The History of Marvin B. Smith Elementary School
Marvin B. Smith is a school rich in interesting history. The school opened its doors on August 28, 1968 with 500 students. The staff consisted of the first principal of Smith Elementary School, Dr. Betty Bowman, 21 teachers, a librarian, one assistant teacher and one secretary. Smith was part of a Title III project to help develop non-graded classrooms, team teaching and individualized instructions for students. Over the years Smith Elementary School has had 8 dedicated principals.Half the money for the land Smith is built on was donated by J. Harold Smith, and his sister, Alyse Smith Cooper. The school was named after their father Marvin B. Smith, who was a local store owner and principal backer with Eugune and Kile Holt in starting Burlington Mills in 1924.
Smith School was designed to give students extra time on studies they had not mastered and provide for additional instruction. The programs used were non-gradedness, team teaching and individualized instruction. Non-gradedness allows students to move to higher levels as they master the curriculum. Team teaching has two or three teachers working as a team to provide the best possible instruction for students. Individualized instruction means using each and every student's abilities to the best advantage to give them the broadest education available.
In June of 1990, Smith was set on fire. The north wing of the school was the most severely damaged, but other rooms suffered from smoke and water damage. Support beams in the three most damaged rooms were deformed by the heat of the fire. Repairmen worked around the clock to try and restore the rooms before the students were scheduled to arrive.
In the spring of 1994 the property and school on Huffman Mill Road was sold to K-Mart. Construction of K-Mart began behind Smith School during the 1994-95 school year. Students and staff said good-bye to Smith School with an Aloha Celebration on April 7th. Aloha means both hello and good-bye. Students enjoyed painting the walls of their old classrooms.
The staff moved into the new school over the weekend. Students arrived on Monday morning April 10, 1995 for a full day of instruction in their new school.
Smith School continues to strive to enrich the education for young people.
Although Smith's location, teaching techniques and methods have changed over the years, Smith teachers continue to focus on what is best for their students.