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The Lantern

The Student News Site of CFHS

The Lantern

The Student News Site of CFHS

The Lantern

The history of education in Cannon Falls – part 3

In this installment, the second half of the twentieth century, new buildings and developing technology take center stage.
In+the+mid+1970s%2C+movie+projectors+and+typewriters+were+common+tools+at+CFHS
Cannorama images
In the mid 1970s, movie projectors and typewriters were common tools at CFHS

It is common for elders to say that “things were different back then”, but is it really true? Well in the 1950s to the early 2000s for Cannon Falls schools it is true by a mile. For starters, students definitely weren’t in the same building the whole time and when they were in a building it was constantly changing with new additions to the school. The old public school used to be in the Cannon Falls Community Center along with the other building next to it, the retirement home, down the road from the current school. It was so different from now.

During the 1950s the rural population was going down due to smaller families becoming more common. It became harder to find one room schoolhouse teachers. This was the start of public schools in Cannon Falls. It was expensive but people wanted to keep their kids close to home. Everyone voted to have five classrooms, a library, gym, kitchen, office, and stage in the new public school in Cannon Falls. This school was located in the Cannon Falls Community Center, also known as the CCC. In 1954 Cannon Falls thought it was necessary to build more classrooms; it cost a total of $300,000 to do. They ended up building a new entrance way, dining room, six class rooms, teachers lounge, kitchen, and an enlarged gym.

Teachers were expected to sell tickets for events and chaperone out of town sporting events. It was also brought to the women’s attention that only the men were being served dinner for selling tickets. The women didn’t like this. To make matters worse married men were being paid extra compensation. The women started to protest and stopped selling tickets until it became fair. 

An organization was created and dedicated to helping with kids’ education. They ended up having a very successful campaign that raised a 7.5 million dollar bond for a new elementary school. The bond ended up passing by 35 votes. Everyone was happy that a new elementary school was going to be opened. It opened in 1989 for 860 students and school faculty.

One of the biggest subjects of advancement was how technology changed. Students started off by using typewriters then ended by using computers. They used very different pieces of technology like cds instead of YouTube and other new platforms.   But the biggest of them all was the white boards and chalkboards.  A lot of people use computers a lot but they were a little bit expensive to get all the students one so the white boards and chalkboards were popular. The older teachers say that they used chalkboards and whiteboards. Some of the newer teachers say that they didn’t use chalkboards and whiteboards and just computers and ipads.

The high school was built in 1964, on 33 acers of land of land. It ended up costing 800,000 dollars. Later they added 2 new wings onto the building, art room, music room, new gymnasium, larger locker rooms, wrestling room, new media center, shop, receiving room, district office, board room, science room and more classrooms. That ended up costing 1,647,380 dollars. The school had about 845 juniors/seniors high school students they had about 811 elementary students, with about 90 teachers.

The elementary school was the last one built in this area during this time period. From then on the changes were things like adding in an ALEM option. ALEM stands for adaptive learning environment model. It became an option for all parents to sign the kids up for during the school year. That was one of the last big changes during that time period. It is crazy to think that in 50 years the town went from one room school houses to public schools with the option for ALEM. There were so many changes to the Cannon Falls school system from the beginning of the 1950s to 1999.