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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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KCKS Public School System, 1819-1961
by Nellie McGuinn
Copyright USD 500, Feb 1966

Return to Previous Section 1893

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The city in 1894 was undergoing a depression and money was scarce.  Residents of Ann Avenue, though, were willing to supplant old pavement with vitrified brick.  They may have felt, as some others did, that wooden paving blocks served as breeding places for typhoid, diphtheria, and scarlet fever germs.  Lincoln pupils at Sixth and State made nuisances of themselves on Minnesota Avenue at noon time.

Everyone had a half holiday early in October to see the Priests of Pallas Parade in Kansas City, Missouri.  H. J. Heinz of the "Fifty-seven varieties" headed the list of directors for the new Kansas City University and articles of incorporation were drawn.  E. A. Mead, former high school principal, greeted friends at a reception at the home of David Taylor.  Women looked forward to voting at the only time at which they were eligible, the school bond election.

On the superintendent's recommendation, changes in high school rules were made:

  1. High school hours to be from 9 a.m. to 12, and 1:15 to 4 p.m. with fifteen minute recesses.  Those who have recited to go when work is completed.
  2. No more mid-year eighth grade promotions to be made to high school.
  3. To teach music systematically.  Ginn and Company to send a Mr. Barnes to furnish instruction for a time if company's texts are used.
  4. To arrange to keep permanent records for the high school.
  5. To put the primary departments of three schools on half-day sessions.

The board established another room at Armstrong and Architect Rose completed plans for additions to the high school, Central and Morse.

The board planned to call for a vote on $100,000 in bonds at the regular April election in 1894.  Members went ahead in the face of suggestions about reducing the sum or waiting until the depression was over.  A room could be rented for the interest money and used for classes, some said.  One board member announced that the board would go to the legislature if the bonds failed.  They were defeated on April 5.  Two women nominated for the school board also lost at the election.

If half the teachers attended the Northeast Teachers Association in April, permission would be given for them to take the time.  Principals could use substitutes in their rooms while they inspected their schools.  The board wondered about disposing of Lincoln School, built in 1881.

An act of legislature was needed to make an extra levy.  The board ruled to exclude children under eight and considered placing the school under the county jurisdiction of six commissions.  Garrison School in Greystone Heights could be discontinued during 1894-1895.  The newspapers advised that voters should be more selective about board members.  With 7,000 students enrolled, men with good business sense must run the schools.

At the July meeting, 1894, the board ordered salaries above $45 cut 10% or more.  A $3 increase was made on salaries of $40.  August, 9 teachers offered to donate the third month's wages.  Principals asked that schools be opened in September if at all possible.  The board accepted the offer, raised the salary of everyone who was entitled to an increase, and then announced a 5% and 10% cut.

Catholic teachers and many protestant citizens accused the board of refusing, solely on religious grounds, to rehire successful teachers.  Catholic schools threatened to close their buildings and send the children to the public schools where no room was available.

The board issued rules in August for the 7,000 pupils crowding the schools.  Teachers were to omit compulsory calisthenics because of lack of space.  The state law required that physiology be taught and provision was made for lessons.  Unless a student had a standing of 90% in scholarship and deportment, with a minimum of absence.and tardiness, he was required to take final examinations.  Age for entrance was reduced, just before the start of school, from eight to six years.  School would begin, September 10.

Other matters were discussed in August.  The Junior Order of American Mechanics offered flags to the schools.  Salaries for 1895 were set at $40 to $60 for grade school teachers.  The request for a school in the northeast section of the city was granted.  The board rented two rooms in the Northrup Building on Minnesota between Seventh and Eighth Streets.  W. W. Rose pronounced Central School in Huron Place sufficiently strong and durable for occupancy.

President Taylor of the State Normal School asked the board to honor normal certificates without examination and to employ more graduates of the Normal.  The spread of scarlet fever and diphtheria alarmed everyone.  Dr. Cornell, county physician, ordered isolation for five weeks for children with infectious diseases.  A Dr. Swartz wrote about sanitary remedies for schools. McAlpine and Everett Schools closed because of diphtheria and some deaths occurred in the vicinity of Everett.

Next Section   1895

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History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 02-Jan-2012

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