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In 1967, the Long Beach Unified School District applied for a federal grant to help build a westside elementary school.  A grant of $597,616 was awarded under terms of a program for construction of school facilities in federally affected areas.

  • The school was designed for 805 students and was expected to cost $1,351,600.
  • The school first opened in the fall of 1968 with classrooms and offices housed in bungalows, while construction of the permanent buildings was completed.
  • The actual construction cost was $1,863,776, of which the district was only required to pay $92,600.
  • Instead of self-contained classrooms, the school was designed with 8 large pods, each equal in size to 4 classrooms.
  • 38 teachers and 3 specialists taught 1,100 students.
  • 88% of the students were from Navy families.
  • Students were to be grouped by age and maturity levels in non-graded instructional groups, with individual pupils expected to advance upward to new pods every two years.