Monday Memories: My First School
My first school was Clayton Valley Elementary in Concord California
I attended school there from Kindergarten through 6th grade beginning in 1955
The principal's name was Mr. Gas the first 6 years.
Later when I was in the 6th grade we had a new principal, Mr. Martin.
Neither was feared by me.
Here is a view of the front of the school that I have taken from the web
It is no longer a public school, its now a private school and it looks nearly the same.
I can well remember raising the flag here as part of the Safety Patrol team. In back to the left the large building was our Auditorium and lunch room. It was called the Multi-Use room. We also had indoor gym and I remember learning folk dancing inside those four walls. At the far end from your view here, inside there was a stage with a dark velvet curtain. The tables for lunch were folded into the wall and brought down every day. The Janitor had a large key to unlock it and then pull it out where it made two tables.with attached benches.
Below these are the classrooms just off the right of the photo above. They were the kindergarten rooms. This is the view from the back side of the classroom where there was an enclosed playground dedicated to this class alone.
It was bright inside with all the windows.
My teacher in 1955 was Mrs. Logston
She was older and had gray hair. I liked her but don't remember interacting much. We were mostly herded as a group. There were several helpers every day, probably mothers.
It was purely a play time, there were no lessons
I remember the day was a morning session only. We had to take a nap in the middle of the morning for a brief time and we stored our towel/mat in wooden built in cubbies. Each cubby had a picture and our name was below the opening. We stored our mat and sweater or coats in them and papers to take home.
There were tall wooden easels for painting with a tray in front to hold pots of poster paint that was mixed from powder. Large brushes were used and huge sheets of paper were tacked up.on the board. We didn't paint often enough, it was my favorite activity. Each easel was free standing and build like an A frame. Children painted from both sides.
Long short tables and chairs were arranged in a U pattern on one side of the classroom. We played with clay some days and I remember doing finger painting at the table. A starch was poured on paper and drips of color added by the teacher. Our clothing was protected by wearing a backwards men's shirt.
At the tables every day most of the children had graham crackers for a snack. Some children brought in money for milk with the crackers and they were seated separately at a round table. There were very few at the table. Most children only had the graham crackers.
These were the classrooms for the older grades., Notice that the whole wall was windows. The classrooms were very light. This was the back of the building. They were all connected by a network of covered hallways
Here you can see the covered hall on the left side and window side on the right./ There were no fences like you see here when I went to school.
Here is a photo of the covered hallways. In California the weather was mild so it was only rain we had to contend with . I remember walking up to the school after hours or on Saturday or during the day in summer and roller skating on the smooth walkways.
This picture clearly shows the pipes that held up the ceiling and the horizontal pipe that kept us off the lawns back in my day (these are pictures off the web and I have no idea who these people are)
The horizontal pipe is important as we often sat on them, walked on them and laid across them on our tummies and did little forward rolls. All illegal of course. But the school grounds were open so they were available to us to play at during the summer and before and after school.
Here you can see how light the classrooms were. The ceilings were high and green blackboards lined the front wall and the wall to the right where the door way was out to the open covered walkway
Another shot below of the outside windows. You can see how high the ceilings were!
I have found all these photos online on the Facebook of the private school. It's amazing how well built it was, it was almost 60 years ago that I first went to school there and it wasn't a new school.
Read here on Memory Monday about other people who wrote about their first school