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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin

Chapter XIII: the county school system,   pp. 78-90

Page 80

much more work had been expected of the teachers, and also from the county
superintendent, due to the fact that the public schools had been used as a medium
by which information had been called for by the governement. This additional
work included taking a census of the cattle and hogs and the organization of calf,
pig, sheep and canning clubs.
Earl L. Edes, the present county superintendent, assumed the duties of that
office as successor to Miss Leinenkugel, and his report for the year ending June 30,
1919, mentioned a four-page paper called "Dunn County Schools," issued by the
principal of the Training School and the county superintendent semi-monthly,
which was proving a help to the teachers, giving them valuable suggestions. Owing
to the prevalence of influenza only two Teachers' Meetings were held, though in
August a five day Teachers' Institute was held in Menomonie.
Mr. Edes' report for the following year-that ending June 30, 1920-showed that
three new school buildings were under construction, and that extensive repairs were
being made in several others. The general movement for school consolidation was
acquiring impetus, and in June the first consolidated school in Dunn County was
organized at Elk Mound, the new district including the Elk Mound Graded School,
the Hanson School, the Transport School and .'ie Banner School. Plans were under
way for the erection of a new building to house the seven departments. For a more
detailed account and description of this school the reader is referred to the history
of the village of Elk Mound. The second consolidated school was organized at
Rusk by combining the Rusk School, the Beyer Settlement School and the Lvndale
School, but it was decided for the present to continue holding school in the three
district schoolhouses. Nine days in the school year were devoted to Institute work.
In his report for the next school year, ending June 30, 1921, the county superin-
tendent referred to a shortage of qualified teachers, which had made it necessary to
issue some special third grade certificates and five special permits; in regard to the
general undesirability of such proceeding he made some pertinent remarks. Some
of the districts were remodeling their schoolhouses by putting in basements, in-
stalling modem heating, ventilating systems, and electric lighting systems. The
total enrollment of children was 4,704; the total number of teachers, 177. Reference
was made to community work, which was beginning to attract a good deal of atten-
tion throughout the state, and the organization of school societies was commended,
with suggestions as to programs.
Mr. Edes' report for the year ending June 30, 1922, contained a list of books
recommended for Teachers' Reading Circle work, which by this time was well
organized, each teacher being required to read and study three such books during the
year. The Young Peoples' Reading Circle work had also been improved. A number
of text books were recommended for use in the rural and graded schools of the county.
The rural schools now number 128, of which 40 are joint district schools. The
state graded schools are six in number-by name those of Downsville, Eau Galle,
Wheeler, Knapp, Cedar Falls and Ridgeland. The high-schools are at Colfax,
Downing, Elk Mound and Boyceville. The above enumeration refers, of course,
to the schools under jurisdiction, excluding the Menomonie City schools.
The work of the present county superintendent has been of a marked progressive
character, with a strong tendency toward more perfect organization. Its main
features deserve special mention.
One of his chief aims has been to systemize and coordinate the work of the
rural schools, which up to six years ago, was lacking in such coordination, each school
pursuing its own studies largely at the discretion of the teacher as to the time
devoted to the different subjects, without reference to what was being done in the
other schools. This lack of uniformity led to much unevenness in the results at-
tained, and occasionally to deficiencies in certain studies on the part of the pupils
of one school as compared with those of another. The new system has obviated
this, and now the pupils in the rural schools all over the county not only spend the
same amount of time daily on each study, but also pursue that particular study
all at the same time, except in a few cases where special modifications of the rule
have been found necessary.

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