The Junior High (1960’s-1970’s)
By Dr. Pelham Mead III ©
TV Script for a 13 Episode Series
Narrator: The date is 1960, Upstate New York in the Highland School District and two years of construction on a new Junior High have come up short and will not finish on time for the school opening on September 5, 1960.
Episode 1-The Beginning
Scene 1- Cucamonga JHS construction site, Sept. 1959.
Description of Scene: Piles of wood everywhere, backhoe parked nearby and many trucks parked in background. Front of the building, Glass with taped X in the front hallway.
Job Foreman-Mr. Green- (Talking to another unnamed construction worker outside the school building) “Well it looks like we aren’t going to finish this job on time for the opening on September 5th.”
Construction Worker #1-“That’s too bad. There are going to be a lot of unhappy parents and
Job foreman: “Yeah about 600 unhappy students to be exact.”
Construction Worker #1: “What’s holding up the job?
Job Foreman: “The auditorium seats have not come in yet. We are also five unfinished classrooms left on the second floor.”
Construction worker: “Wow, that’s a lot to do. Well I have to get back to work. See you later boss.”
Scene two: The superintendent of schools, Mr. Sam Woodruff’s office.
Description of scene: (Phone rings and a secretary sitting at a desk in a large office area surrounded with books on shelves and education posters. Mrs. Adler, secretary to the Superintendent of Schools: ” Hello, Superintendent Woodrift’s office, Ms. Adler speaking, ‘how may I help you?”
Construction Foreman, Mr. Sam Green-“Hello, I would like to speak to the Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Woodruff, please. This is Mr. Green, the Foreman on the Cucamonga school construction.”
Secretary Adler: “Yes, one minute Mr. Green. I will put Superintendent Woodrift on the line for you.”
Secretary Adler: “shouting into the next room” “Mr. Green the Job Foreman on line 2 sir.”
Supt. Woodruff: “Ok, I got it, Hello,
Foreman Green: “Hi, Mr. Woodruff, this is foreman Green speaking.”
Superintendent Woodruff: “Yes what can I do for you Mr. Green?”
Foreman Green: “Well, Sir I am afraid I have some bad news for you.”
Supt. Woodruff: “Yes what is it?” (In an angry manner)
Foreman Green: “The chairs for the auditorium for Cucamonga JHS have not arrived yet. In addition, we are five classrooms behind in finishing, Sir”
Supt. Woodruff: “Are you kidding me! Here it is September 2, three days away from opening and you are telling me we are not going to finish on time? What the hell am I going to do now? We sent out 600 letters back in August to the new Cucamonga JHS students about opening day on Sept. 5th.”
Foreman Green: ” May I suggest Sir, that we lock the auditorium closed and block off all access to the five unfinished classrooms on the second floor, front hallway.”
Supt. Woodruff: “What about the building inspector? He is never going to give us a CO with the building unfinished.”
Foreman Green: “Don’t worry about the building inspector, we will slip him some money to go away until the building is done.”
Supt. Woodruff: “You can do that?”
Foreman Green: “Let me worry about that, Sir.”
Supt. Woodruff: ” Ok, I want action and fast.”
Supt. Woodruff: “Miss Adler, get me the President of the Board of Education, Mr. Grossberg, and Mr. Flemingberg, the Teacher’s Union President on the phone right away.
Supt. Woodruff begins pacing back and forth and looking out his office windows.
Foreman Green: ” Thank you Sir, goodbye.”
Supt. “Miss Adler, get me the President of the Board of Education, Mr. Grossberg, and Mr. Flemingberg, the Teachers Union President on the phone right away.
Supt.Woodruff- (begins pacing back and forth- looking out the windows of his office)
(A few minutes later the Phone rings)
Ms. Adler- (shouting) Mr. Woodruff, Mr. Flemingberg calling on line 2.”
Supt. Woodruff- “Hello Bill, I just wanted to let you know we have a problem with the opening day at Cucamonga Junior High school. The auditorium had no seats yet, and we are five classrooms upstairs away from finishing. I just wanted to keep you informed. Please tell your teachers that regardless of what gossip they hear, we will open on Sept. 5th with a faculty development day. Students will report on Sept. 6th at 9:05am.
Bill Flemingberg- Union President “Than you Cal. I will notify all our Union Members that is business as usual at Cucamonga Junior High school and all teachers assigned to that new school are to report in at 9:05 on Sept. 5th.
Supt.Woodruff- Cal “Thanks Bill, I will keep you informed, gotta run, bye.”
(Phone rings again)
Ms. Adler ” Mr Grossberg is on line 3 sir.”
Supt. Cal “Thank you Ms. Adler, I got it”
Supt. Cal- ” Good morning Sam, Shalom. How are you today?
Sam Grossberg, Pres. Of the board of Education- “Good and you?”
Supt. Cal- “Sam we have a problem with the construction at Cucamonga Junior High school. The auditorium seats have not yet been delivered and they have five more classrooms on the second floor to finish.”
Sam “Wow are we going to open on time?”
Supt. Cal- “Yes we are going to open on Sept. 5th for the faculty conferences, but the upstairs will be blocked off and the auditorium will be locked.”
Sam “OK, I am glad we have a backup plan or the parents will be calling me night and day.”
Supt. Cal “I will keep you informed Sam, have a nice day”
Sam “Goodbye Cal.”
Supt. Cal (dialing out on a rotary phone) “Hello Principal Worley? This is Superintendent Grossberg. I have some good and bad news for you. Which do your want first?”
Principal Ned Worley “What is the bad news.”
Supt. Cal -“Well the construction on your school is running behind schedule. Your auditorium chairs have not been delivered yet and five classrooms upstairs rooms 201, 202,203,204, and 205 are not finished yet.”
Principal Ned Worley ” Are we going to open on Sept. 5th?”
Supt. Cal- “Yes but with restrictions. The second floor font stairway will have to be blocked off by your staff and the auditorium will have to be locked.
Principal Worley “So what is the good news?”
Supt. Cal- “The good news Ned is your are going to open on Sept. 5th for the faculty conference day.
Principal Ned- “Great, I will get on the closures right away in the hall and auditorium. Thanks you and have a nice day.”
Principal Worley- “Mrs. Grey call the Assistant Principal Mr. Kelp and have him modify the class schedule and move rooms 201 to 205 to different rooms. If there are not rooms available the small cafeteria will be available except periods 3,4, and 5 during lunchtime. Also have him inform the faculty and staff that construction will go on during school hours and the auditorium is off limits and will be locked until the chairs arrive.”
Secretary Grey- “I am calling him right now Mr. Worley”
Principal Worley “What are I going to do about the parents, should they be informed? It is probably too late for that.
(Talking out loud to himself)