Frenchboro School

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Location Frenchboro, Maine
Interests Frenchboro School History The island's first schoolhouse was built in 1842 and served as a combination worship hall, school building and Plantation office. School sessions were erratic at best, despite the island's growing population. The island's second schoolhouse was built in the 1870s near the site of today's Frenchboro Historical Society. The second school building deteriorated rapidly. At one point, during the late 1800s, the children brought paper from home in attempt to brighten the inside of the aging structure. The current one-room schoolhouse "a grand building for its time and place" was built in 1907 as islanders and the state recognized the growing need for more formal education. The new school building would also play host to all town meetings and serve as the town office into the 1980s. By 1912, the school finally became a graded school and had more than two dozen pupils. The school and schoolhouse have survived the ups and downs of island population during the past several decades, with enrollment dwindling to a single student twice in the past 30 years. Maintaining the student population has been at the heart of the island's most dramatic decisions during those times. In 1960s, the island made national headlines when roughly 20 foster children were placed in island homes to revive the school population and made national headlines again in 1980s when it spearheaded a homesteading program. All moves have been successful and enrollment now stands at its highest point in decades. For the current school year, the school boasts 12 pupils, two full-time teachers and additional specialized volunteers. An interesting tidbit: in 1875, the teacher was paid $19.09, plus $3/week room and board. Written by Dean Lunt