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The History of our Public Schools
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 1939


At the opening convocation in September, Superintendent F. L. Schlagle reminded teachers that Americans must prepare for the worst.  London had been bombed by enemy planes and people here had no assurance of protection against attack.  Mr. Schlagle said dictators now used both machines and propaganda to conquer other nations.  Sweden and Switzerland in 1940 were the two remaining democracies in Europe and they were at the mercy of tyrants.

William G. Carr, secretary of the Educational Policies Commission of the NEA, and a committee of citizens and educators met with Governor Ratner of Kansas.  They set up a policy for defense preparation by the schools:

  1. Vocational training such as welding, sheet metal work, etc., in cooperation with schools already established.
  2. Adult education through forums, night schools and other meetings.
  3. In-service work by teachers by the organization of study groups.

Governor Payne Ratner spoke at the dedication of the new Sumner High School on January 9.  John A. Hodge was principal of the school of 24 teachers and 800 pupils.  Two weeks later, Howard T. Hill, President of Kansas State College, made the dedicatory speech for the Argentine High shop addition.  Four rooms with laboratory, music rooms, and shops had been added.

Three hundred former students of Morse gathered at the school on March 8 for their first homecoming in fifteen years.  Principals gathered dates and information about their schools for a permanent record at the Board of Education office.  Thirty-eight problems were added to the instructional staff.

School opened a week late in September because of a polio epidemic.  For the first time since 1934, no building was in progress in the system.  Again, Mr. Schlagle warned teachers that within ten years the employment of instructors without degrees would be obsolete.  The tenure law was not meant to protect those earning maximum salary for minimum preparation.

A definite program for defense was set up in August, 1940.  Main provisions were:

Next Section   1941

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

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