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After A Year - Moraine School 1918-1918


After A Year

Moraine Park School



Moraine Park School

Dayton, Ohio



A truly educated man not only sees through

things,  but sees things through.




This bulletin was written, compiled and

Photographed by the pupils of the school.





GEORGE B. SMITH, Pres. and Treas.


F.O. CLEMENTS, Secretary











FRANK D SLUTZ, Principal


















ERNEST STOCKUM, Photographer





     Moraine Park School, situated in Moraine Park, Dayton, Ohio, is just a bit more than a year old.  The school began its first regular term in June, 1917.  Both boys and girls are admitted to the school and  the pupils range in age from those just entering kindergarten to those ready for admission to college.

     The total enrollment for the first year was sixty; of these thirty-three were members of the Senior or Upper group; and twenty-seven were members of the Junior group.

     The  fundamental  principles upon which the school has been established are that education is in part but not in all secured through books; that the printed page is a tool, and a valuable tool to use in learning but not a fetish; that there is abundant subject matter available, and right at hand, which can be used by the school directly and practically; that the school ought to be a community in which pupils may learn to live as good citizens by meeting the situations which arise in actual community life; that education, if it is to serve, must teach the mastery of the arts of life.

     Moraine Park School is indeed a sector of the life of the times.  Within the school the pupils are engaged in business enterprises, in self-government, in community plans and projects.  They are encouraged to learn by doing; to depend upon them selves; to work as rapidly as is consistent with thoroughness; to finish tasks and then to pass on to other tasks regardless of whether the finishing is simultaneously accomplished by all who are busy at the task.

     It is the purpose of the school to enable the pupils to learn how to associate with people; how to express themselves clearly and accurately;  how to earn, spend and save money properly; how to make useful products out of raw materials; how to appreciate the spiritual, the intangible values in life; how to be altruistic; how to know and to love the world of nature, its laws, its life; how to play enthusiastically, regularly and fairly; how to choose friends, chums, mates.

     This little bulletin, through word and picture, tells in brief some of the activities and plans and the results of the first year’s work.

     Aside from this article, all the text of this bulletin has been prepared by the pupils  themselves.  It has been the policy of the school to put responsibility upon the pupils, and in the planning and finishing of this bulletin this policy was not forgotten.  A real task, which the real world may see done, means more to pupils than any artificial task, and assuredly is more profitable in the end than the mere seeing of the work done by others.  FRANK D. SLUTZ.




     The motto of the Moraine Park School is, “See through things and see things through.”  To make this practical the school must be well equipped.  The board of directors realized this and set aside a fund for that purpose.

     As the school was begun a few weeks after the United States declared war on the Imperial German Government, the construction of a new school building was not thought advisable.  One of the school’s “godfathers” gave the school the use of his large greenhouse.  A gang of carpenters was put to work, flooring was laid, and the space was divided into rooms by eight foot partitions.

     About thirty feet from the main building is a smaller stone building, which is divided into two parts.  One side contains the boiler room, while the other consists of a manual-training room, chemical laboratory and photographer’s dark room.  The boiler and heating apparatus is capable of heating a much larger building than the school.  This is shown by the fact that it kept the school comfortable during the entire winter of 1917-18, one of the severest for years.  The manual training shop has five benches and a good supply of tools, including a turning lathe.  The laboratory and dark-room are equipped with all the chemicals and apparatus necessary for the classes and projects.

     This building and the main building are connected by an enclosed passage.  At the western end of the main building are the gymnasium, stage, indoor gardens, electrical experimental laboratory, storage room, cloak room and dressing rooms.

     The gymnasium, which is also used as an auditorium, is equipped with baskets, basketballs, indoor baseballs, volley ball, net, and a horizontal bar with mats.  The stage has settings for both indoor and outdoor scenes and is used for plays, speeches, and debates.  It also contains an excellent pianola with a fine assortment of records, both popular and classical.

     From the gymnasium on, the building is divided by a hall.  On one side are a project room, offices, recitation room, library and study hall.  On the other are the lunch room, store and primary department rooms.

     The project room contains the bank and printing shop.   The printing shop is equipped with a gammeter multigraph and a large variety of type.  The store has a counter, glass display case and a cash register.  The recitation room is fitted completely for recitations.  The library has a fine assortment of books of reference, fiction, poetry, history, science and miscellaneous subjects.  Along one wall is a glass display case which is used as a museum.

     The study hall is used as an assembly room.  Every boy has a small office containing a desk, chair, and any other article of furniture which he may wish to make for it in his manual training class.  The offices are separated by partitions, which are low enough to permit assemblies.

     Along one side of the lunch-room are a series of open cupboards in which the pupils keep their dishes.  There are also, of course, tables on which the pupils may eat their lunches and a sink in which they wash their own dishes.

     There are three primary rooms, one is a class room for the older pupils of the Junior Department, the second is a classroom for the younger group, and the third is a recreation room for both.  The recreation room contains a work bench, wading-pool and sand-pit. EDWARD WATTERSON




     The system of self-government in Moraine Park School is organized as follows:

     Three commissioners are elected annually by the students, the one receiving the most votes acting as mayor.  These commissioners appoint a community manager who in turn appoints the heads of the various departments which are:

     The Department of Public Safety, whose business it is to enforce all laws and ordinances passed by the commission; the Department of Welfare, which has control of all matters relating to sanitation and health; the  Department of Recreation, which plans for excursions thru factories and for “hikes” of various sorts and makes out schedules for games in the different kinds of athletics both within school and with outside teams; the Department of Finance, which collects taxes from each individual as levied by the commission and from the students in charge of projects and acts as treasurer for all public funds; the Department of Law, whose prinicpal duty is to take charge of the community court, the director of this department being the judge; the court tries cases which are not covered by ordinances; the Department of Law also draws up all the various legal blanks for the community.  There is also a patent office in this department, where the ideas of the students may be patented, and if any idea is for the betterment of the school in any way, the originator may sell it to the school.

     The director of each department chooses his helpers.

     The first year’s trial of this plan of self-government has been very successful. ALFRED JONES




     We have three commissioners in our room.  We also have a court and two policemen to keep order.  People are arrested for running in the hall and for anything which disturbs other people.  The judge sentences them to pick oakum, to do extra janitor work and to things like that.  The community City Manager appoints the commissioners of the Junior group.  ROBERT KENNEDY




     The purpose of our project system is to give the pupils a practical knowledge of the kinds of work that will be required of them in the community life in which they will take part after their school days are over.

     During the past year we have had eighteen different projects in operation.  In some cases companies have been formed to manage the project; in others individuals have carried on the projects.  The pupils may study any project in which they are interested.

     Following is a description of the projects which have been in operation.




     The bank makes collections, accepts savings deposits and checking accounts, and does a regular banking business.  It is organized for profit.  The officers of the bank made all the counters and furniture for it.  In this way the officers of this institution have become acquainted with the banking business from the floor up.




     The boys interested in chemistry have access to the chemical laboratory of the school.   These boys manufacture the compounds used in the school “Photo Shop.”  The boys in the chemical laboratories tested the soil of our gardens to see if it was in good condition.  These boys manufacture various chemicals for sale.  These chemicals are sold to the students of the school at a very low price.  The student laboratory also tested the school water supply to see if it was pure.  Several boys have maintained chemical laboratories at their homes to be used in connection with the school laboratories.




     The Moraine School Store was organized for profit as well as for business practice.  Several boys have shares in the school store.  The store carries a stock of school supplies, athletic equipment and candies.  The store is open in the mornings, at noon, and for a period in the afternoon.  The store has been so profitable that the boys have been enabled to purchase a cash register, and to make a substantial payment upon it.  These boys are getting a good working knowledge of the methods of conducting a modern business house.




     The print shop has fine, modern equipment with the aid of which the boys turn out very satisfactory work.  Three boys comprise the executive staff of this company.  These boys set up the various issues of our monthly paper, “The Prospector,” which will be described later.  The boys are sometimes employed by people who are not identified with the school in any way.  The  printing for the school projects is done by this shop.




     The “Photo shop” is maintained in order that a pictorial record of the school may be kept.  The pictures in this pamphlet were taken, developed and printed by the school photographer.

     The school photographer also develops and prints pictures for the students of the school for a nominal fee.




     The boys who are interested in agriculture have small indoor gardens where flowers, tomato plants, and various other things are grown.  The owners of these gardens often test the seeds that they intend to plant in the spring in the outdoor gardens.




     Several of the boys have organized a repair company.  The members of this company repair all broken articles around the school.  The boys are paid a small amount of money per hour for this work.




     Several of the students are interested in newspaper work and these students edit the monthly paper, “The Prospector.”  “The Prospector” is made up of jokes, snappy stories, advertising for various school projects, and editorials.  The editors of this paper also have charge of furnishing the Moraine Park School notes for the Sunday editions of the Dayton papers.




     The students who are officers in the school government are allowed to make the work of their office or department a project.




     Each member of the faculty at Moraine Park School has his own private secretary.  Some of the students of the school are selected for this work.  They take care of the correspondence and do regular secretarial work.




     The position of librarian is filled by one of the students.  He has three assistants.  The librarian lists all books, checks out all the books, and does everything necessary to take care of the library.  One of the assistants is continually occupied with the work of clipping and filing articles from papers and magazines.




     The students in charge of the museum spend a great deal of time collecting and classifying fossils, stones, minerals, rare bits of workmanship, stone tools, insects, and material which can be used in any way in the various classes.




     The boys were given a small room to use as a laboratory, providing they would make their own work bench and the other things necessary.  The students did so and have gained a great deal from the electrical work.  These students try all kinds of electrical experiments.  They also get in touch with as many expert electrical engineers as possible.




     In manual training the boys may make a great variety of articles for the school or for themselves.  Following is a list of some of the things made: tool boxes, Red Cross boxes and cupboards, tables, work benches, candle sticks, ball bats, lockers, book-cases, watch holders, chairs, bird houses, swings, camp stools, waterwheels, armature winders, and various other things.




     Some of the students are engaged in keeping the typewriters in repair.  These workers are paid for their time.




     Students of the school have formed a dramatic club.  The purpose of this club is to provide entertainment and to study drama.




     Several of the students have formed a paper baling company.  The “Alpabaco” is the name they have chosen for this company.  These students bale the waste paper and sell it.




     A student may choose his project without any interference from anybody else.  The boy chooses his project freely.  The purpose of the school is to tie the school work up to the project a boy chooses.  The project is expected to be the center of a boy’s interest.  Each afternoon in the school term there is a period of at least forty-five minutes known as the project period.  In this period the boy puts his time on his project.   JOHN LINEBAUGH




     We were wading in the creek and we thought of building a dam.  We stopped the water with a sand bank and then put rocks on the inside so the water would not wash the sand away.  Then we built a spillway for the girls up stream had built three dams and were planning to break them and flood ours.  Their plan did not work.  Our spillway began one foot up stream and come around our dam and emptied a foot down steam.  The reason we put it around our dam was so that when the other dams were broken the water would not hit our dam but would go around it through the spillway.  LELAND SLUTZ




     When the Red Cross began its campaigns, we thought we should like to help too, because our parents were working and we felt sorry for the wounded soldiers.

     Two boys and I started a store and took in quite a lot of money. Others became enthusiastic and wanted to work, so they picked oakum.   A very unpleasant job!  Some women of the Red Cross came and we folded a few bandages.  We sold lemonade on very hot days.  We had two ice cream sales which were very popular.  Almost all of us joined the Red Cross and helped all we could.  JULIA MARY JONES




     The clubs and societies of Moraine Park School have kept away from the aristocratic method of obtaining members.  The members and pupils of Moraine Park School need neither “influence” nor “pull” to obtain admittance into a club or society.

      Two societies are supported  by the members of the school, and relations between them are largely on a competitive basis.  The two societies are the “Grenfells” and the “Shawnees.”  Meetings occur weekly and committees have charge of the programs of the societies, on which, at different times have various members appear.  Throughout the year club competition continues, especially in athletics, (baseball, football, basketball, volley ball, tennis, swimming, track sports, etc.).  But the chief work of the societies is literary, and occasionally debates are held, in which the clubs compete.  Entertainments of various sorts are prepared by these societies, and occasionally during the year, the clubs entertain each other in the school auditorium.  At such times plays are presented and programs out of the ordinary are prepared.  The societies promote school spirit, and in inter-school games, society competition and rivalry are forgotten.

     The Dramatic Club is the most recently organized club at Moraine Park School.  The members write short plays and then act them.  This club meets occasionally to select stories for dramatization. 

     The spring and summer gardens are conducted by two rival gardening companies—The Patriotic Production Company and The Liberty Gardening Company.  These companies are organized exactly as corporations.  Each has its board of directors, its preferred and common stock, its officers, its charter.  The common stock is non-negotiable and cannot be secured except by labor in the gardens.  In the managing of these companies the methods of actual corporate organizations are used and the pupils are learning at first hand how business is carried on in these times.   HARRY LEFKOWITZ




     Class work is one of the most important activities of any school, but it is unusually important at Moraine Park School because of the interesting work that is done.  The question might be asked: Why are the classes and the class work so important at this school and why are they so interesting?  Are they carried on as in the regular schools or differently?  The answers are simple.  Lessons are made interesting by connecting them with the problems of the day and by “hitching” them up to the outside world.  The pupils in this school are the school as in baseball the players are the game.  The teachers are merely an institution for umpiring the game of studies.  It may be stated here that  three-fourths of the time classes are governed by chairmen appointed from the class by the class.  The teacher is present to make any necessary decisions and therefore plays the part of a referee.
     Classes are not held every day in the same subject, but on the plan of Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  This gives a desired change from the often monotonous every day study plan.  The classes number, as a fair average, from seven to nine pupils.  Small classes permit a recitation daily in every subject by every pupil.

     The different subjects taught at Moraine Park School may be divided into departments  which are as follows:

     First, the department of languages where more than average work has been accomplished during this our first school year.  The department of languages offers:

     Latin.  First and second year Latin classes were taught during the past year at Moraine Park School.  The first year class completed the usual first year work and finished half of one book of Caesar.  The second year class completed Caesar’s Gallic War, books I to IV inclusive.

     French.  First year French was the only French demanded this year.  The regular first year work was completed in March and part of the second year work was finished.

     English.  First and second year English classes were conducted this year.  A great amount of class and outside reading engaged the attention of these classes.

     German.  First, second and third year German was demanded this year and an unusual amount of reading in Scientific German was completed.

     The next department is the department of Sciences.  This important department fills the study and project periods of many of the pupils.  It offers:

     General Science.  This subject may be favorably compared with Biology.

     Chemistry:  This is without a doubt the most important course in the Science Department.  The class in this subject completed through the year an entire year’s course in General Science and the necessary laboratory and recitation work for chemistry.  This class meets six periods a week.  About half the time is devoted to laboratory work.

     The department of history is one of the most interesting departments.  This year Ancient and American History were offered.

     Ancient History.  This class meets but twice a week, but the work accomplished is surprising.  It has been one of the ideas of the class to connect the events of ancient times with the events and occurrences of today.  One of the interesting comparisons this class has made has been the comparison of Ancient with Modern Germany—of the old Germany with the Prussianized Germany of today.

     American History.  This course covers the story of our country from its beginning up to the present.

     The Department of Mathematics has been made interesting.  In geometry, instead of measuring a supposed field or area of land, a real field is measured.  In arithmetic, instead of working on imaginary accounts, the accounts of the stock company, the store and other concerns are used.

     Commercial Arithmetic.  While this subject is taking the place of eighth grade arithmetic, nevertheless, it includes a great amount of the usual high school business practice.  The pupils make out accounts as if they were working for a real concern..  They have built a house and have kept personal accounts.  These accounts are balanced regularly and this forms a great part of the work of this class.

     Geometry and First and Third year Algebra.  The work in these classes has been along practical lines.

     Another department in the school curriculum is the Manual Training department.  An expert practical carpenter is the teacher and such things as gymnasium lockers, book cases and tables have been planned and built under his expert guidance.  This is the department where the ability to work with the hands as well as with the mind is taught.

     In the Junior Department, (which includes the usual grades from one to six) the ideal of the school—that class work must be related to real problems instead of to artificial problems—has been followed carefully.   Moreover in all the work of this department—in reading, in geography, in history—the instructors have taken the real interests of the pupils as their clues and the progress made by the Juniors has been remarkably gratifying.   LEWIS LEFKOWITZ




     As warm days come the greenhouse grows quite hot, so sometimes we have story hour outside.  Sometimes the boys climb into the trees and at other times we all sit together on the grass.