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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 1941


Defense work, started before the war, received new impetus.  The sheet metal works at the new Sumner building operated 24 hours a day.  Argentine High School shops were put into use.  Negro and white women trained for jobs to replace men entering the service.  Kansas City was the only center between Omaha and St. Louis for the training of mechanics and helpers for the signal corps.  The board cooperated with the United States Navy by providing ground training in Junior College for trainees.  At the Eddie Fisher Airport near Edwardsville, flight training went on.

Tin cans, formerly discarded with trash, were collected for their copper content.  Headlines advised "Eat hearty!  May be slim next year."  Food rationing went into effect with accusations of "hoarders" thrown at those who concealed extra food in their homes.

Teachers were active in the war effort, serving as air raid wardens, fire fighters, and first aid instructors.  They gave lessons in using rationed food to the best advantage and participated in matters pertaining to Civil Defense.  Superintendent Schlagle appealed to the teachers to remain on the job.  During the last war when teachers left in great numbers for other work, they were replaced by many unqualified people who had not yet been dislodged.  A sense of duty should keep people at their work in spite of disruptions, he said.

Schedules of arrivals and dismissals were adjusted to meet transportation problems.  On January 1, 1943, with a 5% increase, salaries would be restored to their original amounts.  Certain courses needed to be stressed to meet standards of health and physical fitness.  Vocational subjects, physical education, and homemaking were among them.  First aid and pre-nursing instruction were offered.  Academic subjects included mathematics, physics, and English.  The board approved aeronautics or pre-flight training for high school students as Kansas City, Missouri was offering those subjects.  Groups known as "Enlisted Reserves" were created and then deferred to finish their schooling.

Parker School, erected before the war, was selected on February 26 for a medal award by the Kansas City Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture.  The institute declared it the best public building erected in 1940 in the area composed of the west half of Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas.  A certificate of award was presented.  The local newspaper praised the board for its vision in erecting more beautiful and useful schools.  Joseph Radotinsky was the architect and Lyle W. Weeks, the builder.

The July issue of the School Board Journal carried pictures of Parker and Sumner buildings with an article by F. L. Schlagle.  War workers in the Quindaro Homes district needed a school, which the government erected in 1942.  It was administered by the board and Miss Beulah Kelly was the first principal.

On November 20, classes were dismissed so that teachers could issue stamps for gas rationing.  Four gallons a week were allowed for each passenger car.

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Contact the History Webmaster - Patricia Adams

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

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