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Jessieville School District History

Jessieville School District has been in existence since 1937. Jessieville School District is nestled in the Ouachita Mountains and serves a 203 square mile radius. It has played a vital and significant role in the history of the area, and Jessieville pride runs deep in the hearts of the community.  Built in 1937, the Rock Building has been updated and remodeled and has played a part in the education of four generations of some local families.

Opened in 1937, Jessieville School District has years of academic excellence and a commitment to the future of the Jessieville and Hot Springs Village community to provide every opportunity for achievement for students in pre-school through twelfth grade.

The following excerpts are taken from “Jessieville School – The Early Years” by Elder Jimmy Dale Johnson, a lifetime Jessieville resident.

Jessieville School was formed as Jessieville School District No. 45 in 1931 by a petition by the citizens of the area to the State Department of Education and the Garland County Board of Education.

In 1930, there were 4 area schools in the Jessieville area. Ballew Springs, Central, Bethlehem, and Marble were the “districts” and each was more than likely the typical one-room schoolhouses we picture in our minds. Some of them were big enough that when they were no longer schools, they were remodeled into homes.

When the new District was formed, there were 5 Board Members: E.C. Shaw, A.F. Newkirk, R.F. Blackmon, E.L. Johnson, and J.A. Baldwin – all of whom were “transferred” from their respective schools. “After the consolidation in 1931, plans were implemented to begin a new school building to house all the students. While arrangements were being made and construction got underway all four schools continued to have classes for Primer (Kindergarten) through Eighth grade. Grades nine through twelve were sent to Fountain Lake for three years, although not many attended.

In 1934 the School remodeled the old Jessieville Baptist Church house and had high school classes there for two years.

During this time work was going on the new Rock School Building. The U.S. Forest Service moved their headquarters and work center and donated the land to the school for the new building. The work on the new building was completed in time for school to open on July 19, 1936, for an eight months term with 180 students enrolled. It had taken almost five years, countless hours of work, headaches and red tape to secure a loan and the co-operation of various government offices, but the ambitions of the community and the Board members were accomplished.

1937 saw the first graduates from the Rock Building. There were 6 Seniors.