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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 1948


Representatives of twelve nations met in Washington on April 4 and signed the North Atlantic Treaty.  Soviet Russia announced it had the A-Bomb and protested against western aggression.  The nation turned its thoughts a week later from treaties and bombs to little Kathy Fiscus trapped in a California well.  Under a modest headline a newspaper article described the efforts of our groups of scientists to identify the polio virus.  Kansas University was one of the four schools working on the project under a grant from the National Foundation.  A three-column spread told the public that car fare had been raised to thirteen cents.

The drive for funds for a new hotel got underway in October and went over the top on November 12.  The old jail on 7th and State was razed and plans begun for the building.  On December 1, the Knife and Fork Club invited teachers and other interested people to Wyandotte High School to hear a talk by the sister of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian leader.

When Fairfax Industrial District withdrew in 1929, it was with the sanction of the Board of Education.  Industry was attracted by low taxes in Fairfax, and it was expected the new district would again join the Kansas City schools.  Most of the almost $50,000 of Fairfax taxes went to rural high schools.  When the board learned of a bill before the legislature for the incorporation of the Fairfax district, it took immediate steps through its attorney Thomas Van Cleave to have the way left open for annexation.

On March 21, board members appealed to the mayor and commissioners to take steps toward annexing the whole district.  The section containing the airport was annexed on April 2 when the incorporation bill was defeated.  The planned to go ahead with the annexation of the district.  The Chamber of Commerce went on record as opposing the move.

Financial relief in the form of a School Aid Bill was assured in March when over $26,000,000 was set aside for school use.  The school levy for 1950 could be reduced.  In the same session, the bill requiring a teacher's loyalty oath was passed.  At the June 28 meeting, board members, Mr. Schlagle and Mr. Brotherson took the oath.  Teachers waited until just before the start of the school year to sign the loyalty pledge.

Plans were made by Joseph Radotinsky in April for the expansion of three schools.  A new five-room building at Eugene Ware to replace two portables, a second floor of sic classrooms at Roosevelt and four rooms, kindergarten and auditorium at Noble Prentis.

At Clara Barton and Phillips, sanitary facilities were installed.  With the completion of Eugene Ware, every school in the city would be modernized.  Whitmore had a new room on the first floor and another portable was moved to Frances Willard.  New chairs and tables replaced only furniture at several schools.  The demands made by the rising post-war birth rate would be met by 25 new classrooms soon after school started.  A short delay occurred on the Eugene Ware building when workmen employed by the Sam Dasta and Son firm argued over the removal of concrete forms.

As the city grew, new services were added.  The board and city commissioners worked on a plan to have school crossing policemen on state and federal highways going through the city.  Mr. Schlagle urged the use of microfilms in the library.  With the cooperation of Bethany and Providence Hospitals and the State Board of Vocational Education, a course was established for the certification of practical nurses.  Miss Florence Palmer, director of home economics, was the coordinator.

Teacher groups were active in 1949-50.  Grade teachers sponsored an art exhibit at a Hobby Show held on January 30 in Memorial Hall for the polio Fund.  Lewis D. Kruger, Wyandotte, headed a Council committee for the M. E. Pearson Scholarship Fund.  He reported that contributions had come in before the drive started from retired teachers and others living in distant parts of the country.  Social science teachers from Wyandotte and Northwest met with Kansas State faculty members to discuss the problems of teaching citizenship.  The college had received a $200,000 grant from the William Volker Foundation.  [Annotation:   Herbert C. Cornuelle, Mr. Anonymous: The Story of William Volker (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton, 1951).] 

Other events of school interest occurred.  On January 14, Whittier School observed "Josephine Brown's Day" to honor Miss Brown's forty years of teaching there.  Board member O. Q. Claflin and F. L. Schlagle sponsored a conference on the problem of delinquency.  Miss Mary Weiden, secretary to the superintendent for seven years, resigned to marry Fred M. Deardorff, Architect, Radotinsky's associate.  She was replaced by Miss Margaret Chaplin.  The old Wyandotte athletic field at 14th and Armstrong, through an agreement between the board and Ward officials, was put into use for five Ward football games.  The city petitioned the government to set aside Huron Cemetery as a national shine, although a bill to sell it was before both houses of Congress.  Dr. and Mrs. Dolch of the University of Illinois conducted a reading workshop in September.

Next Section   1950

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

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