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'rural schools'

Aug 01

A Very Cool Publication on Education in Kansas in 1922

Posted to KGI Online Library on August 1, 2017 at 1:36 PM by Bill Sowers

Most government publications are written in a formal, often dry form of English that reflects the duties of government in informing others in government and the public of the workings of elected officials, agencies, institutions, task forces, etc.  But every now and then we come across a government document that exudes pride and a genuine love in accomplishments made in serving the needs of the people.

This pride of service can be found in "Kansas Rural-School Bulletin, 1922."  Issued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Lorraine Elizabeth Wooster, this publication touted not only the accomplishments of the Kansas Department of Education, but included stories, photographs, architectural plans, poetry, statistics, quotations and stirring statements on professional conduct.

The photographs in the book display school buildings, students, educators and general day-to-day activities across the state.  Here is a list of some of the locations/school districts photos to give you an idea of the geographical extent of the graphics.

Iola, (Buffalo) Scott County, (Benedict) Wilson County, Midian (Butler County), Miami County, Anderson County, Republic County, Coldwater, Ellsworth, Fort Hays Experiment Station, Douglas County, Kearny County, (Salt City Business College) Hutchinson, Holcomb, Cimarron, Ingalls, Cloud County, Zenda, Thomas County, Burdick, Assaria, Copeland, Crawford County, Havensville, (Kansas Industrial and Educational Institute) Topeka.

Finally... a statement at the end of the book by State Superintendent, Lorraine Elizabeth Wooster:

"Our educational ethics should carry a spirit of sympathy, humane fellowship, honesty, square dealing, and a straightforwardness of which no person could have doubt. Our faces should shine with the smile of cheerfulness and love for children. We should honor our vocation and be grateful that it gives us an opportunity to serve. Our vocation affords the greatest opportunity of all, and we should be happy to serve in the highest calling known to man—the calling of the teacher."

You can view this book online at KGI Online Library:

KANSAS RURAL-SCHOOL BULLETIN, 1922

Apr 20

Closing Kansas Rural Schools in the 1940s

Posted to KGI Online Library on April 20, 2017 at 4:04 PM by Bill Sowers

In the early 1900s the rural population of Kansas began to decrease. With this loss of population came the  dissolution and consolidation of rural institutions.  One of the most important rural institutions was the rural school, popularly known as the "one-room schoolhouse."  As these schools, scattered all over the Kansas landscape, closed one by one, remaining students had to attend schools covering a greater geographic area.

The closure of rural schools in Kansas brought about dramatic changes in the school districts map of the state.  A legislative research report was ordered and published in 1942 which included statistics on school district closings, reasons for closings, the development of "school centers," changes in the school district taxing system, transportation costs in larger rural districts and state aid to education in Kansas.

The document, "Closed Schools in Kansas" (1942. Kansas Legislative Council Research Department), included a large map of the state indicating types of schools, school boundaries, schools closed or consolidated, and districts where students from closed schools were sent.  This map is an amazing look at loss of population in rural areas by looking at the closure of rural school districts.

We have this publication online at the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library, along with the large statewide map.  The map is located at the end of the online document.  It appears in eight separate sections which you can magnify to get a closer look at the districts and movement of students within the state. To zoom into a map just click on the "Download" tab on the top right of the page, click on "open" and then increase the percentage view of the pages.

CLOSED SCHOOLS IN KANSAS
(1942. Kansas Legislative Council. Research Department)


(Special thanks for making the map viewable goes to Trista Philippi)