENJAMIN BANNEKER SCHOOL
In the early 1920's, Benjamin Banneker School was originally a two-story, seven room industrial arts school. Then, in 1929, the school became an elementary school. A few years later, in 1934, Banneker School opened its doors as a high school for the African American community. It remained a high school until 1947 when Benjamin Banneker School became an elementary, junior and senior high school. In 1966, the junior and senior classes were distributed to Margaret Brent and Leonardtown Middle Schools and Chopticon High School. In 1974, the current media center and office were added. The building then housed about 300 students.
In the 2000-2001 school year, the First Grades moved into trailers behind the Early Childhood Center building. Grades 2-5 moved into trailers behind the Benjamin Banneker School in May, 2001 in preparation for the renovation scheduled to begin in June, 2001. In 2002, the newly renovated building opened. Currently, BBES services about 700 children: infants through 5th grade.
The Banneker School building was named after Benjamin Banneker.
Banneker (1731-1806) was a black scientist, mathematician, poet, surveyor and astronomer. He was born free in Elk Ridge, MD, near Baltimore. He had little schooling but became one of the most notable black Americans in our history. At the request of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Banneker helped lay out Washington, D.C. After corresponding with Mr. Jefferson, it was said that Benjamin Banneker went to a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. one night and used the stars to help design the city. Additionally, Benjamin Banneker is remembered for authoring an almanac and building a wooden clock. Benjamin Banneker died peacefully one night while gazing at the stars.
The Loveville Building opened its doors in 1983. It was originally built to be a special education facility for the northern end of St. Mary's county. When federal laws changed, Loveville became the early childhood education center of Banneker in 1985. All of the Pre-K and Kindergarten classes at Banneker were moved to Loveville. In the 2000-2001 school year, the first grades moved into trailers behind the Loveville School. This was to free classroom space.
The Loveville School was named after its community. One of the first large land owners in the area was the Love family. Since the town had the Love family name, the community decided that the school should, too.
The two buildings combined created the Banneker-Loveville Elementary School complex. However, in May, 2001, the school became officially known as Benjamin Banneker Elementary School.