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SCHOOL BOARD. THE monthly meeting of the Board was held on Tuesday. Mr. Thomas Roberts, vice chairman, presided, in the absence of the chairman, Mr. .J. Harrison Jones, who was ill. The other members present were, Rev. H. Humphreys, Hev. Benjamin Williams, Messrs Edward Mills, and Wm. Keepfer, with the clerk, Mr. R. H. Roberts. THE USE OF COAL IN THE SCHOOLS. The Clerk presented a number of bills for payment, including those for coal supplied to the schools for heating purposes. Mr. Th jrnas Roberts I find that the bill for coal supplied to Love Lane school amounts to £ 2 14s. 2d. It seems to me to be a very heavy item indeed. Mr. Humphreys For what time ? Mr. Thomas Roberts From October 14th to December 16th. That is practically two months and I think the amount of coal con- sumed is out of all proportion to the time. I don't think we ought; to supply the caretaker of Love Lane school with coal. It is to be Used for heating the schools. Mr. Keepfer; He is allowed coal for hIS own use. Mr. Thomas Roberts Certainly not. Mr. Keepfer But I think that is the case. The Clerk No he his not entitled to coal, sir. Mr. Thomas Roberts: There is no earthly sense in paying £2 14s. 2d. for coal for two months. As representatives of the ratepayers, We are not supposed to supply the Love Lane caretaker with coal, and I certainly protest against it. The Clerk Do you instruct me to write in the matter ? Mr. Thomas Roberts Something should be done, because there is no sense in it. It is not a part or parcel of our agreement with the caretaker to supply him with coal. Mr. Humphreys Does the caretaker use the coal for his own purpose ? Are we certain of that ? The Chairman It seems to me that he does. Mr. Mills But does he use it ? That is the question ? Mr. Thomas Roberts I do not say that he does, but to me it looks very much like it. Mr. Humphreys said that economical grates had been fixed up at Henllan, and that the quantity of coal used there was net very large. In reply to a question, the clerk said that the quantity consumed at Henllan was only about two and half hundredweights per school per week, which the board considered very reason- able. Mr. Thomas Roberts Yes, when we consider that they hn,ve three fires there. Mr. Williams How many fires are there in Love Lane ? Mr. Thomas Roberts: Only one fire to heat the apparatus. There are nolfires kept in the schools. Can you Mr. Clerk, after the busi- ness of the Board, refer to the terms of Mr. Hichard Roberts' engagement, and to his agree- ment ? Mr. Keepfer is evidently under an im- pression that we are to supply the caretaker with coal for his own use. The Clerk Oh, no sir we are not to do that. Mr. Thomas Roberts I do not say that he does use it himself. I only say that it looks very much like it in the face of this bill. No resolution was proposed, and the subject then dropped. APOLOGY. A letter of apology for non-attendance was read from the llev. H. 0. Hughes, Henllan, in which he also thanked the Board for their kind expression of sympathy with him during his recent illness SCHOOL ATTENDANCE. ANOTHER COMPLAINT. Mr. Pierce, headmaster of the National Schools, wrote, calling the attention of the Board to the very irregular attendance of the scholars at the schools since last November, but especially so since the beginning of the year. The attendance for the last six weeks had barely reached 74 per cent. The irregular at- tendance could not be caused by illness, as the children were present in the morning and ab- sent in the afternoon, and vice versa. He sup- plied the Attendance Officer with lists week after week, but this did not cause any improv- ment. Mr. Keepfer said that at the last meeting, they had almost come to the conclusion that Unsatisfactory attendance at the schools was the result of the prevalence of illness In the town. If illness stopped the children from going to the other schools, it must also stop them from attending the National Schools. Mr. Humphreys thought that an average at- tendance of 74 per cent was on the whole satis- factory. The Clerk having given the average attend- ance at the other schools, Mr. Thomas Roberts said he should ask the (lerk a question. As the examination of the schools was so close at hand, lie should like to know upon whose authority the schools of the town under the board were closed on the pre- vious Thursday afternoon, and why? The Clerk s iid he could not answer the ques- tion. A message came to him stating that the Schools would be empty on that afternoon because of a funeral, and asking would he sanc- tion the closing of the schools. He wrote back stating that he could not sanction such a, thing, a.nd that whatever was done by the teachers, would be done on their own responsibility. Mr. Thomas Roberts Then I wish to enter tny most solemn and emphatic protest against such a thing. I do not think it is right, and Miss Parry Williams and Miss Davies ought to be brought to book for it. The Clerk Were the Boys' school closed? Mr. Keepfer Of course Mr. Thomas Roberts Yes, because my little hoy came borne that afternoon. The Clerk said the teachers fcould not get the children to school, and if it had been open, they would have to mark them as absent Mr. Thomas Roberts said he was at the fune- tal, which passed the Town Hall at twelve min- utes to two. The children could be in school 8.t two. The teachers' excuse was a lame one, ^nd they should be written to by the clerk, ^uch a thing ought not to occur again. Mr. Keepfer: The children are bossing the teachers. Mr. Thomas Roberts: Yes, and it seems to e, that the teachers are bossing also. I pro Pose that the clerk should draw their attention to such irregular proceedings. Mr. Mills said the occasion was rather an Exceptional one. Mr. Keepfer said that when a tea party, or chapel fcr p occurred, the same thing would ta.ke place without the consent of the chairman the Board. Of course the teachers were not be blamed very much, because they could llfjt get the children to school. Mr. Humphreys said he could understand cH ohil4ren absented themselves to attend a tJaPel trip, but they ought not to be allowed so so on the occasion of a public funeral. 4 thought it would be wise for the teachers $ei^rarn them beforehand not to absont them- on such occasions. coif was ultimately decided to ask the clerk to IUtnunlcate with the teachers to this effect. THE SCHOOL CHILDREN AND PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENTS. Peoili' ^iIls called a^ention to the fact that i*dtitZ fche schools from time to time to the children to attend performances given by them, and bring coppers with them. He thought it should not be allowed. Mr. Keepfer asked whether this took place during school hours. Mr. Mills said it was so, and that such a thing occurred about two or three months ago. He could not say whether it had taken place later or not. Children came home, and their parents had to provide them with pence to attend the performance One man had been complaining to him that he could not afford to give his children coppers, and this kind of thing drew their attention from their lessons. The Clerk said the entertainment was not held during school hours. The subject of the performance met with the approval of the headmaster who satisfied him (the clerk), that it would be beneficial to the children. The subject then dropped. The was no other business of interest.





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