Poland School 1877
OLD POLAND HIGH SCHOOL – The school building in Poland erected in 1877 was the last of the small schools serving Poland area before the present building was erected in 1936. When this building was erected in South Main Street in Poland there were no buildings on that side of the street except the one now owned by Mrs. Ann Ward at the extreme end of Main Street. The ball ground was a in a pasture where the Community Baptist Church now stands. In 1902 the old school was upgraded and there were four teachers, two elementary and two for high school. The school was rated as a middle high school with the privilege of completing two years of high school. The school day did not end at four and night sessions were necessary. The first graduates of the school were two Cold Brook girls, Miss Lena Newberry and Miss Alice Theobald.
Poland School History
The first school house in Poland was built in 1795. It was a log building in a clearing near the Baptist Church on what was then called Newport Street. The first school teacher was Mr. Silas Barker from Massachusetts. He was very rough in his punishment of disobedient pupils. The second school house was halfway between Swezey Hill and Poland. The third was on Cold Brook Street near Mr. Forrest's house. The next was a frame building near the third school house. The fifth was also on Cold Brook Street. The sixth and seventh were the same building. The sixth building was, at first, like the others, one room, then it was two rooms. This building was built by Slyvanus Clemens and "had a belfry with a good bell, as well as blackboards, a globe and outline maps for the teaching of geography". This building was remodeled in 1874 and again in 1878, when the seating was rearranged, a platform added and the whole building greatly improved. When this building was erected on South Main Street, there were no buildings on that side of the street from the school building to the Howe farm. The baseball ground was in the pasture where the Baptist Church now stands.
In 1902 the school became upgraded and there were four teachers - - two for elementary and two for high school. The school then was rated as a middle-high school with the privilege of completing two years of high school. The school day did not end at 4:00 P.M. and night sessions were necessary.
Full centralization took place in 1934 and the present school was opened in 1936 at a cost of $247,000. The centralization of schools opened up opportunities for wider learning and sports not available before. Twenty-one schools were in the centralized system in 1936. They included Gray, Poland, Cold Brook, Bull Hill, Hurricane, Wilmurt Corners, Russia, Worden's Corners, North Star, Pardeeville, Shawangunk, Grant, Cave, Whitehouse, North Gage, Wilmurt, Gravesville, Ohio, Brayton's Corners, Squires and Bromley. Ten of these schools remained open at first for grades one through six. Three more schools,Walker Road, Coldwell, and Poplar Tree, were added and of the total only three, Whitehouse, North Gage and Upper Wilmurt, remained open until 1962.
Poland Central once had the longest bus run in the state. It is a total of 70 miles a day and picks up pupils from PisecoLake and the nearby area. In 1936 there were four buses for student transportation. At present there are twenty-two buses, one station wagon, and several feeder lines which cover seventeen bus routes. Close to 33,800 transportation miles are driven each month.
The present school was enlarged in 1957 by four new classrooms in the garage area, an additional wing and conversion of storage rooms and faculty rooms into classrooms. In 1962 a new $1,190,000.00 addition which included 22 elementary classrooms, an elementary library, a gymnasium and a cafeteria was added to the school. In 1976 additions including 4 new classrooms, a practice gymnasium, elementary and high school libraries, and reading rooms were opened. Extensive remodeling in the present high school resulted in new classrooms. The cost for the 1976 addition was $995,000.00.The average PK-6 class size is 42. The district continually invests time and money in curriculum improvement. The district meets the special education needs of students with district-operated resource rooms and Herkimer County BOCES programs.
In addition to a solid instructional program, the District supports a comprehensive music program, has had many All-County and All-State participants, and won top awards at the Sherburne Festival of Marching Bands.
The District's sports program has had many successful seasons. The boys' varsity baseball team won the 1990 State Championship. The girls' varsity soccer team won the 2012 State Championship.
Poland School Alma Mater
The Alma Mater for the district has two verses, though the first verse is more commonly known. The song reflects the setting of the school and the strong sense of community that has been ever present. In recent years, "Poland High School" has been replaced with "Poland Central" when sung by younger students. In this fashion, the last line would become "Poland School".
We, they children, Poland High School,
One in loyalty.
Ever shall be bound together
By our love for thee.
May our ideals like the mountains
Rising toward the blue
Like our Kuyahoora Valley
Be as great and true.
Honor to thee, Poland High School,
Memories 'round thee cling.
Poland's name we'll love and cherish
Poland's praise we'll sing.
Alma Mater, Poland High School,
We shall never fail
To respect thee, aid thee, love thee,
Poland High, all hail!