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Our History

The History of Baldwin Park Unified School District

 

As of September 1882, the first school house was built on the southeast corner of North Maine and Los Angeles Avenues in 1884. It contained two rows of double seats, a central aisle leading to the teacher's desk, and a heating stove at the north end. Mr. Frazier was the first teacher. In April 1888, The Vineland School District was established according to county records. The first Board of Trustees took office on July 1, 1888, and elected Miss Jessie Washburn to teach the district school that fall. The building was sold in 1890 and moved to another site for a private residence. The district built the second school in 1890 and hired two teachers, Miss Ellen Lang and Miss Venna O. Finney. The second school house was relegated to the past in 1912. It later became a private Japanese school and stood as a landmark until it caught fire on September 5, 1936, and burned to the ground.

On January 10, 1910, Baldwin Park, then known as Vineland, joined the Covina Union High School District. All high school students went to Covina until Baldwin Park School District unified in the early 1950s.

In 1912, a larger school was built and it was named Central School. It was completed in 1922.

In 1914, the community of Vineland changed its name to Baldwin Park, and the name of the district was officially changed to Baldwin Park School District.

Another school was started in 1924 and it was completed in 1927. Margaret Heath had been a teacher since 1906, so in 1924 she was appointed principal of the new school and John Hampton Watts was appointed the district's first superintendent. Upon Mrs. Heath's retirement in 1930, the school was named in her honor.

Central School, built in 1912, was sold to the City of Baldwin Park and a new Central School was built in 1952 at a different location.

Heath School, built in 1924, was torn down and a new Heath School was built on the same site in 1954. As the district continued to grow, Kenmore, the third school, was built in 1939. It is in full operation today. During the 1940s, the three schools in the district adequately housed the elementary grade students of Baldwin Park.

After World War II, growth to the area continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s, so new schools were built accordingly. The last new school, Olive, was built in 1968, although quite a few relocatable classrooms have been added to the elementary schools, the adult school, and the continuation high school.

Today, there are 13 elementary schools, 4 junior high schools, 2 comprehensive high schools, one continuation high school, an adult school of 5,000, and a Children's Center. The district (k-12) has grown from 14 students in 1884 to 13,000 in 1982.