Sunday, March 13, 2011

Timeline of Bowie Schools

Pam Williams at the City of Bowie Museums is looking for some help. The first thing she would like to know is the date/year that the Dutch Pantry opened in Bowie. Anybody know? The second thing she is trying to put together is the list of when each public school in Bowie opened - specifically the ones that opened in the 60s. The following link contains what I could find on the Internet. What do you remember?

Feel free to contribute your classroom pics to Bowie Living email address listed on this page.


High Bridge Elementary (1962)


Somerset Elementary (Fall, 1962)

Somerset Elementary - Spring 1976 - Grade 6 - Mrs. Sitka (contributed by Brian McAleer)



Kenilworth Elementary (1963)
Kenilworth Elementary School, July 27, 2009


Buckingham Elementary (1964 to 1981)


Belair Junior High



Benjamin Tasker Middle School

Benjamin Tasker Middle School, September 8, 2012



Foxhill Elementary (January, 1966)
  • Land Ownership Transferred to Board of Education: ????
  • Roger Chamberlain from Bowie High Class of '74 recalls the following:
    I remember when Foxhill Elementary School opened- after Christmas break- January 1966. It was not ready in time for the 1965-66 school year, and Bowie High School had just opened. So they sent us to BHS from September-December 1965 because... they had room for us. 1st, 3rd and 5th grades went in the mornings, 2nd, 4th and 6th went in the afternoons. It was about a 4 hour school day for us.

Foxhill Elementary - 1968-69 - Grade 1 - Mrs. Barr (contributed by Jim Devlin)





Tulip Grove Elementary (Fall, 1964?)
  • Land Ownership Transferred to Board of Education: ????
  • New Belair Section, The Baltimore Sun, July 14, 1963. This article announced the opening of the Tulip Grove section. "Opening" appears to mean that the section had been designed, and orders were being taken for house to be built in the neighborhood. The article refers to the section as Tulip Grove Park. In the plan for the section is an elementary school that, according to the article, is scheduled to open in the fall of 1964. If things went according to plan, Tulip Grove Elementary school would open in the fall of 1964.


Meadowbrook Elementary (1964 to 1981)
  • Land Ownership Transferred to Board of Education: ????
  • Steve Morris recalls the following: I moved into Bowie in May 1964 at the age of 8 years old. I would assume this may have been the first year for the school since the homes were still being built, lawns were still dirt and they were paving the streets. I can’t remember exactly who the Principal was but I remember the name’s Pasquala or maybe it was Biscontini but I think he was later at Samuel Ogle or Bowie High.. I also remember getting paddled buy the Meadowbrook principal for not doing my English homework…ahhh the good old days...
  • Message from anonymous (son or daughter of Meadowbrook Elementary School's first principal):  Meadowbrook Elementary- First principal was George L. Pasquella. I have a newspaper clipping dated Aug. 1964 with the photo of the new school. "MEADOWBROOK SCHOOL - Located at 3501 Moylan dr., Belair, In the new section north of Rt. 450. It cost $572,850 and was equipped at an estimated cost of $57,889. The 20-room school was designed by Edwin F. Ball. George Pasquella will be the principal of this elementary school." George, my father was principal for 6 years before he was elevated to Supervisor for the elementary schools in the Bowie area. 
  • Comment from Mark Behringer on Facebook:  Meadowbrook opened in 64 and closed in 81. I was there from 69 to 76. I was in the first kindergarten class.


Samuel Ogle Middle School (Fall, 1967)


Chapel Forge Elementary (early 1969)
  • The real estate records show two properties: the school itself and an adjacent plot of land. The adjacent plot of land was transferred to the Board of Education from Levitt and Sons in 1970.
  • M. G., Class of 75' recalls the following: I moved into Chapel Forge in 1965. In the fall of 1966 (going into 4th grade), I was supposed to be going to Whitehall Elementary but it was not finished so I was bused to Foxhill. That lasted about 6 months, maybe? Then I went to Whitehall for the rest of 4th grade and 5th grade. But then I was redistricted into Chapel Forge but it wasn't built yet so I was bused to Rockledge. I spent the last six months of 6th grade in Chapel Forge Elementary. That would have been the first half of 1969. In the fall of 1969, I entered Samuel Ogle Junior High. I talked with my sister. She confirmed that Chapel Forge opened about half way through the school year, when she was in 4th grade and I was in 6th.


Bowie High School (1965)


Whitehall Elementary (late 1966)
  • Land Ownership Transferred to Board of Education: ????
  • Jeff Randolph recalls Whitehall Elementary opening in late 1966. He started the 1966-67 school year at High Bridge Elementary, and he was switched to Whitehall Elementary once the new school was ready.
  • M. G., Class of 75' recalls the following: I moved into Chapel Forge in 1965. In the fall of 1966 (going into 4th grade), I was supposed to be going to Whitehall Elementary but it was not finished so I was bused to Foxhill. That lasted about 6 months, maybe? Then I went to Whitehall for the rest of 4th grade and 5th grade. But then I was redistricted into Chapel Forge but it wasn't built yet so I was bused to Rockledge. I spent the last six months of 6th grade in Chapel Forge Elementary. That would have been the first half of 1969. In the fall of 1969, I entered Samuel Ogle Junior High.


Rockledge Elementary


Yorktown Elementary (1967 to
  • Land Ownership Transferred to Board of Education: ????
  • Comment from Jeff McCusker on Facebook:  I moved to Bowie/Idlewild Section in '66. I had to attend Foxhill Elementary for 5th Grade starting in '66. Then Yorktown Elementary opened in '67 and I was the first 6th grade graduating class from there. Then on to Ogle Jr. High.


Heather Hills Elementary


Pointer Ridge Elementary


Northview Elementary (August 20, 2007)

27 comments:

  1. I believe that Somerset Elementary School was open by the fall of 1961. There were a lot of us who moved into the section in the middle of our school years, and those of us who were in third grade were bussed to Bladensburg Elementary School for the remainder of 1960-61. The next fall we started in fourth grade at our new school.

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  2. Hi Barbara,
    Could you be off by one year? From the stories and newspaper articles that I have, the first residents did not start moving in until October, 1961. If students were bussed to Bladensburg Elementary for the first school year, that would have been to complete the 1961-62 school year, suggesting that Somerset opened in the fall of 1962.

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  3. I believe High Bridge opened 1962. My sister was one of the first students. She was in 2nd grade. She attended The Old Bowie School for 1st grade. She was born in 1955.

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  4. Anonymous, do you remember where the Old Bowie school was located? Did they shut it down when High Bridge opened?

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  5. Ed Conroy was the first resident to move into his house in the Buckingham section of Belair at Bowie. The date was October 17, 1961, so none of the new public schools were open at that time.

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  6. Can anyone help..trying to find a recipe out of a collection put together by my sister 3rd grade class in 1969....looking for Christmas coffee cake

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  7. Meadowbrook Elementary- First principal was George L. Pasquella. I have a newspaper clipping dated Aug. 1964 with the photo of the new school. "MEADOWBROOK SCHOOL - Located at 3501 Moylen dr., Belair, In the new section north of Rt. 450. It cost $572,850 and was equipped at an estimated cost of $57,889. The 20-room school was designed by Edwin F. Ball. George Pasquella will be the principal of this elementary school." George, my father was principal for 6 years before he was elevated to Superviser for the elementary schools in the Bowie area.

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  8. Anonymous, Thanks so much for the information on Meadowbrook!

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  9. Does anyone know what there was before high bridge elementary? Ex. Farmland? Houses?

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  10. I went to Somerset Elementary from 1967 to 1973, 1st to 6th grade. They didn't have Kindergarten there until 1968, I believe. Mr. Duckworth was the principal. I remember most of my teachers--Mrs. Lembke from 2nd grade, Miss Thompson from 3rd grade, Miss Mahs from 4th grade...Miss Tucker for part of 6th, and then a lot of substitutes that year. I remember when they started busing African-american kids from the city to Somerset. Some of the kids blocked the doors that first day. It was a different time!

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  11. I began attending Meadowbrook Elementary in .... well I guess it had to be 1967. Mr. Pasquella was the principal that first year, and I believe he left the next year. The next principal was a Mr. Franscoviak, I'm not sure about the spelling of his name but that's how it sounded. I was one of six students who were selected to meet weekly with Mr. Franscoviak as a group and discuss current events, a cool thing for a bunch of second graders. And I remember one early morning when my father came into my room and woke me up before school to let me know that the school and phoned the house to let parents know that Mr. Franscoviak and his wife had both been killed in a car accident over the weekend by a drunk driver. I'm not sure if they phoned all students or not, but Dad said the school told him on the phone that they were making a point of notifying those of us in his small weekly discussion group. It was a stunning moment for the school, and for me personally - I'd grown to really like him a lot, a great guy. A great loss.

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    1. I totally remember that, my parents telling me Mr. Franscoviak and his wife had been killed by drunk drivers, leaving behind five children. Really impacted my life and I still think about him today.

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  12. Roger Chamberlain is correct about Bowie Senior High.

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  13. Bowie High School opened in 1965.

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  14. Can someone tell me when c elizabeth e reig school opened? cause i'm guessing somewhere in the 1970's

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  15. I said what year did c elizabeth reig school opened? please comment below

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  16. i went to high bridge elementary school from 2002 until 2007 meaning 1st grade to 5th grade i didn't like high bridge that much. I went to chapel forge ecc from 1998-2002 meaning nursery/preschool to kindergarten. That school is better than High Bridge.

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  17. Dear Anonymous, I'm guessing no one knows when the elizabeth reig school opened.

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  18. I attended Meadowbrook elementary from 1968-1975, I remember our 6th grade class (1974-1975) buried a time capsule, we all wrote letters to our future selves, does anyone know if it was ever recovered?

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  19. Time capsule at Meadowbrook?!?! Very cool! I will post to the larger group to see if anyone remembers.

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  20. C. Elizabeth Rieg Region School, named after a pioneer in education for students with special needs, was dedicated on March 18, 1979. The school is specifically for those who need additional care and it has an extensive team of specialists to deal with the needs of all of the students. The principal is Patrice F. Watson, who was taught in the Prince George's County school system.

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  21. There is also a time capsule buried at Yorktown Elem from 1982? or 83. It is in the front at the edge of some woods next to Race Track Road. It was a TAG project. I remember it had a newspaper from that day and something from E.T. inside it. ...ron

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  22. Class of 74 was the first class to start in Bowie schools and graduate. I was in that class stacting at Somerset.

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  23. Class of 74 was the first class to start in Bowie schools and graduate. I was in that class stacting at Somerset.

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  24. Why is there nothing on Belair Junior High??

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  25. Why is there nothing on Belair Junior High??

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  26. I was a summer janitor at Benjamin Tasker, and was there the first 2 weeks that it opened in September 1970. I went through BHS as the very first class (of 1969) to go through all 4 years. Bowie High opened in September 1965, and it was not entirely finished. I sat in Mrs. Athanis's English class with bare bulb lights hanging from the ceiling, and workmen banging away installing drywall on the metal studs.

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