The Frederick Law Olmsted School began as a neighborhood school with a gifted and talented magnet component. The school had its beginning in the fall of 1979 when a pilot program for gifted and talented students was initiated at School 56 located on West Delavan Avenue. The success of this pilot program led to its expansion as a citywide magnet and to the addition of School 64 as part of the Olmsted program. Throughout the years, as the popularity of this program increased, an additional site was added at the former Holy Angels School on West Avenue. This site was then moved to School 67 on Abbott Road. The school operated in this configuration for almost a decade when because of the opening of the Discovery School program at School 67 Olmsted consolidated into two sites – School 56 and School 64. In September 2005 a Dual Language Immersion Program was instituted at the school. Beginning with a Pre-Kindergarten class, this program having an enrollment of both English and Spanish speaking students, had as its goal the development of students who were fluent in both English and Spanish.
The formation of a high school to continue the Olmsted program had been a dream of parents since the inception of the school. Working together administrators, teachers and parents developed the plan for a high school and petitioned the superintendent and the school board to grant this extension of the Olmsted program. This recommendation was well received and the former Kensington High School was selected as the site for the new high school. In September 2007 the 5-8 school program housed at School 56 moved into the Kensington high school building. September 2008 saw Olmsted’s first freshman class. The school program now house grades 5-12. With the addition of the high school Olmsted 64 remained a neighborhood school with a gifted component. However, the 5-12 program was no longer attached to any neighborhood and became a citywide school focusing on gifted education.