Printed in the DECATUR REPUBLICAN, Thursday, 12 Sep 1867


Of the Decatur Public Schools

Adopted by THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, Sept. 5, 1867


Sec. 1. No public school building or premises shall be rented or permitted to be used or occupied for any other purpose whatever than for public school.

Sec. 2. The houses shall be kept locked during the absence of the teachers, and no person except those who have charge of said house shall have permission to remain in or enter them during such absence; provided, that for good cause, the Superintendent may suspend the last clause of this rule.

Sec. 3. The hours of tuition shall be from nine oclock, A.M., to 12 P.M., with fifteen minutes recess; and from half past one oclock P.M., to half past four, P.M., with fifteen minutes recess. The Primary Departments may be dismissed at 4 oclock, P.M.

Sec. 4. New classes shall only be formed in the lowest grade of the Primary departments at the commencement of each term.

Sec. 5. The books used and the studies pursued shall be such, and such only, as may be authorized by the Board; and no teacher shall require or advise any of the pupils to purchase, for use in the schools, any book, pamphlet, or publication, not contained in the list of books directed and authorized to be used in the schools.

Sec. 6. All applications by teachers or others to the Superintendent, on school matters, shall be made, as far as practicable, between the hours of 4 and 5 oclock P.M., on school days and from nine to half past 11, A.M., on Saturdays, at the office of the Board of Education.


Sec. 7. The Superintendent of Public Schools shall visit all the schools as often as his duties will permit; and shall pay particular attention to the classification of the pupils in the several schools, and to the apportionment among the classes of the prescribed studies. In passing from school to school, he shall endeavor to transfer improvements, and to remedy defects.

Sec. 8. He shall have authority to call meetings for the purpose of conferring with the teachers in respect to the best methods of discipline and instruction. He shall have the privilege of calling together, at those meetings, such classes of the schools as he may with to employ in illustrating the principles presented.

Sec. 9. He shall carefully observe the teaching and discipline of all the teachers employed in the public schools, and shall report to the Board of Education whenever he shall find any teacher deficient or incompetent in the discharge of his or her duties.

Sec. 10. He shall devise and report to the Board, a system of blanks for Registers and Reports; have charge of their distribution to teachers, and return by them; and prescribe to teachers rules for keeping the same. These blanks shall be specially adapted to each pupil in the schools, the number of those who are constant and uniform in attendance, and of those who are not, together with the degree of irregularity.

Sec. 11. He shall acquaint himself with whatever facts and principles may concern the interests of popular education, and with all matters in any way pertaining to the organization, discipline and instruction of Public Schools, to the end that all the children of this city, who are instructed in the Public Schools may obtain the best education which these schools can impart.

Sec. 12. He shall be ex-officio Clerk of the Board of Education. He shall file and preserve all records, vouchers and papers pertaining to the transactions of the Board, and at the expiration of his term of office deliver them to his successor, or to the President of the Board.

Sec. 13. He shall devote himself exclusively to the duties of his office. He shall keep regular office hours, other than school hours, at a place provided for that purpose, which shall be the general depository of the books and papers belonging to the Board. He shall keep the Board constantly advised of the changes required in the same; he shall prepare a general report of the condition of the public schools at the close of each school year for publication. He shall, moreover, report to the Board of Education, from time to time, such bylaws and regulations for the government, discipline and management of the public schools as he may deem expedient, and the same may be adopted by the Board; and he shall also perform such other duties as the Board may, from time to time, direct.

Sec. 14. All directions or requirements of scholars or teachers, by the Board, shall be communicated through the Superintendent.


Sec. 15. It shall be the duty of all teachers to make themselves acquainted with the rules prescribed by the Board, and observe and enforce the same, so far as they relate to their several departments. A faithful compliance will all the rules relating to teachers, shall be one of the conditions on which the teachers retain their connection with the Public Schools.

Sec. 16. All teachers in the Public Schools are required to be at their respective school rooms from the first of November to the first of April, thirty minutes before the time prescribed for commencing school in the morning, and fifteen minutes before in the afternoon, during the remainder of the school year they shall be present twenty minutes before the time prescribed in the morning, and fifteen minutes before in the afternoon. The school room shall be opened at this time for the reception of pupils. Teachers who are not present at their respective school rooms at the time required, shall report themselves at tardy.

Sec. 17. Each teacher shall prepare a programme of Daily Exercise, and shall furnish a neat copy to the Superintendent within two weeks after the schools commence, and shall give him notice of any change made therein during the year.

Sec. 18. Each teacher is required to have a copy of the Regulations in his or her school room, and to read to the scholars, at least once in each term, so much of the same as will give them a just understanding of the rules which apply to them, and by which they are governed.

Sec. 19. It shall be a duty of the first importance on the part of teachers, to exercise constant supervision and care over the general conduct of their scholars, and on all suitable occasions to inculcate the observance of correct manners, habits and principles, not only on the school premises, but also in going to and returning from school.

Sec. 20. All teachers shall punctually observe the hours appointed for opening and dismissing the schools; and during the time from the opening of the school rooms to the departing of the children from the school premises, the teachers shall faithfully devote themselves to the duties of their office.

Sec. 21. The morning exercise of each department of the several schools shall commence with reading the Scripture, without note or comment, and this exercise may be followed by repeating the Lords Prayer, and appropriate singing.

Sec. 22. It is particularly enjoined upon all teachers to regard the moral and social culture of their pupils as not less important than their mental disciplines. They must not tolerate in them any falsehood, profanity, cruelty, or any other forms of vice. By example and precept they shall endeavor to form them to habits of social refinement, forbidding the use of indelicate, coarse and ungrammatical language, and the practice of careless and unbecoming attitudes.

Sec. 23. No subscription or contribution shall be allowed in the public schools, nor shall any teacher accept a present from the pupils in the public schools.

Sec. 24. No teacher shall read or allow to be read, any advertisement, or allow any advertisement to be distributed in school or upon the school premises. No agent shall be allowed to announce any public entertainment; nor is any one to take up the time of the school by lectures of any kind, without the special vote of the Board.

Sec. 25. No teacher shall send any pupils during school hours, upon errands not pertaining to the business affairs of the school.

Sec. 26. It shall be the duty of the teachers to keep their rooms well ventilated the windows should always be lowered from the top, and particular care should be taken that the pupils are not required to sit in drafts of cold air. The rooms in winter should never be heated above 67 degrees, Fah.

Sec. 27. The teachers may be allowed one half day each term for the purpose of visiting other public schools, and observing the different modes of instruction and discipline; provided, that any tardiness in arrival shall be reported, and the entire half day devoted to the proper object for which such visits are allowed.

Sec. 28. It shall be the duty of each Principal to see that all the clocks belonging to the school are regulated by the city time every morning; and all the teachers shall conform to this standard in making their record of attendance both for themselves and their pupils.

Sec. 29. The Principals shall be held responsible for the general management and discipline of the schools; and the other teachers shall follow their directions and co-operate with them, not only during the school hours, but during the time when the pupils are on the school premises before and after school, and during the recesses. Each assistant shall be held responsible for the order and discipline of her own room, under the general direction of the Principal.

Sec. 30. The Principals of the different schools shall establish special rules for the purpose of securing uniform good order on the part of the scholars in passing through the halls and stairways, at the commencement of the school, at recess, and at dismissal. It shall be the duty of the other teachers to co-operate fully in securing this object.

Sec. 31. The Principals shall prescribe such regulations as shall ensure the good condition, neatness and cleanliness of the yards, basements and out-buildings.

Sec. 32. The Principal shall examine the class books and registers, at least once a month, giving such directions as will insure their being kept in a proper manner. All records, except class-books, must be made in ink. All the class books and other record books when filled up, and at the close of each school year, are to be returned to the Board of Education.

Sec. 33. The Principal shall furnish to the Superintendent the monthly reports required of himself and the several teachers assisting him. These reports should be in the hands of the Superintendent on or before the Monday evening next following the last day of the month covered by the report. He shall also furnish, or cause to be furnished, a report of the attendance, scholarship and behavior of each pupil in the Grammar and intermediate Departments, to the parents of the same. This monthly report, on being signed by the parent, shall be returned to the Principal.

Sec. 34. It shall be the duty of all teachers employed in the public schools, to attend a Teachers Meeting, to be held on the second Saturday of each month, at the High School room, or such other place as the Superintendent may direct. This meeting shall be opened at 9 oclock, and continue until 12 oclock, M., with a recess of fifteen minutes. Any teacher failing to attend, except in case of sickness, shall forfeit a half days salary.

Sec. 35. The teachers shall practice such discipline in the schools as would be exercised by a kind, firm, judicious parent in his family, and they shall avoid corporal punishment when good order can be preserved by milder measures. It is strictly enjoined upon all teachers to avoid all appearance of indecent haste, and passionate, or harsh expressions in the discipline of their pupils; and in the more difficult cases that may occur, to apply to the Superintendent for advice and direction. In inflicting corporal punishment no other instrument than a common rod, or switch, shall be employed. All cases of corporal punishment shall be reported to the Superintendent at the end of each month.

Sec. 36. All teachers, when absent from school, except for sickness, shall forfeit their salary during the continuance of such absence. The pay of substitutes shall be at the rate of one dollar and fifty cents per day. No compensation shall be allowed to any teacher after an absence of one week.


Sec. 37. All children between the ages of six and twenty-one years, who are bona fide residents of the School District, have a right to the privileges of the public schools; but no child whose residence is not in the district, or who has only a temporary residence in it for the purpose of attending the public school, shall be received in any school. In case of doubt as to the age of any applicant, the teacher may require a written certificate from the parent or guardian, to be laid before the Superintendent.

Sec. 38. Each applicant must present to the teacher a certificate of admission from the Superintendent. This certificate must be obtained by the parent or guardian.

Sec. 39. No pupil shall be allowed to retain connection with any school unless furnished with books, slate and other articles to be used in the class to which he belongs; provided, that no pupil shall be excluded for such cause unless the parent or guardian shall be furnished by a teacher with a list of books or articles needed, and one week shall elapse after such notice, without the pupil obtains said books. Provided further, that no teacher shall suspend a pupil for the cause stated in this section without first consulting with the Superintendent.

Sec. 40. For violent or pointed opposition to authority, in any particular instance, a teacher may suspend a pupil in the Intermediate, Grammar or High School Departments, from School, for the time being; thereupon he shall immediately inform the parent of guardian, of the measure, and apply to the Superintendent for advice and direction.

Sec. 41. Every pupil shall pay for all damages he or she may do to the property of other pupils; and any pupil who shall in any way cut, or otherwise injure any part of any public school house, or injure and fences, trees or out-buildings belonging to any of the public school estates, or property rented for such purpose, or shall write any profane or obscene language, or make any obscene pictures or characters on any public school premises or rented property, shall pay for the same, and shall be liable to suspension, expulsion or other punishment, according to the nature of the offence.

Sec. 42. Whenever the Principal of any school shall report to the Superintendent the name of a pupil whose conduct is considered such, in school or out, that he is an unfit member of the school, the Superintendent shall examine the case without delay, and if in his opinion the pupil has been duly admonished, and reformation appears to be hopeless, he shall suspend such pupil from school, temporarily, and shall report the case to the Board at their next meeting.

Sec. 43. Whenever a parent wishes to have his child leave school before its close, for the purpose of attending to any music, writing or drawing lessons, he shall apply to the Superintendent, who may grant such permission, provided it will not interfere with the pupils regular course of instruction in school.

Sec. 44. The bell of each school shall be rung three minutes before the hour for commencing school, and every pupil who is not in the school room when the hour arrives, shall be marked tardy.

Sec. 45. Every scholar who shall be absent four half days in three consecutive weeks, without an excuse from the parent or guardian, given either in person or by written note, satisfying the teacher that the absences were caused by his own sickness or by sickness in the family, shall forfeit his seat in the school; and the teacher shall forthwith notify the parent and the Superintendent that the pupil is suspended. No pupil thus suspended, unless for sickness, shall be restored to school till the parent or guardian has given satisfactory assurance that the pupil will be punctual in the future, and obtained permission from the Superintendent for him to return. Parents should, in all cases, be notified by written or printed note, of the absence of their children; the first two may be sent by the pupil, but the third, when practicable, shall be served by the teacher personally. In the application of the foregoing rule two tardinesses or two dismissals, or leaving school without permission, shall be regarded the same as one absence.

Sec. 46. Any pupil who shall absent himself from any regular examination, or special exercise of the school which he attends, without rendering a satisfactory excuse to the teacher, shall be suspended from the school; and the teacher shall immediately report the case to the parent of the pupil, and also to the Superintendent, for his action thereon.

Sec. 47. The promotion of pupils from one grade or class to another, shall be made at such time as the interests of the schools may require. No pupil shall be promoted from one grade or class to another, till he is able to sustain an examination satisfactory to the Superintendent in all the studies of the grade from which he is to be transferred.

Sec. 48. Any scholar carrying fire-arms, or other deadly weapons, shall be suspended and reported to the Board.

Sec. 49. Any child coming to school without proper attention being given to cleanliness, or whose clothes need repairing, shall be sent home to be properly prepared for school.

Sec. 50. No teacher or pupil shall use tobacco in any form about the school buildings.

Sec. 51. No pupil shall be admitted or continued in the public schools, known to be affected with a contagious or infectious disease, or coming from a family where any such disease prevails.

Sec. 52. No pupil shall be received in any public school without furnishing evidence satisfactory to the principal, that he or she has been vaccinated or otherwise secured against the small pox.

Sec. 53. No pupil shall leave one school to attend another without the written consent of the Superintendent, which will only be granted upon a certificate of the teacher.

Sec. 54. No pupil shall leave school before the hour of closing without permission of the teacher.


1 There shall be a public examination of all the scholars at such time as the Board may direct.

2 At the close of each school year there shall be an examination of all candidates for admission into the High School, which shall be conducted in writing by the Superintendent, who may call to his assistance any or all of the teachers in said school; and at the close of the examination it shall be the duty of the Superintendent to report a list of the successful candidates to the Board. If the Board shall deem it necessary a second examination may be held just before the commencement of the school in September.

3 At the close of the month the first class in the Grammar Department of each school, and the classes in the High School shall be examined by the Principal with written questions to be prepared by the Superintendent, and the results in tabular form, of such examination papers shall be reported to the Board for their inspection.


1 No pupil shall be admitted to the High School who is not twelve years of age and who has not passed a satisfactory examination in reading, spelling, penmanship, geography, grammar, arithmetic and the history of the United States.

2 All pupils admitted shall be on probation the first term, and if at the end of that term they do not hold a fair position in the classes, they shall be withdrawn from the school. If at the time of making the monthly report to parents a pupil is found to have a scholarship average of less than 65 he or she shall be dropped into a lower class.

3 A pupil having been absent two times within a month without presenting sufficient excuse, shall, on the morning of the third absence, be suspended, and shall be re-admitted by a permit from the Board.


I. Whenever a teacher has satisfactory evidence that a pupil has left school without the intention of returning, such pupils name shall be forthwith be struck from the roll; but any absences recorded against the name of the pupil before the teacher receives this notice shall be allowed to remain, and in making up the attendance averages such absences shall be regarded the same as other absences.

II. When a pupil is suspended from school by any of the rules of the Board of Education whether for absence or for any other cause, his name shall be stricken from the roll.

III. When a pupil is absent from school more than five consecutive school days, for sickness or for any other cause, his name shall be stricken from the roll at the end of the five days, and the absence shall in all cases be recorded while the name remains in the roll; but this rule shall no operate to prevent the suspension of a pupil, under rule second, for a less number of absences, in which case his name will, of course, be dropped from the roll.

IV. For the purpose contemplated in the foregoing rules, any pupil shall be considered as absent where attendance at school shall not continue for at least one half day of the regular school session of the half day.

V. In noting the absences of pupils the short vacations of winter and spring shall be disregarded, and pupils who are not present on the first half day after either of these vacations shall be marked as absent the same as if Saturday and Sunday were the only intervening.

Top of Page


This Page Was Last Updated  Sunday, 21-Jan-2018 11:33:29 EST

Copyright 2011 by Cheryl Rothwell for ILGenWeb

All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of individuals engaged in researching their personal genealogy. Any commercial use or any use for which money is asked or paid for any reason is strictly prohibited.