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In 1814, this building blocked the construction of a new toll highway from Newark to Morristown.
In 1867, a state law required that Columbia become a graded school.
By 1877, the old two-story wooden building erected in 1815 was found to be woefully inadequate for the growing community. The building later became the northeast wing of the old South Orange Junior High School, demolished when the present middle school was built.
One resident complained that "in very cold weather, with stoves at red heat, it is impossible to raise the temperature in the room above 55 degrees, and in such a place are sown the seeds of suffering, disease and death." The Trustees responded in 1879 by resolving to erect a new brick building, of two stories, to accommodate between 220 and 240 pupils. The separate existence of the high school began in 1885, when the Trustees decided "that in order to increase the efficiency of the Columbia School a new class of a higher grade shall be formed at the commencement of the coming term to be taught by the Principal." Lower grades continued to be housed at Columbia.
The Trustees' minutes of May 31, 1888, reflect the principal's request "that a diploma be voted to Miss Etta A.
The resolution reflected "the desire of the meeting that the said school should in the future have the name of Columbian School of South Orange." The new schoolhouse was a two-story wood structure, topped by a thin steeple and a lofty weather vane. The Trustees decided "That the price of tuition in this school be fixed at $1.75 per quarter for spelling, reading and writing; for Arithmetic in addition to the above branches the sum of $0.25 cts and for Grammar or Geography the further sum of twenty-five cents." The cost of firewood was to be "divided equally among the scholars." On May 10, 1816, the Trustees adopted a seal for the school in the form of "a spread eagle standing on a globe with the word Excelsior underneath in Roman Capitals." In the early years, students at the Columbia School were not separated according to grade.
All were subject to the same rules, among them the following adopted by the Trustees on May 2, 1827: "Every scholar must be made to name every silent letter in his spelling when he spells a word with one in and mention every figure which is placed over a letter and be taught to know their uses and for every mistake or omission in such letter or figure shall be considered the same as spelling a word wrong and subject to the same usage.
At the same time, pupil behavior was becoming less inhibited, much to the distress of the adult population. Foster, Superintendent of the District from 1900–1927, described the conditions in 1913: "Long before prohibition was adopted, venturesome boys were surreptitiously now and then bringing liquor to dances to add to the excitement.
There was a decided reversion to animalistic excitement.
Kaneland is a North Central Accreditated high school in the growing western portion of Kane County.
Columbia High School is a four-year comprehensive regional public high school in Maplewood, New Jersey, which serves students in ninth through twelfth grades, as the lone secondary school of the South Orange-Maplewood School District, which includes Maplewood and South Orange, neighboring communities in Essex County, New Jersey, United States.
Kilburn" and that, "on motion, a diploma was voted to Miss Kilburn, the first graduate of the high school.