Monday, June 22, 2009

Lone Schoolhouses

I am old, but not that old. However, I attended a one-room country school from Kindergarten to 7th grade. In Nebraska, one-room school houses are generally known as Class 1 districts, meaning that they only go until 8th grade. When it was time for my older brother to enter High School, my father made the decision to move to town. That town was Sutherland, population about 1,000, with an average graduating class in the high 20's.

It was a metropolis to us country kids, though, and quite a scary proposition.

It has only been recently that I've been thinking about what it must have been like in the reverse. The teachers in these schools were generally young women, in their first job fresh out of teacher's college. Many times they boarded with parents in the area, but in the case of my school and others, there was a small apartment in the basement. 

The school building I attended was sold years ago and moved to some farm or ranch as a storage building, but the two pictured below are very typical. Very isolated, very lonely, very remote. The young women who taught here must have been incredibly brave, or incredibly in need of a job!


I have always felt that Nebraska's Class 1 school districts were a treasure, the small class sizes, low teacher/student ratios, not much opportunity for kids to get in trouble... Unfortunately, the Nebraska Legislature didn't agree with that view and a few years back passed LB126, which in essence, is forcing the closure of all the K-8 schools.

In Broken Bow recently, one of the last Class 1 districts in the county closed. In my opinion, a step backward, not a step forward.

Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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