The Case of the Missing Students--They Moved

This week, not even one of La Verne Heights Elementary School’s 570 students showed up for class at the 53-year-old campus.

That’s because the entire student body changed its address over the weekend, to the newest school in the Bonita Unified School District.

The $5.5-million school, which will be named before next fall, is at the corner of Wheeler Avenue and Via De Mansion, about half a mile north of the old campus, in La Verne.

Pupils were moved mid-year to give workers as much time as possible to renovate the old school before the next school year begins. The 1937 structure will get an estimated $1.8-million renovation.


Teachers and administrators last Friday walked the entire student body from the old school to the new facility. In addition to teaching the children how to get to school, the idea was to acquaint youngsters with safe street crossings, their classrooms, the cafeteria and the bathrooms.

The old school is on the site of the district’s first school, built about 105 years ago. Much of the now-standing structure was completed by the Work Projects Administration during the Depression.

Several years ago, the cafeteria had to be demolished because it did not meet earthquake-safety standards. Since then, the food-service staff had worked out of a bungalow.

The renovation plans include new eating and bathroom facilities and modernizing the administration building and classrooms.

When the work on La Verne Heights school is finished, the new school will serve north La Verne, where hundreds of new homes have been built in recent years. Pupils now being bused up to 10 miles will be able to attend a neighborhood school.

The new school will also alleviate overcrowding throughout the district, which enrolls about 10,000 students from La Verne and San Dimas.