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EXCERPTS FROM SCHOOL MINUTES
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The following is from pages 22 to 24 of
McConnell Little Town Lost, 1982

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EXCERPTS FROM SCHOOL MINUTES


July 18, 1912: Newly elected trustees for the consolidated school district of McConnell No. 326 held their first meeting, Chairman A.D. McConnell, Sect. Treas. R.M. Stone, trustees: J.T. Arthur, W. Juergens, A. Pangman and D.S. McMurachy. Motion that the purchase of school site by A.D. McConnell be ratified by the board and Sec'y write regarding plans for a two-room school, also procure seal, minute and cash book.

Blanshard and Hamioto municipalities were asked to submit a by-law to rate-payers for the borrowing (debentures) the sum of $7000 to build and equip a school: twenty debentures for $350 at 6%.

This board of trustees looked after the teachers, buildings, stove wood, etc. for Ellenville and Viola Dale Schools. Salary at that time: $750 per year.

March, 1913: Three mothers voiced grievances in regard to lack of school accommodation, resulting in a motion to build a one-room school.

May, 1913: Decision made to vote on dissolution of consolidation, making the district rural. Vote was taken on Dec. 19 and the new McConnell School District No. 1711 was formed; districts of Ellenville, Holylea, Viola Dale and Watson be left with equal territory to maintain their old districts.

McConnell school started Jan. 26, 1914 in the hall which was rented at $15 a month. The board provided necessary equipment, fuel, janitor, etc. and hall to be left in order for other meetings.

Miss McMillan was engaged as teacher at $650 per annum. Feb., 1914: Mr. Schaeffer was to be paid 10c a day per horse for stabling. This came to $5.60 MONTH. Also at this meeting, motion to build a school (with full size basement) contract to be let by tender, a thoroughly competent man hired to act as architect in overseeing construction. Ratepayers accepted decision to build a $2500 school.

March: Tender of J.T. Hayhurst (Oak River) for complete school building to plans for $2100 accepted. Oct. 19: Hugh McNair hired as janitor at 25c a day.

Councillor Van Norman approached by trustees to get funds to lay a single plank sidewalk to point opposite the school as the street leading to the school was a mudhole.

Mar., 1915: Rink company was granted a lease of land 170 x 52 feet southeast corner of school grounds with further arrangements when question was settled. Also in that corner a well was to be drilled.

In 1917 the stable was built, enlarged in 1921 and addition to the south end 1924.

Jan. 1920: The district is consolidated with chairman T. Caves, sec'y-treas. R. Middleton and trustees John Killoh, J.A. McConnell and Henry Knight to take over April 15. Account of Cons. District to be put in McConnell Branch of Union Bank.

Plans were made to move Ellenville school into McConnell. June, 1920: one acre of land for school site to be bought from C.N.R. and Tom Holatz contracted to move Ellenville school and put on foundation. The first caretaker was Mrs. Atkinson.

Motion to buy a lamp, a gallon can and oil for use at school meetings.

1921: A partition put in the larger school and a third teacher hired.

1928: D. Arbuthnott dug a well at $4 a day - total $14 -by small school resulted in "fair drinking water".

Up until 1930 a school fair was held: exhibits of swine, calves, handwork, school work and baking.

1932: First Education Week held where parents were invited to come to the school to observe their children in classes and ending the week with a short program.

1933: No grade XI so Miss Cumming taught a grade XII class. (Classes ordinarily went from I - XI).

1937: School enlarged and small school sold to W. Gregory, Decker.

1938: A staff of two teachers until 1949 when three were again hired. Aug. 1941: Lady drivers allowed, cars to be in good condition. Men drivers on muddy roads. Preschoolers would start at Easter, but April 1941 this was discontinued.

1943: June, Mr. and Mrs. Neilsen sold their home to the board for use as a teacherage. This was sold in 1967 when the school closed and used as a residence in the Manson district. Pupils were then enrolled in Hamiota or nearest school. Dec.: Vans were sold and in June, 1944 the van shed was bought by Wm. McDougall, moved to the farm now owned by Verne Dyck.

1952: Mrs. D. Emerson was elected trustee - the first and only woman trustee.

1959: School divisions established and division boards elected. Gordon Killoh was one elected of Birdtail River No. 38. Grades 9-11 now went to Hamiota.

All children participated in sports at the school whether it was Field Day (held with Oak River and Cardale as well as smaller schools in the area) or noon hour skating under supervision at the rink and paid for by the school board.