The J. B. Norwood Schools in both Del Valle, Texas and Austin, Texas were named after James B. Norwood (James Bascum Norwood aka James Bascom Norwood). James B. Norwood was a white landowner that relocated to Texas after being in Tennessee for many years. The J. B. Norwood School(s) were named after James B. Norwood. J.B. Norwood donated land for the school.
During time of operation, J. B. Norwood School had its own school district called J. B. Norwood School District better known as School District No. 66 from 1892 to 1935.
J. B. Norwood Schools began life in 1892 with the opening of schools J. B. Norwood White School and J. B. Norwood Negro School. Both of which were built in 1892. Both schools were built as wooden frame schools Nearly 100% of these schools were built out of wood. These schools were a one-room buildings that was long and narrow with many windows. These schools would teach 1st grade through 8th grade from 1892 to 1931. Both schools were located at the intersection of FM 973 & Burleson Road.
Of course racism and segregation were law of the land in Texas prior to integration. J. B. Norwood School District had its own separate “J. B. Norwood School’s” for each race and ethnicity. A J. B. Norwood School for white students, a J. B. Norwood School for negro students, and a “Mexican School” for hispanic students. Each school in School District #66 was designated as a “J. B. Norwood School”.
By 1931, J. B. Norwood School(s) reverted from K-8 schools that taught grades 1st through 8th to K-7 schools which taught grades 1st through 7th. Most J. B. Norwood School(s) taught grades 1st through 8th. Students were bussed to Austin ISD to attend high school.
With the influx of Mexican immigrants from the 1930s, a new “Mexican School” was in demand to be established. In 1932 the J. B. Norwood Mexican School was built at Emma Browning Avenue next to J. B. Norwood White School and J. B. Norwood Negro School. J. B. Norwood Mexican School served the educational needs of Mexican children.
When the Bergstrom Air Force Base was being built in 1933, School District No. 66 was forced to relocate its schools elsewhere. Finally after much delay, School District No. 66 relocated its schools in 1935. The school relocation displaced students so they attended schools in the Colorado Common School District (now Del Valle ISD).
J. B. Norwood School (J. B. Norwood Negro School) was relocated to Norwood Lane & Burleson Road (FM 812) in 1935. J. B. Norwood School (J. B. Norwood White School) relocated across the street from J. B. Norwood Negro School later on in 1935. 31 students were enrolled at the J. B. Norwood Negro School during the 1934-1935 school semester. The average daily attendance during the 1934-1935 school semester was at 18 students a day.
In 1934-35, J. B. Norwood Negro School had 31 students with an average daily attendance of. Teacher-student ratio was 1:31 (1 being the teacher and 31 being students). Cost per year for each student was $440 which amounted to $24.44 per student per year. The school schedule was 114 days and sometimes 120 days.
In 1935 after many students were displaced, the “J. B. Norwood Schools” and the school district itself were consolidated into Colorado Common School District (now Del Valle ISD). All students from School District #66 attended Del Valle schools. All J. B. Norwood Schools were relocated to Norwood Lane & Burleson Road (FM 812) in Austin, Texas in the same year.
Sometime in the 20th century, the J. B. Norwood Schools were demolished. There are no traces of these school remaining today. None are extant. J. B. Norwood Schools were located inside the property of today’s Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA).
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