Survey for former country school students

Questions to Prompt Memories by Students

Return to Grgegory County Historical at your earliest convenience – Thank you!

 Jack Broome, Jerry Peterson, Richard Rubel. Clark Gies, Dave Dobesh, Clarence Shoemaker, Dorothy Boes ,or Doug Spitzenberger

Please answer any or all of the following questions and use back of these pages.

Feel free to add other thoughts you have…tell me your stories!



First                                         Maiden                                                Last

Year of birth:_________


Street, PO Box                                            Town                                        State    Zip code

Phone:______________________________________ Email:__________________________________

School name (s): ______________________________________________________________________________

School location: _______________________________________________________________________

Town                                                Township                                        State

Date of Years attended: (i.e. 1945-53)   19__________through  19____________  Is schoolhouse still standing? _______


School Days Stories

  1. What is your family history and did your family homestead in SD?


  1. How far was the school from your home? How did you get to school – horse, walk, ride in car, wagon, sleigh, and bicycle? What did you do in case of storms or blizzards?


  1. Did you have any adventures on your way to school?


  1. What do you remember about starting your first day of school – excited/scared? Leaving home, preparing to go with family?


  1. How many students in your grade? How many siblings went to school with you?


  1. How did your day start at school, i.e. flag raising, Pledge of Allegiance, singing songs (which ones), bell (hand bell or bell tower) to call students back to class, reading, current events, weekend stories? How were the desks arranged? Who raised the flag? When did you have recitation?


  1. What subjects did you study (circle)? English, American History, World History, SD History, Social Studies, Geography, Civics, Arithmetic, Art, Music, Penmanship, Reading, Writing, Language Arts, Spelling, Computer, other:

Did you have a favorite subject and why did you like it?

Did you have a least favorite subject and why didn’t you like it?

Did you learn singing or dancing at school? Which songs or dances?

Did you perform these? Where?

Did you go on hikes or trips for any subjects with your teacher? Where did you go?


Did you participate in parades or celebrations? Which ones?


  1. Do you remember helping younger students or being helped by older students?


  1. Did you bring your lunch to school?             How did you carry it?                Did you cook it or warm it at school?  Did you have a favorite food for lunch? Did you have commodities at school – what were they?


  1. What kind of games did you play at recess?


  1. Were there ever any rattlesnakes, other critters in your schoolyard?


  1. Was there ever a need and if so, how were students disciplined at your school?


  1. Were you assigned chores or duties at school? Did you have YCL?


  1. Did you have time away from school for farm/ranch chores? What chores did you have at home?


Stories about Teachers

  1. How many different teachers did you have? Were they young, old, male, female? Where did the teacher live?


  1. Did you have a special teacher who influenced you in a particular subject or learning skill?


Describe your Schoolhouse

  1. Did your school have one or two doors? Where did you keep coats, lunch pails, coal or wood?
  2. How was your school heated? What kind of fuel was used?


  1. Did you have any outhouses at your school or indoor bathrooms?
  2. How did you get drinking water at your school?
  3. Was there a library in your school? How did you get more books to read?


  1. Was there a piano or organ in your school? Who played it?


Did you have any other musical instruments?


  1. Did you have electricity at school? Did you have lots of large windows, kerosene lamps, electric lights, and did you use a radio, record player, tape player, smartboard, iPads, computers, TV?



  1. Did you have a telephone at school? How did messages get to parents and teachers?



Tell about the Special Events

Do you remember social events at the school like: Christmas play, box or pie socials, Spelling Bees, Rally Day, Field Day, Declam? How did you prepare for contests or programs? How did you decorate at Christmas?  Any unique or funny stories?


Did you go to the schoolhouse for other community events like voting, card parties, weddings, safety in a blizzard?

What do you remember about your last day of school each year, or when you completed your 8th grade? Did you get a graduation souvenir from your teacher?

*Describe one of your favorite or significant memories about your school days?



*Do you think you were given the education you needed for high school, college, or the military service, and to be successful as an adult? Were you ahead or behind in your classes in high school? Did you receive honors? Tell me why…



Date this questionnaire was completed:_______________________________               Thank you!


If you became a teacher in country school, please answer the questions prompted in the “teacher” questionnaire.* Do you have any photos of your classmates and your schoolhouse that you could share? These will be returned to you.      You can use a separate sheet for your answers

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