Public Schools Week 2021

Public Schools Week 2021
Posted on 02/22/2021
Public Schools Week Graphic

February 22-26, 2021, St. Joseph Public Schools along with thousands of districts across the country will celebrate Public Schools Week 2021.

Public Schools Week provides an avenue for learning and recognizing the contributions of a public education system to a community and its citizenry.

A little history about public education in the United States. The Boston Latin School was the first public school opened in the U.S. in 1635. It remains the oldest public school in the nation. 

The first public school open to all grades was established in Massachusetts in 1837. Horace Mann, a Massachusetts state legislator started the movement that led to a statewide public education structure. Mann became known as an education reformer and a champion of public education. In 1955, the St. Joseph School District Board of Education voted to rename the former Bartlett School in honor of Horace Mann. 

Public schools are publicly financed, tuition-free, accountable to public authorities and accessible to all students. Public schools educate most students in the United States. Public schools serve 88% of the nation’s elementary and secondary schools and 98% of students with disabilities are educated in public schools. 

According to the Center on Education Policy, a public opinion poll asked Americans to cite reasons why public schools are important:

25% To give all children a chance to get ahead and level the play field;
22% To keep America strong and competitive in the global economy;
19% To help strengthen our democracy so children will have the skills to participate as adults;
16% Today’s children are tomorrow’s workforce 

Each day this week, the district will feature local individuals who attended public schools.

Monday, Feb. 22 -  Mr. R. Patt Lilly, the President and CEO of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce who attended public schools in Houston, Texas. 

Tuesday, Feb. 23 – Mrs. Kimberly Warren, CEO MidCity Excellence (MCE) who attended public schools in St. Joseph.

Wednesday, Feb. 24 – Ms. Gabby Thomure, 2017 graduate and Makaalm Muhammad 2014 graduate who attended public schools in St. Joseph. 

Friday, Feb. 26 – Dr. W.A. Hedge, Pastor of St. Francis Baptist Temple and retired SJSD employee and attended public schools in St. Joseph and Mrs. Loes Hedge, Mission President, St. Francis Baptist Temple and retired SJSD employee who attended public schools in Hayti and Steele, Missouri. 

Saturday, Feb. 27  – Mr. Lee Sawyer, Buchanan County Presiding Commissioner and attended public schools in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

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