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any particular subject. In arithmetic and algebra it will be a profitable exercise for the teacher to give the pupils occasionally for solution, questions and problems from other books besides the prescribed
No book should be introduced into any public school by the committee, containing any passage or matter reflectir.g in the least degree upon any religious sect, or which any religious sect would be likely to consider offensive.
97. Rules and Regulations. The school committee should prescribe a system of rules and regulations respecting the age, admission, attendance, classification, studies, discipline and instruction of pupils, in all the schools; the examination and duties of teachers; the kind of books to be used, &c. Useful hints in framing such rules may be derived from the “Regulations” of the Providence schools, appended to the Report of the School Commissioner for 1845, p. 240, (and which may also be found in vol. 1 of the Journal of the R. I. Institute of Instruction,) and from the specimens of such rules, which will be found among the Forms.
The age for admission should be uniform in all the districts of a towu, as otherwise some districts may have the advantage over others in the apportionment of the public money.
98. Apportioning Money. The committee, having ascertained what they can depend upon from the State Treasury, the town and the registry act, and having reserved an amount sufficient to defray the expense of printing their report, [see § 22] will apportion it as soon as possible, according to $ 20. But they are not authorized to pay out or give an order to any district which has not complied with § 21, for the year preceding. The law makes a district's complying with the provisions of $ 21 for one year, a pre-requisite to its receiving any money the next year.
As to apportioning money to a joint district, see $ 52, and to a secondary school, supported by two districts, see $ 50.
It will in all cases be desirable, and the safest course for the committee, to let the school money remain in the town treasury, (at interest, if possible) until the schools are kept, and not to give orders for it any faster than they are satisfied it is actually expended. It may then be paid to the teacher or his order, on his producing or sending a bill certified or allowed by the trustees, or otherwise, at the discretion of the committee.
The committee will find it greatly to their convenience to keep a separate book for their accounts. In this book a separate account might be opened with each school or school district, in which the district should be from time to time credited with the money apportioned to them, and then charged with the orders which have been given to them.
Another separate account may be so kept, by listing all the sums of money appropriated to schools on one side, and all orders given on the other, as to show at any time the balance under the committee's control.
99. Reports. By 43, trustees are to report to the school committee, at such time and in such form as the committee or Commissioner may prescribe. These returns must be made in season to enable the committee to digest them, and prepare a report to the Commissioner by July 1st; [22,] for which reports the Commissioner will furnish forms. The committee are, also, at the annual town meeting, to make a written or printed report to the town, of all their doings, the condition of the schools, plans for their improve.
By Ø 22 the committee are authorized to reserve enough (not exceeding $20) out of the school money to print their reports. And it is believed that no part of the school expenditure would do more good and tend more to keep up an interest in the schools, than this.
100. The committee must aid in organizing districts, by giving the notice for the first meeting. And when there are no trustees, or when the trustees neglect to call meetings, the committee must call them. In such cases they may direct the mode of notice. [See § 25, 27, 30.
101. Any district when met, may, by $ 38, vote to devolve upon the committee, with their consent, the whole management of their schools; and in that case the committee can exercise in that district all the powers which the district itself might exercise, may keep the school, have the custody of the school house, fix the rate of tuition, &c. 102. By $ 38, if any district neglect to organize, or if organized, „shall, for the space of six months neglect or refuse to establish a school, the committee may, either by themselves or their agent, employ and pay a teacher for the district.
103. Gradation of Schools. The school committee can promote a gradation of schools, or a separation of the younger and the older scholars, and the primary and advanced studies into distinct schools or departments.
Whenever the schools of a town are managed independent of districts, a sufficient number of schools of different grades can be established by the committee, at convenient locations, varying in the studies pursued according to the circumstances of the population.
And in towns which are divided into districts, there are many villages and thickly settled districts, where a gradation of schools can be introduced. By separating the small children from the older scholars, the instruction of both can be carried on to greater advantage, and with a great economy of time and expense. By putting the small children under the care of a female teacher, they can have more of the teacher's time devoted to them, and will learn with a rapidity surprising to those who have not seen the effects of it. This enables the teacher of the large scholars to devote his whole attention to their improvement.
They may recommend the union of two or more adjacent districts, for the purpose of establishing a secondary or grammar sohool for the older and more advanced pupils of each district. This can be done to advantage in almost every town. [See $ 50. In order to encourage the union of districts for the
of keeping a better school, $ 51 provides that they may unite and still receive the same amount of money they would receive if not united.
104. Records. At the beginning of the year the committee should have a warrant or certificate of their election from the town clerk, (see Form,) which it would be well to have made upon the record book itself, as loose papers are often lost. Then let the certificate of engagement follow in order.
The clerk should record any motion negatived, as well as those adopted, as parties may be interested, and have a right to appeal, in many cases, from a negative vote as well as from an affirmative one.
When it can be conveniently done, the minutes of the proceed
ings, as drawn out by the clerk, should be read in open meeting, or" at the next meeting, for correction, if necessary. Misunderstand ings may thus be prevented.
The clerk should always record the names of the members of the committee present at any meeting. He should also keep the copies of all abstracts, and all reports made to the Commissioner, so that the committee may have them for future reference and comparison.
TRUSTEES. 105. One or three trustees are to be appointed by a district at its annual meeting. If by any accident an election is not made then, or if a vacancy occurs; the district may elect afterwards. [$ 37.
By $ 63, trustees hold their offices until their successors are appointed.
106. If there are three trustees, a majority can act. “ Where a body or board of officers is constituted by law to perform a trust for the public, or to execute a power or perform a duty prescribed by aw, it is not necessary that all should concur in the act done. The act of the majority is the act of the body. And where all have due notice of the time and place of meeting, in the manner prescribed by law, if so prescribed, —or by the rules and regulations of the body itself, if there be any-otherwise if reasonable notice is given, and no practice or unfair means are used to prevent all from attending and participating in the proceeding, it is no objection that all the members do'not attend, if there be a quorum.” [21 Pick. Rep.
107. The trustees must employ the teacher. It is suggested that a trustee should not employ a near relative to keep the school without consulting the district. Jealousies and disputes will thus be avoided.
In employing a teacher or assistant teacher, trustees should be cautious to employ no one who has not a legal certificate, and not to employ one after notice that his certificate is annulled, as in such a case the trustees might be held personally liable for the teacher's wages. (See the form.) The trustees should see that the 'teacher keeps a proper register of attendance, in order that his district may receive its dne portion of school money next year; and when the school is over, this register should be deposited with the trustees,
or in the office of the clerk of the district. They should require the teacher to furnish them with such items of information as are necessary to make out their annual report to the town committee, which report should be made about the first of May, or sooner if the school is out, or at such time as the committee shall fix. Forms for these reports will be furnished to the districts, and can be obtained from the committee or from the town clerk's office.
If trustees appropriate any of the public money to pay a teacher not legally examined, they are liable to a penalty under $ 64.
The school must be kept four months in order to obtain the for the next year. And the trustees without waiting for a vote of the district, may, if the public money is insufficient, assess a rate sufficient to keep the school four months, (see § 59) taking care, however, to have the rate approved by the School Committee, and exempting those they consider unable to pay. If
any scholars can more conveniently attend school in an adjoining district, trustees are authorized by $ 53, to make a bargain for
They should also take care that the school is kept in a house which will not be disapproved of by the committee of the town.
[$ 21. 108. Trustees should regard the visiting of the schools as one of the most important of their duties, and which should by no means be neglected. For some account of the subjects they should inquire into, whenever they visit a school, see $95.
109. When a district is organized and has trustees, they are to notify the annual and special district meetings, and if there be no district school house, or place appointed by the district, they are to fix the place of meeting. If the trustees on application neglect to call a meeting, the School Committee may call it. [See $ 27.
Trustees for refusal to discharge any duty, call a meeting, assess a tax, &c. &c., are liable to a penalty by § 64 of the law. And the Supreme Court would probably, upon application, compel any school officer, by writ of mandamus, to discharge any duty plainly imposed on him by the law.
110. Trustees should encourage meetings of teachers in their neighborhood, for mutual improvement. And if any teacher neglects or refuses to attend a teacher's institute, when organized under