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Rappel, Joseph J. / A centennial history of the Manitowoc County school districts and its public school system, 1848-1948

The development of graded and high schools,   pp. 13-14 PDF (1.0 MB)

Page 13

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    The teaching of the 3 R's provided the pioneer children with a sufficient
edge to cope with the problems of pioneer life. The first general law relating
to the
organization of high schools was passed by the legislature in 1853. This
act authorized
y two or more adjoining districts, by a two-thirds vote in each district,
to -unite to
m a union free high school district. It was not until 1875 that the legislature
led for the organization of high schools in any town, incorporated village,
or city,
schoolJ district whenever a majority of the voters so favored such establishment.
til 1905, no attendance limits were set by law for one-room rural schools.
tly, we hear some of the old-timers speak of the time when they went to
rolling as high as 125 children ranging in age from 6 to 21 years. Records
hat "large" school enrollments were common in one-room rural schools
t our county. A total of 63 districts enrolled from 50 to 100 pupils each
)5. In 1905, the legislature passed a law requiring districts enrolling more
pils during any one year to provide an additional room and teacher or for-
re of the 7 mill tax then in effect. This law created the so-called "graded"
our county. Twenty county school districts at one time or other maintained
school. By 1948, there were only ten districts maintaining graded school
cluding those in Manitowoc, Two Rivers, and Kiel. Many of the former
.ools which reverted back to one-room schools now have a building which
e as convenient center schools for surrounding districts.
of the graded schools did not revert back to one-room schools but continued
nd develop into first class state graded schools maintaining one or more
high school course. Those at Manitowoc, Two Rivers, Kiel, Valders, Reeds-
Mishicot eventually developed into full four year high schools. Ninth and
es were put into the course of study at Two Creeks No. 2 in 1913 and at
o. 4 in 1923. Both of these high schools were discontinued in the spring
recommendation of the State Department of Public Instruction. The reason
such discontinuance was that the small high could not offer courses neces-
iral youth of today.
Dwoc county by 1948 had six high school districts offering a full four year
I course. The districts were Manitowoc, Two Rivers, Cato Jt. 3 (Valders),
Kiel, and Mishicot. Eighth grade graduates were also attending high
tside the boundaries of the county. Community centers were also the high
ters for the youth of that area. :County eighth grade graduates were attend-
ommunity high schools at Brillion, Chilton, Denmark, and Sheboygan.
rst county high school, a union free high school, was organized at Two Riv-
* The course at first was a three year one and continued so until 1893 when
r year course was introduced. The Manitowoc schools set up north and
high schools of the district type as designated under the laws of 1875.
igh schools were maintained until the districts in the city were consolidated
hen the Third Ward School (the present Adams School) became the central
1 for the city and served ihi that capacity until the 1920fs when Lincoln
king the little district schoolhouse less and less important as a community
o meet this enlarged community relationship, the county schools began hold-
c festivals, pageants, and gatherings., The historical pageants of 1939 and
well as the successful music festivals held throughout the county, are ex-
f the extra curricular activities carried on by rural teachers and pupils.
problem of providing warm noon lunches for pupils attending the one-room
xool has been attacked several times. It has long been recognized that cold,
f-times frozen noon lunches, were detrimental to the good health of children.
chool terms, more intensive courses of study, and higher standards of living
ulted in movements to provide nutritional noon meals for rural children.
certed action towards this goal was begun just prior to the 1920's. Many
stricts purchased oil stoves on which warm lunches could be prepared or on
nt jars of food prepared by the mothers at home in the morning could be
efore noon. This movement died down about 1930, but was again revived in
en the federal government contributed food and money for carrying on a
d and acceptable school lunch program.
itowoc county has made a few attempts to organize P. T. A. organizations
vhole the movement has failed. The finest examples of successful parent-
organizations are in Centerville district No. 4 and in Two Rivers city. In
ndergarten clubs and parent organizations function in connection with the

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