Collection MG205 - Grand Manan School District 5 - Seal Cove Collection

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Grand Manan School District 5 - Seal Cove Collection

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  • Textual record

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  • 1856 ; 1891 ; 1942-1949 (Creation)

Physical description

2 cm textual records ; 3 cm ledgers

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Custodial history

When the school board offices closed on Grand Manan in 1996, Gleneta Green Hettrick, then the archivist, acquired many records from the office. Additional donations to this collection were added as construction occurred at the schools and more records were found. All records were created by the school associated group.

Scope and content

This collection contains records created in the running and organizing of Grand Manan School District #5 - Seal Cove from 1856 - 1949. There are minutes, and a few written histories of the Seal Cove, newspaper articles, and ledgers. There is an interesting history of Home and Schools.

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See also MG220 for School Attendance Registers

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General note

The first school, ca 1850 was located in the area of the Seal Cove Baptist Church, 1900 Route 776. It was a log house and heated with a wood stove. It also served as a Sunday School and Church. It was vacated around 1860 for a larger school located beyond the cemetery on the way to Deep Cove on the right hand side of the road. There were no grades and when they reached the sixth reader they were through school. The students came from the lighthouse to the northern side of Seal Cove. When this school was vacated in 1892, the students were moved into a new building for 1893. In 1907, an addition was built that doubled the size of the school. In the fall of 1936 the roof was raised and a room was built upstairs, making another classroom and a room for the school paper called the "Chatterbox" which started in 1936. This school operated as the Seal Cove Elementary School until 1978. After the school closed, the building was used for a Village office and Community Center. When the Villages amalgamated in 1995, the building was occasionally used as a hall. Later the building was sold for a store - Frosty's Convenience and Post Office. This building is in use in 2019. It is located on the School Lane in Seal Cove and now houses High Seas Convenience.

History of Education on Grand Manan Island - The first schools on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, were started shortly after the arrival of the first English-speaking settlers in the eighteenth century, with schools built in each settlement as soon as the settlers were able. The earliest recorded teachers grant was for Magnus Green to teach in the North Head - Castalia area of Grand Manan in 1845. By 1851, five teachers were receiving grants and there were four 'school houses' here. By 1861, there were six schools. Most village school instruction reached a level close to the present Junior high. Until 1943, education was an activity of each village, with some students going to other village schools for later grades when those grades were not offered in their own villages.
New Brunswick’s, and in turn Grand Manan’s, education system became increasingly centralized as the century progressed. In the first half of the 20th century, education was administered and funded by county-level governments. By the late-1940s, mainland communities were establishing regional school districts to give rural students the opportunity to have a full high school education. Parents on Grand Manan asked for similar opportunities, and a high school was established on temporary quarters in the 1943-1944 school year. Grand Manan’s new consolidated high school was opened in Grand Harbour in 1949.
The next wave of changes came in the late-1960s. First, in 1967, a new high school opened behind Grand Harbour’s old high school, and the latter was turned into a junior high. Next, in 1968, as part of the provincial government’s Equal Opportunity program, the Department of Education in Fredericton assumed administrative and financial responsibility for education throughout the province, and Grand Manan, in turn, was made School District 22. 1978 was the last year the community schools on Grand Manan were operating. In 1979, students were transported by bus to the central Grand Harbour location. The junior high school became the only elementary school for students on Grand Manan. The elementary school on outlying White Head Island, however, remains operational in 2019.
The third and latest wave of changes began in the mid-1990s. In 1996, the Department of Education reduced the number of school districts, and, in 1997, it instituted province-wide kindergarten programs. As a result, the district office on Grand Manan was closed in 1996 (Grand Manan became part of District 10, centered in St. Stephen), and the high school was renovated and expanded in 1999 in order to accommodate students from kindergarten to grade twelve as well as a new library and gymnasium. The former junior high—the structure built in 1949—was demolished the same year that the newly expanded school re-opened.
Source: Gleneta Hettrick and Ava Griffin Sturgeon

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