Established 1929, Opened 1979
The name La Plata originated with the Chapman family. In the mid-1800s, John Grant Chapman, a U.S. Representative in the 29th and 30th Congresses, built a plantation just north of where Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School stands today. He named his plantation "La Plata."
There are two theories as to why the Chapmans named their estate La Plata. Some believe that the name comes from South America's Rio de la Plata, situated between Argentina and Uruguay. A member of the Chapman family is said to have enjoyed a visit to this area during the 19th century. Others believe the name comes from the French phrase "la plateau." This term describes the level land of La Plata, Md.
In either the late 1800s or early 1900s, Chapman's son Robert Fergusson Chapman donated some of his family's land to the new town. Two other property owners also contributed land to the town so it is unclear why the town was named solely after the Chapmans' estate.
La Plata High School first opened in 1929 where the county government building is now. It housed students from first through eleventh grade. The school later moved to the building that is now Milton M. Somers Middle School before moving to Radio Station Road in 1979.
Source: La Plata Maryland 1888-1988 - 100 Years - The Heart of Charles County by John M. Wearmouth.
The mission of La Plata High School is to promote academic and instructional excellence in an environment of mutual respect, where there is a shared responsibility of school, students, family, and community. Educators will create a safe environment in which students can learn to think critically, act independently, and accept responsibility in order to become productive and meaningful members of society.
We believe that:
- The education and development of each pupil is the shared responsibility of the family, the community, and the school.
- The school’s specific responsibility is to educate all students.
- School should provide the opportunities for students to develop the social skills and confidence needed to assume productive and meaningful roles in a democratic society.
- All students should be given the opportunity to develop their potentials.
- Students should be encouraged to think critically, to act independently, and to accept responsibility for their decisions.
- Each student should have the opportunity to benefit from our counsel and knowledge in planning for educational and occupational goals.
- The staff should use a variety of appropriate methods to develop an environment conducive to learning.
- The teacher, by providing the students with varied learning experiences and counseling in academics, discipline, and critical life skills, should be the primary factor in the instructional process.
- The relationship of teacher to student should be one of instructor, role model, and counselor.
- The relationship between teachers and students should be based upon mutual respect. he relationship between administrators and teachers should demonstrate mutual respect and should promote a supportive and meaningful learning environment.
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