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mony of action, and cause the whole system of schools in each oity and town to tend towards a high and uniform standard of excellence.
To enter into a minute detail of all the regulations and proceedings which must be adopted in order to establish and maintain a proper system of schools in each city and town, would entirely exceed the limits of this circular. The importance, objects and peculiar features of this system of schools, I explained, at some length, in a circular addressed to the Heads of City and Town Corporations in January, 1848, on the introduction of the City and Town School Act, 10th and 11th Vic. chap. 19, and which will be found in the first volume of the Journal of Education, pages 16-24. And the economy and great practical advantages of this system of schools in cities and towns where it exists in the neighbouring States, are shewn in the same volume of the same Journal, pages 121-123, and 150-153.)
( Under these circumstances, it would be superfluous for me to dwell at length upon the subject anew ; but to aid you as far as in my power in the great work on which you are now entering, I have purchased, and I hope soon to be able to place into the hands of the Board of School Trustees foreach city and town in Upper Canada, Mr. Barnard's unrivalled work on “ School Architecture-an octavo volume of nearly 400 pages, containing upwards of 300 illustrations, and embracing all the important improvements which have been made in the last few years in the construction of school-houses for schools of every grade, from the infant school to a Normal School, with suitable plans for the construction and arrangement of seats, desks, and for warming and ventilation, for appendages, grounds, &c." I will also endeavour to procure for each Board of School Trustees, whom I am now addressing, a copy of the “ Rules and Regulations for Public Schools" which have been adopted by the Boards of Education or Trustees in the cities of Boston and Providince (Rhode Island), and under the operation of which the most complete and efficient system of Schools has been matured which, I think, exists in any city or town, either in Europe or America. Our School Law confers upon you all the powers of establishing and maintaining your schools (Classical as well as Common,-see 12th section, 4th clause) which are conferred upon the School Corporations of the cities referred to; and my earnest desire and prayer is, that you may be disposed and enabled to exercise these powers with like wisdom, patriotism and success. .
( It is in the character and facilities of public school education in their cities and towns that our American neighbours far excel us. I think our rural schools, as a whole, are advancing more rapidly than theirs; but in each of their cities and towns they have in efficient operation an uniform and magnificient system of schools, the advancement of which is the highest ambition of their highest citizens, and which offers FREE education to the poor as well as the rich-to all classes upon equal terms according to property. In all our cities and towns we now have substantially their school law; and I fervently hope we shall soon have as good, and even better schoole. It is with the elective Board of School Trustees in each city and town in Upper Canada to say whether this shall be so or not.
I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,
Your most obedient servant and fellow-labourer,
E. RYERSON. P. S.-It may be proper for me to make an explanatory remark on the nineteenth section of the School Act, authorizing, under certain circumstances, the establishment of Protestant and Roman Catholic Separate Schools. In my late Circular to Township Councils, I have remarked upon this provision of the Act, and shown that it is no new provision, but one which has existed upwards of seven years-since the commencement of our present Common School system. It has clearly been intended from the beginning as a protection of the minority against any oppressive or invidious proceedings on the part of the majority in any School division, in addition to the ordinary provision of the Act, prohibiting the compulsory attendance of any child upon a religious exercise, or reading a religious book, to which his parents or guardians shall object. The existence of so few separate schools (only about fifty in all Upper Canada, and nearly one-half of them Protestant), shows that the provision for their establishment is rarely acted upon,—as the local school authorities seldom find occasion for it. And as there can be no Separate School in a school division, unless the Teacher of the mixed school is of a different religious persuasion from the applicants for such Separate School, the local Board of Trustees can always, if they think proper to do so, make such a selection of Teachers as will prevent the establishment or continuance of separate schools.
COMMON SCHOOL ACTS
FORMS, INSTRUCTIONS, AND REGULATIONS FOR
EXECUTING THEIR PROVISIONS;
TOGETHER WITH THE
VIRCULARS ADDRESSED TO THE VARIOUS OFFICERS CONCERNED IN
THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SCHOOL LAW'.
PRINTED FOR THE
BY LOVELL AND GIBSON.
COMMON SCHOOL ACT, 13T1 AND 14TI VICTORIA, CHAPTER 48.
PAGE I. Common School Trustees, ...........
........ 7 II. Common School Teachers............
........ 17 III. Township Councils, ................
19 IV. Municipal Councils and Boards of Trustees to Cities, Towns, and
35 IX. Chief Superintendent of Schools,....
36 X. Council of Public Instruction,...
39 XI. Miscellaneous Provisions,
FORMS, INSTRUCTIONS, AND REGULATIONS.
Trustees in Cities, Towns, and Villages,.................
Instruction, and Local Superintendents of Schools, ........ 56 VI. General Regulations for the Government of Common Schools,. 57 VII. List of School Books, &c., recommended by the Council of Public Instruction,........
CIRCULARS FROM THE CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.
1. To the Wardens of Counties,.......
V. To Teachers of Common Schools,............
Examination and Form of Teacher's Certificate............ 101.