A Brief History of Our School
Some students rode ponies to the original Dalton School! It opened its doors in 1909 and enrolled 32 students in two classrooms, first through eighth grade. According to The Dalton Story by Marvin Shadduck, “The building was considered quite modern even though it had no indoor lavatories and very few school supplies.” It also had no electricity! The building was heated with a large wood-burning furnace. One precedent set early on was sharing the building with the community. Two other rooms in the school were devoted to the community for social gatherings and fundraisers. Former students and Dalton residents remember the large school bell, which was hung in a belfry at the rooftop and could be heard a mile away when it rung. In 1949, Dalton School joined Coeur d’Alene School District #271. The original 1909 building was closed to make way for a new wing in 1961; enrollment at that time tallied 185 children. The school bell was relocated to Dalton City Hall.
Dalton Grade School was built in 1961 on the same grounds as the 1909 structure. “The old ‘barn’ was removed and a major remodel, including a new gym, was completed in 1999” (Shadduck, 2003). The 1909 school bell made its way back to Dalton Elementary in 2007.
Today, Dalton Elementary School enrolls around 440 students. Thanks to our generous community, who approved a bond in 2016, Dalton underwent a nearly a full remodel in the summer of 2018. We finally added spaces for art and music in the building, including a stage for intimate performances! All classrooms received a makeover, the library relocated to a new space, and we added have three new classrooms for second grade. It was quite an exciting time at Dalton!
Over the years, Dalton Elementary School has become known for its tight-knit community. Teachers often stay in the building for decades. They rave about their students and families. When one walks into the building on any given day, one can feel the positive energy, see smiling staff and students, and converse with many a parent volunteer or a WatchDog Dad. The Dalton community sets high expectations for good behavior, hard work, and school achievement, and the staff works closely with families to help students reach their potential. The PTA helps lead school activities and raises funds throughout the year to supplement building and teacher budgets. Dalton staff is grateful for the partnership of families; it does indeed “take a village”.
Works Cited: Shadduck, Marvin E. The Dalton Story. Museum of North Idaho, 2003.