History of the Bradford Special School District

The Bradford Special School District was established through a private legislature act in 1917. For the following sixty years the system operated as both an independent district and as a part of the Gibson County School System until July 1977 when the board of trustees, fearing consolidation, voted to become an independent operating system.

During the summer of 1978, the old high school building burned. It had been the central building for the school system since the early 1900’s but was condemned by the state fire marshal in 1974. It was during this time that the local board had to make a decision as to whether to consolidate with Gibson County, or attempt to become an independent district. A majority of the board wanted to become a special school district. The board had recently purchased a tract of land on which to build a new high school, but the citizens of Bradford overwhelmingly favored rebuilding on the same lot, therefore construction was begun in 1979 with a three phase plan and was completed in 1981. The building housed grades 7 – 12 with a total student population of approximately 320 students. The numbers have consistently remained about the same for the past twenty years.


The Bradford elementary school was completed in 1951 with additions in 1957, 1970 and 1976. 
During the 2002 school year, a new multi-purpose building was constructed which serves as a gym for the elementary students, and a facility for the community events. A pre-K program was added in 2001 – 2002, and another in 2005 – 2006.

Another addition to our elementary school took place in the spring and summer of 2014.  Renovations to our parking lot and elementary school are also notable.  Today the school has approximately 325 enrolled in grades K – 6. This figure has fluctuated only slightly for the past several years. The combined numbers including the two new pre-K classes is a little less than 700 students. 


The Bradford faculty is one of the best educated and most experienced in the entire state. A high percentage of the present faculty have post graduate degrees, and turnover among teachers is very small.