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was too technical and narrow; that there should be something more than head-and-heart-training—though each of these in fundamental; that the schools should be more responsive to the life needs of boys and girls under the new industrial conditions of the age.
In response to popular interest and demand, voiced by many teachers and school officers, the Legislature of 1909 passed an Act authorizing industrial education in schools, and a movement was at once begun in several districts to make manual training, domestic science, and commercial courses features of regular school work.
In August, 1910, Reno put into the elementary grades manual training and domestic science, with modern equipment; Goldfield and Elko put in manual training. In August, 1911, Ely installed manual training; in September, 1912, Wells put in some phases of manual training and domestic arts; and in November, Winnemucca put in manual training. Strong commercial courses have been put in the high schools at Elko, Goldfield, Ely, Reno, Tonopah, Winnemucca, and Eureka, while partial courses have been started in other towns.
The Lyon County High School at Yerington put in a course in practical agriculture in September last, and I believe it is going to be of great usefulness to the people of the rich and promising region in that portion of Lyon County; and the introduction of agricultural courses in other high schools is now under serious consideration. Very favorable places for such work are Elko, Lovelock, Fallon, Gardnerville, Las Vegas, and Panaca.
In the new high-school building in Reno-elsewhere described in this report-quite complete courses in manual and domestic arts have been provided for on a much larger and more diversified scale than heretofore attempted in Nevada. Very large life-values are certain to be realized for the boys and girls who are privileged to attend this school, if they are permitted, as in my judgment they should be, to specialize on the things that will most concern them as homemakers and citizens when out of school.
It is hoped that Carson City may next year install courses in manual training and domestic arts, and a full commercial course. In the interest of the boys and girls of the State Orphans' Home, who in accordance with the law are now being educated in the schools of the city, I hope the State will directly aid in equipping for and maintaining such courses in the Carson schools.
These movements are but the beginning of a large reshaping of our school courses. Room will be made for the new work by partial substitution in some cases and by elimination of unimportant matter and details in the text-books, a work that is already under way in Nevada.
EDUCATION NOT BOUNDED BY STATE LINES In the encouragement and support given this work the Department of Education has had the active and able aid of many leading teachers of the State, some of whom have come to us from other States and Territories in the last few years, bringing with them a wealth of ideas and experiences that has been invaluable to Nevada's school progress.
DEMAND FOR TRAINED TEACHERS The demand for changes in the courses of study was soon supplemented by a demand for better trained teachers and better salaries.
The former is being gradually met by better and wider facilities for education in our State and by a better class of teachers from other States, for Nevada has never yet been able to supply much more than three-fifths of its teachers. With a strong college of education now maintained at our State University and county normal training schools provided for through state aid in the various counties, we ought to get quite a large number of Nevada's young men and women into the educational harness. An average increase of about 20 per cent has been made in salaries in the five years from and including 1907, in central and western Nevada, though the salaries are still insufficient in many schools to secure and hold first-class experienced teachers.
There are in Nevada today comparatively few very poor schools, one perhaps where there were five, six years ago. State supervision, through expert inspection, has thrown the limelight of publicity on every school, and the improvement resulting has been marked. The desire for better schools has been implanted everywhere, and there will be no rest until very large improvements in matter and quality of school work are everywhere manifest.
HIGH-SCHOOL GROWTH Another evidence of growing interest in education under the new system is the large increase in high schools and high-school attendance. There are now approximately 1,000 students doing high-school work in the State, as compared with 600 six years ago—an increase of 66%: per cent.
This enlarged attendance has been made possible by improved highschool facilities furnished by counties and districts. With the further extension of opportunities for training in the industries and vocations of life now on in Nevada, a continued increase will be noted, though all our high-school work is now based on the four-year course.
All the larger high schools of the State are accredited to the University of Nevada, the University of California and Stanford University. This fact sufficiently tells the story of excellency of work and attainment in Nevada schools.
SCHOOL BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT As an outgrowth of an improved sentiment for good schools, a taste for better school buildings has developed. Old buildings have been repaired, remodeled and painted; and new buildings of modern design, convenience and equipment have been erected.
More than $600,000 has been invested in the last four years and is in process of investment, for new school buildings in Reno, Goldfield, Elko, Ely, East Ely, McGill, Panaca, Las Vegas, Yerington, Winnemueca. Tonopah and other towns. Reno alone in that time has bonded itself for $350,000 for grounds, buildings and equipment. In this connection it would be well to remember that Reno has a population of less than 15,000. Tonopah a few months ago bonded itself for $50,000 for a modern new school building, and industrial courses will be installed there the coming school year. The remarkable school interest thus shown is typical of the aroused educational sentiment of Nevada.
THE SCHOOLS AS SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY CENTERS And it should be noted here that most of these buildings have been equipped with shops and laboratories, are heated by furnaces, are well
lighted and ventilated, and are thoroughly sanitary. In some of them. are spacious and well-furnished assembly halls, used for school meetings, school socials, and entertainments, and thus they are in line for becoming what all schools ought to be-social and community centers for the people of the various districts.
I believe we are rapidly approaching the time when the school buildings of Nevada, as are those of Wisconsin and several of the more progressive States, will be freely used by the people-under proper regulations of course-for public meetings of all kinds; and why not? The people own them; they have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in them in Nevada; and to use them as at present for a few hours a day, for a little over half the time yearly, entails a waste in investment that would not be tolerated in any other kind of public business.
SCHOOLS ORGANIZED ON DISTRICT PLAN
Each city, town or community forms a school district, having for its control and management a board of school trustees, which by law is a body corporate. In the sparsely settled portions of the State-and these make up the most of the State at present-wherever there are five or more school census children in reasonable proximity to each other, a school is established by the County Commissioners on petition of the residents.
So far as the writer knows, no other State in the Union provides so liberally for such small groups of children. Our big neighbor, California, requires fifteen such children to establish a new district, and there must be an average daily attendance of more than five in order to have such district continued. Are we too liberal?
The district school board has general and special charge of all school property, hires the teacher, furnishes supplies, etc., paying all bills against the district by orders on the County Auditor, the Auditor drawing his warrant on the County Treasurer therefor. All school moneys of district boards and county boards are in the custody of the County Treasurer.
Many of the best citizens in town and country districts are giving freely of their time and energy for education in the capacity of School Trustees.
HOW THE SCHOOLS ARE SUPPORTED
The public schools of Nevada-the county high schools excepted-are supported in the main by money supplied from the state and county school funds which are apportioned to the various school districts by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
When the money thus supplied is insufficient, any district may, by action of its trustees or by vote of its electors, impose a direct tax on the property of the district sufficient for its needs.
Nevada has over $2,000,000 in its Irreducible State School Fund. This is invested in state and United States bonds, the interest on which is semiannually distributed to the schools. An annual state school tax of 6 cents on the one hundred dollars is distributed in the same manner. The state school tax was increased by the Legislature of 1911 to 10 cents on the hundred dollars. Some of the counties assessed and paid this tax and others assessed and paid only the old rate of 6 cents. But at the special session of 1912 the Legislature repealed the 10-cent tax, as an economy measure. From interest on deferred pay
ments on state school land contracts and from surplus state library funds, some money also goes yearly to the schools.
From the foregoing various sources the State Distributive School Fund is made up.
It varies somewhat from year to year, but for four years has aggregated something over $200,000 yearly. The county tax in the various counties, which must be at least 20 cents on the hundred dollars, brings to the schools approximately $250,000 annually, and the districts raise for various school purposes, about $150,000 more.
The money derived from all sources approximates $600,000 annually, varying of course with valuations, rates and district needs, which is used to educate approximately 13,000 school children, most of whom are enrolled in the public schools of the State. It must be remembered that these children are scattered over a sparsely settled territory, nearly twice as large as the New England States; that they are grouped in districts of varying school population, many having but five children, others having from five to ten, from ten to fifteen, and so on to Reno which has about two thousand.
There are eleven county high schools in the State, each supported wholly by a county high-school tax. The counties maintain these liberally, and they are of great educational value to those who attend them and as stimuli for the rural schools.
THE DEAF AND DUMB AND THE BLIND The wards of the State now at the California institution for the deal and dumb and the blind at Berkeley and Oakland are the following:
The Deaf and Dumb
Joseph Pascoe of Gold Hill, Storey County. The last named, Mr. Pascoe, is in the Industrial Home for the Adult Blind at Oakland, and broom-making is the chief industrial work taught there; and when Mr. Pascoe is able to work he earns a little money with which he is able to meet some necessary expenses.
In addition to that he is allowed about fifty dollars a year for clothing, etc.
Edith Stauts, though classed as deaf and dumb when first admitted to the Berkeley institution several years ago, has learned to talk orally, and some others eventually will under the present system of instructing the deaf. I believe the children are being well instructed in the schools they are attending. Some of those who have gone out from the institution for the deaf and blind and the deaf and dumb are already self-supporting. Among these are Miss Hazel Piper of Virginia City, who is now a successful music teacher in San Francisco, and Mr. Harold McNeilly of Reno, who is now employed as a bookkeeper in the Nixon Bank, Reno. Frank Hocking of Eureka, one of the blind, who attended there until June last, has not returned the present year on account of sickness. He is a fine boy, of good ability, and I hope he may soon be able to return and resume his studies. Maude Murphy of
Montello, Elko County, finished the course at the institution for the deaf and blind in June, 1911, and returned to live with an aunt in Idaho. Lilly Lee of Reno also finished the course at the same time.
The children are all well fed, looked after and cared for. The kindly foresight and generosity of the State in providing for the education and training of these otherwise helpless children cannot be too strongly commended.
THE COUNTY NORMALS
The business of training teachers for Nevada schools is making some
The Legislature of 1909 made provisions for county normal training schools to be established and maintained in the various counties of our State, under certain conditions. The Board of County Commissioners and the County Boards of Education, in a given county, were to unite in a preliminary establishment of a normal training school for the county, the Commissioners guaranteeing the necessary funds for equipment, etc., not exceeding $500 in any one year. The State Board of Education was then to complete the establishment of said school, employ the instructor and have charge of the school, the State to pay the instructor's salary, which was not to exceed $1,800 a year.
The first school to be established under this law was at Ely, in September, 1911, though the school could not be opened until November of that year. This school was taught by Miss Anna J. Rieve, and was a decided success. The five graduates are all teaching successfully this year in White Pine County.
In September, 1912, two new schools were established and are now in successful operation. One of these is located in Panaca, Lincoln County, with Mrs. Catherine Cook as instructress. It has eight promising students in attendance, and from reports obtained I am satisfied that good work is being done there. The other is located at Virginia City, Storey County, with Miss Anna J. Rieve as instructress. It also has eight wellqualified students in attendance and is doing good work.
These schools are necessary agencies in our State for preparing our own young people for the profession of teaching, as they reach many who could not and would not attend the Normal College at the State University in Reno. I regard their continued maintenance as essential
to school progress in Nevada.
Normal Training in High Schools
It may be necessary and wise in Nevada, as in other States, to provide further in this direction by authorizing, under proper regulations, standard high schools to have teachers' training classes, the latter to be under the direction of the State Board of Education, so that there would be no question as to the adequacy and thoroughness of the instruction given. The high schools could not be expected to provide the salary of the special instructor required for this work.
COST OF STATE SUPERVISION
Some good people-people who may not have closely studied Nevada's school supervision work or its results, who possibly have not investigated its difficulties or weighed its importance, and who have not correctly informed themselves as to its cost here or compared its cost here with that elsewhere-have more or less publicly criticized the system as being