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DISTRICT :: School and District History

District History Project

CVESD and Committee of 100 Partner on City Centennial Project

The City of Chula Vista's year-long birthday celebration is about to get even bigger. The "Party of the Century" takes place Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 from noon to 9 p.m. at the Olympic Training Center. See flier for more info. Already, our residents, merchants, organizations and neighborhoods have been actively commemorating, educating, and informing the community of the diversity and history of our city. In collaboration with this effort, the Chula Vista Elementary School District embarked on the "District History Project." In keeping with the city's mission, our students were involved in educating, informing and entertaining the community about our schools.
The 1910 photo (left) of the 'old grammar school' that was built in 1888, and opened in January 1889 is among the treasures of the District's past. The school was located at what is now the site of the Norman Center (between Del Mar and Third Ave.) and even pre-dated the 'F St. School' that was constructed in 1915. This photo of the Old Grammar School is one of the signature images of the city's past. 

To learn more about the city's centennial efforts, click here.

District History Project Objectives

1. The District history project will serve the following purposes:
  • Preservation of primary source documents compiled by schools and the District.
  • Creation of a catalog for more efficient storage and archiving of primary source documents.
  • Creation of a data base of resource of materials that can be utilized for District and school web pages; lobby displays or digital presentations; celebration of school/District anniversaries or key dates; publicity and promotion.
  • To research and compile information on school histories, in both written and oral form
2. Research materials will be included in a commemorative Centennial book about the city of Chula Vista.

Archived Photos and Clippings

It wasn't a washing machine or a kitchen appliance. The machine in the news photo (left) was an intercom system that was installed at Harborside and Allen elementary schools in October, 1959. The news clipping is among a treasure trove of documents recently uncovered as part of the District's School History Project.

Did you know?

Lauderbach Elementary is named after J. Calvin Lauderbach, who was a longtime principal and superintendent during the District's formative years. He retired in 1959. When Dr. Lauderbach first joined the District in 1923/24, the District had an ADA of 485 in grades K-8, and the District's total expenditures were $50,185.42. See the archived document chronicling his tenure here.

The District began a year-long celebration of its 100-year anniversary on May 1, 1992 with a simultaneous bell ringing at each school. A 150-page document featuring games of the past, complete with directions on how to play them, was developed by retired teacher Sue Trent-Ota. Another document, developed by teachers Beverly Peterson and Janet Ryder, shows the history of dress from 1892-1992. In addition, a 50-minute video entitled "Chula Vista and Its Schools, 100 Years Young" was produced by Librarian-Storyteller Ward Smith and Loma Verde teacher Jim Banner. (Information courtesy of Mary Helvie--December 1, 1992)

Important Historical Dates:
 1914 Establishment of the first PTA 
 1915     Establishment of the first Kindergarten 
 1951 Otay became part of the District 
 1971 Four-Track Year-Round School established at four schools on Otay Mesa (CVESD was believed to be among the first in the U.S. to have year-round schools). 

From 'The More Times Change, The More They Stay The Same' Department:

It was June, 1970 and the talk was of the state Legislature's uncertainty in regard to education funding. CVESD faced a $1 million budget deficit. Then-Superintendent Dr. Burton C. Tiffany looked none too pleased about the situation as he reviewed budget documents in a newsletter photo. The teachers association planned a letter writing campaign to then-"Governor" Ronald Reagan to urge more revenue for education. (The Board adopted an adjusted tentative budget of $12.9 million.) View the CVESD staff newsletter from that era here.

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