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Public School System, 1819-1961
by Nellie McGuinn
Copyright USD 500, Feb 1966
On January 26, 1953, the announcement was made of Dr. Jonas Salk's discovery of a vaccine to ward off crippling infantile paralysis, or polio as it was popularly known. Joseph Stanlin, leader of Communist Russia, died on March 5. In May Mount Everest, formerly impregnable peak of the Himalyas, was reached by Sir Edmund P. Hillary, and the USSR informed the world that it had the H-bomb.
John J. Ingalls School in Armourdale, which had been badly damaged by the 1951 flood, had been renovated and prepared for the housing of 400 children. At the dedication on February 9, Frank Rushton, board president, praised the people of the district for their courage in returning to flood-damaged homes. Later, Representative Errett Scrivner sent the school a flag which had flown over the Capitol on February 22. Eli Dahlin represented Mr. Scrivner at the flag raising. Morse, built in 1888 and survivor of two major floods, was scheduled for rehabilitation in 1953. Trespassers, by design or accident, set fire to the empty building early on the morning of January 16 (17). In below freezing temperature, eight companies of firemen fought a spectacular blaze for over an hour. Floors and roof were so badly damaged that the board decided against trying to repair the school.
Because the area west of it had not school facilities, Parker operated on half-day sessions in several rooms to accommodate the children west of the district. The southwest part of the Kansas City school district included a fairly new development in the vicinity of Tenth and Locust. Children were transferred in buses to Maccochaque School, some distance away, and a new school was needed there. In ten years the enrollment at Snow had increased 40%.
In May, the board purchased a 20-acre site at 43rd and Georgia for a new elementary and junior high school.
Because the area west of it had not school facilities, Parker operated on half-day sessions in several rooms to accommodate the children west of the district. The southwest part of the Kansas City school district included a fairly new development in the vicinity of Tenth and Locust. Children WERE TRANSFERRED IN BUSES TO Maccochaque School , some distance away, and a new school was needed there. In ten years the enrollment at Snow had increased 40%.
In May, the board purchased a 20-acre site at 43 rd and George for a new elementary and junior high school (later West Middle School and W A White Elementary School). At a special election on October 20th , voters approved of a $6.5 million bond issue for the schools. The board then took a great step forward in school expansion.
The building program included:
A new Grant School , ground for which had already been purchased. Grant classes had been on half-day sessions in the 72-year old building (the Everett School built in 1881) or been cared for at Douglass. Raymond Meyn, Architect, drew plans for a 15-room building on the site extending from Freeman to Oakland on Fourth Street.
Announcement was made in June of the transfer of J. F. Wellemeyer from Wyandotte to the position of Dean at Junior College. Miss Mable McConnell, teacher and principal at Riverview for 45 years, retired. In a school of many nationalities, Miss McConnell was known for her work in guidance and counseling. "The community servant" was the superintendent's comment. After retirement she gave her services to troubled children at the Kaw Home.
Superintendent Schlagle addressed teachers on September 12, 1953. He said that 1953 marked the 29th year of 100% membership of the city in NEX, while Kansas had risen to 82%. Retirement withholding would rise to 3% on January 1, 1954. The federal government granted the schools compensation for children whose parents were employed on Federal property.
A prominent citizen and board member, Frank Jennings, died on February 19. His place on the board was taken by Ralph E. Evans.
History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 02-Jan-2012