The Early Years – Prior to any organized school system, there were 5 one-room schoolhouses and 2 two-room schoolhouses that were consolidated from the area that now encompass the Northwest School District. The schools taught students in grades 1 through 8. Children walked or rode in trucks to school. Most of the families in the area were farmers, so when the children were needed for planting and harvesting, schools closed.
In 1924, the township decided to build one central school for grades one through eight. They chose the name Colerain Centralized School. That meant that many of the one-room and two-room schoolhouses were combined into one central school. The original Colerain Centralized School is now Colerain Elementary School.
In 1930, Colerain High School was built next to Colerain Centralized School. Clarence Struble was the first superintendent of the Colerain Township School District, and Harry Taylor was the first principal. The school district continued to grow, and by 1958 there were 3603 pupils and 113 teachers at the Poole Road site. The first addition and location change of a school since 1932 came in September 1959, when Struble Elementary School opened with 852 pupils and 25 faculty members. For more information on the history of Colerain High School, you can visit the Colerain Alumni website. The link is www.colerainalumni.com.
Monfort Heights School District, located in Green Township covers 7.36 miles, was started in 1927 by combining one two-room and two one-room schools. The Monfort Heights School on West Fork Road was built in 1930. It contained four classrooms and had an enrollment of 165 pupils and four teachers. Monfort Heights had a steady growth, but was never large enough to build a high school. Its pupils were sent on a tuition basis to Western Hills, then Mt. Healthy, and finally to Colerain High School. Although studies in 1949 and 1957 recommended consolidation of the Colerain and Monfort Heights Districts, nothing was done until the Ohio General Assembly passed a statute in 1959. The district began to expand rapidly in the late 1950’s when many people moved into the northwestern area of the county. Many new schools were built. Consolidation of the two districts was finally ordered by the state, and became effective March 28, 1960, when the Board of Education was sworn in and the district name was changed. In 1960, the Colerain Centralized School District changed its name to the Northwest Local School District. This part of Ohio was known as the Northwest Territory when the settlers came and the land was divided. Because of that reason, it was decided to call the school district Northwest Local School District. In 1960, 5,115 pupils, 154 teachers and seven administrators were housed in four buildings.
Today, there are just over 9000 students, 550 teachers and 12 buildings.
Many of the NWLSD school buildings were named in honor of distinguished educators and areas in the district. Colerain Elementary, built in 1924, Colerain Middle School, built in 1930 as the original high school, and Colerain High School, built in 1964, were named after the village of Colerain. The village was named after the county in Ireland that the original property owner was from – John Dunlap from Coleraine, Ireland.
Monfort Heights Elementary was built in 1930 and was named after a man named Monfort who was the postmaster. Heights came from the hills that make up the community. At the time of its opening, only 80% of the structure was complete. The new Monfort Heights Elementary opened in 1999.
Struble Elementary was built in 1959 and was named in honor of Clarence Struble, the first superintendent of the Colerain Centralized School District.
Taylor Elementary was built in 1960 and named in honor of Harry Taylor. Mr. Taylor was a teacher and then became the first principal of the district.
Pleasant Run Elementary was built in 1961. Pleasant Run used to be its own small district prior to being incorporated into the Colerain Centralized School District. Pleasant Run is the name of a stream and village.
White Oak Middle School was built in 1961 and named after the community in which it resides - “White Oak.”
Ann Weigel was built in 1965 and was named in honor of Ann Weigel, a teacher who taught in the district for 46 years. Her family was a friend of the property owners that the school sits upon. The property owner was Philip Seibert. After selling the property to the district, Mr. Seibert lived on a small patch of land. He watched the school being built and looked forward to the students’ arrival that first year. Unfortunately, Mr. Seibert fell ill and died the day before school was to begin.
Houston Elementary was built in 1966 and named in honor of Ophelia Houston, a long time teacher of the district. With declining district enrollment, Houston Elementary was closed in 2008. The Houston Elementary Building was repurposed into the Houston Early Learning Center (pre-school), Centralized Enrollment Center and Houston Conference Center.
Pleasant Run Middle School was built in 1969 and was named after the community in which it resides.
Bevis was built in 1970 and was named after the owner of the property it sits on. One of the original one-room schoolhouses was named Bevis as well. Due to declining enrollment, Bevis Elementary closed in 2013.
Northwest High School was built in 1973 and given the district name.
Welch Elementary School was built in 1977 and was named in honor of Everett J. Welch, Assistant Superintendent. Mr. Welch was very involved in all of the bond levy campaigns that were responsible for the building of Bevis and Welch Elementary Schools. Following the passage of the bond issues, tremendous growth occurred in the Pleasant Run Farms area.
Northwest Local School District opened an Alternative Program called Northwest Passage in 2010. This program is located within the Ann Weigel Elementary Building, which is now utilized as the Central Office Building for District Administrators. This is an alternative educational environment for selected students.