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Looking Back


Schools are finally letting out for summer vacation across New York State. Centuries ago, however, schools looked very different. In fact, New York did not even organize a formal education system until 1784, when the Regents of the University of the State of New York was established.

In rural areas during the 1800s, students attended one-room schoolhouses, where a spectrum of ages were all taught by one teacher. There were no specific grade levels, but students were put into four to five groups based on their reading and spelling abilities.
Although attendance was not mandatory at the time, it is estimated that around 90% of children were enrolled in school during the 1830s. However, many students only attended school part-time, with boys typically going to school during the winter and helping out on family farms throughout the other seasons.

While the modern-day school year ends by June, in 1840, the summer term of schoolhouses would not finish until August.
The Basket Historical Society preserves and presents the history of the Upper Delaware area. If you are interested in becoming a member or finding out more contact us at baskethistsociety@gmail.com.


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