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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

Closing Schools In Vermilion

It was a tough announcement to receive only three days before Christmas but on Dec. 22, 1922 the announcement came down that two schools in the Vermilion area were closing.

At the time, one-room schools were found across the region and with more people living in the community, many of those schools were not able to continue to operate due to declining enrolment.

At a meeting held by the Vermilion Board of Trustees, it was decided that there would be a savings of $3,000 to $4,500 in teaching costs by closing two schools.

As well, heavy taxes were causing an increased cost in the maintenance of the public and high schools of Vermilion.

Vermilion had built a new school building on the south side of town. There was also a school on the west end of town. This new change closed the south and west schools and put all the students in the community in the public school building in the east end of the town.

One of the rooms in the school would be divided into two for the purpose of serving as a high school. One of the teachers lost their job, and a Janet Dick resigned from staff, and her position was not going to be filled.

With those two teachers gone, and the janitorial service for the two schools gone, and the rent decreased, the school was hoping to save quite a bit.

The change went into effect over the Christmas holidays, and was not welcomed by everyone in the community. Those on the south and west ends of town now had to get their children to the east end for school.

Of course, that was not the only thing decided in Vermilion during the Christmas season.

Town council decided it would test its Domestic Animals ordinance after the New Year arrived. A case arose after W.R. Hayward was fined for leading his sheep herd through town and allowing them to grace on unfenced piece of property. The new town law labelled any sheep found grazing on unfenced lands as running at large.

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