of grievances, either real or imaginary. Not a single case has ever been brought
before the County Board of Education for adjustment, but practically all have
been settled to the satisfaction of the parents and teacher.
8. No suggestion.
9 and 10. These questions cannot be answered separately by me. Approxi-
n?ately one-half to two-thirds of my time last year was given to this work. I
spent a part of the day in the office â€” the rest of the day, generally until late in
the evening, I spent in the field,
Miss Ruth Jones was appointed Assistant Attendance Officer last September
and assigned to the work at Highlandtown. Miss Jones reports 400 recorded
cases, 1200 visits, and about 167 letters. She also accomplished a great deal in
this comunity in the way of social work.
I personally held, approximately, 1100 interviews, made over 900 visits to
parents â€” not including my numerous visits to the schools â€” and sent out about
J. T. HERSHNER,
Chief Attendance Officer, Baltimore County ^
1. Owing to inadequate reports of teachers, I cannot answer Questions 1
and 2 until after I see their school registers.
3. No arrests were made.
4. We have had no such cases.
5. Copy of attendance law was given each parent and personal interviews
with parents were held.
6. Unwillingness to comply with the attendance law.
7. Have visited the schools and homes of many of the parents, and secured
the co-operation of most of them.
8. No suggestions.
9. Forty full days in the field.
10. Work did not require any full day in the office ; was in the office part
of a great many days.
11. Thirty visits to families during the year.
W. H. TALBOTT,
Attendance Officer, Calvert County.
50 AxNUAL Report of the State Board of Education
1. Impossible to answer, as the teachers have the data. In most cases the
children came in through the teacher's message, without a visit from the Attend-
12yrs. 13yrs. 14yrs. 15 yrs. 16yrs. 17 yrs.
2. Attending 100 days 225 233 190 113 72 43
Less than 100 days 96 88 72 61 44 6
Attending 100 days 67 45 48 22 12 6
Less than 100 days 49 48 42 29 18 3
3. No arrests,
4. In many homes where children were out on account of poverty, clothes
have been furnished. Children's eyes have been examined and glasses provided.
5. Regular school attendance has been discussed at many of our Patrons'
meetings. In every case where homes were visited, the Attendance Officer made
a point of explaining the law and the necessity of regular atendance. In most
cases it was favorably received after being understood.
6. My chief difficulty this year has been our bad roads, in cases where
children live some distance from school (as in many cases they do). Another
difficulty has been the unusual amount of sickness and poverty.
7. In my work this year, as you will see above, I have made no arrests. 1
may have been too lenient, but I have felt that the people must be educated
up to the law and I have tried to make them want to send their children rather
than force them to do so. Another year it may be necessary to make arrests,
as in some cases that is the only way. These, however, are few, and in the
great majority of cases I have found that after talking with the parents they
waiit their children to have the advantage of our schools, but that circumstances
have prevented regular attendance. These circumstances have generally been
sickness or poverty.
8. I would not suggest at present any amendment to the School Law.
9. I have been about 148 days doing attendance work, in conjunction with
10. Have spent about 55 days in the office.
11. About 400 visits to families and 150 persons in terviewed in the office.
HELEN B. WISONG,
Attendance Officer, Caroline County.
1. I do not know of any.
12 yrs. 13 yrs. 14 yrs. 15 yrs. 16 yrs. 17 yrs.
2. Attending 100 days 590 416 360 301 156 120
Less than 100 days 7 30 75 103 130 70
3. Number of arrests, 44; number brought to trial, 3; number of convic-
tions, 1; approximate total of fines and costs, $81.60; approximate total fines and
costs suspended, $25.50.
4. Their wants were supplied by the County Board of Education.
5. Organizing Parent Teachers' Associations.
Annual Report of the State Boai^d of Education 51
6. Opposition to the present School Attendance Law.
8. By reducing the age limit of the present law.
9. Number of full days in the field, 90.
10. Number of days spent in offce, SO.
11. Number of visits to families, about 150; number of persons interviewed
on acount of absent children, 200.
A. J. BEMILLER,
Attendance Officer, Carroll County.
I wish to add a statement to the foregoing report. I believe that Carroll
County offers some radically different social, as well as educational, problems
from those of almost any other county in the State. We have a rich, com-
fortable, self-satisfied population of agricultural people. They made their money
off their farms on which they are now living, or they have moved to town and
placed their children on the farms. They managed to secure this without much
education, and they do not see the necessity for very much education. In view
of their attitude and their economic progress and satisfaction, they resent any
interference from educational authorities. We have no large towns perme-
ated with an industrial or cultured class of people whose influence offsets the
aforementioned attitude toward public affairs.
I believe that our people largely are convinced that an elementary educa-
tion is a great necessity and a great benefit, but they fail to appreciate that
constant attendance at school is what brings results. We have a very large
proportion of children, especially country children, who are behind their grade.
You know the result of such a situation. The time comes when these children
are ashamed to go to school or become large enough to help on the farm, and,
in consequence, they are detained from school more and more.
Now the new com.pulsory law, in my judgment, was very badly outlined
in view of this circumstance, for its application in a very thorough manner
would require these over-age children to go to school until they are seventeen
years old. Many of them are only in the third and fourth grades, and of course
resent the whole matter seriously. In my judgment, it would have been much
better if the law had been a graduated law â€” say for the past year all children
up to the age of thirteen would have to attend school, and next year all children
up to the age of fourteen would have to attend school, and the following year
all those up to fifteen, and the next year those up to sixteen. I am inclined
to think that more option should be given to children in the sixteenth year in
some form or other.
In reference to the enclosed report, I believe that we have executed the
attendance features of the law in a conservative manner. A radical application
would have caused a great deal of difficulty. I do not believe that there will
be very much opposition to the application of the law next fall, as quite a good
many of those over-age and under-grade pupils will have gotten out from the
meshes of the law, which will certainly relieve the tension.
MAURICE S. H. UNGER,
County Superintendent, Carroll County.
52 Annual Report of the State Board of Education
1. Practically all the children in this county, ten years of age and over, have
attended school at some time. The great trouble here has been in irregular
attendance and withdravi^al from school at an early age. I know of but six above
ten years of age who were brought into school this year_ for the first time.
Two 12 years ; one 14 years ; three 16 years.
12yrs. 13 yrs. 14yrs. IS yrs. 16yrs. 17yrs.
2. Attending 100 days 264 276 138 48 32 , 48
Less than 100 days 130 203 118 50 65 ' 32
3. No arrests were made.
4. About 400 garments, including shoes and rubbers, have been distributed
throughout the county by the three branches of the Needlework Guild of America.
These societies have responded liberally in every case of poverty reported to me.
The Board of Health has also been helpful in the unsanitary cases. I have had no
cases of poor health among the very poor children.
5. In cases where children were irregular in attendance, I visited the parents
and talked with them, and in nearly every case found them reasonable in their
views, and apparently anxious to have their children educated.
6. Poverty is the chief difificulty which I have met this year ; the scarcity
of labor has also made it necessary to keep children out of school to help at home.
The long distance that a great many of the country children have to walk in order
to attend school is an important factor in the irregular attendance in this county.
7. My work this year has consisted of visiting the parents, talking with them,
and trying to get them to see the necessity of having their children educated. A
great many people who had felt the law to be unjust before talking to me, could
see the good to be accomplished after having the law explained to them. With
the foundation that has been laid this year, I see no reason why the attendance
should not keep on increasing each year.
8. I think the age limit of seventeen years is a little high. A child who has
attended school regularly up to thirteen years of age, and then attends 100 days
for two more years, and has not completed the seventh grade, will, in all proba-
bility, never complete it. It seems to me that a child of this kind would be better
to have regular employment.
9. About seventy-six full days in the field.
10. All the remainder of the school year, including Saturdays, and two
weeks after school closed were spent in the office.
11. About 400 visits to parents and guardians. I have also interviewed a
great many people at the office and by telephone, and have written many letters
in explanation of different points of the law.
LIDIE D. REYNOLDS,
Attendance Officer, Cecil County.
I have spent much time in appealing to our people throughout the county to
endeavor to understand the importance, intent, and true purpose of the law, and
while we have met, here and there, slight opposition, I think it is possible to
crystallize public sentiment in its favor and accomplish more another year.
We have consistently appealed to the pupils in the various schools and the
patrons out of the school to make every effort to live up to the law as far as
Annual Report of the State Board of Education 53
I have interviewed ministers of the Gospel of all denominations, and numbers
of our representative people not directly connected with our schools, soliciting
their active and moral support, feeling that in the initial step, it was not expedient
to enforce the law to such an extent as to make it reactionary. Our teachers,
with very few exceptions, have given us full co-operation. It is very evident that
they have long since realized that poor attendance upon school, owing in many
cases to indifferent parents, has been a potent factor in warping their work.
The use of printed attendance cards has helped, in a measure, to stimulate
In a limited way, we have secured assistance for a few children out of school
on account of poverty. In three families only, have we found absolute need for
financial aid. Clothing and lunch were furnished these by benevolent school
Number days active field work 108
Number days active ofHce work 42
Attendance upon Teachers' Meetings 8
Number visits to indifferent parents 65
Number visits to representative people in behalf of school conditions 20
Number arrests made â€¢ â€¢ 1
(This pupil was paroled.)
Approximate number of children over ten years brought into school this
year for the first time :
12 yrs. 13 yrs. 14 yrs. IS yrs. 16 yrs. 17 yrs.
Attending 100 days 140 120 96 55 17 6
Less than 100 days 9 8 8 12 2 2
Relative to the chief difficulty which we have met in our efforts to make the
law a success much might be said. Many of our patrons reside in districts where
the public highways during the winter school term are well-nigh impassable;
especially was this true during the past winter. This, perhaps, militated against
the success of the law as did no other single factor. As previously stated, we
are looking for better results another year.
As to an amendment to the law, it does not appear at present under our
local conditions that an amendment w-ould improve conditions. I cannot agree
with the minority who argue that the law interferes with labor conditions. Where
is the father or mother of a boy who has reached his thirteenth year, who is not
willing to school him one hundred days, especially when we do not ask him to
begin until the first of November?
W. B. BILLINGSLEY,
Attendance Officer, Charles County.
1. I do not know of any. Under threat of arrest, several children of eight
years were vaccinated and sent to school for the first time.
12 yrs. 13 yrs. 14 yrs. 15 yrs. 16 yrs. 17 yrs.
2. Attending 100 days 367 344 223 178 128 68
Less than 100 days 70 94 112 116 68 66
3. The only arrests made by me were brought before Police Justice James,
Cambridge. In all. three arrests were made.
54 Annuai. Report of the State Board of Education
4. Co-operating with the District Nurse Association and Associated Chari-
ties, I am sure that over fifty children were given shoes and clothes, thus helping
them to make better attendance. Conditions here were very bad last winter on
account of the river being closed by ice and the oyster business shut down for
many_ weeks. People were thrown out of work, and many families were helped
who had never before called on the charity organizations. I was not able to do
anything along this line for children in the country, though I found many cases
just as needy.
One tubercular mother was sent to the hospital, and the girl who was stayin.^
home to wait on her was gotten back to school.
â€¢ 5. Parents were visited in their homes, and I made public addresses .'U
School Improvement Associations at Cambridge, Eldorado, Madison and llic
Women's Club of Cambridge.
6. The employment of child labor, legally and illegally.
7. The first week in September, I visited and talked in every school in Cam
bridge, took names of pupils who had made a poor record last year and had not
yet enrolled. These were visited at once and gotten in school. I spent a great
deal of time in East Cambridge, where either parents or children were working/
in the canning-houses. I soon began getting returns from country schools â€” lists
of children- who had not enrolled. Letters were written to all parents of children
under 13 years of age, with copies of the law enclosed, explaining that older chil-
dren working on farms or in canning-houses on vacation permits, coulf^ remahi
at work until November 1st when they must enter school. Almost daily visits
were made to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, restoring permits to older boys
who had been wrongfully deprived of them before November 1st. Many of these
boys had been working a year or more, and had no intention of returning to
school. Later the State Superintendent of Schools made a ruling that these
pupils could not be forced back to school ; but in the meantime our Board had
provided them with a night school which has filled a great need.
8. I think the standard of grades should be the same for Baltimore City and
the counties. If a child is required to make only 100 days after he is 13 years
of age, he might hope to make the fifth grade before he stops altogether, but
hardly the seventh. Of course a child who attends school regularly until he is
13 should be somewhere near the seventh grade; but the country child can not,
ia the nature of things, attend as regularly as the city child, and very few of them
are beyond the fourth or fifth grade at 14 years of age. I wish the law were
more stringent in regard to the feeble-minded.
9. I was in the country forty-three days. I visited all the schools in the
county, both white and colored, but Elliott's Island, Holland's Island and three
others. I visited 175 families in the country, and crab houses, fish houses, oyster
houses, and shirt factories, looking for children working there, or to talk with
the parents. I paid 417 visits to families in Cambridge, and my work took me to
every industry in the town. My work in town was done entirely by walking
(the machine was used only in the country), and Cambridge covers a good deal
of ground. I always tried to spend some time in the afternoons in the office,
writing letters, etc.
10. I did not spend many full days in the office but, when in town, tried to
divide the work between office and visiting as stated in No. 9.
11. Answered by Nos. 9 and 10. M. JEANIE BRYAN,
Attendance Officer, Dorchester County.
RURAL SCHOOL TOILETS THAT ARE HARDLY "WITHIN THE
LAW." A TYPE THAT IS PASSING. Photogi-aphed October, 1917.
Annual Report of the State Board of Education 55
1. By enforcing school attendance during the years ending July 31, 1915,
and July 31, 1916, nearly all children of school age were enrolled. I know of no
pupils over ten years of age who were brought into school the past year for the
first time. There may have been a few colored children. For this reason, given
above, the increase in attendance the past year over the preceding two years has
not been great.
2. The accompanying lists give the number of children of each age beginning
wdth twelve years who made one hundred days' attendance, and also the number
who made less than one hundred days' attendance.
12yrs. 13 yrs. 14yrs. 15 yrs. 16yrs. i7yrs.
Attending 100 days 736 675 515 371 219 151
Less than 100 days 170 172 186 154 112 43
Attending 100 days 59 50 32 13 8 2
Less than 100 days IS 40 47 44 25 7
3. Knowing that arbitrary enforcement of law does not solve any problem,
only a few arrests were made. For two years the Annandale School had been
closed and the children transported to Emmitsburg. Last year the patrons asked
to have their school re-opened and refused to send their children to Emmitsburg.
The Board ordered three of the principal offenders to be arrested ; but upon re-
consideration, the school re-opened and the cases dropped. The fourth man
arrested was fined five dollars and costs, tut took an appeal, and the case never
came before the court. The fifth person was fined five dollars and costs. This
person w^ould neither pay the fine nor take an appeal. Not wishing to see the
man go to jail because he had a very sick child at home, the Attendance Officer
paid the fine and took the man^ome to his sick child. In the case of the sixth,
judgment w^as suspended upon the person's promising to comply with the Itw.
4. Children out of school on account of poverty, poor health, or unsanitary
conditions at home have been reported to the proper authorities. We have a
number of charitable organizations whose members are always willing and
ready to help those who help themselves. The Attendance Officer has been
aided a great deal in his work by Miss Garner, the Visiting Nurse, and by Miss
Munn, who represents the Children's Aid Society in Frederick County. Both of
these ladies are very capable, and we find that by co-operating, the work of each
is made more efficient.
5. Different methods have been used to educate parents to the need of
regular school attendance. The teachers are urged to visit the homes as often as
possible in order that they may fully understand the conditions existing in the
home, and the child's environment. These visits of the teacher are supplemented
by visits from the Attendance Officer. We try to make the parents feel that we
are their friends and that we are doing our best to assist them. Parents are
cordially invited to attend community meetings, which, last year, were held at
schoolhouses in different parts of the county.
6. One difficulty which I met in my w^ork, was to get large boys and girls
who were much too old for their grade to enroll. These pupils are not deficient,
but are retarded because they never had opportunities. Some of these children
56 Annual Report of the State Board of Education
broke off their school relations a year or two ago; and to persuade them to
return and join classes composed of children much younger than themselves is a
trying problem. Another problem which I was not able to solve was to have
certain farmers' boys attend school at certain times. These farmers argue the
question, not from the view-point of cheap labor, for they would cheerfully hire
help if they could, but from the point of absolute lack of labor.
7. One special feature of my work was to require all teachers to send in
monthly reports of all unexcused absences and to note fully the efforts they had
made to secure more regular attendance. After securing these reports, the
slackers would receive first aid.
8. By persevering in a campaign of education, and by a more tactful enforce-
ment of the law in the more flagrant cases, we believe the present Compulsory
School Attendance Law will meet the approbation of school officials, teachers,
patrons and pupils.
9. I have been doing attendance work in the field about one hundred and
forty full days.
10. I have done about forty full days of office work.
11. I have no record of the number of visits to families and the number of
persons interviewed. I visited one hundred and thirty-two schools, a number of
tliem several times, and, I suppose, an average of two or three families in each
; F. D. HARSHMAN,
Attendance Officer, Frederick County.
1. The approximate number of children of each age beginning with ten
years who were in school this year for the first .time was : Age ten, 15 children ;
age eleven, 12 children ; age twelve, 10 children ; age thirteen, 6 children ; age
fourteen, 4 children ; age fifteen, 3 children ; age sixteen, 2 children. Total, 52.
12yrs. 13 yrs. 14 yrs. ISyrs. 16yrs. 17yrs.
2. Attending 100 days 276 228 172 79 41 16
Less thah 100 days 135 180 201 158 129 44
3. Eight arrests; eight brought to trial; seven convictions; one boy sent to
Maryland School for Boys. Total of fines and costs, $32.28. No costs or fines
4. I have enlisted the help of the community where they live, and of the
County Commissioners ; and have also tried to have their church help them,
when they belong to church. I have helped about forty families in this way.
5. Nothing more than that I have talked to the parents of children that
were lax in attendance and tried to show them the value of education and the
importance of sending their children regularly to school.
6. The chief difficulties that I have met in my work have been bad weather,
children having unusual distances to come to school, and some parents keeping
their children from school to work.
7. I really have no special feature in my work that I have followed out.
In the fall I visited as many of the schools as possible, distributing copies of the
Compulsory School Law to every child in the school, leaving extra copies and
Annual Report of the State Board of Education 57
instructing the teacher to see that every child in the community of school age
got a copy of the law and that they take it home and have their parents read it
and make themselves thoroughly familiar with it. On my second visit to the
school I checked up the attendance; and I tried to visit the homes and talk the
matter over with the parents of the children that were absent or lax in attendance.
8. The School Attendance Law as it now stands is entirely satisfactory to
9. Field work, about 125 full days.
10. Office work, about 112 full days.
11. About n visits to families, and about 240 persons interviewed on account
of absent children.
B. H. WILEY,
Attendance Officer, Garrett County.
1. I do not know how many children of ten years or more were brought
into our schools for the first time. Possibly forty white children and more than
that number of colored children. I cannot classify them into age groups, because
no records were kept either by the teachers or myself.
12yrs. 13 yrs. 14 yrs. 15 yrs. 16yrs. 17yrs.
2. Attending 100 days 419 412 324 215 119 51
Less tran 100 days 110 113 115 88 49 18
3. Six arrests were made. Three trials with convictions ; two cases con-
fessed guilt and were paroled. One case of truancy brought before the Juvenile