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. Lyon is a K-5 school with an average of about 270 students. Lyon is located on the Eastside and has a highly diverse population, including about 30% of the students who are learning English as a second language. The school is named after a 19th-century farm girl who was born on Feb. 28, 1897 and eventually became a teacher, establishing the first women's college-Mount Holyoke-in South Hadley, Massechusetts. Mary Lyon Elementary was originally a one-room, wooden portable and has developed into a brick and stucco structure with 18 classrooms, along with classrooms in adjoining portables that were added to accomodate Lyon's population growth.
Mary Lyon is proud to have a strong program for students with autism, which includes both a self-contained setting, as well as integrated general education classrooms for students on all places along the spectrum. The school often offers before or after school tutoring for students identified as needing extra support in their academics. Lyon has been offering full-day kindergarten for several years, as well as has a Head-Start program on-site, which both work 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 a community awareness and sense of responsibility. Lyon also has a music program that includes 3rd graders learning the recorder and 4th graders rotating between regular music class and violin lessons.
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.