« AnteriorContinuar »
heeded my recommendations at all. Very little attention has been given in this county to the improvement of school premises. The houses at Milford, Green Head and Sand Point, Carleton, are unsurpassed for comfort and convenience.
CITY OF ST. JOHN.
Very little need be said concerning the schools in this city. The teachers there are all laboring earnestly, and, with few exceptions, successfully, in the discharge of their duties. The school buildings, with a minor exception or two, are admirably appointed for comfort and convenience, but I cannot say the same regarding the premises of all of them. In the case of some of them there are scarcely any but the street, while of others they are much too cramped. The Centennial building is a notable exception to this. Nearly two-thirds of an acre of ground is attached to this building, and that portion of it in the front has been tastefully laid off in flower-beds and grass-plots. At this stage it would be impossible to provide each school building in St. John with a playground, but the necessity for a public one, for boys especially, is becoming more and more apparent. The trustees have during the year purchased the church adjoining the Victoria School and have converted it into Primary Departments for girls, which was much needed and for which it is well adapted. The Grammar School (boys) has been newly seated with very comfortable desks, which seem to be duly appreciated by the boys. A few changes have taken place on the staff of teachers employed during the year, among which may be mentioned the retirement of Miss S. E. Whipple, of the Albert building, Carleton. She has been a faithful worker for many years, and her services are duly appreciated by the St. John School Board.
CITY OF PORTLAND.
The teachers in Portland are doing excellent work but in the matter of school buildings this city is at a disadvantage compared with St. John. During the year, however, much repairing has been done, especially to the Madras building, but much remains to be done. Portland greatly needs one or two new school buildings. As in St. John several of the houses are unprovided with sufficient school grounds. The trustees have adopted the four hour attendance plan for the primary grades (I and II) which cannot fail, I think to prove satisfactory, especially as some of these schools were overcrowded. Very few changes have taken place on the teaching staff during the year. Miss McCormack retired after a long period of service and was succeeded by Miss Barlow who in turn was succeeded by Miss Morrell.
COURSE OF INSTRUCTION.
A great deal of misapprehension is evinced by some teachers with respect to the prescribed course of instruction. They seem to have the impression that since the ranking system has been done away with, that they are no longer required to carry the course out in its entirety, and take up only such portions of it as expediency or conveni ence prompts. Some Boards of Trustees display a disposition to interfere with the teacher in carrying out the course fully, evidently with the idea that they are empowered to block out a course to suit themselves. Reading, writing and arithmetic are generally well taught, though in the country districts, the pupils are too often in advance of their grade in reading. In some schools the spelling of the pupils is not up to the standard. This is largely owing to dictation exercises not receiving sufficient attention. Grammar and geography are generally intelligently dealt with. Canadian history does not in
every case receive that attention which its importance demands. receives a fair amount of attention.
Minerals, Plant and Animal Life are the subjects which are neglected more than any others. The teaching of these subjects should present no difficulties and occupy very little time. The prescribed reading books are admirably adapted for giving this class of instruction even if it is only taken up in connection therewith. Some object that this part of the course of instruction is not practical. Surely it is important that pupils should know the chief minerals of the province, their locality and uses; and it is equally so that they should have some knowledge of the various domestic and wild animals of their own and other countries with their structural peculiarities. Should they not also know something of the value and uses of the different kinds of wood produced in their own and other countries in these days when forestry is becoming such an important subject? How many pupils in our public schools can name and distinguish our different woods? Very few, I venture to say, unless they have received special instruction on the subject.
More attention should be given to review, particularly in the graded schools. The teachers too often content themselves with taking up that portion of the subjects peculiar to their own grade without taking the trouble to review the work of the previous ones. The grading as a general rule is carefully attended to. In the city of St. John, the pressure of numbers from the lower grades causes pupils frequently to be advanced to higher ones without having made the required grading marks. The evil effects of this are apparent, and I believe are fully realized by the city superintendent. I hope that measures will soon be taken to remedy this defect.
Very successful and profitable county institutes were held by the teachers of St. John and Charlotte Counties during the year. The former was held in St. John and the latter in St. Andrews. As the sessions of both institutes were held on the same days, I regret that I was not able to be present at St. Andrews.
The schools of St. Stephen and Milltown which were included in my Inspectorate in July, having been visited during the first term by Inspector Oakes, it has not been necessary for me to visit them as yet.
I cannot conclude this report without expressing my obligation to you, sir, for your kindly advice and assistance at all times, and to Inspector Oakes for much valuable information concerning Charlotte County.
INSPECTORAL DISTRICT NO. 6.-I. B. Oakes, A. M., Inspector, Wood
stock, N. B.
THIS DISTRICT COMPRISES THE COUNTY OF YORK, AND THE COUNTY OF CARLETON WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE PARISHES OF ABERDEEN, KENT, AND WICKLOW.
SIR, I have the honor to submit the following report for the year just closed :— A review of the year's work though not as satisfactory in certain particulars as one could desire, is not without many encouraging features. So far as I have been able to ascertain, a less proportion of the schools than usual have been closed, due, no doubt, in part, to the ample supply of teachers. About twenty schools were closed during one term and only about five or six were closed during the entire year. There was in addition to the above a number of unorganized districts, also several districts whose school-houses had been burned, where schools were impossible.
As was the case in 1885, I found, during August and September, a considerable number of schools closed which were re-opened in October and November.
During the year new school-houses were completed in the following districts, viz. :
The first four will probably be occupied for the first time during this term. The last three have contained flourishing schools since August 1st. The new school-house at Green Mountain, costing $1,200, is large well proportioned and neatly finished and furnished. The school ground at considerable cost was levelled and beautified and the school was in charge of a well-paid teacher of ability. This illustrates what a country district with the moderate property valuation of $1,300 can do when the people are inspired by proper motives.
In Porter district No. 11, Parish of Woodstock, and Ernia No. 12, Parish of Kingsclear, school-houses, begun some years ago, remain, for want of help, unfinished and unoccupied by the needy children of those districts. I hope the Board of Educa tion may be pleased to assist those districts soon. North East Newburg, though financially weak, has borrowed money to complete its school-house and is anxiously hoping for a grant.
In addition to the expenditures for new school-houses there has been the usual outlay for repairs, new desks and seats, maps and other necessary appliances. Many districts, however, delay, to the detriment of their schools, providing what the inspector recommends.
During the year school-houses were burned in :
Parish of Bright.
The people of Keswick have nobly resolved to rebuild notwithstanding the heavy district debt. This is a large and important community, and it is to be hoped that the Superior School now established there in the old school-house may be well maintained in the new. Henderson will also rebuild this term. Upper Southhampton also intends to rebuild their house burned some years ago.
The school-houses of Acton No. 1, Central Harvey No. 4, and Tweedside No. 6, all in the parish of Manners-Sutton, were condemned, during the year, as unfit for use. At the last annual school meeting provision was made in all these districts for new school-houses during this year.
It is probable that a new school-house will also be built in South Becaguimic, and this new district will need assistance.
Centreville has also voted to replace its old school-building by a new one of two departments. These improvements of the past year and these plans and purposes for the future on the part of so many districts indicate an awakened interest in education and a determination that their children shall share, to the fullest extent possible, in the advantages offered by our school system.
I referred, in my last report, to an interest awakened in the improvement of school premises by the planting of shade and ornamental trees, and reported several districts, especially St. Stephen, where Arbor Days were celebrated during 1885. That interest, I am pleased to state, has grown during 1886, and many teachers and schools last spring became, for the first time, enthusiastic in their efforts to improve the appearance and comfort of their school premises. Several school grounds were ploughed, levelled, harrowed and sown with grass seed, others were fenced, others were cleared of rocks, and 1,600 trees, principally rock maple and elm, were set out on 44 different school grounds, chiefly in Carleton County and Western York. St. Stephen, Moncton, Richibucto, and other distant places, also engaged in successful tree planting. I trust this movement will be encouraged by the Board of Education, in appointing a schools' Arbor Day to be observed next May throughout the province.
During the year two school districts, viz., Nos. 9 and 14, Brighton, were united, and one of the school-houses has been moved to the centre and repaired. This formerly existed as one district, but was some years ago divided, only to become dissatisfied with two weak sections and two poor schools. Districts Nos. 5 and 13, on opposite sides of the Becaguimic, and supporting at intervals two weak schools,, would also profit by a union and by a school established at the bridge connecting the two districts. It is far better to have a school large enough to ensure emulation, and continuously maintained under a teacher of ability, than to have two weak schools operated only about twothirds of the time at nearly double the cost, and under inferior teachers, even though two or three remote families have to go two miles or more to school.
Superior Schools have been in operation in Moncton and St. Stephen; at Harvey Station, Forest City, Eel River, Marysville, Nashwaaksis and Keswick Ridge, in York County; also at Hartland, Florenceville, Jacksonville, Centreville and Lakeville, in Carleton County. The Superior Schools at Eel River and Lakeville terminated June 30th. I have not yet visited those at Marysville and Nashwaaksis. The others were in successful operation, and, with the exception of the Hartland school, they all remain in charge of their last year's teachers. These schools afford excellent opportunities for preparation to those looking toward the Normal School.
The schools of Fredericton and the incorporated towns were inspected in March and April, except those of Moncton, which were visited in June. These graded schools are among the best in the province, both in regularity of attendance, systematic grading and in the ability and zeal of the teachers. The following tabular statement will serve as a means of comparing these towns with each other in respect taining to their schools :
certain features per
An examination of the above table and a comparison of it with a similar one last year shows the following:
1st. St. Stephen made the most regular attendance and Milltown, as in 1885, made the least, while the total average attendance for the five towns was 51 greater than in the year preceding.
2nd. St. Stephen and Woodstock pupils attended the inspectoral examinations most largely, and the total attendance at inspection was 385 greater than in the preceding year, notwithstanding the total enrolment was 85 less.
3rd. Fredericton grading was most regular. Woodstock schools are graded with more regularity than formerly. Moncton shows badly in the 2nd and 7th Standards though quite regular in the others; while St. Stephen exhibits a very small 2nd Standard class as compared with the first Standard.
4th. The enrolment in every town except Moncton was considerably smaller than it was in 1885, due no doubt to the enrolment extending over only six months as compared with an eight months' term in the preceding year.
The following table relates to the number of departments and the sex and class of the teachers :