Westwood View School 1928-1969
The first school in our area was at the Indian Mission. It was built by a local resident, Miles Standish. It was Shawnee Mission District No. 92. The first school district meetings were held in the old Mission Chapel Room on August 22, 1873. In 1875 the enrollment was 51 pupils.
During this time, parents around the Westport Annex area felt the distance was too far for the smaller children to walk to school. Mrs. Richard Ketro from the annex decided to do something about it. She rode the Strang Line inner-urban train to Olathe, the county seat office, to find the necessary steps to be taken to divide the district. A petition was circulated and the division finally made, territory east of the line halfway between Mission Road and Belinder was formed into School District No. 93 and called Hudson School.
The question came up as to where would the children go to school while the new school was being built? At this time a two-story house was just built on Hamilton Street (now 48th Street) and arrangements were made for the children to use it for the school.
A two-room brick building was built on 48th Street west of Hudson Road (now rainbow Boulevard). Later, a room was built in the basement for the primary pupils while the intermediate and upper grades used the original rooms. Still later, a two-room frame building was built east of the brick building to take care of the increasing number of school children. The school became a very popular place. It was a community meeting place and many interesting programs
were held there. Teachers from Kansas University came and gave extension classes in painting, interior decorating and sewing.
In January 1928 the school site was changed to 50th Street west of Rainbow Boulevard and renamed Westwood View School No. 93 and a new building was constructed. Land for the new school was purchased from the Swatzell Family. The family owned 380 acres of the land in what is now Westwood and Westwood Hills through the original land grant to the Shawnee Indians by their one-time chief Captain Joseph Parks.
During the 1930s the school grew in attendance and many programs were established. The school enjoyed an inheritance of a collection of models; projects of a Federal Government Project during the Depression Era. These models are now on permanent display at the Westwood City Hall.
Enrollment continued to grow. In 1935 enrollment was 216 students and by 1946 it had grown to 309. New rooms were added to the south side of the school and additional grounds were added to include a playground for the lower grades.
In the sixties, Unification was introduced to the area by the Shawnee Mission District, and Westwood View School No. 93 became Building No. 101 of the Unified District. The current school, described as a "unique pod arrangement which allowed considerable savings with less hall space," was dedicated in May of 1969.
Excerpted from the City of Westwood - Celebrating 50 Years of Progress History Book compiled and edited by Gene Culbertson.