In 1955, Seven Washington County Schools Needed Building Improvements
In March, 1955 as the school year was winding down, approximately seven schools in Washington County were in need of building improvements.
This was one of the significant facts brought out at an evaluation meeting of the county schools, held in the office of Superintendent Fred N. Smith in Jonesborough (known as Jonesboro then).
Schools listed as needing building improvements were Boones Creek High School, Boones Creek Elementary, Jonesboro Elementary, Lamar, King Springs, Fall Branch and Cherokee. Schools listed as being overcrowded were Boones Creek High School, Jonesboro Elementary, Lamar, Princeton and South Central. The schools cited were in need of improvement in three categories: condition of floors, lighting concerns, and the need for dedicated library rooms, as opposed to sharing rooms.
Another fact that emerged from the study was that there were only 16 classrooms in the county, which were overcrowded. Others had more that 60 students crammed in a room. This was brought out during a discussion of the regulations of the State Board and the hearing of a report that noted how well Washington County was correcting the problems.
In the examination of beginning students, the state regulation was being met to a reasonable extent. Provision was made for all children to be examined, but better cooperation of parents was necessary before every child could be examined. It was also suggested that the principal insure that elementary students' participation in athletics had a physical examination before taking part in any activities.
In the assessment of instructional materials, it was found that 11 schools reported deficiency in the number of library books and magazines available for students. However, on a positive note, Supervisors Alleene Keebler and Billy Lane declared that these reports were made early in the new school year and that most schools had been able to supplement books and magazines to their libraries or were in the process of improving the overall library situation.
E.C. Seaton, Washington County sanitation officer, reviewed the status of conditions of lunch rooms, water supplies, wash rooms and general housekeeping in the schools. He stated that, although he had not completed the scoring of all schools in the county, most of the lunch rooms were given an "A" rating. Only two schools received a "C" rating and all except one had cafeterias.
The washrooms,, Seaton said, did not have sufficient facilities, not enough paper towels or other necessary materials, and many needed complete renovation. He further stated that samples were being taken on all water supplies in the county schools and that these supplies would be carefully protected when the survey was finished.
In the suggestions for changing State Board requirements, Lane suggested that the pupil-teacher ratio be lowered especially in the primary grades. Further, Paul Gorley, principal at Lamar, discussed the need for a special teacher at his facility.
1955 Mercury Ad from That Same Time Frame, Courtesy Motor Company in Johnson City
Miss Keebler and Mr. Lane explained the organization of a Curriculum Improvement Committee, pointing out that it was composed of 25 members and that each grade level and subject area was represented. The committee began working on objectives in social studies and continuing its objectives in language, arts and arithmetic.
Pauline Brumit, regional elementary supervisor for East Tennessee, who presided at the meeting, suggested that the post school conference be used to complete the work done that year and to make plans for next year's curriculum improvement work.
Attending the meeting were Smith; Miss Keebler; Lane; Miss Brumit; Gourley; Dr. R.H. Eliason, Director of the Graduate School of East Tennessee State College; and T.M. Howze, Director of Public Relations of the college.
Many of these same needs surfaced each year as school populations grew requiring facilities to be expanded, replaced or remodeled, being a never-ending problem.