Though no math wiz, I have a pretty good head for numbers, and a strong background in history. The local districts are a challenge to me, however."While General William Jackson Palmer was busy developing Colorado Springs, ranchers and farmers homesteading in Douglass, Pine, and Woodmen Valleys were busy organizing the twentieth school district in El Paso County. The new district, established in 1874, two years before Colorado became a state, consisted of 36 square miles. Children met in homes for their education until 1886 when the first school in the district opened in the community of Edgerton that was located at the confluence of Monument and West Monument Creeks. Typical of a one-room rural school, it featured an entryway where coats and lunches were stored, a podium in the front of the classroom for the teacher’s desk, and a potbellied stove in the middle of the room. The district’s first bus barn was the four-horse shed located on the back of the property. Stories abound of this first school of bullets fired by deer hunters flying through the school, of children fishing in Monument Creek during lunch and recess, and of the County Superintendent arriving by train that stopped on the tracks below the school," according to info from Academy District 20.
Different stories circulate, however, of the naming designation of District 38.
"The history of education in the Black Forest parallels that of the original District 20. This area became a part of the original thirty-eighth district in El Paso County organized in 1888. The old Black Forest log school located on the corner of Shoup and Black Forest Roads has been preserved as a reminder of that past," according to District 20's web site.
"The one-room schools in both District Twenty and District Thirty-Eight in Black Forest served students in grades one through six. Secondary students were bussed to schools in outlying districts. This was not a satisfactory situation for the patrons of the districts who wanted the highest quality of education for their children. The solution to the educational needs of these two communities came in the early 1950s when the United States Air Force purchased the 18,500 acres of land that would become the Air Force Academy. The 1957 consolidation of Woodmen District Twenty, the Black Forest, and the Air Force Academy increased the size of the rural District Twenty from 36 to 130 square miles and provided the funds to build the district’s first high school."
District Twenty existed for over twenty years with one high school, one junior high, and up to six elementary schools. The decade of the 1980s brought the district’s major building boom, with the addition of two high schools, two middle schools, and five elementary schools. Nine new schools were added in the 1990s and seven were added between 2000 and 2010," says Academy District 20.
The numbers story seems to differ slightly according to District 38.
"The original Monument School District #5 was founded August 20, 1874, and was called, “The Lewis School District.” School was held in several one-room schoolhouses. This school served 1st through 8th grades. There were no high school grades in Monument until 1917, when a teacher was hired to teach 9th and 10th grades. The latest school house was moved south of the Village Inn, off Interstate-25 in Monument, (former Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce building.)
"Palmer Lake School began in the late 1800s and was housed in several one-room schoolhouses. Those buildings are still in existence and currently have been remodeled as residences in the town of Palmer Lake. This school also served 1st through 8th grades only," the District 38 site says.
"In 1921, the Inez Johnson Lewis School had one graduate, Bernice Ingersoll. In 1922, the high school was accredited. Donald McKay, who was the district's superintendent as well as principal and math teacher, was credited with helping to get the high school accredited. The school used gas lights because there was no electricity in Monument at the time. To be accredited, the school had to have electricity, and Mr. McKay was instrumental in getting electricity to the school," District 38's history records.
"Palmer Lake School District #33 paid tuition for their high school students to attend the new high school in Monument. In 1935, Palmer Lake built a new elementary school at 115 Upper Glenway. Since then, there have been three additions to the Palmer Lake Elementary School. The school has served elementary students since its inception, with the exception of 1980-1985, when it closed and all elementary students attended classes at the facility on Lake Woodmoor Drive. In 1986, Palmer Lake Elementary was renovated and reopened for elementary students. The latest addition took place in 1992 when the new cafeteria was added," according to a District 38 history.
"On July 28, 1948, Palmer Lake School District #33 and Lewis Consolidated School District #5 of Monument voted to merge. At this election, it was decided to give the combined districts a new number by adding 33 and 5. Thus, the district became #38 and was renamed "The Lewis-Palmer Consolidated Schools."
A new high school was built at 66 Jefferson Street in Monument in 1957. It continued to serve as the district's high school until 1980, when Lewis-Palmer High School opened at 1300 Higby Road in South Woodmoor.
In 1973, Lewis-Palmer Elementary School opened at 1315 Lake Woodmoor Drive as a middle school for grades 4-8. It wasn't until 1980, with the opening of a new high school and the transfer of grades 6-8 to the former high school site, that Lewis-Palmer Elementary School served students in grades K-5. Prior to that time, K-3 elementary students went to school at the Palmer Lake facility.
In 1980, the old high school became the middle school and continued as that until Lewis-Palmer Middle School opened in 1994 at 1776 Woodmoor Drive. In 1995, after considerable remodeling and renovation, Grace Best Elementary School opened in the old high school and middle school facility at 66 Jefferson Street in Monument as the district's fourth elementary school.
Another District 38 school, Kilmer Elementary School opened in 1988 at 4285 Walker Road, east of Highway 83, to accommodate the growth in the eastern part of the district. However, until numbers increased in that area, students from the Monument area were bused to that facility for school. Kilmer grew to nearly 600 students with the addition of three portables in the 2000-2001 school year.
In June of 1998, the original Pine Grove one-room school was donated by the landowners to Kilmer Elementary. The school was once located just north of Hwy. 83 on Palmer Divide/ County Line Road. An El Paso County family donated the land and a Douglas County family donated a bunkhouse for the building which was refurbished by the families into Pine Grove School. The school opened full time in the fall of 1913. Thanks to the help and donations of Kilmer families, Pine Grove was moved and restored to its original appearance where children can still learn within her walls.
To confuse things a little more, I guess, Ray Kilmer, the namesake of Kilmer Elementary, lives down the block from me... In District 20.
1: Monument Elementary School, Class of 1916
2: First Palmer Lake School
3: Inez J. Lewis School, 1928.
4:Monument's first school, just north of Dirty Woman Creek.
5: Monument School 8th Grade, 1925-26