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Our History

Chatsworth Park Elementary School is the oldest school in Chatsworth, dating back to 1880. Although no longer in its original building, some of the same trees that stand today can be seen in historic photos. A true community school, we now serve the local neighborhood children in kindergarten through fifth grade. We have been honored as one of California's Distinguished Schools.

 

Our Long History

Chatsworth Park Elementary had it's early beginnings in the frontier home of Ann and Neils Johnson, who homesteaded land in the Santa Susanna Pass in 1874. At first Mrs. Johnson taught her own children at home in the evenings gathered around a kerosene lamp. As more families moved into the area, a school room was set up on a ranch located on Santa Susanna Avenue just below Chatsworth Street on the east side.

The Santa Susanna School District of Los Angeles was formed in 1879. A year later, our school was started with a building at the present site of Devonshire and Topanga. N.A. Gray donated the land on which to build the school. Chatsworth Park's first teacher was Miss Mary Gower of Hollywood and Mrs. Johnson was the clerk of the board of trustees. Mrs. Johnson's daughter, Lenora Johnson was another early teacher at the school. 

In the 1880's parents were reluctant to send their children to school because they needed their help working on the family ranches. There are stories of Mrs. Johnson driving around in her buggy picking up children to maintain the minimum number students needed to keep the school open.

In 1915, Chatsworth Park Elementary became a part of the Los Angeles school system. The old building was moved across the street and a new two-story building was built. Students from grades 1 through 8 attended school here.

In 1933, the school was damaged by the earthquake and was torn down. Children went to school in tents while a new building was built. On October 25, 1935, the new school was dedicated. Bungalows were added in 1956 and in the 1957-58 school year the building was remodeled with the offices added and the front changed to its present facade. As late as 1954 Chatsworth Park Elementary was the only school west of Reseda Blvd. and north of Roscoe.