Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 07: Directors – Glyn Morris
GLYN MORRIS STUDY & RECOMMENDATIONS IX INTERPRETATION
TAGS: Glyn Morris Study & Recommendations IX Interpretation; Pine Mountain Settlement School; Harlan County, KY; education; educational study; planning; institutional reports; institutional management; educational recommendations; 1942; institutional history; trends; Board of Trustees; PMSS current & future services; changes in education;
GALLERY: Glyn Morris Study & Recommendations IX Interpretation
TRANSCRIPTION: Glyn Morris Study & Recommendations IX Interpretation
I. Student Body and Community
- High school opportunities are increasing in the region(1).
- The immediate neighborhood utilizes only to a small degree the opportunities provided. Most of the students come from a distance.
- The student body is heavily weighted with [educationally] retarded youngsters and boys and girls from broken homes. Much of Pine Mountain’s cultural opportunity is wasted.
- Pressure for admission by boys has decreased.
- The complexion of the student body is changing in the direction of more normal youngsters in spite of #3.
II. Trends of Service at Pine Mountain
- Experimental in curricular organization and guidance.
- Enlargement of community services in the immediate vicinity of school.
- Very definite and valuable articulation with County educational program.
- Strategic in interpretation of rural youth problems in the large.
- Important and rare demonstration of cooperation between private and public schools.
III. Finances and Publicity
- Increase in endowment.
- Sharp decrease in gifts.
- Slight increase in cash from students.
- Emotional crisis sort of appeal no longer valid.
(1) See Appendix 7.
It seems that the facts brought out by this study would indicate that the time is not far away when the Board of Trustees will be faced with making several decisions. To put it in very brief form, the situation is something as follows:
Pine Mountain is a well-equipped secondary school financed by rapidly diminishing contributions, for a decreasing number of boys and girls without opportunity. It has a modest reputation for regional leadership in adjusting the School to the student and in community service, and has proved the possibilities for rendering service to Harlan County; but it is located in an isolated community which, after thirty years, takes only limited advantage of the opportunities offered.
Several questions must be asked:
- What is the major contribution of the School?
- Would the community (region) suffer loss if the School were discontinued?
- If it should be continued, how can it be so organized as to provide maximum usefulness and remain solvent?
It is difficult to draw a line between any two aspects of Pine Mountain’s service. One kind of service grows out of another; they are interrelated and interdependent. The same spirit which seeks to experiment with curriculum also makes possible student service to the neighborhood; this, in turn, seeks to find ways and means of making a more coordinated and practical attack on rural youth problems within the County. It is safe to say, however, that the School’s value to the region is greatly enhanced by the services which are in addition to the formal education of 100 boys and girls. It might also be said that the School, through its articulation with the County educational program, has been able to compensate for the limited service which…
…the immediate community will permit it to render. Without the services over and above the provision of formal education for the students, the School could hardly justify its existence under present conditions. But it should also be remembered that the extra services, such as community work, hospital program (which could not be carried on without heavy student assistance), Kiwanis Camp, Guidance Institute, are all made possible by the School itself, from which these have been projected.
In these extra services and other spiritual intangibles for which the School is a symbol in the Harlan County community, it seems it has a vital and needed contribution to make. Perhaps this is its major immediate contribution (1). The School’s prestige, as a non-political, non-local, controlled institution of proved standards is a powerful factor in any direction in Harlan County.
Pine Mountain’s history has been one of constant adjustment to growing educational opportunities in the region. As elementary schools came into being, this work was discontinued. As junior high schools came, this work was discontinued. It does not seem inconsistent, then, that the Board of Trustees may now need to consider discontinuing the present school program in favor of one planned for another age group.
There are several reasons for careful examination of the possibility of using Pine Mountain for junior college work:…
(1) “Through the leadership of Pine Mountain Settlement School, the County School program has made more progress in the past five years than in the preceding twenty-five.” Letter from James A. Cawood, Harlan County Superintendent of Schools.
Of great importance, too, are such results as the organization of the Harlan County Planning Council; increased appreciation of and use for recreation by the County, of folk material; and the School’s influence, less directly felt, in agricultural programs and community projects.
1.With increased numbers of publicly operated secondary schools available, there will be a greater number of young people who will complete high school. This number will increase as school service in the elementary schools improves.
2. There is reason to believe that after the war there will be a tremendous problem of adjustment, due to industrial displacement, which will naturally affect youth directly. One of the possible solutions is a longer school period. (1)
(1) Your attention is called to the findings of the American Youth Commission, recently published under the title, Youth and the Future. This careful and important survey of the entire youth situation indicates the seriousness of this problem for our national well-being and advocates extension of educational opportunities on junior college level — emphasizing especially the non-academic and cultural quality of training needed.
The Educational Policies Commission has recommended, “that the average schooling for American youth be increased to 14 years, and that terminal courses in a wide variety of occupational fields be offered in the later high school years, in junior colleges, and in technical schools.” (“The C.C.C., NYA[?] and the Public Schools,” Educational Policies Commission, 1941, quoted in The Education Digest.
The proposals entitled “After-War Educational Reconstruction” formulated by a group of educators and laymen headed by Dr. Wm. H. Kilpatrick, published in the NEA Journal for December 1941, ring strongly with the need for expanding educational opportunities after the war and emphasize the need for doing on all levels what Pine Mountain Strives imperfectly to do on the high school level.
Why Junior College Terminal Education?, a volume prepared for the Commission of Junior College Terminal Education, is packed with statements of educators and laymen endorsing the junior college movement as a needed community service.
3. There is a growing trend, stronger in some areas than in others (California and Michigan), for the establishment of a junior college in every community, and indications are that eventually two years will be added to public schools everywhere.
4. This would shift and strengthen the basis of Pine Mountain’s appeal for funds since it will probably be some time before Kentucky will be in a position to establish public junior colleges unless they are financed by federal funds.
5. With a modest increase in tuition, it might be expected that the present annual deficit would be decreased. With proper accrediting (1) it would seem that the School would attract a large number from within a short radius, without violating its purpose to make opportunity available to the financially limited.
6. There is need for the expansion on junior college level of cultural experiences now provided to a certain degree by Pine Mountain on the high school level.
7. A local college in Harlan County (population 75,000) might also be an incentive for continuation in school by some who, desiring college, saw no way of realizing this desire.
8. According to the constitution and standards of the Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges, there would not seem to be any serious difficulty in the way of Pine Mountain’s being accredited at relatively small expense. The most serious obstacle, endowment, is easily met. The plant proper is probably superior to many junior college plants in this region. Only slight changes in personnel and equipment would be necessary.
GLYN MORRIS Biography