Many exciting events happened during the development of the Selma Schools. Discussions focused on where schools should be and what schools should be part of the High School system. There was even a discussion regarding “Selma Junior College.”
On April 18, 1914, the Selma Irrigator editorially suggested that there should be extra teachers hired for the High School, as had been done in Fresno, and a junior college be established on the same campus as the Selma High School. The idea caught on and in May of that year, Herman Kraemer, the High school Principal went to work and enrolled 10 students in the program. Classes in literature and science were offered. Registration for the classes rose to 16, four short of needed to reach the goal.
There seemed to be much community support of the junior college program, but during the summer of 1914, the SUHS trustees rejected the plan and latter refused to discuss the plan. That fall, 21 graduates from Selma High School enrolled into Fresno Junior College. It was only a few years later the same type program was started at Reedley High School, eventually becoming Reedley Junior College.
In 1948 and 1949, rising cost to operate and run rural schools district, led to discussion of forming a Union District, where several small elementary schools would be a district. In addition, some of the rural schools lost some of its territory to Kingsburg. In 1955, Canal School closed and on Sept. 19, 1955, the new Indianola Union Elementary School opened.
The Franklin Elementary, Terry Elementary, Indianola Elementary and the Selma Elementary schools could not survive alone. Over the objections of rural voters held on Election Day October 4, 1966, on July 1, 1967 the schools became Selma Unified School District.
Those of us who have been around awhile remember the schools that made up the History of the Selma School District. We still have Terry and Indianola Schools in existence and are on their original sites. If you want to visit another one of the original schools, a visit to Pioneer Village will lead you to the Kindergarten Classroom that was in Lincoln Park.
Call the Selma Recreation Department at 559-891-2237 to make a reservation to tour the Village and live the History of Selma long ago!
Thanks to Randall McFarland for providing this part of Selma History in his book, Centennial Selma- Biography of a California Community’s First 100 Years.