Bennington Banner Newspaper Archives Dec 28 1963, Page 5

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Bennington Banner (Newspaper) - December 28, 1963, Bennington, Vermont Chiselville grades 5 and 6 town House grades 7 and 8. Depot grades 3 and i. Lit. Pleasant grades i and t. Bennington Banner saturday december 28, 1963-5 Only a Wall of concentration separates this 5th Grade girl from the sounds of 6th graders As they recite on the other Side of the room at Chiselville school. These Chiselville students Are moving to their seats assigned for Reading class. Eight different Levels of Reading skill Are taught in this room. Text Ami photos by Bester Ringheiser mrs. Marjorie Canfield teacher at it. Pleasant school quiets her class As they await the school bus for transportation Home. The children leave in two shifts. The first bus leaves shortly after 3 p.m., the second about 3 30. Sunderland a one room schools one of the More persistent arguments in the educational world a what part physical facilities play in the education of the child centers now in Sunderland where one of Bennington county a last one room school systems provides education for Over too students for the first eight grades of their school life. This is not a new Issue. In 1954, after efforts by the Sunderland school Board to consolidate the one room schools failed it was decided to improve existing facilities. The four schools were modernized by replacing burning stoves with automatic heat in three of the schools and installing indoor plumbing. These projects were completed in 1956. Two years later automatic heat replaced a kerosene pot Burner in the Chiselville school. Are they educational antiquities the town House school oldest of the four was built in 1873, it. Pleasant in 1901, depot in 1905 and Chiselville though built earlier became a Sunderland school in 1877. Robert b. Vail superintendent of the Rutland Bennington supervisory school District and Albert r. Lawrence chairman of the Sunderland school Board think its time for another change. A the facilities for a modern education just Arentt available in a one room system a a says Lawrence. He Calls attention to the Lack of space and libraries and the difficulty of preparing students for a High school course which becomes More demanding each year. After the physical changes of the �?T50s were completed the Board attempted to make adjustments in the educational system itself. It was proposed that each school be changed to provide Only two instead of All eight grades. There were protests because of the increased transportation costs and the necessity of keeping younger children away from Home All Day. But the change was finally made and continues in use today. Much of the argument Over the one room school centers around the teacher. Teaching two grades in one room is much More demanding than the Multi room style of teaching. The teacher in the one room school must have a command of Many subjects be Able to organize ideas make detailed presentations of her subject in cramped quarters and with few reference facilities. Advocates of the one room system contend that Only in the one room school can the teacher control the whole of a child a education that each child can Progress up of his abilities and not be held Back by his less gifted classmates. The consolidation advocates agree but counter with the claim that this kind of educational achievement is Only possible under Ideal conditions and that these conditions Are Seldom found a and if found Are More expensive that those in Central schools. How do students from the Sunderland schools rate scholastically in High school a pretty Well a a says Lawrence a but they could rate better and the adjustment to a higher Standard affects Lawrence sees the schools As a Community responsibility but also As a Community asset. A people like to move to an area which can offer a Good school system a a he asserted. Good schools Are what everybody wants but they can to seem to agree on just what a Good school really is. Teacher Ai the town House school James West counsels with student at the Back of the classroom. Girl studies at left. Everybody has the answer almost in mrs. Bernice Benedictus 8th Grade class at the Chiselville school

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