Around the Schoolroom

Rosenwald Fund architects promoted on-site supervision and complete adherence to its designs as a condition for financial assistance.  In 1924, they published guidelines in their Community School Plans, which remained in print into the 1940s.

Click on the numbers to see descriptions of the features of the schoolhouse and grounds.

Teachers' Desks. The teacher’s desk was located at the front of each room, next to the blackboard.
Lunch Room. Students stored their lunches in this room. In the 1940s, a visiting dentist used it as an examination room.
Cloak Room. In the later years of the school’s history, there was also a freezer in a cloak room that stored one of the students’ favorite treats: ice cream.
Blackboards. There was a slate blackboard in each classroom, over top of which ran an ABC panel. Students were responsible for keeping the blackboard clean, and dusting the erasers every evening.
Entry Doors. Each side had a door from the central foyer.
Construction Window. A plexiglass window provides a peek to the historic fabric of the original construction.
Student Desks. The students’ desks included an attached chair and slanted top. There was space to store books under the desk.
Wood & Fuel Room. The small room nearest each stove was used to store fuel for the stoves.
Stoves. A potbelly stove stood on each side of the room. The students were responsible for lighting and maintaining the stoves. They used wood to start the fire, and then switched to coal to keep it burning.
Wood Floors. Alumni remember the wood floors being kept in immaculate condition. After school each Friday, the school’s wood floors were treated with heavy motor oil. Students took turns helping with this task as well as with many other routine maintenance activities.
Lighting Fixtures. Electricity was not added for many decades and Scrabble lacked central heat as late as the 1960s. Six pendant light fixtures, similar to the new fixtures you see were installed in each classroom.
Library. Students borrowed books – often purchased by their teachers – that were kept on a homemade wooden shelf below the classroom windows.
Accordion Room Divider. In the morning, the folding room divider was left open to allow the students to participate as a group in morning devotions, after which the divider was closed to separate classes for grades 1-3 and 4-7.
Windows. Tall windows stretched across the length of the building in order to fulfill the Rosenwald architects’ desire to prevent eye strain and vision loss. The windows were also designed to open at the top to allow for ventilation.
Drive & Playground. Gravel driveway, with a grassy play area on either side. Girls and boys regularly played on different sides of the yard.
Girls Outhouse. With no indoor plumbing, there were two outhouses behind the school, one for boys and one for girls.
Boys Outhouse. With no indoor plumbing, there were two outhouses behind the school, one for boys and one for girls.

The Schoolhouse: The Scrabble School had two classrooms, each with utility rooms that mirrored each other in function. The classrooms were transformed during industrial arts days when girls learned homemaking skills and boys took carpentry lessons.

The Grounds: Rosenwald School architects were very specific about the location of the playground and grassy areas, as well as to where to plant trees and shrubs.