Wednesday, May 2, 2012

End of the 1910 Term Kirwin, Kansas District 7

As the school year comes to a close across America, students will be bringing home their final report cards for the year. This procedure is not new. The photo above is from Kirwin, Phillips County, Kansas. My grandmother Ada Grace Colby is the little girl, third from the right, with the bow in her hair.

 This is the report card Grace earned for the 1909-1910 school year.

Grace was born 21 Oct 1902 at her parent's farm about 2 miles outside of Kirwin. According to the report card, she entered the first grade at the start of the fall term, 13 September 1909 in School District No. 7.  From the inside of the card, studies included Orthography, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Language. The term lasted seven months, ending April 8, 1910. There are also marks for Deportment (behavior) and attendance is tracked.  Grades were calculated out of 100%.

Each of the months contains 20 school day, there is no mention made of shorter months for holidays.
A parent's signature attests that they "have examined this month's report." Instructions "TO THE TEACHER" are printed on the report card for both teacher and parent to read. The Public Schools of Phillips County, Kansas make certain that "This car corresponds to the course of study outlined by the State Board of Education for the district school of Kansas. The work is divided into nine grades or year of seven months each."

It seems as if students could progress at their own rate or enter any time during the school year. Instructions included, "Where pupils are doing work in more than one grade they will be classified in the grade in which they have the greatest number of studies, but the card will show under each subject, the grade in which the pupil is doing the work in that subject.

There appear to be only 16 students in this school, which might seem a light load for the teacher Edythe P. Colby. However, looking at the relative size of the students would seem to indicate that there were several grade levels being taught. In addition to the areas of study listed above, students in high grades were taught Grammar, Geography, U. S. History, Kansas History,, Physiology, and Civil Government. So each teacher was responsible for 9 grades and up to 11 subjects.

Additional responsibilities for the teacher would include; arriving early to build a fire in the stove for heat, pumping water from the well, raising and lowering the flag, supervising recess, all grading of papers, etc. Doesn't make it seem as if having only 16 pupils in a class was a piece of cake.

Each month Grace's report card was signed by her father W. W. Colby, who had been a teacher himself in the Kirwin school district as had her mother, and three older sisters. Grace's averages ranged between 98 and 99. A strong showing for the youngest member of a family of teachers.

 One can also not that Grace has no days absent or tardy. Probably because she rode to school in the buggy with the teacher, her older sister Edythe.

Grace had written the names of most of the other students on the back of the photograph. Unfortunately, I don't have the back of the photograph electronically so their names will have to wait for another post.

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