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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Arcado Elementary School

Fast Facts


Due to the rapid growth in the Lilburn area, a 1979 Gwinnett County bond referendum funded the construction of a relief school to be named Arcado Elementary. In February of 1980, Willie and Mae Moon sold a 15-acre tract of their farm to the school system.

The school, which was nestled in a pastoral setting overlooking pasture and cornfields, was completed in August of 1981. Mr. and Mrs. Moon had only two requests: 1) that the big oak tree be left standing and 2) that a fence separate the children from the cow pasture adjoining the land. Mr. Moon died in January of 1987 and Mrs. Moon died in April of 1996. Although the pastures, which were once filled with cows and cornfields, are now filled with houses, the Moon’s requests have been honored… A fence still separates the school from the original pasture land and the big oak tree still provides shade for students.

The name Arcado was taken from the name of the road that leads to the school. When the road was first graded and paved, it was named for three Gwinnett County commissioners who were serving at that time: Weldon Archer, O. D. Cain, and Paul Dover. The first two letters from each last name were combined to form the name Arcado.

Students were rezoned from Camp Creek Elementary, Knight Elementary, and Lilburn Elementary to form Arcado’s student body of 830 strong. The staff consisted of teachers from schools all over Gwinnett, as well as teachers who moved in from out-of-state.

Students decided to call themselves the Arcado Astros because students at Arcado “Reach For The Stars.” A schoolwide vote by students determined the royal blue and gold school colors. In the second year of the school’s existence, a second mascot was unofficially adopted by our student body— the Panda, named Bamboo. The panda eventually became the school mascot and the Panda's name was changed to "Astro" to pay tribute to the initial school mascot.

In 1987, kindergarten students began attending school for a full school day. At that time, it became necessary to provide additional classrooms to serve the Arcado student population. As a result, a 12-classroom addition was added to the school building. In 1999, the building received its second renovation, which included a special education suite, office remodeling, and the addition of three support classrooms. In 2007, a 10-classroom addition and renovation project was completed at Arcado.

The school continues to work towards its mission to provide an environment where each student can fully realize their greatest academic potential. A focus on continuous growth and improvement is ingrained at the school and is reflected in the school motto, “Where the keys to learning come to life.”

Teacher leadership has long been celebrated at Arcado Elementary School. Its teachers and staff members have long been leaders at the school, county, and even state levels. This leadership has resulted in a number of recognitions of the school. For example, in 2016, the school earned RAMP designation by the American School Counselors Association, recognizing Arcado as a school that is committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven counseling program. The school also was recognized by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement as a Greatest Gains School at the Silver level under Georgia’s Single Statewide Accountability System. Greatest Gains schools exhibit high growth by earning a three-year average CCRPI Progress Score in at least the 95th percentile and remain in that range during the three years. Altogether, 127 schools in 49 Georgia districts earned this designation in 2016.

The school has a thriving outdoor classroom and garden that engages students in real-world learning. Additionally, the school offers STEAM opportunities, which integrate instruction in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

Arcado Elementary School opened its doors to learning in August 1981. Forty years later the school continues to work toward its mission to provide an environment where each student can reach their full academic potential.

Currently, Arcado Elementary School is the home school to more than 1,000 students. Student enrollment continues to grow as new families move to the Lilburn area. A point of pride for the school is that there are a number of parents who attended Arcado when they were in elementary school who have moved back to the area specifically for their own children to attend Arcado.