Back to School Means a Look Back at our School History

   Amelia Anderson served as a school and township welfare nurse in St. Charles for over twenty years.

Amelia Anderson served as a school and township welfare nurse in St. Charles for over twenty years.

Today marks the first day back to school for students in STC District 303. To celebrate the start of another school year we thought we would look back at some of the schools in our district and share a brief history of each. Starting with Anderson Elementary seemed like a logical choice and so here is a short history of the Amelia T. Anderson Elementary School. 

Built in 1956, Anderson Elementary was one of three new grade schools built in St. Charles that year. Anderson, Davis, and Richmond Schools were all built at the same time to alleviate over crowding at the two elementary schools in STC – Shelby and Lincoln. To save money the three new schools were designed to be identical to each other. Each school was also named after a prominent woman in STC school history. Amelia Anderson was a former school and welfare nurse who helped develop programs to ensure all children received proper medical and dental care. 

At the time Anderson was built, STC elementary schools housed K-6 grade. According to a brochure “100 Years of Progress” printed in 1954 by School District 303, the new schools were designed to “serve educational, recreational and social needs of this rapidly growing Fox Valley area”. Each new school was built to accommodate 240 students in six classrooms and one kindergarten room. The six classrooms could hold 30 students each, while the kindergarten room could fit 60. The schools were also built with expansion in mind. Plans were drawn up at the time to allow for an additional six classrooms to be added to the school, increasing the number of students it could hold to 420. The original floor plans of the school had one long hallway with three classrooms on each side, at the end of the hall the kindergarten room was on one side facing the administrative center on the other side. The administrative center consisted of the Principal’s office, speech therapy room, health center (set up for both medical and dental care), a duplicating room, and teacher’s room. The main lobby and restrooms were next to the administrative center and a boiler room and kitchen were next to the kindergarten room. At the far end of the school was the large multipurpose room. The plan for the addition would add five classrooms across a long hall from the multipurpose room with the sixth classroom next to the multipurpose room. The brochure states that the kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms all had their own restrooms in the classroom, and the kindergarten and multipurpose rooms had radiant heated floors!

Anderson Elementary is located in the Valley View area of STC and during the time that Valley View was their own village, the school acted as a community center and meeting space for the residents in that area. Many different community groups used the school to hold meetings and other gatherings. In many ways the school continues to act as a community center today.

   The newly built Anderson Elementary School, George Thompson and Amelia Anderson are in the center of the photograph.

The newly built Anderson Elementary School, George Thompson and Amelia Anderson are in the center of the photograph.