Polk County FLGenWeb: Miscellaneous
Source: "Bi-ennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Florida for the Two Years Ending June 30, 1896," William N. Sheats, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.; W. N. Shine, State Printer, 1897
Hon. Win. N. Sheata, Tallahassee. Fla. :
Dear SirThe schools of Polk county, while not all we would desire, are in a more prosperous condition than ever before in the history of the county.
There is greater interest manifested by the patrons as is. shown by increased and more regular attendance of pupils.
NEW BUILDINGS AND FURNITURE.
During the last two years the School Board with the assistance of the patrons, have erected twenty-two new school buildings, all of which are comfortably furnished. Patent desks have been placed in teŚn schools, patrons in all cases assisting the Board in buying the desks and other supplies. We think that when the patrons help build and equip their school-house they appreciate it more highly and take better care of it.
WORK OF UNIFORM EXAMINATIONS.
The uniform examination law has done a great deal toward elevating the teaching profession. It has put teachers to work as they never worked before. It has driven out to a great extent incompetent teachers who sap the life out of the profession. All live teachers of this county heartily approve of the uniform examination law. I would like to see a limit to the life of a Third Grade certificate.
UNIFORM COURSE OF STUDY.
We have placed in the hands of the teachers a Uniform Course of Study with manual of instruction to the teachers. This has done a great deal toward unifying the work in the schoels and bringing about an educational system in the county. The teachers are required to familiarize themselves with its contents and adhere strictly to the Course of Study.
COUNTY TEACHERS ASSOCIATION.
We organized in 1893 "The Polk County Teachers' Association," and have held meetings about once each month during school term ever since, greatly to the benefit of the teachers and the schools.
Teachers' Reading Circle.
We have organized in connection with the Teachers' Association a Teachers' Heading Circle. The books adopted for the year 1897 are, Quick's "Educational Reformers," Parker's "Talks on Teaching," Rousseau's "Emile." The teachers are taking hold of the reading course enthusiastically and we expect good results from it.
PUPILS READING CIRCLE.
We have also a Pupils' Reading Circle, but as yet but few are enrolled and little has been accomplished owing principally to the lack of books and the inability of the patrons to buy them.
A LIBRARY IN EACH SCHOOL.
We hope to establish a library in each school during this year and have it filled with choice books for each grade, and in this way perfect the Pupils Reading Circle. We need more supplementary reading. School Boards should encourage the establishment of school libraries by offering to help such schools as desire them.
We have six School Sub-districts already established in which are levied a spejcial tax of three mills for extending the term, repairing buildings, etc.
TEACHERS PAID CASH.
We pay our teachers in cash each month. If we have no the money on hand we borrow it.
Upon the whole our schools are on the up grade.
NEED OF NORMAL SCHOOL.
We feel the need of a good Normal School in the southern part of the State.
J. L. HoLLIXGSWORTH,