Help us improve our websiteSend feedback
The Berwyn Heights Elemenatry School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) was a volunteer organization founded to promote good home, community, and school relations. The PTA's records are comprised of the operating records of the association, such as budgets, reports, minutes, and publications.
This collection is open for research.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
1.75 Linear Feet
1.75 Linear Feet
The Berwyn Heights Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) records contain correspondence, minutes, budgets, Spring Fair programs, committee files, and assorted notes of the PTA board members from 1952 through 1981. Documented within the collection are the annual Spring Fairs; issues of concern to the PTA, such as sidewalks in certain areas and purchasing equipment requested by school staff; and various fundraising activities, such as tulip bulb sales and book fairs. The collection is arranged in chronological order by school year – July through June – until 1981, when Prince George's County closed the Berwyn Heights Elementary School.
In 1949 a small group of parents organized the Berwyn Heights Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). At that time there were thirteen pupils enrolled in three grades at the school. The three grades met in one classroom, and the kindergarten met in another. The Mother's Club for the kindergarten provided the playground equipment, and a group of fathers finished a basement playroom for rainy days, built tables on which the students could eat, built a swing set and a bicycle rack as well as repairing the building itself. The PTA supplied a telephone for the school and purchased a jungle gym for the playground. Prince George's County furnished a fire escape, new desks, new movable partitions for the classrooms, and painted the building inside and out. All of this was accomplished over a four-year period.
In 1950, the school faced possible closure due to low enrollment. Although the similarly named "Berwyn Elementary School" was nearby, the PTA lobbied to keep what would become the Berwyn Heights Elementary School open. In November 1952, a committee began developing the new school – a modern community school with six grades and an anticipated enrollment of 125 students by 1954.
The Berwyn Heights Elementary School opened in September 1958. This new school continued to grow in enrollment and had a very active PTA, which sponsored annual events, such as a book fair, tulip bulb sale, and a Spring Fair.
Prior to the 1980-1981 school year the Prince George's County Board of Education held discussions on closing under-enrolled schools for budgetary reasons. Berwyn Heights Elementary and many other schools appeared before the Board of Education to plead their case. In the end, the Board of Education closed a number of schools, including Berwyn Heights Elementary. The PTA attempted to appeal this decision, but the county closed the school at the end of the 1981 school year. The following year the students were scheduled to be bused to Spring Hill Lake Elementary School.
The collection is organized as two series.
Diane McCusker, the last president of the Berwyn Heights Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), donated the records to the University of Maryland Libraries in 1981.
The collection was originally processed in 1982. In 2007, the collection was rehoused in acid-free folders and placed in acid-free boxes. Additional Berwyn Heights materials were transferred to the collection from the Prince George's County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations archives, and some Prince George's County materials were removed from the Berwyn Heights collection and integrated into the Prince George's County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations records.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives