14 May 2019

Perth & District Historical Society May Meeting

On Thursday, 16 May 2019 at 7:30pm PDHS will present

“One-Room Schools to Glen Tay's Multi-Room School"

Go down memory lane to the era of the area’s one-room schools and the dramatic transition to a consolidated multi-room school at Glen Tay in 1968.

David Crowley was hired by the Bathurst, South Sherbrooke and North Burgess (now Tay Valley Township) Township School Area Board in 1967 to organize and manage the transfer of some 400+ rural students in 15 one and two-room schools to the newly built Glen Tay Public School.  The Board and its secretary-treasurer managed the bussing logistics and the outfitting and furnishing of the new school while David visited the 15 small schools on a weekly basis to ensure that, when the move took place, all students and teachers were placed appropriately in their classes.  Communities affected included Maberly, Harper, Balderson, Fallbrook, Althorpe, Wemyss, Bolingbroke, Dewitt’s Corners and other areas in the three Townships.  As a result of the extensive preliminary work, on May 1, 1968, Glen Tay Public School with its new principal David Crowley, opened its doors to the first of the new students.  The official opening ceremonies took place the following November.

All of the teachers were women and many had years of experience in their respective schools and communities.  Consequently, it was no surprise that at least one of them expressed her discomfort at following instructions from a 28-year old man with three years of experience.  However, that approach changed rapidly and an attitude of co-operation became the norm.  Community support was outstanding and parents were supportive and a real pleasure to work with as students and teachers became accustomed to the new school.

David’s parents had taught in a number of rural schools in isolated communities in Newfoundland during the 1930s, so the culture and community atmosphere was almost embedded in his DNA.  His own experience as a young student in several Eastern Ontario communities and as a beginning teacher in several rural one-room schools gave him a greater understanding and appreciation of the challenges and positive experiences that students and teachers lived with in the small rural schools.

Please join us at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion,
26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, (Toonie Donation).

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