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THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION AT MADISON, Wis., IN
This subject will be presented by the President, Hon. Thomas W Bicknell, Boston, Mass.
ARBOR DAY IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
This subject will be presented in short addresses by Dr. B. G. Northrop, of Connecticut, and Dr. J B. Peaslee, of Cincinnati, O.
Dr. B. Joy Jeffries, of Boston, Mass., is expected to be present to give some of the results in short of some most valuable and interesting experiments made by him upon this interesting subject.
Several City Superintendents will present some interesting recent, successful, and practically very valuable experiments and advances in the matter of cultivating a love for reading and inducing the pupil to read the best literature.
Each address is expected to be followed by three to five short addresses by persons invited beforehand, after which general discussion will follow, in which, of course, all will be invited to participate.
Application for reduced rates on the railroads from all the leading centres will be secured as far as possible. For information upon this subject apply to H. R. Sanford, Secretary, Middletown, N. Y. Reduced rates have been secured at the Ebbitt House for members and visitors.
We hope all the Superintendents who can possibly make it convenient to do so will attend this meeting. The subjects named embrace some of the most important questions which now engage the attention of the educational world, and the distinguished men named in connection with these discussions give promise of a rare intellectual treat to all who may be so fortunate as to be present. Numbers of the Superintendents are within easy reach of Washington City, and can enjoy the benefits of this meeting without incurring much expense. We are anxious that all Superintendents who can will attend.
Items from Reports of Superintendents for December.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY.-L. A. Michie, Superintendent: “There are a few vacant colored schools, which will be filled as soon as competent colored teachers can be procured for them. The schools of the county, with very few exceptions, are pro. gressing satisfactorily."
APPOMATTOX COUNTY.-J. B. Bristow, Superintendent: “ Three houses for white schools have been completed, and schools will be opened in them January Ist, 1884. One house for colored school, heretofore reported under contract, is slowly reaching completion, and will be ready in time to open school early in the new year. Another house for colored school has been put under contract, to be ready at an early day. The school is held in an uncomfortable house, temporarily. Several colored schools have not been opened for want of teachers, though plans have been put on foot which we hope will soon secure good teachers for these schools. In some cases we can employ the same teachers to conduct schools in different houses after they have taught one term. The District Boards are all at work in close conformity to the law. They have regular meetings and transact business in order, making a record of every item. This is the case with regard to all the boards, the first time since my connection with the schools and for sometime previous thereto."
AUGUSTA COUNTY.-H. S. ROLLER, Superintendent: “ I have now all schools in operation, although some are not reported this month, from the fact that they commenced late in December. From general knowledge, and personal investigation during visits, I feel no hesitancy in testifying that, with few exceptions, my teachers are earnest and efficient, and my schools prosperous and encouraging. I have made it a point to visit my young and inexperienced teachers during the early part of the ses. sion, and have been gratified with the progressive spirit which prevails in their schools. My first Institute would have convened last week, but scarlet fever was so prevalent and malicious in the village fixed upon for convention, that I have postponed until the last of the month.”
BLAND COUNTY.—JAS. T. TAYLOR, Superintendent: “ During the month of December, our schools made the best “ daily average" on record. With few exceptions, our schools are moving on grandly; though our salaries are low, the teachers are working on bravely, hoping for a brighter day to dawn. We are getting some splendid houses “out in the waste places.” We have a few thorns in the flesh' which we hope to remove this year."
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY.-E. S. ROBINSON, Superintendent: “Our schools are as prosperous as we could wish them. Our teachers are promptly paid. Our treasurer never turns away a teacher if it be possible to pay him or her. Our schools as a general thing, are amply supplied with fuel, etc."
CRAIG COUNTY.-P. O. REYNOLDS, Superintendent : “ The new regulation of the Board of Education as to average, is having a fine effect in this county. We have larger schools and more regular attendance."
Culpeper COUNTY.—JNO. W. Colvin, Superintendent: “Fifty-five schools are now in operation, and another will commence in a few days. One new house was finished this month. The average this session has been very good. In several districts the schools will run eight months. We are expecting a successful year in educational work.”
DANVILLE DISTRICT.-Geo. W. DAME, Superintendent: “ The weather, roads and mails have kept back the reports of thirteen white and five colored teachers. Had I been able to wait longer, so that they could come on, judging from their previous reports, the enrolment would have been increased 300 white, and 177 colored, giving a total of 2,469; which, with my city enrolment of 957, would give as my whole enrolment 3,456, which will do for one-half of a county.”
Essex COUNTY.-B. G. RENNOLDS, Superintendent: “ You will perceive that the schools are much larger than they were in December, 1882. All the schools that are in operation, with few exceptions, are making their daily average, and are in a flourishing condition. All the colored schools are not yet supplied with teachers. It seems almost impossible to get good colored teachers. I have written to Hampton, Petersburg, Richmond and Washington.”
FREDERICKSBURG.-DAN'L RUGGLES, Superintendent : “ The public schools, white and colored, are progressing satisfactorily and apparently gaining in public appreciation. The construction of school houses has been somewhat impeded but not entirely suspended on account of inclement weather.”
Giles COUNTY.—G. T. PORTERFIELD, Superintendent: “ The school year thus far has been the most prosperous in the history of schools in this county. We have had one school house burnt, and have erected four very good ones at a total cost of $1,050. I have nothing to regret if I continue as successful in the future as I have been in the past, in arousing more interest in the schools."
GLOUCESTER COUNTY.-R. H. FRANKLIN, Superintendent: “ I am happy to be able to report a steady and considerable increase on roll and in attendance over last term's report to date. The two months of term for which reports are in, show a gain on roll of 44 per cent, and a gain in average attendance of 53 per cent. This is, I think, due mainly to two causes-better schools, and visitation by teachers."
GRAYSON COUNTY.—WM. S. Hale, Superintendent: “The citizens of Independence (Court-house) have under way an excellent building for the use of the High School at that place. They expect to complete it by the beginning of the next school year. It will be the largest and most commodious school building in the county, and has been long needed.”
HANOVER COUNTY.-J. L. VALENTINE, Superintendent: “ All of the teachers have not reported for the month of December, owing to the fact that some did not open early enough in the month to teach twenty days before Christmas. One school house has been built in Ashland District, during the month, and one commenced in Beaver Dam District. There is still some “ factious opposition" to some of the schools, which I hope will soon subside entirely."
HENRICO COUNTY.-D. E. GARDNER, Superintendent: “Our colored schools are overflowing with an increasing demand. Some of the white schools are declining -the chief cause, I believe, lies in the fact that the white children are beginning to go into the business pursuits of life. In a few cases, I fear the teachers are not fully up to their work. We enter upon the new year under very auspicious circumstances-free from debt-with good houses (thirty-two owned), one now being built. Our next effort will be towards supplying our houses with better furniture, and other important school-room appliances, such as maps, globes, charts, etc.”
King George County.-WM. McDANIEL, Superintendent: “ Most of the schools are in a flourishing condition. During the year I have built three good framed school houses, and thoroughly repaired several others.”
LEE COUNTY.— JAMES H. Graham, Superintendent: “We will extend the schools to six, and in one district, to seven months this year. In one district the term will not be extended. Our schools have done well this year. I have given more attention to building good houses this than any previous year. We have built fifteen or twenty good houses in the last twelve months, and expect to build several more by the time we open schools another year.”
MONTGOMERY COUNTY.-F. D. SURFACE, Superintendent: “ Our schools have all opened except one colored school, and a teacher is engaged for that. We have had considerable difficulty in securing competent colored teachers, which fact has forced us to open some of the colored schools later than usual.
Our teachers are being paid promptly for their services. Trustees and teachers are doing their full duty with few exceptions. Percentage of attendance, eighty, which is very creditable to the teachers of Montgomery county."
NORFOLK COUNTY.—JESSE E. BAKER, Superintendent: “ The Institute held at Portsmouth, was generally attended by the teachers,--there being but three absentand great interest was manifested by all.
The main feature of the occasion was the exhibition of classes and class work by teachers who had attained proficiency in teaching, and had accomplished marked results."
PATRICK COUNTY.-J. A. TAYLOR, Superintendent: “ The schools of the county are in successful progress under the charge of a corps of as competent teachers as could be procured, and the prospect for a successful term is one of promise for public instruction."
ROANOKE COUNTY.-M. P. Frantz, Superintendent: “We now have all the schools we really need—most of them running well, and nearly all of them averaging over twenty. Average attendance for each teacher twenty-six.
Our teachers' Institute held at Salem the 20th and 21st December, was a success, forty-nine of the fifty-three white teachers of the county present. Mrs. M. M. Armstrong read the first essay ever read before a teachers' Institute in Roanoke county by a lady, on the subject : “How to secure punctual attendance at school.”
The lady teachers introduced most of the subjects by well prepared essays, and the gentlemen discussed each subject extempore. The following topics were presented : School Discipline, by Miss M. M. McCauly; Primary Reading, by Miss L. W. Dennis; Grammar, by Mr. M. C. Jeter; Map Drawing, by J. G. Kent; Parental Co-operation, by T. E. Royall; Calisthenics, by Miss E. W. Parrish ; History, by W. M. Graybill.
The colored Institute held at Roanoke on the 27th and 28th December, was also well attended. Sixteen of the twenty teachers in the county being present. These Institutes were conducted differently from any heretofore held in the county. It had been the custom to have present an experienced lecturer to do all the talking. This year the teachers were thrown on their own resources to give interest to the occasion; and this arouses an interest and enthusiasm seldom excited by sitting passively and listening. Our teachers seemed pleased with their meeting, and return to their work with renewed energy."
RUSSELL COUNTY.-E. D. MILLER, Superintendent: “A very pleasant and profitable Institute was held in Cedar Hill Academy, December 26th, 27th and 28th, the County Superintendent presiding, and Professor Hutton acting as Secretary. The attendance of teachers, trustees and people was good, considering the inclement, weather and high water. Twenty-six teachers present, all of whom took great interest in the meeting, and a majority an active part in the exercises.
Some of the school trustees showed their intelligence and public spirit by co-operating with the Institute freely. The arrangements for the accommodation of the Institute, teachers, and visiting citizens were admirable-citizens hospitable and teachers intelligent. On motion, resolved to meet again the first Wednesday in May next, at Honakersville, New Garden District. The Superintendent Public Instruction is requested to attend.”
SHENANDOAH County.-W. W. Logan, Superintendent: “Our Teachers' Institute, held on the 6th and 7th instant, was one of the most interesting ever held in this county. Out of 101 teachers employed in the schools, 100 were present. The Super. intendent of Page county, and many other friends of education were with us. The spirit of improvement manifests itself in every department of school-work-among the trustees, in providing better houses and appliances, and among the teachers, in preparing for their work.”.
SMYTH COUNTY.-A. G. PENDLETON, Superintendent: “I held my annual Teachers’ Institute in Marion, on the 5th, 6th and 7th December, 1883. Sixty teachers were present, and great interest was manifested by all in the cause of public schools. It was the best Institute I have ever held, and it made the best impression upon the public ever before made. The institute determined to issue and support an educational paper called The Teacher's Friend, a copy of which I herewith send, and call attention to some articles read at my Institute which I think good.