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Ford Elementary's History


In the early 1920’s, Watts Mill School served the children of the Watts Mill area.  There was a great need for more space due to the increasing numbers of students.   During the Fall of 1936, Ford Junior High School was built.  The students and faculty made a historic walk from their beloved Watts Mill School to their new school building to signify a new beginning.  The school was named after a much loved community leader and principal of the Watts Mills School- Mr. J. E. Ford.  In 1938, Mr. Ford watched his middle school grow into a senior high and an auditorium was added to the school.  In 1940, a gymnasium was built under the W.P.A Government Project. The first graduating commencement was held in May of 1940.

Six hundred students were enrolled at Ford.  In 1941, four classrooms were built to accommodate 1st and 2nd grades.   In 1944, a lunchroom was added, which opened the first week of January 1945.  The twelfth grade was added to Ford’s curriculum to meet the demand for a higher education in 1948.   In 1949, the shop was built.  In 1963, the present band/music room was added to the auditorium.  In 1970, student enrollment grew to 776 students, with 33 teachers, and 2 secretaries.  Today, Ford Elementary serves grades K4 through 5th grade with approximately 550 students and 75 teachers and staff members. We have approximately 98% of our student population that receives free or reduced meals. We also have about 32% of the total student population that is ESOL.

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