April 28, 2019 -- Classroom on Wheels
Interior of a Canadian National Railway School Car at the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre in Sudbury, Ontario.
In Ontario and the Prairies, school cars were used from 1928 right up until 1967, and in Newfoundland from 1936 to 1942. School-age children living in isolated communities were able to receive a quality education thanks to these travelling schools and the highly motivated teachers who staffed them. The students were children of railway workers, trappers and hunters.
The school car would be pulled by a locomotive onto a siding where it remained for about eight to ten days. During this time, all the school-age children in town would be taught by a teacher aboard the car. The teacher and his or her family lived in the school car, which, in addition to the classroom, also housed a private apartment with all the amenities: kitchenette, bedroom, living room and bathroom. The children of that area would attend school for 3 to 6 days. They would be given enough studies to last until the school car returned the following month.
When the teaching stop was over, a locomotive came for the school car and hauled it to the next town. After four to six weeks, the circuit would be complete, and the school car would start again at the first town.
The curriculum was the same as for that province’s regular schools: reading, grammar, arithmetic, history and geography were just some of the subjects taught. http://www.countryschooljournal.com/uploads/RailroadSchool2.pdf