Schools of the Past: McDonough: School Days, District #6 (Preston/Harrington)

In preparation of yet another article relevant to McDonough’s assorted district schools and as there is extensive information available to District #6, let us take a few moments this week to relate the important school laws and amendments, teacher’s statements and assorted text books used in the years 1890-91.

However before we begin, the new academic school year here in Chenango County is slated to start just after Labor Day and how many will recall the “First Day of School” and all the fond memories that go with it. It must have been quite exciting (this writer assumes it still is) entering the bastion of education after the summer break. Seeing old friends (no texting in those days), meeting a more than likely new teacher, looking forward to recess, perhaps sharing lunch, being tortured by the boys, girls usually got even. The teacher ringing the school bell, assigning the water pail to a pupil, the list is probably endless.

With the advent of time, first day of school has changed, and this writer hopefully is not dating herself, new dress or dresses for the new school year, new shoes, hair just right, joining old friends for the walk to school. Catching up on the “what did you do on your vacation, where did you go, how many books did you read? Seeing new students (the new kid on the block, scared to death, will they like me), riding the school bus if you were in the country. It was always a contest between my late cousin and myself how many new dresses did we have to start the new school year. Thankfully both mothers were excellent seamstresses and were able to fabricate the necessary dresses. That was when dresses were in style, how about today? Levi’s, tank tops, thongs, seldom do you females look like females today. Enough about past “First Days of School.”

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