Bluff Dale School History
Records from the minutes of the Commissioners Court meeting in early 1867 shows the beginning of the Bluff Dale School. Schools at that time were considered subscription schools and typically a fee of $1.00 per month per student was collected.
An old log house was the setting for the first Bluff Dale School and the first teacher was Lum Stephens. In 1880, a box, stripped house on Holmes Street was built. The building on Holmes Street burned and a new building was constructed about 1900 at the present school site. This building was a relatively large plank building with at least two rooms.
As the school began to grow, a larger building was needed and on June 23, 1906 a vote was cast and an Independent School District was formed. A bond election was held for the purpose of constructing a free public school building of stone material. The bond election passed on September 22, 1906 and a new stone building was built.
Bluff Dale I.S.D. was once a large school consisting of a two-story, rock building. It was built in 1906 and stayed standing until 1929. Even though it was not around in our time doesn't mean it was not significant to the citizens of Bluff Dale.
Before this school was built, the students had to go to school in a little building that was described as a small one room boxed and stripped house. The students sat on long slatted benches instead of desks. After the population of students increased the school decided it was time to build a bigger building.
The school went from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. Still the numbers increased. The building had four large class rooms and three small rooms which were used as a library, music room, and one for private study or a work room. This school encouraged all students to participate in clubs and athletics. In 1922, the first student made yearbook was published. Over the years this building adapted a 11th grade system, then eventually a 10th grade system and finally to the current 8th grade system.
In the Spring of 1927, during a storm lightning struck the steeple of the school and knocked it off. The lightning strike occurred during school time and several students were injured. The following year concerns about the structural integrity of the building were voiced and the school board petitioned to remodel the building in 1929.
This Red Brick one story building was completed and put in use for the school term of 1929-1930. The back of this school building was made out of the old native stone from the previous building.
The building had five classrooms, an office, library, and auditorium.. Before 1946 they had Kindergarten through 12th grade. In 1947 they adopted the 8th grade system and high school students were bused to Stephenville.
In 1999 they had to tear down this school full of many memories because it was considered unsafe.
The current Bluff Dale I.S.D. elementary building was built in 1999 after the old building was considered unsafe and obsolete.
The elementary school has three exit doors and is built of a solid brick structure. There are 6 classrooms, a conference room, office area, and a teachers workroom. Five portable buildings currently house storage and six additional classrooms. Security cameras are in place all around the building and an intercom system is part of the main building.
The Community has played an important role in Bluff Dale School History. Behind the school is playground equipment, assembled by many volunteers and a new pavilion was added to the playground area just before school began in August 2006.
Sports as well as academics are important parts of the school. Bluff Dale has had boys and girls basketball and track for many years. Girls volleyball was added in the Spring of 2006. The volleyball team started their first two years with an undefeated record. Six-man football was added to the sports line up in the fall of 2007 and has been a great addition. A new football field was erected in 2010.
Although Bluff Dale School has been through hard times, it still stretches to achieve new goals and sets a great example for other schools in Region XI. Bluff Dale I.S.D. has been commended the National Title 1 Distinguished School Award, recognizing its many years of excellence. Bluff Dale I.S.D. has been awarded the Texas Education Agency "Exemplary" District status for many years (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2010).
NOTE: The current enrollment is 219 students from Pre-K through 12th grade (as of August 2020).