Trustees of School Section Number 3 in the Municipality of Yarmouth (Arcadia, N.S.)

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Trustees of School Section Number 3 in the Municipality of Yarmouth (Arcadia, N.S.)

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The first school house at Arcadia, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia was built in 1775. Upon the building of the Free Baptist Church in 1835, the old meeting house was taken over to be used as a school house. Another school house was eventually erected, but it was destroyed by fire and a new school building was constructed during the years 1860 to 1864. The completion of Arcadia's new school coincided with the introduction of a new provincial Education Act which laid the groundwork for Nova Scotia's free public school system and established the jurisidictions of Nova Scotia's Boards of School Commissioners. These jurisidictions, identified as school districts, were generally based on county boundaries. The school districts were, in turn, divided into school sections. The community of Arcadia was designated as School Section Number 3 in the District of Yarmouth. Each school section was responsible for establishing and maintaining a school house, the operation of which was to be overseen by a board of trustees, with the necessary funds being provided through compulsory assessment of the school section's residents and provincial government grants. Trustees were elected for three year terms and were responsible for holding all school property, employing and maintaining teachers, making regular visits to the school, looking after school facilities and equipment, summoning regular meetings of the ratepayers of the school section, filing returns with the divisional inspector, making arrangements for the conveyance of pupils, and enforcing the Public Health Act. Following the establishment of municipal school boards, the word "District" was replaced with "Municipality". This move to the "larger school unit" was a response to the difficulties which many rural school sections had encountered in meeting their operating costs however school sections retained responsibility for capital expenditures. During the 1940s and 1950s the local boards of trustees' powers steadily eroded as increased responsibilities were given to municipal school boards, and many small school houses closed as larger "consolidated," or "district" schools were opened. The Arcadia's village school house remained in operation until 1958, when its students were transferred to the new Arcadia Consolidated School.


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