Last of the one-room schoolhouses..........
Four small school districts in Livingston County were asked in 1961 by representatives of the office of the superintendent of public instruc-tion to consider reorganizing in the interest of the better education of the children then attending the schools. They were Reed-Kelly, McDowell, Sunbury and Union School Districts. They had been placed on probationary recognition earlier that year, were in danger of losing state aid, and were advised to improve their educational programs to maintain state recognition. The state recommended specifically that Sunbury and Union Schools send their seventh and eighth graders into town. Old buildings, limited instructional materials, and lack of supplementary textbooks were noted at Sunbury. At Union two teachers taught the eight grades.
The last of the one-room schools, McDowell, Reed-Kelly and Prime, in Livingston County lost their state recognition in 1960 and 1961. Prime closed in the fall of 1961 but the other two managed to boost their status to probationary recognition and hold on for several more years. At the same time, Union Community Consolidated and Sunbury Community Consolidated schools were also placed on probation. All four were asked by representa-tives of the office of the superintendent of public instruction to con-sider reorganization in order to provide better educational opportunities for their students. Since the four old one-room buildings which had been moved on one site at the time of the organization of Sunbury Community Consolidated School seemed to be the chief drawback there, the board of education proposed a new building. Using this as a selling point, they were able to sell their constituents on the idea and in 1964 dedicated a new four-room building with a gym. The district has been threatened numerous times since--no school lunch, no central library, administrator without an administrative certificate, lack of kindergarten, more than one grade per teacher, etc., but each time they have managed to come up with a solution.
From the Lucille Goodrich scrapbook of Livingston County.