Are There Any One or Two Room Schools Left In South Dakota?
Let's bring back some memories of something that is vanishing.
Or has vanished altogether perhaps.
It was a two-room school. Let me say that again. The school had two rooms.
There were eight grades in those two rooms. And then there were six grades.
And then there were none.
Gone the way, I suppose, of the town crier and the village smithy, resting somewhere with the stand-up glass telephone booth and the console stereo. Perhaps next to a rotary dial telephone gathering dust.
The small rural school.
Now before you get the wrong idea, no, I wasn't born in a log cabin. It wasn't that long ago. I mean, we had electricity and everything! I'm not old, no way. I might be older. Seasoned. Experienced. Got some time on my bones. Maybe a wrinkle or two.
Yes, I'm old.
It wasn't technically a country school, not in the truest sense of the word. It was, after all, in town. Now the town, Leota, Minnesota, was admittedly small. OK, maybe it wasn't a town, but it was something better than that.
It was home.
I don't know, a couple hundred, three hundred, something in that ballpark. And right now I can see the two-room school (which, by the way, is still there - it's just not a school anymore).
I left there in about 1968, sixth grade completed with straight 'A's'. Well, completed anyway. And it wasn't long after, it was closed. We all went to the big school, the one in Edgerton, which had a lot more than two rooms. Heck, it had a room for every subject! A cafeteria, a gym, offices for administration. We zoomed from 6 kids in our class to 36.
I just hoped I could find my way around.
I remember when I lived In Rapid City and would drive across the western half of the state, I'd see 'country' schools, not all that different than the one I went to. This was in the 1980s and 1990s. I don't know if any have survived or not.
But there was a day. Before consolidation, before technology, before all this 'progress'. It was small, it was rural, but most of all, it was good.
I wouldn't trade the memories for anything.
So, are there any rural one or two-room schools left at all?
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