Cliffside High School Pride Of Entire Township
Cliffside Mills Operate School Three Months Out of Each Year—Other Interesting Facts.
From the Forest City Courier, Oct. 30, 1930. By Rev. J.A. Hunnicutt
Centrally located inthe center of a four acre plot of ground, on the crest of a beautiful knoll in the northern part of the town, stands the Cliffside public school building. This building is a three story structure made of the best shale brick with concrete floors overlaid with hardwood. The building is practically fire proof. The building, with the well-kept premises and landscape gardening presents a very attractive appearance and can be seen for miles in the distance.
The building has twenty-five classrooms with cloakrooms, closets and the latest complete equipment of desks, blackboards, maps, charts, globes and grade library for each grade in the Elementary school and Kindergarten. In addition there is an elementary library with 800 bound volumes and a high school library with 1005 bound volumes. These libraries contain numerous bulletins and magazines and are under the care of trained librarians. There are two offices completely furnished, including equipment for standard filing of all records. There are music rooms with standard pianos, laboratories for home economics and the household arts, physics, chemistry, general science, physical and commercial geography, a room for manual training, boys club room, and play room, all equipped with modern apparatus, and teachers’ rest room fully furnished. The other outstanding feature is the large beautiful auditorium, which seats about 1000, with its large stage and attractive settings.
To the rear of the school building in a large play ground equipped with jumping pits, two sliding boards, six seat swings, six ring swings, a giant swing, two merry-go-rounds, six see-saws, one monkey ladder. This complete apparatus is all metal and kept in repair by the company’s mechanics.
There is in addition a dash track, medicine balls, push balls, volly ball and vaulting bars.
Nearby is the old baptist church, a good wooden structure seating about 600 people while in use, which was purchased by the Cliffside Mills and converted into a school gymnasium and basket ball court. Near to the school is a large baseball and football park with grandstand and dressing rooms which is also used by the school for athletic purposes. There is also a large, complete gymnasium which the school uses at the Haynes Memorial building. There is not to be found a better and more complete equipment for physical education and training than at the Cliffside (Mills) School. Such training is compulsory under a trained director for every pupil in the school.
Another special feature in the school is the domestic science department, located in the Haynes Memorial building. This department has a domestic science room, a sewing room with nine machines, a laboratory, a china closet well supplied, a large cooking room with complete household arts equipment, and a beautiful banquet hall.
The Cliffside Mills provide two homes for the women teachers. The beautiful Suitsus Cottage with its fifteen attractively furnished rooms and inviting yards, and the Teacherage with nine rooms equally well furnished, surrounded by landscape garden grounds and a flower garden set off to the side. The men teachers find a delightful home in one of the boarding houses.
This year there has been added to the school a commercial department. A room has been fitted out with eight standard typewriters, desks, and all other necessary equipment. The course is elective to those in the tenth and eleventh grades. While the mills are curtailing, special classes are formed for all those who would like to study book-keeping, short hand and typewriting while not at work. Many are taking advantage of this opportunity.
The physical equipment, however, is only a means to an end. That end is the education of young people. The enrollment for this year exceeds that for one year ago to date by 102. There is an enrollment in the elementary school and the eighth, ninth and tenth in the high school are over-crowded from the opening day of the school. It is interesting to note that every grade is over-crowded from the fifth through the tenth. There are also twenty-five in the senior class. The elementary school is standard and run on the seven year plan of group teaching. This department employs fourteen teachers. The high school is a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Being a class A high school, all graduates are admitted to any college or university without examination. This school employs even specialty teachers, offering six courses to the pupils, exclusive of a complete commercial course which is elective for the tenth and eleventh grades. In addition special home economic courses are open tto high school pupils. The high school has class A state rating.
In the Cliffside schools music is not neglected. There is a music supervisor for the elementary school and choruses in the high school. There is also a piano instructor and many classes continue throughout the year.
There are two other noticeable features of the school. Free medical supervision is provided for every child throughout the year. Upon entering school every pupil is given a physical examination and the necessary medical treatment is provided for those not able to pay. The other feature is compulsory school attendancefor every pupil during the school year. Children of school age are not found playing on the streets of Cliffside during school hours.
The Cliffside schools are not confined to the village, but have a district reaching far out into the country side. All rural pupils have free benefit of the schools with transportation furnished. There are three buses carrying more than a hundred pupils, traveling over a hundred miles a day for the school year.
But that which gives the school a high rating is not the equipment and student body, important as they are. There must be something or someone else back of the school. Just here some interesting features come to light. The school building alone cost $200,000.00 besides the playground, athletic field, gymnasiums, and teacherages. These were provided by the Cliffside Mills, Rutherford county assisting only in the equipment of the school building and domestic science rooms. The district has no special school tax. The state and county furnish teachers salary and some incidentals for six months, yet Cliffside has a nine month school year. Every cent of the expense for three months for this great school is furnished by the Cliffside Mills. It gives to the children of this district thousands of dollars annually so that there may be a nine months school year.
Mr. Charles H. Haynes, president of Cliffside Mills, like his father, the late Mr. R. R. Haynes, has not only given the utmost financial support to the schools but has also been careful to see that only the best type of teachers are employed. In addition to the requirement of a class A certificate, a teacher must be an educational and community asset to obtain and hold a position with the Cliffside schools. Thus with the assistance of Mr. Barron P. Caldwell, superintendent of the schools, a great outstanding body of teachers has been selected from year to year. The personnel of the teachers, like the building up of this great school, is an outstanding achievement. The state and county can justly join with the Cliffside people and district and their honorable pride in the Cliffside public schools.
Reprinted with permission from The Daily Courier. Copyright owned by The Daily Courier.