WCASD Mission: To educate and inspire our students to achieve their personal best.
J.R. FUGETT MIDDLE SCHOOL STATEMENT OF BELIEFS
As a child-centered Middle School, we believe that:
- We are committed to educating young adolescents and providing them with positive role models.
- We look developmentally at the “whole child” to support the social, physical, intellectual, and emotional growth and well being of all our students.
- We have high expectations for all students and demand high-quality work.
- We offer students a relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory curriculum.
- We use a variety of teaching strategies to accommodate the diverse needs and abilities of our students.
- We offer students experiences, which will prompt them to become more responsible for themselves as learners and citizens.
- We work to provide organizational structures that effectively support our commitment to a child-centered middle school.
J. R. Fugett Middle School (originally East Junior High) is one of three district middle schools, but the only school building in the district attached to another school.
Prior to the district becoming incorporated, the area Joint School Board (comprised of members from surrounding townships and the borough) approved the purchase of the 50-acre site at the corner of Paoli Pike and Ellis Lane for the cost of $125,000. Settlement was scheduled for April 1965.
In April 1965, the Joint School Board appointed Tobiessen-Wenger and Associates of Paoli as architects for the new junior high school. In July 1966, the West Chester Area School District assumed responsibility for completing construction of East Junior High School which was designed to house 1,250 students. Somers Construction Company was named general contractor at a bid of $2,415,600.
East Junior High School opened in the fall of 1969 and was dedicated on December 7. When it opened, it housed all the district’s ninth graders and some 275 tenth graders. The assignment of the ninth and tenth graders to East Junior High and the transfer of sixth graders to North (Peirce) and South (Stetson) were intended to relieve overcrowding on the high school and elementary school levels.
In September 1977, a complete reorganization to a K-5, 6-8, 9-12 structure occurred. The closure of the borough schools and the grade reorganization left the district with 11 elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. East Junior High School was renamed J. R. Fugett Middle School by school board action on March 28, 1977.
Born in 1890 as the son of a former Tennessee slave, Joseph R. Fugett worked to expand educational opportunities all his life and was one of the earliest residents in the community to recognize and work towards the need to improve race relations in West Chester. A Cornell University graduate, Joseph R. Fugett was a respected teacher and principal in the West Chester area for many years. He served as principal of the all-black Gay Street School from 1920-1955. Upon his retirement in June 1965, the school board passed a resolution renaming the Gay Street School after him to honor his many years of dedicated service. That school closed in the 1980's and the honorary name was moved to what was then East Junior High School and is now the present day J.R. Fugett Middle School. Fugett died in 1975 and when the Fugett Elementary School closed in 1977, the Fugett name was transferred to East Junior High School.
Exterior renovations at Fugett were completed as part of the work on the adjoining East High School building in 2003 and 2004. Major interior renovations, including the reconfiguration of instructional spaces and construction of two small additions (2,113 square foot front addition and 1,104 square foot rear addition), began in the summer of 2007. To provide the best possible learning environment for the students, the project was completed over a three-year period with the bulk of the construction occurring during the summer months. Renovations were completed in December 2009.
The school was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School in 1990-91. Fugett’s mascot is the Cougar; the school colors are royal blue and gold. Students from Fugett attend East High School.
In February of 2003, Mr. Jean Fugett, the son of Mr. J.R. Fugett, came for a very special visit to our school. We were all fascinated to hear his lively stories of the life of his father. He has since been inducted into the Maryland Society of the Sons of the America Revolution. He is the first African American to join the society in the state of Maryland. Jean's grandmother, Electa Josephine Bakeman Fugett, was a direct descendant of Henry Bakeman who participated in the Revolutionary War.