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Richards R-V Richards School History

Richards R-5 Elementary School, 1957

Richards Elementary, 3rd Grade Mural, Fall 2003

Richards School History
The students studied the early consolidation in 1938 and the reorganization in 1957. The students learned which small rural districts came together to form their present school. The children enjoyed discussing what early education was like, and how it has progressed through the different stages of pioneer schools, early rural schools, consolidation and reorganization. They discovered how the school's name has changed from Consolidated No. 5, to Reorganized No. 5, and finally to Richards R-5. The students worked together to produce the mural showing what Richards R-5 Elementary looked like in 1957. The mural is on display within the Richards R-5 building.

Formation of Richards R-5

In 1938-1939, five small rural schools merged to form one larger district, Consolidated No. 5. The five were Rudville, Lone Pine, New Central, Grimmett, and Galloway. The new, Consolidated No. 5 building was a two-room, rock structure built near the old "Lone Pine" school. During the 1938-1939 school year, Wilma Hunter and Dwight Edwards were the two teachers employed by the Consolidated No. 5 District. Their contracted length of term was 8 months, being paid $80.00 per month. For that same year, the president of the school board was Mr. Jess McCrackin of West Plains. Other members of the board were W. N. Byers, Scott Falwell, M. M. Deaver, and Roy Williams, all of Pomona.

In 1956-1957, eight other rural districts joined with Consolidated No. 5 to form Reorganized No. 5. At this time two more classrooms were added, making a total of four. The entire building was still constructed of native stone. There were five teachers employed within the "new" Reorganized No. 5 District. The classrooms were divided into K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, plus music.

At times there were more children attending than there were desks available. Some children either sat on the floor or were lucky enough to have folding chairs. In the early part of the 1950's, the lunch program was started. District patrons joined together to plant half an acre of green beans so that the harvest could be canned and used to supplement the lunch program.

Homer RichardsIn addition to their other responsibilities, each teacher had to sweep their own classroom daily. The dirt would be left in the hallway outside the classroom door for the custodian to dispose of. The custodian employed within the newly formed Reorganized No. 5 District was a man by the name of Homer Richards. He had worked in the district for about two years prior to his death. At the time of his death, the relatively-new name of "Reorganized No. 5" was again changed to that of Richards R-5 in honor of Mr. Richards. This occurred shortly after 1957. Mr. Jim Decker became principal of Richards R-5 at about this time. Besides serving as principal, his other responsibilities included teaching the seventh and eighth grade classroom in addition to coaching.

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